September 2020 Letter from Julie

Dear Friends,

This fall brings a transition like no other. Normally, I take a break from business travel in the summer and ease back into full swing, traveling to horse expos, clinics and conferences in September. Of course, this year, I’ve had a five-month stretch with very little business travel. Like a lot of people, back in March I went from shock, to wandering in circles, to settling into a new normal. I love traveling, meeting new horses and helping them with their people. At first, I wasn’t sure what I’d do if I couldn’t travel—all I could think about was when things would get back to normal. Then came a period of adjustment; then came a new normal. I’m sure many of you can relate.

Now it’s time to dust off my suitcases, pack my bags and hit the road again! Although a part of me has become content staying at home, I’m super excited to get back to what I do best—teach horsemanship! Although my fall schedule does not look like it used to, I’ve still got some trips on the books, and I’m excited to get back in the arena with three clinics at the C Lazy U Ranch, plus my Equus Win-A-Day clinic in Jackson Hole, WY. Apparently, many of you are eager to travel, too, since our clinics at C Lazy U are filling fast!

The Ranch Riding Adventure in September is full but the Fall Getaway (co-taught with Barbra Schulte), October 8-12, still has a few openings. This is a new, vacation-oriented program, where guests can pick their own agenda each day, choosing from all the ranch amenities (riding and non-riding), plus lessons with Barbra and me each day and plenty of social activities (outside and social distancing). Bring your spouse or a non-riding friend for this fun, action-packed outdoor program. October 22-26 is Horsemanship Immersion—a program you’ve asked for, specifically designed for insatiable learners. This will be a hands-on, 4-day program that covers riding skills, groundwork, health, first aid, conformation, saddle fit and bits, behavior and training, plus trail riding in the Rocky Mountains. These clinics are filling fast, so if you’re ready to venture out, check out these fabulous programs.

This month I’ll be conducting a recorded clinic for the CHA V-Conference on October 30th. The conference is open to anyone and will offer educational horsemanship clinics, both English and Western, from a variety of nationally known presenters. I’ll be offering a clinic on lead changes, which will be pre-recorded and viewed on October 30th, with live commentary from me. The Certified Horsemanship Association is a nonprofit organization that promotes safety and effectiveness in horsemanship instruction. I’ve been a proud member, spokesperson, and certified Master Instructor with the organization for decades. This virtual conference will certainly be chock full of high-quality horsemanship instruction. Please join us!

This year has been like no other. We’ve learned a lot about human nature and how quickly our society can change and how well we can all adapt. I’ve found some unexpected treasures, with more time to do the things I love. I’ve found new strength in my ability to pivot. I’ve had a lot of fun with the Daily Doses of Horsemanship Homework and found a lot of satisfaction in foster-training Doc Gunner (please visit MyRightHorse.org to find out how you can help horses in need). If you asked me back in early March if I would be willing to give up traveling, I would have said no. But now that I see that even in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, we can find joy in the smallest things ,and opportunity where we didn’t know it existed. I have a new perspective. I know many people are hurting, and I am heartened by the kindness and generosity of others. As we ease back into “normal” life, there will be more bumps and recalculations, but I do have faith in the positive outcome and I hope you do too!

Enjoy the ride,

August 2020 Letter from Julie

Dear friends,

 

I’m not sure whether I’m sad to see summer wane or glad to see this year halfway behind us. The not-knowing-what’s-next is hard for everyone, myself included. I miss helping horses with their people. I miss the hundreds of horses I encounter in-person each year. In fact, I consider it a perk of my job and I want it back. How else does a trainer master their craft, other than working with thousands of individual horses?

When will we get back to the horse-business-as-usual? Who knows, really, but I think for large events like horse expos, it’s looking like 2021 will be a remake of what we’d planned for 2020. It’ll be like we skipped a year; sort of like suspended animation. For 2021, I’m booked at all the events I planned to attend this year, and I am looking forward to that day! See my full schedule here.

In the meantime, and maybe permanently, I’ll be doing a lot more private/small group clinics. There’s nothing quite like working with horses and their people, up-close and personal, and seeing the dynamic between them. After all, if the person could articulate to me what they were doing wrong, we could handle it on the phone. Without seeing the interaction between horse and human, I miss a lot of information that I need to help solve problems. If you think you and your horse are ready for a house call, get more info on private clinics here.

This fall, I’ll be teaching three “vacation clinics” at the renowned C Lazy U Ranch, near Granby, Colorado. This “5-Spur” guest ranch is operating at reduced capacity this summer; with almost all of the activities outside and with well-established covid precautions, they are staying safe while offering outstanding family vacations. I was there in June for a clinic I co-taught with Barbra Schulte and everyone was smart and we had a great time. While my September program at C Lazy U is full, the  two October programs still have openings. So if you’re ready to venture out, this may be your ticket…

 

  • Ranch Riding Adventure, September 17-21. Includes trail riding, daily lessons with Julie, trail obstacles and cattle work. This clinic is full for 2020; if this program fits your needs, call and ask to be on the waitlist for 2021.
  • Fall Mountain Getaway, October 8-12. Join Julie Goodnight, Barbra Schulte and their husbands for a vacation for fun-loving adults. Plan  your own schedule each day, choosing from a menu of activities, including lessons with Julie and Barb, incredible trail rides, plus many fun activities for riders and nonriders alike.
  • Horsemanship Immersion, October 22-26. With a laboratory of over 200 horses to play with, this program is for insatiable learners of all ability levels. It involves concentrated study and hands-on practice, including riding, groundwork, conformation, behavior & training, saddle fit & bits, health & first aid.

