Growing up in the ‘60s on a small horse farm in central Florida, Julie had a connection with horses from a young age. Little did she know that her childhood affinity would blossom into a remarkable career with horses. Now an internationally renowned trainer and clinician, Julie is a rarity in that she has ridden and trained extensively in multiple disciplines, both English and western, working with multiple breeds. Her focus is on classical horsemanship and developing the horse and rider’s relationship.
Following a successful run as a youth rider on jumping horses, Goodnight headed west to fulfill her dreams of skiing, mountain climbing and white-water paddling. She galloped her way through college on the backs of Thoroughbred race horses, graduating from the University of New Mexico with Magna Cum Laude distinction. After graduation, Julie move to southern Colorado, where she started her horse training business in 1985.
It wasn’t long before Goodnight was known for having a special touch with horses and a gift for teaching people. Her reputation grew, and she began traveling the world to share her unique approach to horse training.
In 2008, Julie began producing the popular TV series,Horse Master with Julie Goodnight, a how-to horse training series that aired weekly on RFD-TV for eleven years. After producing and starring in 260 episodes, Julie has now set her sights on sharing the magical world of horses with a broader audience, through 2Horse Productions, an equine, nature and adventure lifestyle production company.
Friday AM: Spice Up Your Ride: Fun Exercises to Improve Your Riding
Description: Numerous stretches, exercises and drills are demonstrated to improve balance, centering, leg position, rhythm, communication, and responsiveness from the horse. Exercises can be unmounted as well as mounted, improving riding skills for beginners through advanced riders of all disciplines. Julie demonstrates as she rides, while instructing riders of mixed ability levels riding both English and Western styles.
Friday PM: The Natural Ride, Part I: Balance & Rhythm in the Saddle
Description: Improve your riding skills and your horse’s performance– this demonstration covers the balanced position, body alignment, common equitation problems and solutions, and how to develop a rhythmic seat that allows you to sit any stride with ease. Julie demonstrates as she rides, while instructing riders of mixed ability levels riding both English and Western styles.
Saturday AM:The Natural Ride, Part II: Cueing, Communication & Control
Description: Julie explains how to cue the horse effectively and have better control. The audience learns the mechanics of using the natural aids and learns how and why the horse responds to the rider’s aids. Julie rides and demonstrates alone or with one other rider.
Saturday PM: Riding ‘Til Your 90!
Description: Many people who are fifty and over are coming back to horse sports after decades away, or they’re just getting started with horses. This is the predominant crowd at horse expos and horsemanship clinics today and this topic always draws a big crowd, as riders look for help on the issues important to their age group. As a Baby Boomer herself, Julie relates to the audience and gives them inspiration to keep riding through life.
Sunday AM: Riding to the Next Level, Part I: Nose to Tail Body Control
Description: A more advanced presentation on articulate communication to the horse through the rein aids and leg aids. The audience, as well as those riding with Julie, learn clever ways that the reins and legs control different parts of the horse’s body. Julie demonstrates as she rides, either alone or with advanced riders, both English and Western styles. Cost for both clinics with Julie is $150/rider.
Sunday PM: Riding to the Next Level, Part II: Collection & Lateral Movements.
Description: Julie demonstrates, explains and simplifies the complex theories and techniques for achieving collection, engaging the hindquarters, and moving the horse laterally for leg-yielding, two-tracking, side passing, backing, turns on the forehand, and turns on the haunches. Julies rides and demonstrates alone or with one advanced rider; both English and Western styles.
Julie’s Lectures and Presentations
Friday: Overcome Fear of Horses & Riding.
Descriptions: In decades of experience working with thousands of riders, Julie has discovered that beginner through expert riders in all disciplines sometimes experience fear that impacts their enjoyment of horses. Julie focuses on understanding the nature of fear in the rider, how the riders’ fear impacts the horse, and concrete skills for overcoming fear of horses.
Saturday: Life Lessons That Horses Teach
Descriptions: Julie’s philosophical perspective examines important life lessons to be learned from horses. Taking the time to understand horse behavior, listen to their language, and be open to the possibility that humans are not always right, gives us opportunities to explore, discover and learn amazing things about horses and ourselves. Horses understand horse behavior, which is clear, consistent, and based on leadership, respect, relationships, and survival. We must adjust our behavior to the horse, altering our thinking, emotions and actions. Horses make us better at being human.