Why Boundaries Matter: Where to Draw the Line

A boundary is a line you will not cross, and a line you will not allow others to cross—so where should you draw the line with your horse? Julie Goodnight explains why it is important for your relationship, your bond, and your safety in this month’s episode of Ride On with Julie Goodnight (JulieGoodnight.com/Podcast).

“When boundaries are lacking, either personally or with your horse, bad things tend to happen,” says Goodnight. “Simply put, establishing boundaries means knowing what is okay with you and what is not okay. When a person does not have clear boundaries, they can easily get hurt.”

Goodnight points out that people around horses who lack boundaries are not the only ones put at risk.

“A horse with good ground manners is not only safer to be around, he’s liked better by other people and horse professionals around him,” says Goodnight. “He’s treated with more kindness and he has a more secure future. Every day, horses get relinquished to rescues because they’re displaying unsafe behavior. So when we allow horses to develop rude and dangerous behaviors, we also potentially condemn them to an insecure future.”

Horses are happiest in the presence of a strong and kind leader to take care of them, who they trust to be clear, fair, and consistent.

“Unclear is unkind when it comes to boundaries,” says Goodnight. “Blurred boundaries may lead to distrust, waning confidence, and building resentment in a relationship. This is true of both horses and people. Everyone is safer and more at ease when boundaries are clear, respected by all, and enforced fairly.”

Listen and subscribe to Ride On with Julie Goodnight at JulieGoodnight.com/Podcast, or any podcast app.

About Julie Goodnight
Goodnight is well known as the popular host and producer of Horse Master, a successful how-to TV series on handling, riding, and training horses. Goodnight travels extensively sharing her no-nonsense horsemanship with riders of all disciplines, as well as offering online training and coaching, a popular podcast, and a syndicated column on horsemanship. Goodnight is experienced with many kinds of riding—she grew up on the hunter-jumper circuits in Florida, rode racehorses through college, and is now at home in the West. She and her husband, Rich Moorhead, live in the mountains near Salida, Colorado, and enjoy riding the trails and training cow-horses.

Explore Goodnight’s training library of articles, videos, and more at JulieGoodnight.com/Academy.

Megan Fischer

High resolution photos: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1WZJumO_MGH5YAqKkf2-oq4L6bUXhJFOP?usp=sharing