Packing My Bags

Two Sides to the Story of My Life with Horses

Julie Ulrich



A book that entertains and teaches by turns, as a renowned horsewoman entwines stories from her remarkable life with horses with the classical lessons she learned along the way.

From bareback romps on a Shetland Pony that bit her and dumped her in a water trough, to the top show jumpers she schooled and competed, and the winning “diamonds in the rough” she plucked out of obscurity and trained, the trajectory of horsewoman Julie Ulrich’s life has followed a star-lit path of horses and stables and riding arenas across the globe. Say a name of a classical master or a leading rider of the past century, and the likelihood is high that she has brushed shoulders with, learned from, taught, or trained a horse for that equestrian.

And so, it makes good sense that Ulrich should not only wish to share some of her adventures—her wins and losses, successes and hardships—but that she would assemble them in a unique manner that best showcases the two sides of who she really is: an incredibly hard worker with a sharp sense of humor; an eager adventurer who also loves teaching, and above all, believes in the value of a life lived for horses. 

This "two-sided approach" means that, as readers laugh at her witty asides, they’ll also glean an authentic understanding of the horsemanship ideals that weave together equestrian sport’s past with its present. They’ll learn the names of movers and shakers and players and playmakers within the industry, and they’ll come to value the relationships that are at the heart of anyone’s success in the horse world.

Between chapters, Ulrich summons the extraordinary teaching talent for which she might be best known and provides practical guidance and instruction on numerous topics, including:

  • Rider balance and position.
  • Training methodology.
  • Half-halts and improving the use of horse’s hind legs.
  • Shoulder-in.
  • Communication between rider and horse.
  • And more.

Using the multiple moves she terms “new beginnings” as her guideposts, Ulrich ensures readers understand that starting over and starting again and starting something new aren’t precipices to avoid but opportunities to grow and change, and with horses, they are usually unavoidable. So you might as well ride forward with gusto.

Rich with horse world history and chock full of invaluable wisdom gained over a lifetime of serious study and application, Ulrich’s “memoir plus” is for every person who sat on a horse and thought, “I want to do this for the rest of my life.”

Additional Information

Author: Julie Ulrich

Format: Paperback

Page Count: 272

Illustrations: 60 photos

ISBN: 9781646012633

By Julie Ulrich

Julie Ulrich learned riding and horsemanship from such esteemed horsemen as former Chief Rider at the Spanish Riding School Karl Mikolka, German Olympian Reiner Klimke, and Show Jumping Hall of Fame Inductee Frances Rowe. She successfully competed in multiple disciplines throughout her life, including hunters, dressage, and show jumping. Her specialty has always been show jumping, and it is in this discipline that she trains riders and horses. Ulrich was brought up in Minnesota and later developed a huge training facility, Friars Gate Farm, with her husband Richard, in Pembroke, Massachusetts. She later moved a smaller version of Friars Gate Farm to Middleburg, Virginia, closer to fox hunting country—an activity she loves. Ulrich eventually emigrated to Normandy, France, where she currently lives. Throughout her life, Ulrich has shared her knowledge with students, and she still regularly teaches and trains in the United States and Europe.