Thursday, June 25, 2009

Stacy Westfall Teaching "Whoa"

Stacy Westfall filled the stands at the 2009 Western States Horse Expo while teaching "whoa" from beginning to bridleless. She passed on her secrets on how to stop a horse without relying on reins. Here she is with her two students...

Stacy told a story about going on the Ellen DeGeneres Show and worrying that if Ellen decided to ride her horse, the horse might not be as responsive to Ellen's voice, or Ellen might give conflicting cues such as continuing to tell the horse to go with her body, but saying "whoa" with her voice. Stacy solved the potential problem by teaching her horse to halt at the sound of her own voice saying "whoa", even when she wasn't the rider in the saddle. She practiced by having a friend ride Roxy, while she called out "whoa" from a distance.

On the show, Stacy demonstrated spinning her horse, and then taught Ellen how to cue Roxy to spin. At first Ellen did a slow, cautious spin, and then felt comfortable enough to speed it up. Stacy told her to say "whoa" when she wanted to stop, and Roxy was good about responding. However, on the third spin, Roxy got too fast and Ellen started saying, "whoa, whoa, whoa" repeatedly in a tone that was different from the tone that Stacy uses. Stacy blurted out "whoa" to her horse and it stopped, much to Ellen's relief. She said you can hear it on the tape.

I had to look for the video on YouTube. Here it is.


Leah Fry said...

It has occurred to me lately that I need to do some refresher work on the ground for basic commands. A certain fat-assed gelding I know is having memory lapses. Stopping IMMEDIATELY comes to mind.

fernvalley01 said...

I love Stacy Westfall's work with horses! that girl has a gift!

nikki said...

I was thinking about getting some of Stacy's training videos at one point but wasn't sure if I would like them or take a lot from them for the money.

What did you think of her training at the show? Is she easy to follow?

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

nikki - I only saw a portion of this show, because it was hot and I couldn't find any shade. I get dizzy if I spend too much time in the sun, especially in bleachers with the sunlight reflecting on my face. I did see another show by her, which I will blog about soon, and must say that she is dedicated to do whatever it takes to help her students learn. Most of what she knows she learned through experimentation, and she's very humble.

City girl turned Country Girl said...

I had not seen her on the Ellen show, thanks for sharing that! It was very cool to watch that!

I have all of Stacy's training DVD's, and I love them!! It is alot of information, you really have to watch them a few times and take notes along the way LOL!!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

If only we shared more than the same last name....sigh. She's amazing. Roxxy is WOW!
That video was cute. Ellen is such a hoot.
Thanks for sharing.