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About Us

Even as a young child growing up in Maine, Stacy loved horses and rode whenever she had the chance. She got her first pony, Misty, when she was six. Her mother Sherri was Stacy’s only instructor in riding and training until she went to college. As Sherri looked on she would ask questions that prodded Stacy to think deeply about the mindset of the animals. “Why do you think Misty just did that?” or “How do you think you could get Bay to want to cooperate? What is she thinking?” The habit of getting inside the horse’s head, of thinking like a horse, became second nature to Stacy.

She also learned directly from the horses. One of her favorite memories is of “accidentally” teaching a horse to sit. While riding with a friend in the winter the girls accidentally backed a horse into a pile of snow. The horse lost its footing and sat on the snow. As the girls laughed Stacy decided to set up the situation again. It wasn’t long before the horse would “sit” on anything she backed it up to.

Stacy always had a desire to train and to teach. When she wasn’t at school you might have found her training her dog to navigate obstacle courses in the yard, or giving a riding lesson to a neighbor. With no professional trainers to observe in her area, she relied on the insights instilled by her mother and the instincts and lessons she learned from the horses.

When she was 13, Stacy got her first horse; her Dad had promised her one — if she got all “A”s in school. Stacy rode Bay bareback wherever she went. In fact, Bay was her mode of transportation to work — seven miles each way — until she turned 16. She and her mother rode almost every day and Stacy eventually started to compete in many events including jumping and barrel racing. While other teenagers were playing sports or shopping at the mall, Stacy was riding horses.

In high school, through the urging of a teacher, she found a college in which she could pursue a major in equestrian studies — the University of Findlay in Ohio. She studied under traditional-style training instructors including Steve Brown and Clark Bradley. She also worked for champion reining trainers Mike Flarida and Dan Huss. To all of the knowledge she learned from these mentors, she applied the “think-like-a-horse” technique that had served her well in the past.

In 1994, while at the All American Quarter Horse Congress, Stacy met her future husband Jesse — himself a talented reining trainer. They married three years later and then established the Westfall Horsemanship training facility in Mt. Gilead, Ohio. They have three young boys, Caleb, Joshua, and Nathan. Stacy often teased that she was pregnant three years straight.

Like any good trainer Stacy’s aim has always been to have the most clear and precise communication with her horse as possible. Her goal in her reining was to make the reins unnecessary. While others have approximated that goal, Stacy made it a reality. In 2003 she won the National Reining Horse Association Freestyle reining competition riding with no bridle — and with not so much as a neck rope. She has gone undefeated for two years straight in major freestyle reining competitions and in 2006 she won twice while riding bridle-less AND bareback.

When in 2006 she entered the prestigious Road to the Horse colt starting competition, Stacy heard from more than a few people that she couldn’t possibly win. After all, she was facing some legendary trainers. When the competition was over, Stacy was named the winner, after a convincing performance that clearly outshone her competitors.

That little girl from Maine has grown to become one of the country’s top clinicians and competitors. While Stacy continues to compete, start young horses and train, she truly loves to explain to people what her Mom encouraged her to learn — to discover the “why” behind what the horse does..

With Jesse, her invaluable coach, she tours the country offering clinics and making educational appearances at expos and other equine events. She is building the Westfall Horsemanship approach to create a program that is efficient and effective — with resources to compliment the clinics such as DVDs, equipment and an information-rich website.
About Jesse Westfall

Though Jesse Westfall may spend a little bit more time behind the scenes, his talent and skills with horses are no less deserving of attention. Winning multiple NRHA and AQHA year end awards, and being a two-time reserve champion at the All American Quarter Horse Congress is certainly a record to be proud of.

Jesse serves as an NRHA judge and he has presided over shows in both the US and Canada. He has a vast knowledge and interest in performance horses — especially reining — and he has spent years gleaning extensive knowledge from the many well known trainers for whom he has worked. Even now, though he is a talented trainer and seasoned horseman, Jesse never tires of riding with and learning from others.

Jesse is passionate about his work. He has been acquiring his knowledge and expertise for most of his life. He has a strong interest in bloodlines and breeding, and has put much time and effort into studying both. He is constantly refining his skills and striving to be the best possible horseman that he can.

