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Resources for Julie’s Blog

The World Awaits!

My new colt was born at the most convenient time of day, about the time most people are arriving at work. Most foals are born in the wee hours of the night. It’s Mother Nature’s
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How Much Does a Young Horse Really Know?

There are a multitude of reasons why people might end up with a young horse in their lives… You’re raising a foal from a beloved mare. You’ve been riding “made” horses for some time and
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How Horses Learn to “Read” Humans

If you’ve ever ridden with me in a clinic, you’ve heard me talk about how clever horses are at determining a person’s level of intention and determination, or lack thereof. Although it is a super
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A Look Back: My 2023 Horse Goals

My crew is always coming up with big ideas for helping riders and horse owners live their dreams. Like me, they are all on their own personal horsemanship journey and seeking new information and better
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When Horses “Shut Down”

A horse owner recently reached out to me asking for guidance with a 3-year-old colt that came to her completely shutdown. His eyes glaze over and he statues-up in response to [any cues] … as
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Annie and Juliie cantering in the outdoor arena with mountains in the background.

Should I Let Someone Else Ride My Horse?

Photo Crredit: Melissa Arnold Should you let someone else ride your horse? There are two common points of view that I run into on this subject: “No! I do not want someone interfering with the
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Horse Goals Or Bust Part 8: Mental Strategies to Manage Day-Of Anxiety & Perform at Your Best

Whether your equestrian goals involve a competition, a trail adventure, or building the confidence to try something new, it’s likely that you will experience periods of anxiety and moments of doubt in your journey. This
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View of an arena through a horse's ears.

Horse Goals or Bust Part 7: It’s Go Time!

We are now 7 months into Horse Goals or Bust—setting goals, planning, training, practicing, and preparing. It’s prime riding season in most areas, so now is the time to put into action all the activities
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Truck pulling a horse trailer.

Horse Goals or Bust Part 6: Your Trailer FAQs Answered

It’s been a lot of fun to hear about the goals, skill assessments, and training plans that we’ve all been working on this year in our Horse Goals or Bust! endeavors. Hopefully your plans are coming together,
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Julie grooming her horse, Annie.

Horse Goals or Bust Part 5: Grooming Tips from the Trail to the Arena

Whether your horsemanship goals for this year involve gaining confidence, an overnight trail ride, or competing in any given discipline, your horse’s appearance speaks volumes. Not only is grooming another way to bond with your
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Horse Goals or Bust! Part 4: Rider Skill Assessment & Training Plan

We are now four months into Horse Goals or Bust!, and we still have half a year left to fulfill our dreams and achieve our equestrian aspirations! Last month, we addressed horse and rider fitness,
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Horse Goals or Bust! Part 3: Rider Fitness & Conditioning Plan

We are three months into Horse Goals or Bust!—my nine-month plan to help you accomplish your horsemanship goals and live your dreams. Many of you have jumped onboard for this ride, including most of my
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Horse looking down a long trail

Horse Goals or Bust! Ready, Set, Go!

It’s that time of year to hit the reset button, look forward, and set new, impactful goals for yourself. We started this journey last month in my blog and podcast, Ride On with Julie Goodnight.
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Check Your Rearview Before You Get in Gear Next Year

It’s true. The older you get, the faster the time goes by. The past few years have been topsy-turvy, and a roller-coaster ride of emotions. During this time, three friends unexpectedly passed away⁠—all of whom
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Julie training on a horse in English tack.

What Does it Mean to Have “Realistic” Training Expectations?

Whether your young horse is ready for saddle training, or your adult horse needs to be restarted, has developed undesirable behaviors, or is ready for a higher level of training, there may come a time
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Artificial Aids: Training Tool or Crutch?

Horses are amazingly adaptable creatures, and over thousands of years they have partnered with us and found ways to make themselves invaluable to human society. Since before horses were even ridden, humans have attempted to
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Foal meeting the farrier

How to Get a 5-Star Rating From Your Farrier

As a kid, I rode show hunters, and back then most of them were off-the-track Thoroughbreds–notorious for their shelly, thin feet and the tendency to lose a shoe right before an important show. I learned
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Julie working with a horse on a leadline

Plugging the Holes in Your Horse’s Training

You have future goals to accomplish with your horse, but you know you’re not ready yet. Equestrian sports require a long-term commitment and often the journey takes us places we didn’t imagine when we started. 
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Change of Plans: When It’s Time to Pivot

You’ve made big plans and set some lofty goals with your horse, starting months or even years ago. Maybe you want to do a series of competitions, a long-distance trail ride or a bucket list
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horse stepping into a horse trailer

Trailering Checklist Part 2: Is Your Horse Ready to Hit the Road?

  Your horse didn’t exactly volunteer to join you on your next road trip, and isn’t pining for a big adventure or “revenge travel” to make up for lost time over the last couple years
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Annie Closeup

Quiz: What is Your Horse’s Training Level?

Horses are very precocious animals—they are fast learning and their education begins in the first moments of life. Unfortunately, they learn inappropriate things just as quickly as the good stuff, so it is easy to
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What’s the Temperature of Your Horse’s Temperament?

Horses are unique individuals with differing temperaments and a variety of idiosyncrasies. Even within one breed or type of horse, temperament can vary greatly between individuals. The more you know and understand about your horse’s
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Trailering Checklist Part 1: What to Know Before You Hit the Road

  There’s a lot to consider when it comes to traveling with horses, and I’ve learned a lot of things to do (and not to do) over the years. Whether you are hauling 10 minutes
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What’s LOVE Got To Do With It?

