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Building A Better Relationship: My New Horse Is Challenging Me

…but feel good on the ground. What can I do to provide leadership and build respect with this horse until he mellows out? Do you think he is just testing me or am I going to have to live with his unpredictability?

I can already see signs that he…

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Building A Better Relationship: Pawing

…fact that you give him treats at all is a big cause. He has learned to associate you with a handout and when he sees you he is very anxious to receive his treat (the feeding of treats erodes your leadership over the horse). I would suggest that you not…

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Horse Behavior: Do Horses Prefer Male Over Female Riders?

…or not the handler has good leadership skills. The horse is responding to the body language of the human, which tells the horse whether or not the human is confident and potential leadership material. Most humans are not fully aware of their body language and the messages that they are…

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Horse Behavior: Understanding Horse Behavior

…you back away, you have just told him he is in charge. If you get scared, tense your muscles and hold your breath, your horse will mirror your actions and instantly become frightened.

All horses, no matter how high in the hierarchy, will gratefully accept the leadership of another…

How to Make a Perfect Horse

…frustrated with the horse. As I started the first groundwork session of the clinic, I could see nothing but animosity and disdain from the horse.

This was a big, dominant horse, who was obviously disapproving of the woman’s attempts at leadership. He pinned his ears and gestured with his…

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Issues From The Saddle: Distracted Herd-Bound Horse

…are there are little things that you are doing that you may not even be aware of that are eroding your authority with him. He needs stronger leadership from you. Does he ever control your actions? Does he invade your space at times; eat grass while you are leading him;…

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Building A Better Relationship: Women’s Connection With Horses

…men tend to approach horses with confidence and an air of leadership, women often approach horses with uncertainty and insecurity. Horses are very quick to perceive this difference and may take advantage of a woman more quickly than a man.

The structure of the horse herd is a linear…

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Issues From The Saddle: Nervous To Go On Trail

…willing and obedient and we have only had him in training for one week. Part of the problem is engrained disobedience and part of it relates to the confidence and leadership of the rider. We expect the horse to behave, insist upon it really, and we expect him to go…

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Horse Behavior: Mutual Grooming

…you.

My question is regarding grooming. I love to groom my horse and frequently go into the pasture to do so. However, I am now wondering if a “lead” horse grooms other horses. In other words, am I losing ground with my horse, from a leadership perspective, by grooming…

Julie doing lead line work with a horse at her Florida clinic

The Magic and Mystique of Horsemanship Clinics

…clinics can vary a lot, depending on the riding activities and the clinician.

They may be discipline-specific (dressage, jumping, cutting, barrel racing, trick training) or more general in nature (groundwork, riding, colt-starting). Most of my clinics are general horsemanship, which means we address everything from groundwork, to leadership skills,…

Julie Cantering

Resistance to Canter

…horse—first ruling out pain then making sure the horse follows her leadership.

QUESTION: I have a four-year-old gelding. He has a wonderful jog and walk. When he is asked to canter or do anything faster than the jog he displays a bad attitude—complete with pinned ears and curled nose….

Julie Cantering

Mastering the Canter

…I am always on the lookout for unusual questions. Still, no matter how unusual the question is, the answers usually fall into a few common themes when it comes to cantering—the riders must have leadership, authority, know how to give the horse a release of the cue and they must…

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Your Horse’s Quiet Place; Teaching the head down cue

…to be allowed into your herd. When you show good leadership to your horse, you should see this gesture often, and you should learn to watch for it.

We can teach the horse to drop his nose on command, giving him the same feeling of relaxation and subordinance. This…

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Horses Living Alone

…sense of safety and security he gets from the herd. To get that kind of relationship with your horse, you must give him fair and strong leadership, give him the comfort, the structure, the praise and the discipline he deserves. Once again, horses make us better people.

But in…

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Fix A Grass Grabber

…into a nagging relationship such as this. A firm correction will motivate your gelding to change. This is much kinder than pulling on his mouth over and over for years. Make one correction, and be done with it.