Jesse’s passion for horses is definitely a result of his passion for life. He serves as a constant inspiration to Stacy, and is a dedicated father and friend to their three young sons. He stands as a strong example to his family and to all those around him, unwavering in his beliefs and convictions.

 

24 responses to “About Us

  1. Nikki

    October 4, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    totally awesome …. thank you!
    :-)

    love the videos…. some day i ll ride my mate bareless….. through our woods.

     
    • kathleen Boyle

      January 9, 2014 at 9:44 pm

      Stacy u an ur family r very welcome to stay at my farm/ranch here in Fulton county Ar. i have 21 acres of cross fenced pastures an two barns …one w/ an unfinished cozy apt…includes horse stickers inthe washroom :) we r retired,an no longer keep horses ,ijus lost my grade mare D.G. after knowing herfromthe time she was a weanling…she was 32 an i had the great privelage of hearingthe last three heart beats from one of the biggest hearts i have ever know…she was my last horse i never want to work mysoul/heart that hard again… although i had at one time trained 4 throughbred horses in va. an three went on to break there maiden races …the other a “Shame colt broke his pelvis when he cast himself…i trained horses for free in so. cal while working in a union an i learned people goaway whenits free then come back for more …i dont work well w/people :) my
      D.G, worked bridleless an halter on trail i know the hours u put in…i had a horse in high school an x racer who because my butt was planted so many hours on his back that often i would think canter an he would break into a canter… i even disiplined myself to not move like lean forward in anticipation of take off…so it sounds like u prolly r useingsome mind control an not aware? anyway at first i didnt have anymotives but i got ta thinkin maybe u would like tobuysome horse property here in Ar. the taxes r cheap there is a homestead law anyway it would b nice to have u an getto smell a horse again :) thats about all i want w/ a horse anymore…so u an ur fam r welcome here if u want to hang out 4 awahile sincerley Kathleen Boyle 870 -625-1515

       
      • Terry Galloway

        January 10, 2014 at 2:18 pm

        What a lovely offer from you Mrs K. Boyle. Very inspiring and can tell/feel its from your own big heart. I admire your generosity and grateful that there are still people like you around in this modern world. I am a follower of Stacy`s blog and have watched a few video clips of her astounding rapport with horses. God Bless you and God Bless America, I am from South Africa. Strong regards Terry.

         
  2. Jessica

    December 5, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    wow, It’s so neat to learn about you guys!

     
  3. Elisabeth Taliento-Zappala

    December 18, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    We’ve been practicing our balance / counter balance excercises since our clinic with you this fall at Kathleen Hagerty’s Serenity Mountain Stables. Eb’s Sunbeam (Miss Scarlet O’Hara) is coming along nicely. Thanks again for your help.
    Miss Scarlet has her own FB page, feel free to check it out…it’s under Eb’s Sunbeam a/k/a Miss Scarlet O’Hara.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family.

     
  4. kay jeffries

    December 24, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    I really love your life laws. they are very true.

     
  5. susan talmage

    January 10, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    please post the article you wrote about Popcorn “The Average Horse”

     
  6. maggie moore

    April 11, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    hello, I just want you to know I think it is miraculous how Stacy rides and trains. I am taking a sign class write now and we have to write a paper on the deaf culture so I have chosen you to write about. I hope this is fine!

     
    • Stacy

      April 12, 2013 at 1:35 pm

      I am honored you thought of me…although the rumor is NOT true and I am not deaf. http://stacywestfallhorseblog.com/2011/09/22/stacy-westfall-deaf-mute/

       
      • Debbie Brookhart

        April 15, 2013 at 3:21 pm

        I know that because I am.. and we talked alot at the equine fair 2-3 years ago…I can hear some out of one ear, but pretty good a reading lips….OR say what did U say??lol

         
  7. Terry

    May 7, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Truly amazing…cold shivers down my spine

     
  8. Nancy Lilienthal

    June 6, 2013 at 2:27 am

    Yes, I saw the video posted on fb with the title of “deaf mute girl rides horse” and thought… Hmmmm, looks like the Stacy video I saw some time ago. It was. I posted regarding the truth of the situation but that the key factors to tug at some emotions were not true.

