Be Careful What You Wish For…

It’s a beautiful morning here in the Colorado mountains. After a few inches of wet snow last night, the sun is out, it’s relatively warm, no wind and the snow is melting fast, leaving behind some badly needed moisture. I think I’ve been complaining too much about cold weather because I see on the news this morning that I am headed into record breaking hot weather in central CA this weekend! As I said, be careful what you wish for. So far, the only place I’ve found with perfect weather is Kauai, with a year-round mean temperature of 72°—that’s if you miss the hurricanes.

I had a great ride on Dually yesterday. Because of the wet snow that fell all day, we rode indoors. He’s very mellow in there—it’s the wide open spaces that get him cranked up and thinking about speed. Inside he is quiet as a mouse and yesterday he worked perfectly—even on the mechanical cutting machine. A total joy to ride! I had a few friends visiting so we all rode together and had good fun. Here’s a photo of Dually, too.

That’s what it’s all about—having fun. I want every ride I have to be fun and fulfilling; not aggravating, scary and working on issues. That’s why it pays to have a really well trained horse without issues. In my horse sales program I try to find horses that fit this bill—mature and experienced, well-trained and with great temperaments (and a little eye candy never hurts). I love finding the horses, I love having them here for my friends to ride and I love selling them to the perfect owner and starting the cycle over again. There’s lots of great horses out there, but they are not generally easy to find or cheap! I am fortunate that I get around enough to find a lot of great horses and when I do, I buy them J

My mission in the last couple of weeks has been spring cleaning in my tack room. It was sorely needed after a winter of piling stuff in the corner. I washed old dirty blankets and rags, cleaned out all the unnecessary odds and ends that accumulate and reorganized my tack. It’s so nice to have a clean, well organized tack room! I can actually find stuff.

My biggest problem in the tack room is not throwing out all the old stuff I’ll never use again. And the pile of broken stuff I think I’ll get fixed one day is just getting bigger and accumulating more dirt. But it’s good stuff and I can’t bring myself to throw it out! I do not have that problem in my house; I love getting rid of stuff there. But old tack has sentimental value and it feels good to have lots of stuff. Am I the only one that has this problem?

Toady I’ll get caught upon some writing, then ride. Tomorrow is packing day, to get ready for my clinic in CA this weekend. Then I hit the road again on Friday. It’ll be a fun weekend. I always love going to CA, even if it’s hot. I’m not sorry I wished for it; a little bit of heat will feel good for a change.

Enjoy the ride!

Julie

Please visit Goodnight’s sites for more information and training tips:
http://www.juliegoodnight.com
http://www.horsemaster.tv

Another Snowy Day In Paradise

Greetings! As I look out my office window, it is snowing hard. We can’t complain too much because we need the moisture badly. My friends from Hawaii are coming next week to visit and I am afraid they might be a little shocked at the weather. About 8 years ago, we got 5 ½ feet of snow on May 5. So in comparison to that, it has been a mild spring. But I’d be happy to have some warm sunny days Yesterday, we had a 12 hour photo shoot and today I am exhausted. My marketing director, TV show producer and personal photographer is Heidi Nyland, http://www.wholepicture.org/”>www.wholepicture.org. She is an incredibly talented photographer, journalist and marketing professional; she is also a SLAVE DRIVER! And while I’m whining, I’ll also say she’s responsible for me having to write three columns every month, not to mention the blog 😉 But I do love her. I am sure she’ll upload some pics to the blog.

For the photo shoot, we shot pictures for a year-long series of articles I am doing for The Trail Rider magazine. We must have saddled and un-saddled a hundred times on 5 different horses; not to mention how many times I had to change clothes and put more make-up on top of an increasingly dirty face! Aside from new bio shots and stuff for my website, we also did pictures for articles on despooking, side passing, extending the walk, teaching a horse to stand still for mounting and ground tying. I never knew smiling and riding at the camera could be so much fun. Looks like we’ll be riding indoors today. On days like this, it sure is nice to have the indoor option. The weather’s bad enough that my farrier cancelled his appointment today and he’s pretty tough! As much as I’d like to crawl back in bed with a good book, I’ll get myself motivated to ride.

