Stacy Westfall Horse Podcast

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Stacy Westfall teaches people how to understand, enjoy and successfully train their own horses. In her podcast, she shares all of her knowledge in her area of expertise: horses. She offers insights into issues that riders face in their own minds as well as the way they are viewing the challenges and…

Stacy Westfall


    • Nov 24, 2021 LATEST EPISODE
    • weekly NEW EPISODES
    • 32m AVG DURATION
    • 159 EPISODES

    Listeners of Stacy Westfall Horse Podcast that love the show mention: thank you stacy, stacy gives, stacy westfall, horses, rider, explains things, trainers, discipline, addresses, riding, learning so much, fear, training, wise, easy to understand, confidence, wait for the next, highly recommend this podcast, improve, available.



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    Latest episodes from Stacy Westfall Horse Podcast

    Episode 158: An inside-out thankfulness assignment

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 24, 2021 27:05

    I see a dance between the words; thankful, grateful and compassion. When you make your 'I'm thankful for…' list, do you make it on the list? There is a good chance you don't because many people are worried about feeling vain or narcissistic. What if you could practice thankfulness and self compassion and it improved your relationship with your horse? In this podcast, I discuss thankfulness, self compassion, failure and I share an inside-out thankfulness assignment to increase awareness.

    Episode 157: What ‘they' say…and what I make it mean about me as a rider.

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 17, 2021 19:33

    When someone makes a comment there is; what we hear, what we make it mean and how we can learn from it. A judge wrote, “You got just about every possible point out of this willing, obedient horse who is just not gifted with elasticity. Good training.” Not everyone reacted the same as I did to this. I've also had people say things that I DID negatively react to. I share my thoughts on why these comments ‘sting'. The true power in someone else's words comes from our interpretation of them.

    Episode 156: Three mistakes I nearly made at the AQHA world show

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 10, 2021 31:51

    Going ALL IN on a goal contains many learning opportunities. In this podcast, I discuss these three challenges and how I overcame them at the AQHA world show. 1) I was tempted to become overly focused on this one event and loose sight of the big picture. 2) I was tempted to let the results of the show determine my success. 3) I was tempted to loose hope when circumstances were NOT IDEAL. I knew in the end, no matter the outcome, I was going to get what I came for…which was learning.

    Episode 155: Abandoning hopes and dreams.

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 3, 2021 9:38

    “The graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry out their dream.”

    Episode 154: Creating emotions to benefit you and your horse

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 27, 2021 29:47

    Horses are excellent at reading emotions. Have you learned the skill of creating an emotion on demand? You'll learn how to create and emotional state: both positive and negitive. I'll share an example that you can do in five minutes to experience your control over your emotions. Then I'll share three situations where you can practice creating a positive emotion.

    Episode 153: How your thoughts change your results with your horse.

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 20, 2021 26:21

    Henry Ford summed it up well, ‘Whether you think you can, or think you can't, you are right.” In this podcast I explain why this is so true with our horses. Our thoughts change the way our cues feel to our horses. I share an example where the only thing I changed was my thoughts…and it drastically changed the outcome. If you ever have these thoughts: “I should be better than this by now.” “I'm not good enough.” “I can't do this.” this episode is for you!

    Episode 152: Stages of thought awareness

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 13, 2021 36:28

    The main point of life coaching is to bring awareness of how our thoughts are impacting our results. Most riders would willingly consider that their body was impacting their horse. In this episode I discuss the stages that riders go through when increasing their awareness both physically and mentally. I also share two warning signs that you might be blocking your awareness.

    Episode 151: Life coaching and the riders mind

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 6, 2021 24:44

    In this season of the podcast I'm discussing life coaching principals and how they apply to working with your horse. Life coaching addresses 'The Rider's Mind' which shows up in all quadrants. If I expand my intro I say each week in the podcast take a look at how the riders mind is in each phrase, “I'm here to help you read your horses body language, learn how to interpret the information you get without judgement of yourself or your horse, and learn to adjust your behavior to adjust your horses behavior.”

    Episode 150- Should you be playing a never ending game with your horse?

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 29, 2021 19:03

    In this podcast, I discuss the difference between ‘finite games' which involve players, rules and winners and infinite, or never ending games, where the point is to keep playing because the journey is all there is. I share examples of this in the horse world and in everyday life. Then I close by telling you how I can easily identify which I'm playing…so you can try it too.

