Author: Julie Goodnight

Top 3 Saddle-Fit Pains

Notes From Julie   At each of my clinics, my attention first turns to the horses’ tack to check for fit, adjustment and function. When it comes to saddle fit, my eyes always go to these three parts of the horse first: the withers, the shoulders and the loins. Most of the saddle fit issues I see affect one of these three parts of the horse. Often problems can be fixed by simply adjusting the placement of the saddle or getting a little creative with padding. Sometimes a different saddle is needed and for some horses, saddle fit will...

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Notes From Julie

When I was a kid, horses and ballet lessons were the only non-school activities I did. I went to the barn every single day to ride my horse. Life was uncomplicated then and time was on my side; carving out time to spend with my horse wasn’t a problem. That sure has changed–you grow up and life fills in all your free time if you allow it. You’d think being in the horse profession, finding time to ride my own horses would be easy. But did you ever hear of the cobbler’s children going barefoot? Like most adults, the...

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Resistance to Canter

Notes From Julie   What do you do when your calm and cool horse doesn’t want to move out at the trot or canter? Resist the urge to peddle and make sure your horse will listen to your cues. Find out how Julie helped this rider work with her slow and steady 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...

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The Big Comeback

Notes From Julie   Confidence is tough to regain after a fall. It’s much easier to work through your fears when you trust the horse you ride when your fears are still actively surfacing. Make sure that the horse you choose to ride is an important part of your comeback strategy. I hear the worry at every clinic I do. Clinic riders tell me, “I used to ride like the wind, and now I feel sick to my stomach when I even think about getting on my horse. I just wish I could enjoy riding again.” Fear has taken...

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Horses Are Survivors

Notes From Julie   Have you worked with a rescued horse or a horse with abuse in his past? The lessons learned from working with these troubled-but-not-disposable horses are priceless. If you let them, these horses can help us understand horse and human behavior. Like humans, horses can carry some heavy emotional and physical pain “baggage’ from their pasts. As horse handlers, we may or may not get to know about that past pain. The burden of this past-trauma (real or imagined) has a tendency to surface unexpectedly and may spiral out of control quickly. The best we can...

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