I’ll be in central CA this weekend for a horsemanship clinic, where I am confident it will be warm! I’ll leave on Friday, work Sat-Sun, then come home on Monday. So if I don’t get a ride in every day I am home, I miss too much time on my horse. Dually is not a horse that can sit around for long. In March I had some back to back trips that caused me to be away from home for 11 days. When I finally got home and rode, he was a wild man! He does like to go. After a couple days of loping miles of circles, he was back to normal. Next weekend (Memorial Day) we are headed to a guest ranch in Granby CO for a Versatility Ranch Horse clinic and competition. It’ll be my first competition this year. I am not sure we are ready, but after the competition, I’ll for sure know where my weaknesses are! I’ve got a big group of friends coming for what we are calling the first annual convention for the Yehaw Sisterhood (even though a few brothers are invited too). I am really excited about it; more so the time spent with friends at a nice resort but the clinic and competition are a bonus. I just hope it doesn’t snow. Until next time. Please visit Goodnight’s sites for more information and training tips:
http://www.juliegoodnight.com
http://www.horsemaster.tv

Watch A New Horse Master Episode–A Video Preview!

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Hi everyone,
I just found out that this segment of Horse Master with Julie Goodnight–which won’t air until May 28, 2008–will be available to download at http://myhorse.com/! How fun to have the show available online. I thought I’d let you see it here, too. Keep in mind this is just one part of the show–you’ll have to watch the full episode on RFD to see the beginning and end. This part has some juicy and often-needed training bits, though.
This was a fun episode for us to film. The location (we filmed at the Florida Carriage Museum and Resort just south of Ocala) was absolutely gorgeous. It was so chilly while we were there, though. So much for spring break! Kia, the girl in the video, is a great young rider. She wants to be a horse trainer in a few years and she’s well on her way. In this clip, she’s learning to use her seat more than her hands to slow down her barrel horse after a run. She was a good sport to ride in a variety of weather. It rained then we got sunburned then we froze–all in two days’ time.
Enjoy!

Please visit Goodnight’s sites for more information and training tips:
http://www.juliegoodnight.com
http://www.horsemaster.tv

I’m A Roping Fool!

Hello,

After freezing our tails off yesterday, it’s a beautiful warm sunny day today, here at home in the “Heart of the Rocky Mountains” of Colorado. The last three weekends in a row I have been very cold—first in Minnesota, then in Massachusetts and yesterday here in Colorado. But at least yesterday I has access to all my warm gear—I rode in silk long johns, an arctic fleece T-neck and my warm and toasty oil skin jacket by Outback Trading Co.

In spite of the snowy start and the relentless wind, we had a great time at the roping clinic yesterday. And while I cannot honestly say that I can now rope anything, I think I am definitely better, if for no other reason, than by being forced to practice! Cole (the instructor) made a few much needed corrections to my swing and we threw a lot of loops at the dummies. Then up on our horses we threw at a dummy being pulled on a sled. Finally, we ran after some huge steers with big pointed horns—a little intimidating. I’m not really sure I’d want to catch one.

Dually got pretty enthusiastic about the whole thing—he lives for speed. His power in acceleration is impressive. I did manage to throw one good loop at a steer and almost caught. It was good for me because I think I was prepared to catch, mentally. That’s the thing about roping—it’s one thing to learn how to throw with accuracy and catch something, but once you catch it, that’s when the excitement begins!

Today I am enjoying a leisurely Sunday morning at home (rare for me)—starting with a soak in the hot tub, then a nice workout on the tread mill, then going out to breakfast. Now I am ready for a ride. I think I’ll ride my young horse today and give Dually a well-deserved break. We brought my friend Lucy’s horse home from the clinic with us, so she’ll join us for a ride this morning. Her horse Dodger, http://www.juliegoodnight.com/horses/dodger.html is an awesome ranch horse—a handsome devil that I sold her a year ago. He and Lucy both are getting back in shape after a long winter and we’ll keep him for a couple weeks before we all go to a clinic together up in Granby CO.