    Episode 149- Three traits I see in riders who reach their goals

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 22, 2021 33:39

    ALL riders I've talked with experience dissatisfaction…the interesting thing is that some keep going and some do not. I see people give up…and I see people who overcome. What is the difference? I discuss three traits I've noticed in riders who consistantly reach their goals. I explain the tipping point that I see and how how you can intentify these patterns in other areas of your life also.

    Episode 148- Three situations where horses frequently double check the rules

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 15, 2021 23:41

    In this episode, I discuss three situations where it is common for horses to ask questions about the rules. I call these moments ‘Grandma's rules' which is my fun way of explaining that horses are always seeking out the most benifitial set of rules to opperate by. I explain where the name came from and how understanding this can improve your view the questions your horse is asking you.

    Episode 147: This is the awkward, uncomfortable part of the journey.

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 8, 2021 20:34

    Increasing a riders awareness of the feelings or emotions that come up during the learning process is extremely beneficial. For most riders, learning to train their own horse means learning new skills and experiencing the feelings that often accompany that like; vulnerable, nervous, disappointed, frightened, uncertain and awkward. In this podcast I explain the role of these uncomfortable emotions and how they can lead to other emotions like focused, determined, strong, excited…and confident.

    Episode 146-Why patterns can help & why riders resist riding patterns

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 1, 2021 24:09

    Today I'm talking about patterns…why I recommend riding patterns and why riders often have resistance to riding patterns. I'll discuss anticipation in multiple forms, increasing your awareness by getting feedback from your horse and how your focus, or lack of focus, is impacting your ride. I posted two of my favorite training patterns over on my website under the show notes for this episode. They are great examples of patterns that can be useful in improving your communication with your horse.

    Episode 145: Skill confidence vs self confidence

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 25, 2021 18:07

    If you're in the middle of a work session and things aren't going the way you hoped do you lose confidence? How does this impact your time with your horse? In this episode I propose the idea that we can have different types of confidence. I outline 'self' confidence vs ‘skill' confidence and explain why knowing the difference could improve your results with your horse.

    Episode 144: 3 ways riders block their physical awareness

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 18, 2021 33:57

    In this episode, I explain three ways I see people holding themselves back by accidentally limiting their awareness of their body. Riding horses can be a great physical awareness tool. I describe what I call ‘body scanning' and how to use this tool as a way to increase your awareness of your body so you can communicate more clearly with your horse.

    Episode 143: Prerequisites for flying lead changes

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 11, 2021 43:32

    In this episode I'm answering a question about lead changes. In the beginning I'm very methodical about teaching shoulder control with the reins, legs as speed control. THEN hip control with my legs…separate from the shoulder control that is in my reins. I discuss: Bend and counterbend, turn on the forehand, Canter-walk-canter transitions, bouncy canter (collected), counter canter…and more. Can I slide my leg back and cue the hind end to step without the horse walking off or side passing? Can I pick up the ‘wrong' lead on purpose…and why would I want to?

    Episode 142: How can I slow my horse down on a loose rein?

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 4, 2021 39:32

    In this episode I'm answering a question about teaching a horse how to hunt slowing down with less or no rein contact. I'll discuss teaching multiple cues, offering choices through the use of patterns and I'll give you three different ‘tests' you can take to evaluate your communication with your horse.

    Episode 141: My horse is on the wrong lead…

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 28, 2021 34:10

    Learn how to identify what lead your horse is on when watching from the ground or when riding. What makes a lead ‘right or wrong' or correct or incorrect? What is counter canter? What is cross firing? If a horse is constantly cross firing…what's going on? Is this a soundness or a weakness issue? I answer all these questions and more before then giving tips on how to encourage a horse to elevate and take the correct lead. In next weeks podcast…I continue this discussion on leads!

    Episode 140: Uncollected- Is that resistance, stiffness and tripping mental or physical?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 21, 2021 33:37

    I recieved an email awhile back that asked a short question. Here is what was written. “The biggest question I can't seem to get a clear answer for is “how do I ask for the collection?” It is such a short…and seemingly simple question. I explain the underlying issue of collection and why the answer isn't as simple as applying a few aids correctly. I explain what collection is NOT and how to identify horses that may be struggling with balance. Sometimes the ‘resistance' that a rider feels is actally a sign that the horse is unbalanced…and needs a physical fitness routine.