    This was aside from the fact that you, Stacy are an inspiration for all of us that TRULY want to be ‘in touch’ with these huge animals that we love and adore. Before i even saw your video, I had a horse, Mia. It was pre-kid, so I had a lot of free time to do the things I loved ‘pre-kid’. Mia was my 1st horse obtained from an auction for $400, an unregistered mutt. I got her when I was green and 21, never having had a horse before. Self taught- a few years and hard lessons (she was an appy/arab mix so was spunky, sensitive and stubborn), and we finally got on the same page. I used to drive a half hour to the barn at 6am to ride before work at 8 which was another half hour PAST my home (so 1 hour to get to work). I wanted to be in her mouth less. So, since she was calmer and easier to handle and no one was there to rile things up at that hour (6am)- we made amazing progress riding bridleless. i only wish I had seen your video to realize the potential doing this would have if I’d have pursued it further. I just did it so that when we would go on rides WITH a bridle, she would be on her best behavior and i would feel confident and in control.

    Now having kiddos (two girls who were born obsessed with horses despite not being heavily exposed to them- guess it’s in the genes, lol), I have rehomed both my horses and can’t afford the horse ‘hobby’ ‘passion’ ‘love’, etc. If we had our own place it would be different, I would have a horse- but for now i focus on the kids. We are starting with the basics and on a small scale- ponies. And GOOD ones, lol- since a lot of them get away with murder and are little ‘you know what’s’, lol. In a couple more years we might be in a position to get another horse- I can dream right :-)

    Keep on inspiring us Stacy! Our family (including my ‘non-horse-loving’ husband) are amazed by you!

    Nancy

     
  9. Anja Hooymans / Belgium

    October 5, 2013 at 6:25 am

    You are an example for the whole horse industry!

     
  10. cameron ross

    October 14, 2013 at 9:40 am

    Might get a foal any tips you can give me????

     
  11. jamie stegner

    November 9, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    Stacy, my name is Jamie and I have an 8 yr old paint that I need some help with

     
  12. Tanya ~ Maine

    November 17, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    I never realized you were from Maine! (I’m from Phippsburg Maine) Hope you visit from time to time! I love this blog and following your training of Jac,

     
    • Stacy

      November 18, 2013 at 8:24 am

      Spread the word! lol. I do come home and visit. A couple years ago I did a demo at Hemphill’s. I am hoping to do something up there again in 2014. If I did, what would you expect to see it advertised in? Uncle Henrys? What are there for horse ads elsewhere?

       
  13. Jason F ~Vegas

    November 19, 2013 at 1:59 am

    Do you ever make it or consider to perform/compete in vegas?

     
    • Stacy

      November 19, 2013 at 8:21 am

      I have friends that do but no, I like to teach more than perform.

       
  14. Roger Finch

    February 8, 2014 at 7:59 am

    Stacy, What percentage of ‘failures’ in horses do you get, or do you research their bloodline and background and pretty much know beforehand if the horse will train well? Personally I have always ridden horses, mostly in working/cutting but never roping ! I am just about too old now but still enjoy the smell of working horses. I love watching your videos!

     
  15. shana

    April 29, 2014 at 1:06 pm

    Hi Stacy, Do you have any specific tips and/or tricks regarding reconditioning older horses that have been turned out for a long while? (well, horse AND rider have been out a while.) Regular care and maintenance, just minus the training for past couple of years. Good foundation training before that, (WP & Reining) just back to the drawing board for getting them legged up again and in a routine safely and without too much fuss, hopefully. Thanks. Hope things are going wonderfully in Texas! Blessings to you and your family.

     
    • Stacy

      April 29, 2014 at 2:36 pm

      I made your question todays blog! click here to read it

       
      • shana

        April 29, 2014 at 5:00 pm

        Thanks so much, Stacy! I value your tips so much as I tackle the reconditioning journey as well as that nasty anxiety that tries so hard to creep in every single time I start to go to work with them….. which is crazy, because they are so good…. most of the time. ha. Even after so much time off. I love your trainings and philosophies, and appreciate you sharing your faith along the way. Hope to come ride in a clinic one day! #BucketList! Many blessings, shana :)

         

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