As spokesperson for the Certified Horsemanship Association, I’m excited to be participating in their virtual conference, on Friday, October 30th. The CHA Conference is geared toward horse professionals, but is open to anyone and is often attended by non-professionals that wish to expand their knowledge. For the v-conference, I will pre-record a clinic with both English and Western riders called, “Simple and Flying Lead Changes,” (a tall order). I’ll present the video of the clinic on the 30th and answer your questions. 

 

If you’re an English rider interested in bringing your horse and riding with me at my ranch in Salida, Colorado, please contact info@juliegoodnight.com.

 

Enjoy the ride,

July 2020 Letter from Julie

Dear friends,

It’s definitely been an interesting summer so far. Like so many of you, I’m getting used to a new way of doing business, and so far, I’ve managed to fill in the holes in my schedule that came from cancellations of events everywhere. My days have been filled with live posts and daily video lessons, coaching online students and recording podcasts and voiceovers. Believe it or not, the planning and preparation consumes just as much time as the doing—especially with half of my team working from home.

But our efforts have paid off, and we’ve increased our online content while managing to stay connected to our audience. Many of you have been following the story of Training Doc Gunner, which have come to you over the last six weeks via live posts on Facebook. Gunner is a 4 year old deaf Paint gelding, rescued in Kansas, ending up in Oklahoma City, and then sent to me in Colorado for fostering. His story is compelling, and people have enjoyed watching his training real-time. We are using this social campaign to bring awareness to the hundreds of thousands of horses at risk in this country (now more than ever) and how you can help. To find out more about organizations doing the good work to save horses in your area, and how you might help, visit www.MyRightHorse.org.

At the end of May, Barbra Schulte and I conducted a fabulous riding retreat at the C Lazy U Ranch, and I am happy to say that everyone was smart, observed social distancing, and wore face coverings when appropriate. We all stayed healthy and had a great time (read about it in last month’s blog). I’m looking forward to the three riding programs I will offer at C Lazy U in the fall (2 of them are brand new programs!). I’m hopeful that I will also be traveling to College Station, TX, in October, for the CHA Conference; and if my luck holds out, I may be in Myrtle Beach SC in November for the AHA Beach Ride. Even with the unusual schedule changes happening lately, you can always find the most accurate information about my public appearances here.

Adjusting to the covid crisis has meant modifying the way I operate and looking for new ways to connect with horse lovers. One day soon, I’ll get back to traveling, and already we are seeing an increase in the number of people interested in private horsemanship clinics at their own facilities. All of the big events I had booked to be a presenter at in 2020 that were cancelled have rebooked me for 2021, and the producers are looking forward to next year. We are looking at platforms to offer virtual horsemanship clinics where I can help you with your horse from a distance and at live-streaming horsemanship clinics so viewers everywhere can benefit.

Meanwhile, we continue to invest in our robust online streaming services and membership programs. Horse people, widely known to be late adopters of technology, are clearly availing themselves of it now. I am proud to say we have some of the best tech support and customer service out there—Diana spends a lot of time helping our customers navigate the unknown, so even the techno-phobic horse lovers can learn and study online with ease! If you haven’t checked out my Daily Doses of Horsemanship Homework, they are still available online for free, so get it while you can. And I hope you will join me on my weekly live posts on Facebook, Training Doc Gunner.

There may never be another summer quite like this one (let’s hope), but I’m a big fan of looking on the bright side. I’ve got more time at home now to do what I love doing, I’m involved with some exciting new projects and I’m still seeking the opportunities that I know are out there waiting for me. I hope you too are healthy, safe and able to find some goodness in all the gloom.

Enjoy the ride,

Julie

 

May 2020 Letter from Julie

Dear Friends, 

Another month has gone by while we all do our share to fight the spread of this awful virus. Here in Colorado, we are slowly rebooting the economy and I am hopeful that people will continue to be smart and not erase all the sacrifices we have collectively made in the past eight weeks. For the most part, I am staying at home (“Safer at Home” is the new motto in our state) and I have a suitable array of home-made face masks that I wear when I must go out.

I do see some silver linings. Certainly, people everywhere have become more aware of the importance of personal health, good hygiene and are altering social norms so we don’t contribute to the spread of disease. I think we’ve all become more empathetic of people that may not have it as good and we’ve changed our perspectives about what workers are important and essential in our society. And dare I hope that people around the world will see the obvious and positive impact this shutdown has had on the global environment and come to realize we can stop climate change if we work at it? Also, many of us have reshaped our relationships with those closest to us, hopefully in positive ways.

Some of you, like me, are forced to stay at home, but we are happy to have more time with our families and our horses. Many of you have shared with me on Face Book that you’ve been separated from your horses for way too long or maybe you’re able to go back to the barn now but riding is restricted. In both instances, perhaps we are finding new appreciation for our horses.

I’ve been offering a Daily Dose of Horsemanship Homework, 7-days a week for the past  six weeks, to help you ease through this challenging time and further your horsemanship goals. We’ve been doing LIVE posts several days a week where we can all connect and where I enjoy answering your questions. Since I have not been able to make presentations at horse expos or teach horsemanship clinics since this thing began, this is my way of continuing my work and staying connected with my audience of horse lovers. In case you’ve missed out on the Daily Doses, you can find them all  here  Daily Dose’s

I look forward to the day when nonessential travel resumes, events are rescheduled and I can start teaching at clinics and expos again. At the end of this month, I am co-teaching with Barbra Schulte  for the Women’s Riding & Wholeness Retreat, at the renowned C Lazy U Ranch. I’ve got lots of clinics, expos and conferences in the fall and my schedule   is always current online, if you want to find out more.