    Episode 139: Teaching high energy horses to wait and low energy horses to be ready

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 14, 2021 38:00

    Are you naturally a low energy or high energy person? Is your horse a naturally low energy or high energy horse? How does this impact you training the horse? Sometime people solve this issue by buying the ‘opposite' horse. High energy person=low energy horse Low energy person=high energy horse Some people solve it by buying the matching energy horse. What if you…and the horse…both learned to be both?

    Episode 138: 3 reasons people don't develop emotional maturity in horses

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 7, 2021 31:31

    Do you think horses can be taught to be emotionally mature? What would that look like? Can you teach a horse to ‘help you out'? Or do you expect things will always feel ‘manual' with your horse? In this episode I share my thoughts on emotional maturity and the three reasons people don't teach it. (Spoiler alert: here are the three answers) The main reasons people don't do it are: 1) they aren't aware its an option 2) it is repetitive 3) repetitive is a bit boring But it is all worth it when you get to say, “Yes!” to your horse and you're really excited they volunteered!

    Episode 137: The role of excitement and patience in horse training

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 30, 2021 28:42

    How often do you practice feeling excited…and patience? Is it more common for you to be excited…and rush? In this episode, I use three examples to illustrate how learning to be excited while being patient can dramatically improve your ability to train your horse. There is MAGIC in getting excited about something that will take a long time to reach. Listen and I'll explain how!

    Episode 136: Developing self awareness & independence when riding

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 23, 2021 50:39

    How can you keep yourself safe and make good choices…when you know you are conscious incompetence? In this episode I explain how to develop self awareness while you are riding. Self awareness is key to be able to recognize the difference between fear vs danger. I also review the stages of competency, and the three teachers you have access to learn from, the importance of taking small steps when learning and identifying habit patterns that might be helpful…or not so helpful.

    Episode 135: Is mental exhaustion hindering your horse training?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 16, 2021 27:56

    Can you effectively train your horse on a day when you feel mentally exhausted? Today I answer a listener question about this by discussing B- work, resistance, Physical exhaustion vs mental exhaustion and why I think working on days like this can BENEFIT my horses.

    Episode 134: How do you get that bond and trust with your horses?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 9, 2021 30:42

    To answer the question of creating a bond of trust I discuss the balancing act of Training & Time. How much time does it take? What is the flaw of time? (Answer: being boring) How do you train while honoring the horses questions and understanding the emotional level? Does increasing the physical level of communication impact the emotional understanding? I know that I develop a deep bond with my horses because I do both time and training. In this episode I explain how.

    Episode 133: Collection: Western vs Dressage

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 2, 2021 51:49

    How is collection the same…or different between the western world of reining vs dressage? How does relaxation fit in? What changes with the head low? What happens with the horse behind vertical? How does a horses build and the movement being ridden influence these things? In this podcast I answer these questions and discuss what I have learned by riding the same horse in both disciplines.

    Episode 132: When would I start introducing collection to my horse?

    Play Episode Listen Later May 26, 2021 34:52

    “My horse has good basics. We can walk, trot and canter. The groundwork is good…what next? When would I start introducing collection?” This is a discussion of collection including: what is collection? Is collection different in the western world vs dressage? I discuss the building blocks of collection such as shoulder control, transitions, moving hips and more!

    Episode 131- Painful thoughts that hold us back with our horses

    Play Episode Listen Later May 19, 2021 28:54

    The way we think about things created a feeling that shows up in our body and our horses are aware of it. This is why it is so important to take a look at your thinking. One place to start is by separating the facts from the story. Then look at each phrase of your story and identify the emotion you feel. “One of our own horses is having a hard time recently”— sad/guilty “For some reason she wants to spook at everything”— powerless She just reverts all back and I have to start all over again — inadequate Tonight was a very hard night— despair Sometimes when you look at your story from a different perspective you can make new decisions on how you want to proceed. Thoughts will occur but you have the power to decide what to do with them.

    Episode 130: The discomfort of learning new things

    Play Episode Listen Later May 12, 2021 54:10

    “How can I build my horses confidence, help her learn to respect me as her leader…without her being afraid.” A discussion about fear, discomfort, comfort zones, creating maturity in horses, confusion, clarity, energy…and choice.

    Episode 129: Physical and mental comfort zones for horses

    Play Episode Listen Later May 5, 2021 43:14

    In this episode I’m answering two questions that illustrate the dance between the horses body and the horses mind. The goal for us humans is to learn to read the body…to see what the horses is giving us for feedback. The challenge is that as we train our horses we are often working to increase their comfort zone. How can we tell if the horse has the discomfort of stretching or the discomfort that points towards a problem? I explain this in todays podcast!