Establish your leadership role in your herd of two. Invest time…

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Grieving The Loss

…needs to relearn his manners and respect. I would do this first with round pen work and then with some lead line work (see Julie’s Round Pen Reasoning and Lead Line Leadership DVDs at www.juliegoodnight.com.products.html). To establish dominance and respect from a horse, you need to control his space and…

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Reconditioning Program

…minutes. Or you could spend the time actively training on your horse in an arena with specific lead-line exercises, which are thoroughly explained on volume 2 of my groundwork video series, Lead Line Leadership. There are also some articles in my training library on the subject. The last two weeks…

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New Horse Issues

…work on some more basic things first (see my website for more info on groundwork and my Lead Line Leadership and Roundpen Reasoning DVDs). Give him all the time he needs to be comfortable where he is and do not ask him to step forward until he is calm. Every…

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Seasoned Horses

…rather desensitize her gradually with small trips and lots of reassurance. You can also learn some good groundwork exercises to do at each location you trailer to. Check out my Lead Line Leadership DVDs if you need help with that. Good luck to you and your daughter! Julie Goodnight, Clinician…

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Stand Statue Still

…is best to place the foot in a specific location when you set it down, but never try to force the foot down. This technique is explained thoroughly and demonstrated on my video, Lead Line Leadership. You can also find out more about collection and many other riding skills at…

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Improving My Horse’s Stop

…for the rope to bump him. This process is demonstrated in detail in my groundwork video called Lead Line Leadership. http://www.shop.juliegoodnight.com/shop/trftg2leadlineleadership.html

It sounds like your horse is stopping when you say whoa, but on his own time frame and he is not putting any effort to the stop…

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How Do Rope Halters Work?

…from rope halters is in the training techniques you use to teach your horse obedience and ground manners. Once you invest in a good rope halter and training lead, use my video, Leadline Leadership, to learn specific training techniques and exercises to teach your horse to stand quietly, walk and…

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Dominated Horse

Leadership that shows a series of exercises you can do from the ground with any horse to gain respect, focus and obedience from your horse. Secondly, I would begin to reinforce the “nose” rule when I am riding. Any horse I ride, I don’t care the age or training, is…

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Horse Standing Still While Tied And In The Saddle

…a slack lead, knowing that you control his feet. With just a little more work, you can train him to ground tie, which is a very handy trick for your horse to know. These techniques and many others are explained in detail on my DVD called Lead Line Leadership.

Barn Rules, Cleanliness & Respect At Feeding Time

…acknowledgement of their efforts, followed by another nice rubdown. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?

Since our horses are happy to be with us and comfortable with our leadership, they walk quietly beside and behind us, matching us step-for-step. They ground-tie whenever and wherever asked and they do not act…

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Another Day, Another Dollar!

…people seemingly varied and individual issues are, it always boils down to the same few subjects leadership and authority confidence, effective communication, better riding skills and finding the right amount of pressure that motivates the horse to change. If these things do not ring a bell, you might want to…

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More About The TV shoot…

…horses.

The second episode was about a spoiled pony. I was really impressed that Zeke, the 12 y/o owner, was able to change his way of handling the horse right away and the horse totally responded. The only thing lacking in that equation was leadership on Zeke’s part and…

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Judging the Extreme Cowboy Race

…that were too slow and one young horse that just needed more training. We worked through specific issues on each horse and also just talked about some general principles regarding leadership, authority and disciplining horses.

Yesterday, in my last presentation for the weekend on “Mastering Flying Lead Changes,” I…

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Disengagement

…in the saddle. This is much more difficult for your horse than walking straight, so don’t ask too much of your horse and make him resent the movements. My groundwork and riding videos—especially Lead Line Leadership and GPR Volume 5 Refinement and Collection—explain the specific aids required to cue your…

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Home From The Oregon Horse Master Shoot

…to the human stepping up to the plate and showing some leadership—either you are the boss of them, or they are the boss of you—that’s the way it works in a horse herd. Horses are much happier when there is a competent leader in charge, so that they can relax…

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Burn Out In Therapy Horses

…your horse and he respects your leadership; otherwise, when you step back or loosen up, he just does whatever he wants. I have written a lot about this subject—it’s all over my Training Library—and I spent a lot of time in my NARHA presentation just teaching simple ground manners to…

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Behind the Scenes: Prepping the Ranch for a Horse Master TV Shoot

…mounting, desensitizing to the rider, taking cues from the rider. We were also able to tape plenty of extra footage to complete my feature training video, Ready to Ride. This is the fourth video in my From the Ground Up video series (Round Pen Reasoning, Lead Line Leadership, Bit Basics, Ready…

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Reflections On Riding Bikes And Riding Horses

…trust him. No more enabling or co-dependence. Expect your horse to be as obedient as your bicycle and he may surprise you!