I’ve got lots of open dates to fill in my calendar now, and I haven’t said that in a very long time. If you’re interested in hosting a horsemanship clinic or hiring me for a private clinic at your facility, please contact twyla@juliegoodnight.com.

I’ve learned a lot about individuals, about society and about myself during this pandemic, as our emotions and opinions have evolved over the past two months. I’ve enjoyed a different pace of life and my crew and I have proven that if we work hard, we will succeed. I’ll be ready to get back on the road, and pick up where we left off, once its’ safe to do so.

Be sure to check out this month’s blog to meet my new foster horse project, Doc Gunner. We’re all in this together and we need each other’s support, so be smart and set a good example.

Until next time,

Julie

April 2020 Letter From Julie

Dear friends,

What a difference a month makes! Here in Colorado, we are in our third week of shutdown and second week of stay-at-home orders. We are all taking the pandemic seriously and doing our part to prevent spread, keep distance, protect the vulnerable and support our health care workers and first responders. My hope is that four weeks from now, I’ll be writing in this newsletter about how the worst of it is behind us. But for now, we have to hunker down, be smart and do what we can to contribute to flattening the curve.

 

Fortunately for me, much of my business is internet-based, so we can keep the virtual doors open! Our subscription services (streaming horse-training videos) and membership programs (online horsemanship curriculum and coaching) are going strong and many of you are making the most of this time by improving your horsemanship knowledge. Diana is standing by, both online and by phone (719-530-0531), to help you with customer service, as usual.

 

If you’re stuck at home, fantasizing about getting back to regular riding and cruising the internet, check out our online store at shop.juliegoodnight.com! We’re still open for business and processing orders and offering you FREE SHIPPING (no minimums) as an incentive to shop. In addition to our fabulous rope halters, training leads, and reins, we also offer unique grooming products that you can’t find anywhere else, streaming horse training videos, sticks and flags, and many other great products.

 

It was tragic that so many great horse expos had to cancel this spring. I’ve agreed to be a presenter next year at the Northwest Horse Fair (Albany, Oregon) and the Midwest Horse Fair (Madison, Wisconsin). We’ll pick up right where we left off! We are in the process of rescheduling horsemanship clinics as needed. My previously rigid schedule has suddenly gotten more flexible!

 

In response to the health crisis and the increasing amount of people under stay-at-home orders in this country (3 out of 4 Americans, at the time of this writing), I’ve started daily postings offering you horsemanship homework—both “Living Room Lessons” and arena lessons. I’ve either posted through Facebook Live (I love connecting with you in real time!) or through a video uploaded to my YouTube channel. We’re starting on our third week of Daily Doses! In case you’ve missed any or all of them, we’ve put them on the Goodnight Academy homepage, under What’s New? https://signin.juliegoodnight.com/

 

Also new in my shop this month (this week) is a brand new digital product—a horsemanship short course on Building Confidence with Horses. We’ve been working on the short courses for months, and now happens to be a good time and a good subject to release the first one. Check it out here: https://signin.juliegoodnight.com/goodnight-academy-short-courses/

 

Many of you are separated from your horses during this shutdown and I know that must be tough! I’m incredibly grateful to have my horses at home and to be able to go to the barn for a sense of normalcy. I’m making the most of this unplanned time at home to ride my horse more, catch up on back-burner projects and produce more educational content for our online Library (we’re releasing new content every week). I’m looking forward to getting back on the road for clinics and expos, but for now, I am content to stay home and do what I can to help. I am confident we will get through this with American determination and ingenuity.

 

Please check out my Daily Dose of Horsemanship Homework and join us for a live post if you can! Help spread the word to your horsey friends, especially those with kids at home that may need a horse fix.

 

Until next time, stay safe, be smart and let’s do this!

Take care,

Julie

March 2020 Horse Report

Had I written this report a week ago, when I was supposed to, it would have sounded much different. Then, I would’ve been whining about being on the road too much and how little ride-time I had with my own horses. Now, I’ve got all the time in the world because my business trips have been cancelled through April. I’ve got plenty of time at home to ride my horses now and I’m making the most of it. However, I will miss connecting with you, my loyal friends and followers, and I am sad about all the vendors and expo producers whose hard work preparing for horse expos burned up in a flash.

Fortunately, Goodnight Horsemanship is an internet-based business, located in a remote and rural area and my crew and I are still hard at work, in a seemingly normal way. Twyla and Diana are in our (spacious) office every day (taking all precautions, of course), to keep up with orders and give technical support (and emotional support) to our members and subscribers. Melissa is taking care of the horses as usual and we are riding and training every day (she’s also videotaping, editing and modeling too). She’s working more from home now, in an attempt to keep her son busy while he’s home from school. Megan, who keeps our intricate websites and social media platforms functioning (among many other things), works remotely from home normally anyway. We are all working hard to make the most of this slowdown by producing even more video/audio content for our subscribers. We are working on it every day and plan to release brand new content several times a week!

Our streaming services and online horsemanship library have definitely seen an uptick in activity this week, a sign of all the people who cannot go to work but still have a hankering for horses. We are grateful to be able to share this searchable educational content with you and to help you reach your horsemanship goals. I’ve also seen an increase in completed assignments and messages from my Interactive members (it’s an online curriculum and coaching program). This tells me that many of you, like me, are stuck at home for a while and trying to keep moving in a positive direction. Let’s keep these connections going!

