When Julie Goodnight took in her 4-year-old foster horse, Doc Gunner, for training, she had no knowledge of his breeding or history prior to being rescued. Many of these secrets were unlocked with just a few tail hairs and the help of Christa Lafayette, expert in the field of genetic testing and founder and CEO of Etalon Diagnostics.
Etalon Diagnostics offers comprehensive equine DNA testing to identify traits in a horse’s health, color, performance and ancestry.
“[At Etalon Diagnostics] we are all horse people,” says Lafayette. “And we figured out a way to create what we call a ‘crowd sourced’ science setting for our animals, such that we can discover new things about them that help us better our lives, better their lives, and even enhance competition, health care, feeding … and at the same time, kind of helping people.”
Goodnight invited Lafayette and equine vet, Dr. Ben Buchanan from the Brazos Valley Equine Hospital on her monthly podcast, Ride On with Julie Goodnight, to discuss the results of Gunner’s genetic profile test report.
“It was important to me to get as much data as I could about Gunner so I can more effectively give him the rehab and training he needs to be successful for the rest of his life,” says Goodnight.
Listen to the first of 2 episodes, Doc Gunner: Genetic Deep Dive Part 1, and review the full genetic report on Doc Gunner and his unusual genetic traits. Goodnight gets answers to some medical questions she has, and learns how she can better manage this complicated horse going forward. In addition, Goodnight talks with Lafayette and Buchanan about Doc Gunner’s unique temperament and character, how that relates to his performance potential, and how that is evident in his genes.
Ride on with Julie Goodnight is a monthly podcast on horses and equestrian sports, established in 2015 and hosted by Julie Goodnight. Each episode features in-depth training advice and entertaining anecdotes from Julie, on motivational topics like building confidence, setting goals and developing leadership, plus practical horsemanship advice like teaching ground-manners, evaluating a new horse, or saddle fit. The podcast also features the popular Q&A segment, “What the Hay? Q&A,” where listeners submit questions for Julie. Listen and subscribe at JulieGoodnight.com/Podcast, on Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, or any podcast app.
About Julie Goodnight
Goodnight is the popular host and producer of Horse Master, a successful how-to TV series on handling, riding, and training horses since 2008. Goodnight travels extensively sharing her no-nonsense horsemanship with riders of all disciplines. Goodnight is experienced with many kinds of riding—she grew up on the hunter-jumper circuits in Florida and is now at home in the West. She and her husband, Rich Moorhead, live in the mountains near Salida, Colorado, where they enjoy riding the trails and training cow-horses.
Explore Goodnight’s training library of articles, videos and more at JulieGoodnight.com/Academy.