Con­fi­dence-Build­ing Ad­vice


In Julie Good­night’s “Sit the Spook” ( Ride Right with Julie Good­night, Septem­ber/Oc­to­ber ’14), that’s my lit­tle red mare, Tika, the star of the mag­a­zine. Of course, I loved see­ing her pho­tos!

I’ve been fol­low­ing this ad­vice of Julie’s for two years now. It’s so in­cred­i­ble. It’s very cu­mu­la­tive and builds con­fi­dence con­tin­u­ally.

At one time, Tika would spook just like that with me; she re­ally doesn’t any­more. If there’s a ques­tion about any­thing, we go and touch it, just as Julie rec­om­mends.

Last sum­mer, Tika touched run­ning dirt bikes, bi­cy­cles, and a scary back­packer. Once, she started root­ing through a dude’s all-ter­rain-ve­hi­cle pack while the flap was blow­ing in the wind. She’ll oc­ca­sion­ally even reach out and touch some­thing as we go by.

This tip, which is re­ally easy to ex­e­cute, has paid off big­ger than any other train­ing item in our day-to-day life.

Re­cently, a flock of pheas­ants flushed out from be­neath us, sound­ing like he­li­copters. Tika re­ally didn’t re­act at all. That, to me, is suc­cess built off this prac­tice.

Thank-you, Julie Good­night! And thankyou, Heidi Me­locco, for the amaz­ing pho­tos! Ellen Me­saros Sal­ida, Colorado

My most re­cent spook­ing ex­pe­ri­ence hap­pened be­fore the is­sue ar­rived. Still, the ar­ti­cle was in­struc­tive. Although my ex­e­cu­tion wasn’t quite as Julie de­tails, the ride ended well. I was able to turn my mare into a cir­cle. After a few spins, I was able to pull her up to a stop, fac­ing the scary ob­ject (a mov­ing train about 50 yards away). From there, I was able to gen­tly ask her to walk to­ward it, telling her “good job,” be­fore calmly head­ing back home. (Some scary ob­jects just aren’t worth get­ting too close to.)

Julie’s tech­nique is def­i­nitely less dizzy­ing than mine. Great ar­ti­cle! Deb Rarig Mon­tan­don, Penn­syl­va­nia

“Sit the Spook” was com­pre­hen­sive and help­ful for me. I re­ally like The Trail Rider’s ed­u­ca­tional ar­ti­cles, in par­tic­u­lar those by Julie Good­night.

Wendy Hart­ley

In “Sit the Spook,” the pho­tos were great, and I re­ally ap­pre­ci­ated the ad­vice. I must ad­mit, I don’t think I look quite as grace­ful as Julie Good­night when my horse spooks like that!

Kimberly Perry Elkins

“Sit the Spook” was a good re­minder of what can hap­pen out on the trail and how to han­dle it. Thank-you, Julie Good­night. Lori Horn­ing

Par­ents say, “We’ve tried dance/skate/ karate/gym­nas­tics, but all she wants is a horse.”

The child is try­ing to say, “I don’t want to com­pete with, or per­form for, other peo­ple. I want a re­la­tion­ship.”

At the Amer­i­can As­so­ci­a­tion of Rid­ing Schools, we en­cour­age non­com­pet­i­tive rid­ing. Go to www.ucan­, and down­load a copy of “HORSES ~ The Hobby You Can Hug!”

If more non­com­pet­i­tive trail en­thu­si­asts opened rid­ing pro­grams, I think we would see more fam­i­lies grow­ing into horse own­er­ship, in­stead of leav­ing lessons/shows say­ing, “Horses aren’t what we thought they were.” Colleen Pace, Owner Amer­i­can As­so­ci­a­tion of Rid­ing

Schools, Inc. Flint, Michi­gan

HEIDI ME­LOCCO PHOTO Julie Good­night aboard Tika, a once-spooky mare. Read on for the horse owner’s com­ments.

Join the con­ver­sa­tion! Post your com­ments on our Face­book page. (www.face­­rider).

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