I’m eager to get back on the road again soon. As much as I enjoy this unplanned time at home, I love traveling to clinics and expos and I already miss it. The Women’s Riding & Wholeness Retreat, at the C Lazy U Ranch, that I co-teach with Barbra Schulte, is going on as planned in May and I cannot wait! We are optimistic that our government and the greatest scientists in the world will continue to be proactive and will get this viral outbreak under control quickly, and that restrictions will be lessening soon. Obviously, it’s a fluid situation and it can change rapidly, but we are optimistic and eager to get back to normal.

With all the event cancellations, I’ll have lots of time available once things kick back into gear. I’d love to schedule more private clinics around the country, especially in the areas where horse expos were cancelled. If you’re interesting in partnering with us to host a horsemanship clinic, please call my office.

My horses are all healthy, fat and happy. I’m getting more ride time these days and I’ve been sharing that on FaceBook and YouTube. Many of you wonder what I do with my own horses, so now’s your chance to get an insider’s look at my farm, my personal horses and what training challenges I face. You’ll hear from me again in a couple weeks and I’m confidant my newsletter will have a more positive tone by then. In the meantime, let’s all stay connected online, through live posts and chat rooms. Keep your comments coming and let us know you’re still there!

Take care and be smart,
Julie

March 2020 Letter from Julie

Dear friends,

The valley I live in is known as “the banana belt of Colorado” for a reason. At a high altitude, winters are long and in spite of lots of snow and cold in February, I was able to ride Pepperoni in the outdoor arena on March 3rd, for the first time since mid-October. And let’s just say it was an enthusiastic ride, thoroughly enjoyed by both of us! With wide open spaces all around us (and epic views I might add), after months of staring at walls and going in circles, and with freshly groomed footing, Pepper had a revved up engine and seemed like he had somewhere important to go! We laid a lot of tracks in that fresh soft dirt, before the thin air slowed us down.

After three back-to-back trips and two weeks on the road, I’m happy to be home for a couple weeks. My first trip was to Fort Collins, CO, in mid-February. I’ve been involved with the Colorado State University Equine program for a long time and I often show up there as a guest lecturer. This time, I was substitute-teaching for John Snyder, the instructor for the colt-training class. Thirty-one colts are trained by students over two semesters and they had their first rides scheduled for the week I was there. I was like a kid in a candy shop! I love training  young horses and I had a blast. With the help of two patient and supportive teaching assistants, we got every last colt through their first few rides. There were three half-siblings to my youngster, Pepperoni, which was interesting. Like déjà vu. All the colts are working well under-saddle now, in preparation for the Legends of Ranching Horse Sale in April. https://equinescience.agsci.colostate.edu/outreach-events/legends-of-ranching/ I can’t wait to go back to Fort Collins early next month, to lecture to the Behavior class and to see how the colts have progressed.

My last two trips in February were to Tennessee and Pennsylvania. Lucy and I had a fabulous time at the Southern Equine Expo—it was a busy weekend for us and the attendance was tremendous! Same at the Horse World Expo—great crowds, lots of friends—old and new.

Later this month, I’m headed to the Northwest Horse Expo in Albany, Oregon. http://equinepromotions.net/northwest-horse-fair/ My presentations include The Natural Ride, Riding ‘til You’re 90!, Finding Your Dream Horse, Exercises to Improve Riding Skills, and Canter Master: Leads and Lead Changes. This well-established horse expo offers three full days of education, entertainment and shopping for all horse lovers. I look forward to seeing you there!

January 2020 Letter From Julie


Dear friends,

Happy New Year! I’m reluctant to see another year end, but I’m enthusiastic about the opportunities the new year brings. I’m a planner, so I like looking ahead; I’m an overachiever, so I love to see how much I can accomplish and plot the new directions I will take. Each New Year represents a fresh new start. That’s why I like to make multiple NY’s Resolutions, in different categories of my life. That way, if I slip one resolution, I still have a few to conquer.

This year, I’m sharing my resolutions with you—always a risk, since now I am on public record with my good intentions. I plan to rise to the occasion! I hope that you, too, will make and share your resolutions—get them on the record, say them out loud-—and you’ll be more likely to achieve them! 

Here’s a look at my 2020 New Year’s Resolutions…

Health: In 2020, I resolve to get a mammogram and a colonoscopy. This will be my hardest resolution to conquer since I am generally healthy and tend to avoid doctors, so it’s easy for me to neglect these important preventative measures. But not this year!

Fitness: In 2020, I am going to acquire roller blades and add that to my cross-training regimen. The aerobic activity is great for my fitness and for heart health and it conditions my legs for skiing. The balance required to stay on my feet keeps me tuned-up for riding horses. Plus, it’s very high on the fun meter!

Personal Betterment: In 2020, I resolve to consume fewer disposables, in every corner of my life—from the office, to the house, to the airport; from printer paper to coffee cups, to everything plastic. I’m committed to the environment, and I’m enacting change at the individual level, starting with me.

Professional Achievement: In 2020, I will develop new online training programs with a goal of helping horses all over the world, one human at a time. My online horsemanship academy has opened doors for a lot of horse owners. I will expand that platform with online short courses on the handling, care, riding and training of horses, to help horse owners everywhere increase their knowledge and skill-level.

Personal Horsemanship Goals: In 2020, I will start Pepperoni, my now 4-year-old gelding, working cattle and haul him on at least four road trips. It’s not necessarily my goal to be competitive or attend horse shows, but to further his training so he develops competitive skills, and to increase his road experience so he learns to be a better traveler. This horse was bred to work cows, so I’m excited to finally start down that path with him.

Household: In 2020, I resolve to clean out all the expired condiments, spices and cooking ingredients from my refrigerator, cabinets and pantry. I do so little cooking anymore, yet my cabinets and appliances are full of peculiar one-off ingredients. I’m guessing there’s stuff that’s been in there for more than a decade. ‘Nuff said.