    Episode 128: Dressage vs Reining: Lessons I have Learned

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 28, 2021 34:26

    “What have you learned by studying Classical Dressage? What things changed? Will you continue to ride Dressage?” I answer these questions and discuss the similarities and differences, precision, speed, accuracy, transitions, self carriage and more. Some of these things I discovered myself…others my horses reported to me. The short answer is yes, I’ll be doing both and taking everything I learn out out the trail!

    Episode 127: Survival brain vs rational brain on a trail ride

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 21, 2021 37:26

    On trail rides there are many situations for scary footing; boggy areas, water crossing, big ditches, hills and more. In those moments do you have a plan that covers the things your horse might do? Are the cues you use interfering or helping the horses balance? This podcast discusses the rider fears, the reason that horses panic in these footings and solutions for addressing both horse and riders issues.

    Episode 126-Mental games for injured horses, clicker training Q&A

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 14, 2021 45:59

    Today I’m answering two questions. The first is about an injured horse that is hand walking…his owner would like suggestions about maintaining other routines through groundwork. The other question is about trick training…clicker training, loading the clicker, using the clicker when riding…and what is a trick anyway?

    Episode 125-Retraining older horses vs starting with a clean slate

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 7, 2021 47:11

    Today I’m answering two questions about older horses. One about restarting and one about a horse that doesn’t want to listen when he can’t see the herd. What is the difference between training a young horse vs retraining an older horse? Are there different risks starting an older horse under saddle? When working with herd bound horses…why does it seem like they just don’t want to listen? Is there a difference between a subtle cue and a clear cue?

    Episode 124- Horse scared on the trail: Let them look or keep them busy?

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 31, 2021 44:35

    Have you ever been in a situation where your horse saw something in the distance…maybe out on a trail ride OR even when you change something in the pasture or arena? Did you wonder…should I let them look…or not? Thats the topic of todays podcast.

    Episode 123: Help! I’m constantly in my horses mouth too much…

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 24, 2021 38:36

    Many riders struggle to find more subtle cue systems and feel like they are constantly in the horses mouth...overusing the rein cues. Learning how to ride with an independent seat can be a challenge. In this episode, I answer a listener question and explain how I approach this issue. I also explain where and how this ‘wobble’ appears naturally during a horses training or a riders development. How can I use other aids outside of the reins?

    Episode 122: Feeling overwhelmed while training your own horse.

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 17, 2021 50:30

    A listener asks a question about feeling overwhelmed. She is studying and learning about good horsemanship, developing true partnership and relationship. She is aware there are a LOT of things happening. First I give an overview, then I give FIVE actionable steps for addressing this and then I close with a real life example that includes a miniature horse!

    Episode 121: Overcoming thoughts that rob joy from your horse adventures.

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 10, 2021 30:25

    Today’s podcast is on the subject of thoughts that rob joy from our horse adventures. This can apply to anything you decide to do with your horse. Trail riding. Taking a riding lesson. Even going out by yourself to work your own horse. The question is specifically about showing but I assure you the mental side of this conversation is happening in every interaction you have. Clearly identifying thoughts and feelings can be challenging…and for me I tend to learn it best…backward. Ouch.

    Episode 120: My horse is a bully. Where do I start?

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 3, 2021 36:38

    The first six minutes of this episode could change how you think about horses forever. Where would you start with a horse that is a bully when leading to and from the pasture, pins ears when feeding, pulls back with the farrier and sometimes when trailer loading too? On a positive note she does collect well in the ring at the walk, trot and canter but will sometimes take off when out fox hunting. I discuss the overall issue as well as action steps that can be taken.

    Episode 119: Distracted and overreactive vs responsive and aware, how can I train my horse to respond better?

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 24, 2021 46:37

    Is it the object or the energy level that triggers your horse? What does your horse do…when …other horses are running…deer jumping…new object appear…loud sounds happen… It is easy to think about the ‘things’ involved but I like to think about the ‘energy’ they create. In this episode I answer two listener questions on this subject and discuss changing horses first reactions, improving riders muscle memory…and more.

