Julie Goodnight's Blog (35)

Teaching a Horse to Canter/Lope Under Saddle

Dear Julie,

I have started riding my 2-year-old paint gelding. I've had him since he was 3 months old. He's super gentle-almost too gentle. I have taken him out trail riding with other horses, but he needs to learn…


Added by Julie Goodnight on December 9, 2010 at 7:30am — 1 Comment

Western Saddle Fit

Dear Julie,

My friends and I have a problem with our saddles rolling over to the side when we get on. My horse in particular has a flat, broad back with wide withers. Any suggestions? I know we are cinching…


Added by Julie Goodnight on November 8, 2010 at 11:00am — No Comments

Do Horses Prefer One Gender Rider Over the Other?

Hi Julie,

I've got a question about our five-year-old Paint gelding. My wife swears that he prefers men riders to women riders. I'm almost to conclude the same thing, even though I really am skeptical about that. It seems the women who have ridden him, including my wife, have had him act up consistently, and are fearful of him.…


Added by Julie Goodnight on October 11, 2010 at 8:30am — 1 Comment

When Your Horse Tries to Stop at the Gate


I have a Tennessee walker and she rides around the arena fine until she passes the gate. Then it happens, she starts to walk sideways in to the gate. I am a new rider so I'm not sure what to do. When I try to correct her she thinks I'm telling her to stop. How do I do it?

Your horse is simply gate sour and wants to stop at the gate and go out of it and back to the barn. All horses have this tendency, if not handled correctly, and it is sometimes…


Added by Julie Goodnight on September 24, 2010 at 10:00am — No Comments

The Importance of Posting on the Correct Diagonal

Hi Julie,

Try to settle this discussion - please! Is posting on the correct "diagonal" only important in English riding? I always thought it was about the horse's balance in a bend....some say it's just not a "western thing"...and will post in a western saddle, but not with any regard for the diagonal???



You are correct that posting…


Added by Julie Goodnight on September 11, 2010 at 11:30pm — 10 Comments

Help with Confidence


I have a 15-year old gelding – appaloosa/Clydesdale cross, Copper. My problem is that I am not confident enough to follow through with things that I ask him to do. This happens mainly when I ride him – he’s lazy and doesn't want to go, or doesn't want to go in the direction I want to go. That is partly because I don’t have a lot of experience with horses, but mostly because I saw Copper buck someone off that he didn't like, and I don’t want that to happen to me! I know that he…


Added by Julie Goodnight on August 27, 2010 at 10:30am — No Comments

Snaffle vs Curb Bits for Trail Horses

Hi Julie,

I came across a book recently that talked about the comfort snaffle. I was surprised to learn that snaffles are not exactly what they are supposed to be and some bits that I thought were snaffles (like the Tom Thumb) are not snaffles, nor are they mild. I have noticed at times some of our horses pulling on the reins and opening their mouths. From what I read it was saying that…


Added by Julie Goodnight on August 13, 2010 at 10:30am — 1 Comment

Helping a Horse that Pulls on the Bit

Hi Julie

I have been riding for eight months at a stable and am taking classes once-twice a week as well as clinics. I bought a horse from the stables I go to; he is a twelve year old Arab and a very forgiving horse but in the last two months he has started to pull on the bit. I am finding this very, very frustrating. My teacher is a very good trainer as well as a teacher. Just this…


Added by Julie Goodnight on July 30, 2010 at 10:00am — No Comments

Does Your Horse's Bit Fit Properly?

Does Your Horse's Bit Fit Properly?

Dear Julie,

How do you know when a bit is properly sitting in the horse's mouth? We have always heard that you look at the "wrinkles". However, this can be confusing to us.

Thank you,



This is a confusing issue to lots of people and one that almost always comes up in my clinics. It's an old-fashioned concept to say that the bit fits correctly when you see one or two wrinkles in the…


Added by Julie Goodnight on July 16, 2010 at 9:30am — No Comments

Stop losing your stirrup when you canter

Hi Julie,

I have constantly found that I am loosing the left stirrup when I canter. In various readings it suggests that I am collapsing on my left, hence loosing the stirrup. I tried to stretch my left side when cantering and found this was helpful. Can you give me any suggestions on how to work with this issue, perhaps exercises or things to do while riding that would help with this problem?

Thanks again, I enjoy your advice.


Hi Nanc,

It is odd…


Added by Julie Goodnight on July 3, 2010 at 7:30am — 1 Comment

De-spooking Your Horse

De-spooking Your Horse

I have a 4 year old Belgian that I ride. He is pretty solid, but as a young horse he does spook occasionally. I have been trying you method of leading him up to a scary object a step at a time and it works very well (especially with the horse eating manure spreader!). My question is, if he spooks and wheels out away from me do I just continue on with what I'm doing as if nothing happened or should I stop and try to calm him down and back him up to a safe…


Added by Julie Goodnight on June 18, 2010 at 9:30am — 1 Comment

Groundwork and Discipline


My horse, Rufus (an 8-year-old large pony trained by my 14-year-old self with my old…


Added by Julie Goodnight on June 4, 2010 at 8:00am — 1 Comment

Bit for Western Pleasure

Dear Julie,

I am currently schooling and riding in a D-ring snaffle bit. I want to start training for Western Pleasure. What kind of shank bit do you recommend for the transition?




In most rule books, horses six years old and up are required to show Western in a curb bit. Horses five and under can be ridden two-handed in a snaffle. As the horse advances in his training and you are doing more advanced stuff, your horse will probably work…


Added by Julie Goodnight on May 21, 2010 at 2:30pm — 1 Comment

Tips To Slow Your Horse Down and Keep Him Steady in His Gaits


Just wondering if you could give me some advice. My horse, a six year old mustang had been trained for about ten months. He stops, turns fine, but I cannot get him to slow down. Of course then I get nervous…


Added by Julie Goodnight on May 7, 2010 at 9:00am — No Comments

How to Stop a Horse When He's Running Backwards

I was trail riding over the weekend, and my horse took a dislike to the horse behind him. I saw the symptoms (making faces) and tried to get his attention on me, but he would have none of it! That awful equine behind him clearly needed to be taught a lesson (he must have been several feet back). So my horse (an appaloosa) RAN backwards!…


Added by Julie Goodnight on April 30, 2010 at 10:30am — No Comments

Is Your Upper Body in the Proper Position?

How should my upper body be as I ride?…


Added by Julie Goodnight on April 16, 2010 at 8:00am — No Comments

Keeping Your Horse From Putting His Tongue Over the Bit

Dear Julie,

The question I have is for the Mountain Pleasure horse I bought about six months ago. He is a big sweetie, I love him dearly he has very nice manners and lunges well. The problem I'm having is the first time I rode him before I bought him, the people I bought him from used a headstall that was to big and he got the bit under his tongue I don't know and can't find out if he did this before then, but now it continues to…


Added by Julie Goodnight on April 2, 2010 at 12:30pm — 2 Comments

Are you "over-cueing" for the canter?


Added by Julie Goodnight on March 19, 2010 at 10:30am — 2 Comments

Are Horses Left or Right Brain Dominant?

Hi there Julie,

The question - it is kind of in depth, but since…


Added by Julie Goodnight on March 5, 2010 at 10:00am — 1 Comment

Tips For Keeping Your Stallion Well Mannered

Dear Julie,

I am buying a 3 month old colt that I would…


Added by Julie Goodnight on February 19, 2010 at 11:00am — No Comments

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