This year is shaping up to be busy for me, and not just because of my ambitious resolutions list! I’ll also be a headline presenter at horse expos in Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Oregon and Wisconsin. I’m teaching at horsemanship clinics in Colorado, Virginia, Massachusetts and Ireland. See my full 2020 schedule here

I’m excited about our new programs at the C Lazy U Ranch—the Couples’ Riding Retreat (co-taught with Barbra Schulte and her husband) and the Horsemanship Immersion program. And I’m thrilled to be returning to Ireland for a fabulous riding vacation and clinic. I hope you’ll join me on at least one of these adventures!

 

 

Now that I’ve revealed MY New Year’s Resolutions, it’s YOUR turn! 

Step 1: Decide on your resolutions (some hard, some easy, some fun, some serious) 

Step 2: Go to the #HorseGoals or Bust Facebook Group and post your resolutions (post them on your fridge too) 

Step 3: Make it happen! And share your success stories with me.

Let’s do this together! It’s a whole new decade—the 20s! This year and this decade will be what we make of it. I wish you peace, happiness and success in the coming months and years.

Enjoy the ride,





Hi Julie,

I just read about your NY resolutions.

Regarding your health goals and tests, please do them sooner rather than later.

Last year at this time I was in  ICU, fight to stay alive from a  ruptured colon and
septicemia. As you say, we horse gals tend to ignore things. I  had been
symptomatic for about 6 months but blew it off to “eating too may
peanuts” or change of diet. Turned out I had Diverticulitis and the
“healthier” I ate, salads with nuts and lots  of raw veggies, 21
grain breads, etc is what ruptured it!

I never really felt  “sick”, just a little cramping a d low grade fever, but
would rest and  seemed to resolve. Even the day I went into the hospital,
I didn’t feel bad until I started vomiting uncontrollably. If a friend hadn’t
answered my text for help in minutes, I’d be dead.

Had Colostomy bag surgery, then intestines quit functioning. 2 surgeries and 6 months in bed.

All because I ignored the fact that I “just wasn’t right”…..Take care!

Best to you!!

Jeanna Santalucia 

Hi Jeanna,

I’m so sorry to hear
of all the health problems you’ve encountered this past year. OMG, what a
nighmare. My sister had septicemia stemming from a bladder infection and she
nearly died. Was in a coma for days. Jeanna, you have really been through a
lot! I hope you are on the mend now. Thank you for sharing your story and this
would be a great comment on the blog itself. Do you mind if we post the comment
wihtout your name on it? I think this really illustrates the point of what I was
trying to say. Us horse women are tough and stubborn, not always good traits.
Alright, I am on a new mission now, to get my appointments made.

Thank you for
sharing. Take care of yourself!

Best,

Julie

Looking Back: The Journey of Goodnight Training Stables

Photograph of Pepsea and Julie

Photograph of Pepsea and Julie

It was about 34 years ago that I took the big plunge and started my own business, Goodnight Training Stables. Back then, I simply imagined a fun and active life, training and caring for horses. Little did I know, that a few decades later, I’d be a TV personality and own a media production company. I didn’t really see that coming.

Horses are still our central focus, but my how times have changed! Keep in mind that when I founded my business, the internet had not been invented yet, football-sized cell phones were just coming on the market and most people didn’t even use computers. Business operations were much different back then!

I graduated from college in New Mexico in 1984 and moved to Colorado to chase my other passion—snow skiing.As was always the case with me, I got offered horse jobs as soon as people learned I had experience (there’s no shortage of horses that need help with their humans). I worked as a trail guide and hunting camp wrangler, then as a trainer and barn manager at an Arabian breeding and show barn. All the while, I was trying to figure out what I should do for a living. If not horses, then what?

Eventually, two important thoughts became clear to me: 1) since I am now two years out of college and still working horses, perhaps I should consider a career with horses, and 2) if I am going to last in the horse business, I have to be working for myself—doing things MY way. That is the basis on which Goodnight Training Stables was founded, clear back in 1985.

I was fortunate to find a vacated stables owned by a property owners association and I got a great deal on the lease—all I had to do was provide trail riding to the public and fix up the run down facility. It was a win-win for all of us and in no time the facility was ship-shape and full of happy horses there as boarders, training horses or dude horses.

A few years later, I started a girl’s riding camp—a popular program for horse-crazy little girls (a subject I could relate to), and I knew exactly what they wanted—to eat, sleep and breathe horses. Soon, the moms started asking me to do riding camps for adults, and a new aspect of my business emerged. Eventually I was conducting eleven week-long clinics for adults each summer, managing about 20 school horses and training outside horses on the side.

Photo Credit: Lucy Koehler

As the demand grew, I began traveling more and offering clinics on the road. Soon it became clear that it made more sense for me to travel to the horses than to make them come to me, in this remote little Colorado mountain town. About 15 years ago, I stopped doing clinics at home, re-purposed all of the school horses, and started teaching exclusively on the road. Today, I travel about 130 days a year, teaching people and training horses, both domestically and abroad.

Early in this business game, I learned that developing products to help people ride and manage their horses better, would be important to sustaining and growing a business. Just so you know how long ago that was, my very first product was an audio cassette tape. We thought we were really going high-tech when we switched to CDs. And yes, my first videos, Goodnight’s Principles of Riding, were only available in VHS tapes! Fast forward to today, even DVDs are dinosaurs as we all learn to consume our media online and through streaming videos on-demand.

