One of the most sought-after clinicians in the horse industry, Stacy is known for her bareback and bridleless championship ride that’s been viewed by millions of people online. She is the only woman to win the Road to the Horse colt starter competition and was inducted into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame in 2012.
Children: Caleb, Joshua and Nathan
Areas of expertise
Horses in general
Industry organization membership
American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA)
National Reining Horse Association (NRHA)
Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association (CMSA)
When did you get involved with horses?
I got my first pony when I was six after falling off my friend’s pony and breaking my arm the day before!
Who has been your main influence in the horse world?
My mom’s love of horses and ability to read a horse’s body language was a huge influence. I attended four years at the University of Findlay and my instructors, Steve Brown, Dan Huss, and Clark Bradley, heavily influenced me. I also worked with NRHA futurity champion Mike Flarida. My husband, Jesse, is also a trainer and an NRHA judge and I consider him to be my coach.
What is your go-to piece of advice when you are training, conducting clinics or speaking to a group?
Learn to read horses. When you accurately read their body language, it will change the way you work with them.
Favorite Weaver Leather products
Egg & Spoon and Activity Ball – These tools are both fun and productive which are both important.
eZall® and Shine & Detangler - They are easy and effective products for keeping my horses looking great.
What was the name of your first horse?
My first pony was named Misty.
What was your favorite horse you’ve ever owner or trained and why?
Trying to pick a favorite horse is like trying to pick a best friend. I have noticed that I have had different best friends that seem to match stages in my life — grade school, college, etc. I can’t pick on overall favorite, but I can say that some have been like a best friend and some you would know from successful shows and others you would have never heard of.
What is your favorite show or event to attend?
I love watching the high level reining, but shows are best for me when I know someone who is showing. At high level shows I am in awe of the horses, but at weekend shows I love seeing people figuring things out. Watching my son show is the most nerve racking!
What activities do you enjoy outside of horses?
Is there life outside of horses? I took up mounted shooting as a hobby...then mini driving...then dressage. I keep my hobbies inside the horse industry!
Do you have an embarrassing moment involving horses?
When I was showing Roxy as a four year old, I was riding bridleless, but with a saddle, in freestyle reining. I was riding to the song A Moment Like This by Kelly Clarkson and I was wearing my actual wedding dress. I showed in it several times but the last one was at the NRHA Reining Futurity — the biggest reining show in the world. I was in the warm-up pen and so close to showing that everyone with me, including my husband, went to get seats to watch. My dress was low cut in the back and just after they left the zipper broke and popped open. My hands were free and I was holding my dress so I was O.K. from that point of view! Two ladies outside the pen saw the look on my face and asked if I needed help. They took the pins out of my show number and pinned me together just in time for me to enter the show pen. I held my breath the entire ride thinking a safety pin might come undone at any moment. I’m happy to say, we still won!
What’s your favorite place to ride?
Usually outside on some type of trail ride is my favorite. I have ridden in the woods in Maine, the beach in Canada, fields in Ohio, stone parks in California, and among the cactus in Arizona. Arena work is great for focused riding — and for sliding stops —but I love exploring the outdoors!
To learn more about Stacy Westfall, visit www.westfallhorsemanship.com