Inconsistency Counts: How Riders Lose Their Horses’ Trust Hands-First

What does it mean when a rider has “good hands”–or doesn’t? Julie Goodnight talks about this often misunderstood concept, common mistakes riders make, and what the rider can do to be better for their horse in the latest episode of her podcast, Ride On with Julie Goodnight.

“When riders have inconsistent, harsh, unrelenting hands, it causes the horse to be tense, high-headed, and resistant because they cannot trust what they think the rider is telling them,” says Goodnight. “When a horse learns to trust the hands of the rider, an amazing connection is possible.”

Awareness of what they are doing (right and wrong) is key for riders to learn to be consistent and give clear cues to the horse.

“You hear people refer to ‘good hands’ all the time, but there are many riders who don’t really know what that means or what they should do to improve,” says Goodnight. “This episode is great for riders to take in information they might be missing, and be introspective without feeling criticized.”

Goodnight also shares valuable tips to improve the rider’s hands, and clarifies several misconceptions about bridles, reins and the rider’s use of the aids that riders of all disciplines and ability levels can benefit from.

Listen and subscribe to Ride On with Julie Goodnight at or any podcast app.

About Ride On with Julie Goodnight
With over 200,000 downloads and more than 70 episodes to date, Ride On with Julie Goodnight offers informative and entertaining topics about horse training and equestrian sports. This podcast is for every horse enthusiast, at any level. Whether listeners are brushing up on horse training skills or learning something new, each episode inspires, informs and motivates them to achieve new heights in their horsemanship. In the What the Hay? Q&A segment, Goodnight answers listener questions with candid answers and practical solutions based on her lifetime of experience with horses. To share feedback, topic suggestions, or ask questions, email

 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


High resolution photos available on request.