Right from the Start: Raising Young Horses

Baby horses are adorable, but they need more than cuddles to grow up into respectful adults. Julie Goodnight shares what to do so they start life out on the right hoof in the latest episode of her podcast, Ride On with Julie Goodnight.

“Foals love to be scratched, rubbed and cuddled,” says Goodnight. “In their enthusiasm, they can learn to lean into the pressure of someone scratching them. As this behavior becomes ingrained, the foal learns to disregard your personal space and demand scratches. While this might not be a problem at a month old, when it is 1,000 pounds leaning into you and crowding your space, it is not so cute any more, and can become quite dangerous.”

Goodnight discusses common mistakes people make with young horses, major ”do’s” and “don’ts” with foals, and what kind of training is–and is not–appropriate for the different stages of their development.

Avoiding common mistakes that new owners tend to make with foals can definitely be a challenge,” says Goodnight. “For example, teaching a foal to have good manners is critical, but too much handling can be detrimental–mentally and behaviorally. Don’t forget to let them grow up and have fun being a baby horse before too much training begins.”

The everyday environment of a young horse also impacts their development. Goodnight tells listeners how to create the kind of enriching setup a young horse needs, and gives many more tips and insights

“Get all the help and advice you can from reliable sources,” says Goodnight. “You only have one chance to make a good first impression on your foal.”


Listen and subscribe to Ride On with Julie Goodnight at JulieGoodnight.com/Podcast 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 podcast@juliegoodnight.com.

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.

Contact: press@juliegoodnight.com

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