    Episode 117: Challenging Conversations with Your Horse

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 10, 2021 48:38

    Q&A: How much say do you let your horses have your two way conversation? What types of things do you allow the horse to say? I love the idea of listening…but I'm getting a lot of backtalk... maybe I’m being too easy on her? ⭐ How do you build emotional control with a horse who gets frustrated and defensive to your corrections?

    Episode 118: How can I STOP my horse from being aggressive towards other horses?!

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 4, 2021 49:23

    House rules. Pasture rules. Grandma’s rules… Do you really mean that? Are you bluffing? Can I chase your kids? Can I have your spot in the pecking order? When you walk by a stall does a the stalled horse threaten? When you walk by a tied horse…does that horse threaten? When you are leading or riding…does the horse you’re riding or leading threaten? Your horses have questions…do you have answers

    Episode 116: Selling or rehoming an older horse

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 3, 2021 31:50

    This episode contains general thoughts around selling horses and I answer a listener asks a question about a horse who is aging: how to find him the best next place and be sure that he will be well taken care of. I discuss reasons for selling, including, Safety- Training mismatch between horse and rider Enjoyment- energy level mismatch financial mismatch- can’t afford to keep them, can’t afford to have multiples And I offer ideas on how to prevent them from slaughter.

    Episode 115: Using curiosity, receiving feedback and stages of relationship impact training your horse

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 27, 2021 42:21

    A confident, dominant mare who doesn’t really want to connect, a two year old that pins her ears at certain movements, and a horse that wrings its tail when ridden. I’m answering these listener questions and tying them all together with the themes of using curiosity when training, receiving feedback from your horse and how the stages of the relationship change the dynamics.

    Episode 114- Exercise: coach yourself to coach your horse

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 20, 2021 17:47

    Here are four ways exercise can improve your riding. 1-To exercise regularly you’ll need to coach yourself 2- Exercise can help you physically become stronger, more flexible and more coordinated. 3-Exercise can help you understand your horses mind…if you’re going to coach him to work…get good at coaching YOU to work. Your goal is to be more understanding and encouraging…not critical and judgement…see point number one again (learn to coach yourself, then coach your horse) 4- Exercise can improve your horses body…because a fit rider has better balance and is easier to carry.

    Episode 113: How to calendar your horse goals

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 13, 2021 24:38

    In a perfect world…what would this year look like with your horse? What would you accomplish? In January of 2022…what would you like to have achieved? In this podcast I share with you how I use my calendar and tracking to get so much done. One of the reasons that I take January goal setting so seriously is because with three horses, show goals, family commitments, and a business to run I see a huge benefit to planning ahead.

    Episode 112- Can you have Relationship AND Results with your horse?

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 6, 2021 34:13

    If you were forced to choose between having a great relationship with your horse OR getting big results…which would you choose? Relationship OR results? Do you think you have to choose…or do you think you can have both? Today I’m explaining how I get BIG RESULTS…while still keeping the relationship the main thing. I’ll teach you how to prioritize your thinking so you can have a better relationship & bigger results.

    Episode 111: 3 reasons you’re afraid to set big goals with your horse

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 30, 2020 30:37

    Are you going after big goals with your horses? How do you define 'big goal'? What does that look like for you? Here are three reasons I often see riders avoid setting big goals: 1) You are afraid of how it will feel to fail 2) You’re afraid of how you might treat your horse while trying to achieve the goal 3) You don’t know how to get there In this episode I discuss how I see these show up and how you can overcome them!

    Episode 110- Inspired by Man o’ War aka Big Red

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 23, 2020 44:19

    Which horse first inspired you? The earliest memory I have of being inspired by a real horse was my mom, reading stories to me of Man O War aka Big Red. Stories like these gave me a glimpse into a world filled with horses. The authors wrote of horses with heart and ‘the look of eagles.’ In this podcast, I share with you some of the stories that inspired me.

    Episode 109: Fear around training your own horse

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 16, 2020 24:40

    How do you separate fear from danger? In this podcast I discuss the importance of recognizing fear and what it could be pointing to. I also explain why it is important for riders to increase their understanding. I’m also celebrating the two year anniversary of the podcast…and discussing the challenge of doing something you’re uncomfortable with.

    Ep 108: 3 observations from almost buying a horse.

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 9, 2020 31:48

    I almost bought a horse. In this episode, I discuss many of the factors that went into my decision to NOT buy the horse including logic, emotion, daily life, time invested, purchase price, resale, etc. I know everyone's situation is different but I think that listening to how someone else is making decisions can be helpful.

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