And now I am off to the barn!

Julie

Please visit Goodnight’s sites for more information and training tips:
http://www.juliegoodnight.com
http://www.horsemaster.tv

Enjoying My Weekend At Home!

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Good day!

It’s a lovely spring day here in the Rockies. Sunny, warm and no wind! Looking forward to my ride today. We’ll get a few cows out and have some fun with them.

Yesterday I got to ride in my BRAND NEW circle Y Flex2 Reiner and I love it! My first impression, picking it up out of the box, was how light it is! It looks like a substantial saddle that ought to weigh a lot, but it is very light weight. My next impression was how comfortable and narrow the seat is, putting you nice and close to the horse without the spread-eagle I normally feel in Western saddles. It’s a beautiful oak-colored saddle that looks awesome on my almost black horse and Dually worked well.

I pulled my old Morgan mare out of retirement yesterday. She foundered about 2-3 years ago and I retired her. But she’s perfectly sound now and I have way too many younger horses to ride and I hated it that she was sitting there getting no attention and getting older fast (she’s only 23). So my friend Chris, who runs a small boarding/lessons operation down the road, found one of her students to lease her for some light recreational riding for the summer.

I’d never sell Pepsea at her age, because I would fear losing control of her. After owning her for 18 years and doing just about everything you can imagine on her (jumping, reining, guiding trail, cow work, lessons, you name it) I think I owe it to her to make sure her twilight years are happy. Don’t get me wrong, I certainly am not a proponent of keeping every horse until they die of old age. In fact, for the most part, I think that is a totally unrealistic theory and I’ve seen many people get themselves in trouble with that opinion. But there are some special horses in our lives that will fit into that category.

Pepsea was pleasantly surprised when I started grooming her, but when I got out the saddle, she turned around and looked at me like, “You have GOT to be kidding!” She thought after 2-3 years of no work that surely she wouldn’t be ridden again. Chris hopped up on her and took her for a spin around the arena and she didn’t miss a lick. Just like she was ridden yesterday. Then the woman who wanted to lease her got on and they did amazingly well together. They both liked each other, enough so that Pepsea will be headed to Chris’s next week. It’ll take a while to get her back in shape, but I think it will be good for her and I know I can trust Chris to take good care of her.

Rich is off today so we can get ready for our clinic tomorrow. It’ll be nice to ride in the middle of the day for a change, instead of waiting until he gets home from work and I get done in the office). I probably won’t have a chance to write tomorrow, since we’ll be in the saddle all day. But I’ll be sure to let you know how we do roping!

Julie

 

 

Please visit Goodnight’s sites for more information and training tips:
http://www.juliegoodnight.com
http://www.horsemaster.tv

The Men in my Life: Rich and Dually

It’s really hard to try and get a horse ready for competition when I am gone from home so much. When I am home, I make sure I ride every day—but sometimes that’s only 3 days per week. I am so lucky to have a horse like Dually, who is a truly versatile horse — he reins, cuts, ropes and is a joy to ride. He’s SO sensitive that it’s amazing how my position and cues affect his performance. While he is perfectly capable of making mistakes too, I have to recognize that his performance is limited by my riding ability for the sports that are still somewhat new to me. It makes it fun for me to ride and think about these things and play with my position to see how it effects him.

Last night Rich and I went to a cocktail reception here in Salida for a bunch of ski resort marketing people. Although this is not normally my favorite thing to do, I of course am always supportive of my husband and know that he endures endless social events with horsey types and actually, I had a good time. While I was in the food line, a guy put out his hand to me and said, “Hi, I’m Chad.” I of course shook his hand and said, “I’m Julie.” His response was “and who are you with?” I replied, “Oh, I am not really with anyone, I’m just a wife. My husband is Rich,” thinking he would know who Rich was, since it was his ski area hosting the event. Chad’s eyes got big and he smiled and said, “Wow, I’ve never heard anyone introduce themselves that way. How rich is he?” Ha! What a riot. From now on, I’ll be careful of how I introduce myself.