Kim Kelly

  • 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 was sweet […]

  • I’ll admit, it’s been a bit of a lazy summer for me, and I’ve had lots of time to enjoy my horses in a more casual way. With no clinics, expos or tv projects looming in my immediate future, and n […]

    • Wonderful post, I am so grateful that all of your horses are doing well. As a Thoroughbred Aftercare advocate, I am especially grateful for all that you have done for Truth.

      I am so very thankful your sweet old lab was found safe. Thank goodness.

      Thank you, Julie, for all that you do.

    • Don’t we just love our horses? Please enjoy your magnificent animal while you are young and healthy. I am 84 and last August my back got really painful. Forward eleven months and surgery for sciatic nerve problems, I am now able to walk and get around without too much pain, but I have not been able to do anything with my two girls Annie and Gypsy for over a year. I can groom them and clean out their hooves, but ground work and riding are out of the question. My husband feeds them for me–so thankful for that. So glad that I did a lot of work with them before my problem, as they are such good girls. I always get compliments from the vet, farrier, etc., on how compliant these girls are. I just want to emphasize why I write these words. Please treat these lovely creatures kindly and enjoy their company and all that you do with them, because there will come a day when fate will change things. Oh, how I love these two, and oh how I miss all the things we did together.

    • Julie, Thunder shirts work wonders for dogs. We live in an area where there are no fireworks, to be honest; but our little girl dog is petrified of thunder and loud winds. She actually asks for her thunder shirt, and is much calmer once it’s on. I highly recommend it.

    • I always enjoy your updates and thoughts. I read “Horse Crazy” last year and recommended it as well. Take care, and one of these days I’ll meet up with you at C Lazy U! It’s on my bucket list.

  • 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 straight up as I […]

    • Great article on rearing!! I remember the incident years ago when a friend’s horse reared & fell backwards on top of her while we were trail riding. He’d stopped & threated to rear several times going down the moderately sloped trail but my friend kept pushing him forward until he finally reared & went over. The horse was unhurt but my friend was seriously injured (broken pelvis & other injuries) & nearly lost her life. Turns out the horse had hock issues that were aggravated by going downhill.

    • Thank you for all of the valuable information Julie.

  • Seems like just yesterday I was complaining about winter lasting too long, and now we are enduring a record-breaking heat wave! But ours is a dry heat, and with a little breeze, we can still […]

  • 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 y […]

    • Hi Julie,
      I recently lost a mare who was that standoffish type not liking to be loved on but she trusted me and I trusted her and it took about a year for this relationship to get to that point. Two years later I lost her. I now have an Appaloosa who basically won’t leave my side. I have never experienced a relationship with a horse like this especially a mare. I have only had her for a month now, I am letting her settle in and take in all the new surroundings. At first she became very attached to my standard donkey but now she stays with me when the donkey leaves. She has one quirk that at first I thought she was being disrespectful now I don’t know for sure. If I go to leave her side say after brushing her she backs up into me. At first when she turned her butt to me I thought she was going to kick me but she never lifts a leg. The more this happened I figured she wanted her butt rubbed. All my donkeys do this and she had been with donkeys prior to coming to me so I am not sure this was a learned experience for her. I was always told to never let a horse turn its butt to you, I did not scold her when she did it I just moved out of the way and then she would turn and face me. I honestly think this was something that taught or learned just wondering what your thoughts are? Thank you

    • Hello – Great information! I am experiencing this behavior with my new horse of 1 1/2 years now. He has on occasion turned his butt to me, pins his ears and is difficult to catch. I am his 4th owner/leaser in 9 years. He does this to most who try to catch him. He has never been treated badly since I have known him. I will try your suggestions and try to keep my emotions out if this. It is deflating to be rejected and never know what to expect. Thank you for this article – it gives me new hope!! Thanks, Diane