The information and education on horses and riding are just as pertinent today as it was then, it’s the technology and how we consume the information that has changed. My entire career’s worth of work– every article I’ve written, every audio I’ve recorded and TV shows and training videos are available online, by subscription.

Who knew that having a horse business would require you to stay on top of technological advances and the changes in human behavior that result?

In 2008, I had the opportunity to start a TV show, Horse Master with Julie Goodnight, where I took the biggest detour in my business and jumped into broadcast TV with both feet. There was a steep learning curve at first, but fast-forward eleven years and 260 episodes, and we had it down to a science. Horse Master became a super popular, unscripted, how-to horse training show, where I work with a different horse/rider pair in each episode.

The TV show has opened a lot of doors for me and set the stage for bigger things to come. We’ve now begun production of a brand new TV series about the horse lifestyle and how horses have remained relevant in our society, more than a century after the combustion engine rendered them obsolete.

Today, I operate an online retail sales and a media production company, all centered on horses. I train horses and teach people almost every single day, but the engine that drives my business is retail sales and media. We will never lose sight of how important horses are in our lives and in our business. Everyone on my team is a horse lover and a rider.

We all love going to work every day and we’re fortunate to be involved in a business that we’re passionate about. We’ll never lose sight of the fact that our customers are passionate about horses and that this is a labor of love. We focus on products that make your horse life easier and better. Our motto is, “Helping horses, one human at a time.”

Thank you to everyone who has supported my small business for the last 34 years and counting!

November 2019 Letter from Julie

Dear friends,

Winter has descended on us rapidly, here in the high mountains of Colorado—we’ve already had several snows and single-digits. We always appreciate the snow (not so much the single digits), no matter when it comes, but especially now since we’ve had a wildfire burning in the wilderness near our town for several months. It’s a fire only Mother Nature can bring to an end. We’re reliant on snowfall for skiing and white-water rafting—the lifeblood of our area. And more importantly, for the water and irrigation that the snowpack provides. So let it snow!

Last month, I had a fabulous clinic in northern California—fun people, beautiful horses and a awesome clinic facility. Can’t ask for more than that! Then we headed up to Granby, Colorado, to the C Lazy U Ranch (recently named the 2nd best resort in the country), and as always, a good time was had by all. In 2020, I’ll be doing four programs at C Lazy U, with two brand new programs that I am really excited about—the Couples’ Riding Retreat and Horsemanship Immersion. Check out the details on my 2020 programs at C Lazy U here. www.juliegoodnight.com/clazyu

I’ve got one more event this year—the grand-daddy of horse expos here in the U.S.—Equine Affaire, November 7-10 in Springfield, MA. I’ll be doing clinics and demos on horse behavior, riding the horse with too much go or too much whoa, riding without the bridle, becoming the rider your horse wants, safety checks, and re-training the high-headed horse. I’ll offer personal Q&As and autographs at both the Cosequin booth and the WF Young booth, and hopefully we’ll be able to bring you all some FaceBook Live posts from the event, so even if you cannot come, you can experience some of the fun.

After Equine Affaire, I settle into winter mode. Looking forward to enjoying some skiing, winter hiking, and the holidays. This time of year, we are grateful to have a toasty indoor arena and be cozy while riding inside. After a few months of that, we’ll be ready for the thaw!

Enjoy the ride,


Ready to Get Started on Your Riding Goals? 

Spring is almost upon us, and my team and I are getting ready to tackle our goals for this year in earnest! It’s easy to set the goal and promise yourself that you’re going to work with your horse X days a week, or practice really hard to get ready for a big ride or competition. But it can be really hard to actually START—whether it’s Day 1 or Day 25. Life happens—we get busy, things come up, and we excuse away making ourselves and our horses a priority.

If you need a little extra encouragement and support to meet your goals, join my new #HorseGoals Or Bust Facebook Group! This is a community where you can come to share your goals and updates, find support through frustrations and set-backs, be a cheerleaders for others, and celebrate accomplishments. See you there!

 
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October 2019 Letter from Julie

Dear friends,

It’s a busy time of year for me, traveling to conferences, clinics and horse expos from one end of the country to the other. We had a fantastic clinics in Minnesota and Colorado last month, and this week I am heading to central California to work with a new bunch of horses and riders. I’m fortunate that the people who attend my clinics are dedicated to improving their horsemanship and being a better leader to the horse. Horses are amazing animals because when the person changes (improves), the horse changes right along with them. It’s rewarding for me to see the increased connection between horse and rider and the drastic improvements to the horse’s performance, when we just tweak little things in the rider/handler at a clinic.

Later this month, I head to upstate NY for the CHA International Conference, where I will offer a workshop on developing a good work ethic in both horses and riders, a mounted keynote speech on achieving collection, and a keynote speech at the awards banquet called “Trainer to TV,” were I’ll talk about my journey from a horse trainer to producing TV shows. Anyone is welcome to attend the CHA Conference; it is a place where riding instructors, trainers and barn managers, as well as the general horse-loving public, come together to network and study.

Next month I head to Massachusetts, for Equine Affaire, for one of the best horse fairs in the country. Four days of clinics, seminars, demos, and shopping (plus the best fair food anywhere!). This year, I have presentations on horse behavior, regulating your horse’s speed under-saddle, becoming less reliant on the reins (riding bridle-less), improving your equitation, tack and safety checks, and fixing the high-headed horse. That will keep me busy! Additionally, I’ll be signing autographs and answering your questions on the trade show floor– visiting with attendees when I am not in the arena teaching. I sure hope to see you there!

Enjoy the ride,


Ready to Get Started on Your Riding Goals? 