Horses thrive off of good leadership. A good leader sets the tone, enforces the rules and trusts her first mate to do his job. A good horse…

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Talk About Tack: Rope Halter — Do’s And Dont’s

…Of course, the real benefit from rope halters is in the training techniques you use ot teach your horse obedience and ground manners. Once you invest in a good rope halter and training lead, use my video, Leadline Leadership, to learn specific training techniques and exercises to teach your horse…

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Issues From The Saddle: Meandering On The Trail

…on cattle, it is not ideal for trail riding. Having said that, being cowy is no excuse for disobedience, and yes, if you allow disobedience it will cause bigger problems for you down the road because it erodes your authority and leadership.

An obedient horse will be focused straight…

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Issues From The Saddle: Reconditioning A Horse After Extended Layoff

…permit it, you could just hand-walk the horse down the road/trail for 10-15 minutes. Or you could spend the time actively training on your horse in an arena with specific lead-line exercises, which are thoroughly explained on volume 2 of my groundwork video series, Lead Line Leadership. There are also…

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Issues From The Saddle: Speeding Up A Slow Horse

…your old beginner’s horse. You raise some interesting issues which I see as, 1) you may want more from your horse than he is capable of or willing to give you; 2) you may have gotten greedy in his training; and 3) you now have a leadership and confidence issue…

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Issues From The Saddle: Must Be In Front On Trail

…the horse both on the ground and in the saddle. I have DVDs on this type of relationship building with the horse: Round Pen Reasoning and Lead Line Leadership (order online or at 800-225-8827).

Your horse must learn that there is certain behavior that is simply not tolerated while…

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Issues From The Ground: Trick Or Treat?

…your space. Practice backing the horse up and disengaging his hindquarters. Remember to cue with your body language. Show confidence and leadership with your eyes by looking where you want to go. Keep your hands and forearms well out in front of you so that your horse can use them…

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Issues From The Ground: Teaching The Whoa Cue

…the voice cue instead of waiting for the rope to bump him. This process is demonstrated in detail in my groundwork video called Lead Line Leadership. http://www.shop.juliegoodnight.com/shop/trftg2leadlineleadership.html

It sounds like your horse is stopping when you say whoa, but on his own time frame and he is not putting…

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Issues From The Ground: Won’t Stand For Farrier

…has good timing. A trained, obedient and subordinate horse will willingly and calmly stand ground tied, with or without a halter and lead. My DVD called “Lead Line Leadership” explains and demonstrates this training process and there is an article and Q&As on my website that may help.

Your…

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Issues From The Ground: Leading Through Gates

…you have a rope halter and training lead. It is much easier for a horse to get away from you with a nylon halter. Secondly, you just need to do more groundwork. This horse definitely needs some manners. There is a lengthy article on my website called “Lead Line Leadership.”…

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Issues From The Ground: Biting In Showmanship Class

…your thumb and index finger and the horse will really feel like he has been bitten back.

To me, the biting is always a symptom of a more important underlying issue that needs to be addressed, like a lack of respect and a lack of leadership. Hopefully in your…

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Q&A: Dominant Trail Horse

…Line Leadership (www.JulieGoodnight.com or 800- 225-8827). Your horse must learn that certain behavior is simply not tolerated while under saddle—specifically displays of aggression and herding behaviors. My expectations of any horse I ride would be even greater: no fraternization at all with other horses and its nose must remain right…

horses next to each other looking agitated

Did You Teach Your Horse to Kick?

…riders—to stay calm and focused on the positive outcome, to show confidence and leadership even when you don’t feel that way, and to ride the horse more forward even when your greatest wish is to stop and get off. These are not riding skills; they are mental skills. This is…

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Burned Out

…does.

This will only work if you have authority over your horse and he respects your leadership; otherwise, when you step back or loosen up, he just does whatever he wants. I have written a lot about this subject—it’s all over my Training Library—and I spent a lot of…

1109: The Lost Episode of Chief

…and the story of an owner and her struggle to gain the respect of the rescue horse she opened her home to—an older, dominant Morgan named Chief. Goodnight shows his mild-mannered owner important round pen techniques and how to live up to this horse’s high standard of leadership.