    • I so needed to hear your words today. This article was just what I needed when I needed it. I cannot thank you enough for your words of wisdom. Forever Grateful for all you do and say. Many, many thanks.
      “Sometimes it’s hard not to take your horse’s reactions personally, especially when he seems indifferent to you or is actively avoiding you, but when you allow your emotions and your human expectations to get involved, you do a disservice to your horse. Taking the higher road, by having empathy and displaying leadership, takes the pressure off you and the horse.If what you want from an animal is undying loyalty and endless affection, you should consider getting a Golden Retriever.” Worth repeating LOL


  • After a cold spring, our horses are finally able to graze green grass (and Annie’s svelte figure is soon to be replaced by the Michelin Man look). With Annie and Pepperoni both well set in t […]

  • 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 m […]

    • Thanks for this, Julie. My mare, Hazel, whom I’ve had for seven years, had an unmitigated panic attack last week when she saw the solar panel for the new electric fence. She put me into several backward 360s, and started backing me into a cedar (soft) tree. I was absolutely terrified that she would bolt, and incite the other mare, who was carrying a novice rider. Finally, I got her stopped and I got down. It was clear to me that she couldn’t be calmed down if I wasn’t on the ground with her. I asked my friend to dismount, too, just for safety, and though it was a hike back to the barn, at least no one was injured. (I perhaps should mention that I’m 59 and my friend is 62, so we’re not anxious to prove our bona fides.)

      Beth Moten
      Moten Ranch
      Oakalla, Texas

  • Julie and her now retired cowhorse, Dually, take a moment to connect.

    Duke was a well-trained gelding, successful in the show ring as a youngster, then ridden extensively in the rugged mountains of Colorado. […]

    • Thank you for “Secret Powers are Within You.” So many things to know about horses and our connection that have little to do with training “techniques.” This was very beneficial. The article on “Creating Connection” was great, too. Wanted to take this time to thank you for all the time and training you have us during the “year of the pandemic.” Very generous of you, Julie. I looked forward to those moments very much. God bless. Patti Jensen

    • I have a similar situation with my new 12 yo horse. Sam is trained eventer/ dressage/ foxhunter and has bad habit of pulling away from handler and running off. He has a technique that is hard to counter and he gets away which is dangerous, and I believe was sold due to this behavior. How can I correct?

      • Hi Travis! Listen to the episode of the Ride On with Julie Goodnight called “Horses That Rip & Run.” (Go to That episode addresses this topic exactly! You can also use the search feature to find articles and an episode of Horse Master that deals with this issue. Good luck!

  • March has been a snowy month for us, but we are grateful for the moisture that will ease us out of drought conditions and help green up our pastures. It will be the end of May before the grass is tall enough to […]

  • Dear Friends,

    The horses are starting to shed and the outdoor arena has thawed enough to ride in—surely spring is around the corner! The horses are feeling frisky, and adventurous equestrians are planning n […]

  • 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 ath […]

  • Here in the high mountains of Colorado, we’re still in our deepest part of winter, with sub-zero temperatures and blowing snow. It’s the time of year when we go into a holding pattern with our hor […]

  • 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 […]

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  • Sorry! If you got here from my March, 10 2021 newsletter, it took you to this post by mistake!
    Click here to continue reading the March 2021 Letter from Julie

    Dismiss […]

  • Winter is long and hard, here in the high mountains of Colorado and although the days are getting longer now, subzero temperatures, wind and ice, make riding outdoors a challenge. Thankfully, our […]

  • Dear friends,
    Rich and I spent the holidays alone and together. For Christmas, we enjoyed a few unseasonably warm days at the lake, boating, in almost complete and utter solitude. As it turns out, […]

  • 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 look […]

  • Here in the Colorado mountains, we love snow! The more, the better. And it looks like a white Christmas is in the forecast. Our valley is the headwaters of the Arkansas River; our snowmelt sends […]

    • Most challenging season for horse care? That’s the mud season, which in Western Washington can be 12 months. Probably shouldn’t have horses here, but so be it. There are challenges everywhere, eh?

  • Dear friends,
    I admit I’m happy this year is coming to a close. It’s been a tough one for most of us, and for some of us, it’s been downright devastating. But it’s heartening to see people pulling […]

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