If you are reading my blog, chances are good that you LOVE all horses, and your own horse especially. But does your horse LOVE you back?  As it turns out, many animal behaviorists believe that
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Julie and Annie Assessing Saddle Fit

Saddle Fit Do-Over

Assessing your tack—in terms of its condition, fit to the horse, and appropriateness for the horse’s discipline and level of training—should be ongoing, but doing a thorough assessment should happen at least once a year.
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Are You & Your Horse Ready for Winter?

Even though our winter out here in the mountains has been disturbingly warm and dry this year, I know that eventually the cold and snow will descend upon us. Neither horses nor the humans caring
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Proactive Riding—Take the Driver’s Seat

Many of the questions I get start with a sentiment like this: “My horse used to do this well, but now he won’t,” or, “My horse was really responsive when I first got him, and
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October 2021 Horse Report

My horses enjoyed a well-deserved training break over the past month. Slowly, my life is creeping back to normal and I’m spending more time traveling. I’m so grateful to be fully vaccinated (and in line
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Managing Fearful Behavior in Horses

My young horse, Pepperoni, was just a tender 2-year-old with about 30 days undersaddle when I first ventured outside the arena with him. On that day, my number one goal was to make sure he
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Truth Julie Ground Tying

Helping Horses, One Foster at a Time

I’m pretty sure no one loves horses more than I do, but I know a lot of you who love them just as much.  We’ve cultivated a small herd of great riding horses, plus one
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Pepper watching pasture horses in the background

The Secret Ingredient: Managing the Herd-Bound Horse

At my ranch, we have seven geldings and one mare. When we brought my new foster mare, Truth, in for training the two mares were instantly drawn to each other like magnets. At first, it
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Horse rearing on the lunge line

“Rearing” to Go!

One of the most memorable episodes of Horse Master for me involved a lovely warmblood mare who developed a rearing problem after a successful run as a show jumper. The sweet and kind mare stood
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Julie petting Pepper's neck

Does My Horse Like Me?

Recently I had a question from one of my podcast listeners, Benjamin. He asked: “Many blogs, books and online training resources talk about helping you develop the relationship you always wanted to have with your
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Woodrow Rearing

Back From the Brink: Managing Emotional Meltdowns in Horses

No doubt about it—horses are emotional animals; perhaps more emotional than humans. As prey and herd animals, horses are programmed to adopt the emotions of the animals around them (herd mentality) and react appropriately. It
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Cultivating a Connection with Horses

Duke was a well-trained gelding, successful in the show ring as a youngster, then ridden extensively in the rugged mountains of Colorado. He was a handsome hunk of muscle, very balanced, always a delight to
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Secret Powers are Within You!

It should go without saying that training and riding a thousand-pound flight animal is complicated—it’s the only sport I know of that involves inter-species teamwork. Riding is a partnership of two athletes—horse and human—each with
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Julie cantering palomino horse

Canter Hacks | Part 2: Canter Hacks for Advanced Horses & Riders

Sorry! If you got here from my March, 10 2021 newsletter, it took you to this post by mistake! Click here to continue reading my March 2021 blog post called, Secret Powers Are Within You
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Julie cantering a warmblood in an arena.

Canter Hacks | Part 1 of 2

Five Canter Hacks for Green Horses and Green Riders The natural gaits of the horse are walk, trot and gallop. The canter is a slow, collected gallop, developed over time, through training. Rarely do you
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Julie's dad on his palomino trail horse, Scout.

The Making of a Trail Horse, Part 4 (and Other Duties, as Assigned)

I remember my father’s last and best trail horse, Scout. He was a big, bold, grade quarter horse, afraid of nothing, with a motor like a freight train.  Aboard Scout, my father climbed all over
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View from behind horse's ears of treed hills and mountain range.

The Making of a Trail Horse, Part 3

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The Making of a Trail Horse, Part 2

Manners and Skills There are many ingredients that go into the making of an exceptional trail horse and just like in the kitchen, quality ingredients can make the difference in an average dish or an
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The Making of a Trail Horse

My youngest horse, Pepperoni, just successfully completed his first high mountain ride in the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness Area, a steep mountain range in southern Colorado. It was an arduous test of his skills and
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Get a Handle on Your Reins

Tack and equipment play an important role in riding and training horses. Knowing the options and making the right choices can make a huge difference in your riding. The four natural aids of the rider
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Too Hot to Trot

I grew up in central Florida, riding year-round in the steamy heat. As a young girl, most of my summer riding was done bareback, barefooted, in a bathing suit (much to my mother’s chagrin). As
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My First Covid-Era Horsemanship Clinic

After almost two decades of being a road warrior, traveling 20-30 times a year to clinics and public speaking at horse fairs and conferences, I suddenly found myself grounded when travel came to a screeching
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Helping Horses in Need—It Takes a Village

Dear Friends, This is a story about one horse that needs our help, and the dozens of people stepping up to help horses in need every day. But the truth is, he is only one
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Horsemanship Homework

Sometimes life doesn’t go as planned. Despite our best efforts, there are times when life-events will supplant your horsemanship activities. Putting in too many hours at work, an illness in the family, a new job,
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Fresh Start

Like my fruits and vegetables, I prefer my horses fresh. It’s clearly not for everyone, but I enjoy riding a horse that’s a little bit excited, that’s looking down the road, eager to get there
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Pepper walking in the snow between two tree branches.

Winter “Whoas”

Unless you have the luxury of loading up your horses and heading to Arizona or south Florida for the winter, chances are good your riding activities have been seriously curtailed by winter weather. Whether you’re
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February 2020 Letter From Julie

Dear friends, Is it Spring yet? Once the holidays are behind me, I’m always eager to get the year underway. I’ve got places to go, people to meet and horses to ride! I’ve been busy
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