Spring is almost upon us, and my team and I are getting ready to tackle our goals for this year in earnest! It’s easy to set the goal and promise yourself that you’re going to work with your horse X days a week, or practice really hard to get ready for a big ride or competition. But it can be really hard to actually START—whether it’s Day 1 or Day 25. Life happens—we get busy, things come up, and we excuse away making ourselves and our horses a priority.

If you need a little extra encouragement and support to meet your goals, join my new #HorseGoals Or Bust Facebook Group! This is a community where you can come to share your goals and updates, find support through frustrations and set-backs, be a cheerleaders for others, and celebrate accomplishments. See you there!

 
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September 2019 Letter from Julie

Dear friends,

We spent Labor Day Weekend boating at the lake (one of my other passions). It was our 19th wedding anniversary, in addition to one of the last weekends of summer, so Rich and I were intent on celebrating. I learned to wake surf and absolutely loved it! I can see why people become addicted.

We’ve had a beautiful summer—plenty of irrigation water and enough dry weather to bring in good hay crops (hallelujah!). Hay should be plentiful this year, at least here in Colorado. Abundant horse-quality hay is good for the horses and for those of us who pay huge hay bills. Here in the high mountains, when it rains or gets cloudy the temperature plummets, so it hasn’t been too hot this summer. I’ve been hearing horror stories about heat waves elsewhere, and I know how tough it is on horses and riding. I hope you’ve managed to keep your horses cool!

Looking ahead to Fall, I’ve got horsemanship clinics coming up in Minnesota, Colorado and California. Plus, I’ll be in Baltimore, to give a keynote speech at a customer appreciation dinner at the Mill of Bel Air. I’m also heading to upstate New York in October to give presentations at the CHA International Conference, and then to Massachusetts in November for Equine Affaire. As always, I hope to see you somewhere in my travels!

When I’m home, my crew and I keep busy producing content for our online training programs, offering the solutions you need and keeping the content fresh. We’re always looking for new topics for my podcast and for horse training video tips, so be sure to message me with your ideas.

Enjoy the last few weeks of summer and don’t forget… enjoy the ride!


Ready to Get Started on Your Riding Goals? 

Spring is almost upon us, and my team and I are getting ready to tackle our goals for this year in earnest! It’s easy to set the goal and promise yourself that you’re going to work with your horse X days a week, or practice really hard to get ready for a big ride or competition. But it can be really hard to actually START—whether it’s Day 1 or Day 25. Life happens—we get busy, things come up, and we excuse away making ourselves and our horses a priority.

If you need a little extra encouragement and support to meet your goals, join my new #HorseGoals Or Bust Facebook Group! This is a community where you can come to share your goals and updates, find support through frustrations and set-backs, be a cheerleaders for others, and celebrate accomplishments. See you there!

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August 2019 Letter from Julie

Dear friends,

The summer is flying by too fast here in the Colorado Rockies! I’ve enjoyed some time off at the lake—boating, fishing, swimming, chillin’ and grillin’. Fortunately, Melissa keeps my horses going while I’m away, so my colt, Pepperoni, is not too fresh on my return. I’ve got the whole month of August at home and I plan to get steady ride-time on the horses, while we finish up various video projects around the barn.

Next month, I hit the road again with a 2-day horsemanship clinic in Nevis, MN, followed by the uber-popular “Ranch Riding Adventure” vacation-clinic at the  renowned C Lazy U Ranch in Colorado (Turning 100 years old this year!). I’ll end the month in Baltimore, giving a keynote speech at the Mill of Bel Aire annual customer appreciation dinner.

In the meantime, I’ll make the most of the long summer days while I can, working hard and playing even harder!


Ready to Get Started on Your Riding Goals? 

My team and I are constantly chasing our horsemanship goals. It’s easy to set the goal and promise yourself that you’re going to work with your horse X days a week, or practice really hard to get ready for a big ride or competition. But it can be really hard to actually START—whether it’s Day 1 or Day 25. Life happens—we get busy, things come up, and we excuse away making ourselves and our horses a priority.

If you need a little extra encouragement and support to meet your goals, join my new #HorseGoals Or Bust Facebook Group! This is a community where you can come to share your goals and updates, find support through frustrations and set-backs, be a cheerleaders for others, and celebrate accomplishments. See you there!

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July 2019 Letter from Julie

Dear friends,

After a busy spring travel schedule, I am thrilled to have some extended time at home to ride my horses and enjoy the glorious Colorado summer. Rich and I are hosting a July 4th Dog Swim Party for our neighborhood, which is fun for everyone and makes the holiday a little more tolerable for dogs!

Two of my favorite summer things are happening right now in Colorado—wildflowers are blooming and the first cutting of hay is coming out of the fields. We had an exceptional winter, with a record snowpack (coming to us in the form of irrigation water) and early monsoon rains, producing an excellent yield in the hay fields. Now all we need is a few dry days here and there to help the farmers get it baled. I’m hopeful that an abundant hay crop will help drive prices down.

With more time at home now, I’ll get busy making tutorial videos, podcasts and all  kinds of other helpful, educational content for you, in keeping with our mission of “helping horses, one human at a time.”  So if you have burning horsemanship questions, now’s a great time to ask! Message me on my Facebook page or email me at JulieGoodnight.com/contact, so we can get you the information you want and need.

I just added a new horsemanship clinic to my schedule in northern California this fall, in addition to the clinics in Minnesota and Colorado. The Minnesota and Colorado clinics filled up quickly, but there’s plenty of room for spectators (and you can ask to be added to a waitlist just in case someone drops out). Registration for the California clinic just opened up this week, so there are still spots for riders to snap up on a first come, first serve basis.

