Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse News
2009 International Issue


Feature Article

Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse Stars in RFD-TV Horse Master Series


by Mary Marshall


The Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse mare Coco was the featured star for a segment of renowned trainer Julie Goodnight’s Horse Master Series, which aired on RFD-TV on September 9.

Coco, a charming chocolate mare owned and ridden by Anne Kennedy, learned to execute the training methodology and maneuvers for the turn on the haunches, which is a movement not often performed by gaited horses. In the segment, Goodnight patiently worked with Anne and Coco as she taught the basics from the ground up in learning the foundations for teaching and executing the pivot which is also known as turn on the haunches. The quiet mare and her talented rider eagerly performed each training method leading up to the pivot with expertise and precision as Goodnight explained the techniques in an easily understood and applied style. The segment can be viewed on Goodnight’s web site;

Goodnight, who grew up riding hunters and jumpers in Orlando, Florida, has a diverse background with Thoroughbreds, western riding, and as a trail guide in the Rocky Mountains. She is an internationally respected trainer who decided to make horse’s her life work. Her focus is natural horsemanship, and the emphasis is to teach horse owners how to train, ride, and handle them with kindness. She earned her Master Instructor and Clinician Ranking with the Certified Horsemanship Association, and continues to lead the organization as a spokesperson.

"It was great to work with Anne and Coco," said Goodnight. "She is a beautiful mare, calm and well trained. I love that Anne and Coco have taken on many challenges from the show ring to leading trail rides. It is a challenge to train both horse and rider to a new skill at the same time. But because of Coco’s talent and demeanor she did quite well, and Anne did to."

Camelot Farms Equestrian Center, owned by Anne and her husband Mark, provided the picturesque backdrop of the South Carolina lowland country for the week long filming of the television segment. The farm, which offers trail riding along the charming southern trails, breeding, training, and sales, encompasses approximately 60 acres on Saint Helena Island. Anne became an applicant as a star for the show via Goodnight’s web site, and jumped at the chance to participate with her amazing mare Coco, who holds several breed show titles as well.

On the last day of filming, the entire crew went to the beach and shot segments of Anne and Coco trail riding along the beach. At the end of the week, the Kennedy’s hosted a post production party for the entire staff.

"It was an amazing experience, and I learned so much," said Anne. "Coco was an eager participant, and did really well. She was the star of the show."

Photo below:  Julie Goodnight works with avid KMSHA member Anne Kennedy and her double-registered horse, Cocoa.  Photo by Heidi Nyland.