LEXINGTON, Ky. — Special bonds are often created between trainers and their athletes. One horse trainer in Lexington said over the years, her horses have become family.

What You Need To Know

  • Kara Musgrave is a horse trainer in Lexington

  • Musgrave has been around horses since she was 5 years old 

  • Musgrave uses positive reinforcements during her training with the horses

  • Musgrave works on her relationship with the horses and their owners

It’s a childhood dream Kara Musgrave is finally living out.

“This is the kind of relationship I’ve always wanted,” Musgrave said.

Horses have been a part of Musgrave’s life since she was 5 years old. 

“I’ve kind of come back full circle,” Musgrave said.

Building relationships with her horses.

“I’ve ridden horses, and I’ve had a horse since I was 16 and they definitely become your family,” Musgrave said.

Using positive reinforcements, Musgrave follows a type of training that creates a close relationship between horse and trainer.

“It just makes that relationship in training like we’re just playing and trying to see: Can you do this, or will you try? But either way, we’re both having a lot of fun,” Musgrave said.

The relationship entails a lot of responsibilities.

“He follows the stick, and that’s where I want him to go. And then when I make this clicking sound, that means he’s doing what I want the behavior to do,” Musgrave said.

Finding the right trainer can determine the horse’s responses in certain situations. It can vary on how confident and safe they feel with their trainers. 

“It’s really important to find someone that they can either work with or train with,” she said. “Just figure out what their goals are and start pursuing that instead of what the people at the barn are saying or people around them are doing.”

Training has become more than living out her passion, Musgrave said. It’s giving back to these animals who’ve impacted her entire life.

“You can make any horse’s day or life better just by treating them well and training them, whether it’s just giving them confidence or strength,” Musgrave said.

Training with compassion, Musgrave believes she has the best job in the world, and her five-year-old self would be happy to see her now. 

Musgrave works with horses on strength and confidence training, while teaching the owners how to build relationships with their horses.