My 2020 Expo and Clinic Tour schedule is coming together nicely, and we have some exciting new programs to announce! I’ll be offering a new 4-day, all-inclusive program at the C Lazy U Ranch in Colorado called Horsemanship Immersion, specifically designed for people that cannot get enough learning. Also new at C Lazy U for 2020, will be the Couples Riding Retreat. Barbra Schulte and I (and our hubbies) will co-teach. These will be in addition to programs already offered at C Lazy U next year: the Women’s Wholeness Retreat and the Ranch Riding Adventure! So for all those peeps who have been trying to get into quickly filled CLU programs, this is your chance! Finally, back by popular demand in 2020, it looks like there will be more riding clinics in Ireland.

Keep an eye on my events calendar and newsletter to be the first to know when you can sign up for my 2020 programs!


Ready to Get Started on Your Riding Goals? 

Spring is almost upon us, and my team and I are getting ready to tackle our goals for this year in earnest! It’s easy to set the goal and promise yourself that you’re going to work with your horse X days a week, or practice really hard to get ready for a big ride or competition. But it can be really hard to actually START—whether it’s Day 1 or Day 25. Life happens—we get busy, things come up, and we excuse away making ourselves and our horses a priority.

If you need a little extra encouragement and support to meet your goals, join my new #HorseGoals Or Bust Facebook Group! This is a community where you can come to share your goals and updates, find support through frustrations and set-backs, be a cheerleaders for others, and celebrate accomplishments. See you there!

 
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June 2019 Letter from Julie

Dear friends,

With the spring expo season in my rearview mirror, my attention turns to horsemanship clinics. As always, we had a fabulous time at the C Lazy U Ranch last month, which is celebrating 100 years as a guest ranch this year. Barbra Schulte and I co-taught the Women’s Riding & Empowerment Retreat. The synergy of the group was incredible, and we had beautiful weather.

I’m excited to announce that we are planning two new programs at C Lazy U in 2020. In addition to the Women’s Riding & Empowerment Retreat in May, and the Ranch Riding Adventure in September, we will also offer a Couples Riding Retreat (led by Barbra Schulte and her husband Tom, and me and my husband Rich), PLUS a Horsemanship Intensive Retreat—both in October. Stay tuned for more details.

I’ve just returned from a fun and productive clinic at Dream Weaver Farms in Crockett, Virgina, working with another great group of horses and riders. This week I head to the Champions Center Expo near Columbus, Ohio, for my last clinic before my summer break. It’s so satisfying for me to be able to meet the horses and the people that come to my clinics and help them boost their horsemanship. Working with new and different horses every week is a perk of my job that I’ll never grow tired of.

After the clinic in Ohio, my attention will turn back to making educational videos and TV shows. (We’ve got some exciting projects in the works that will take up a lot of my summer!)

With more time at home soon, I am hoping for a concentrated stretch of training on my 3 year old colt, Pepperoni. He’s come a long way in the last year, but my busy travel schedule and time away from home has taken its toll on our forward progress. A very wet and cold spring means we’re still retreating indoors to ride and the snowpack in the mountains is still growing (it’s up to 239% above normal for this time of year).

When summer finally gets here, I’ll be ready!


Ready to Get Started on Your Riding Goals? 

Spring is almost upon us, and my team and I are getting ready to tackle our goals for this year in earnest! It’s easy to set the goal and promise yourself that you’re going to work with your horse X days a week, or practice really hard to get ready for a big ride or competition. But it can be really hard to actually START—whether it’s Day 1 or Day 25. Life happens—we get busy, things come up, and we excuse away making ourselves and our horses a priority.

If you need a little extra encouragement and support to meet your goals, join my new #HorseGoals Or Bust Facebook Group! This is a community where you can come to share your goals and updates, find support through frustrations and set-backs, be a cheerleaders for others, and celebrate accomplishments. See you there!

 
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Join Group

 

May 2019 Letter From Julie

Julie teaching at her C Lazy U Ranch clinic on Pepper.

Dear friends,

Prime riding season is fast approaching and most of us are gearing up and making plans to spend some quality time with our horses this summer—I know I am! My husband surprised me by coming home with a brand new 3-horse trailer with living quarters! I’ve always wanted one and recently hinted to Rich that it was on my bucket list to camp with the horses. What a thoughtful (and HUGE) Mother’s Day gift! Check out the deals we have to celebrate Mother’s Day (or any day you chose) and help make your horse life better. Maybe you can forward this email to husband and kids, by way of a hint.

We had fantastic expos in Ohio and Minnesota last month—it was great to see old friends, meet new ones and talk horses all day long. I’ll be at the Western States Horse Expo in Rancho Murieta, California, May 9-12. I also have horsemanship clinics coming up in Virginia, Ohio and Minnesota. My clinics are filling fast but OH and MN still have a few openings for riders. Be sure to check out my full schedule here.


Ready to Get Started on Your Riding Goals? 

Spring is almost upon us, and my team and I are getting ready to tackle our goals for this year in earnest! It’s easy to set the goal and promise yourself that you’re going to work with your horse X days a week, or practice really hard to get ready for a big ride or competition. But it can be really hard to actually START—whether it’s Day 1 or Day 25. Life happens—we get busy, things come up, and we excuse away making ourselves and our horses a priority.

If you need a little extra encouragement and support to meet your goals, join my new #HorseGoals Or Bust Facebook Group! This is a community where you can come to share your goals and updates, find support through frustrations and set-backs, be a cheerleaders for others, and celebrate accomplishments. See you there!

 
#HorseGoals or Bust Community
Public group · 43 members

Join Group