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Because of Horses

Apr 20, 2018

Elise’s guest on today’s Because of Horses podcast is the renowned trainer, clinician, and competitor, Stacy Westfall. Stacy’s remarkable style of riding without a bridle or a saddle has set the bar for true horsemanship.


Though the list of championships and purses is far too long to detail, here are just a few highlights from Stacy’s incredible career: in 2003, she won the National Reining Horse Association Freestyle competition riding without a bridle; she went undefeated for two years straight in major US freestyle Reining competitions; in 2006 she won twice while riding without a bridle or a saddle; and she was also inducted into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame in 2012, and has been on the cover of magazines like Horse & Rider.


One of her biggest accomplishments was her 2006 All-American Quarter Horse Congress Freestyle competition that created an absolute sensation. She dedicated her ride to her father who passed away only days prior and the video went viral online. She won with a score of 239, the highest score ever recorded — and of course, did it without a bridle or saddle.


Stacy has also appeared on the Emmy Award-winning Ellen Degeneres Show, even teaching Ellen to ride her beloved Quarter Horse mare, Roxy.


These days, Stacy and her husband, Jessie, own and operate Westfall Horsemanship; a training facility in Ohio where they live with their three boys. Stacy gives clinics, trains horses, produces DVDs, and continues to compete and perform in exhibitions.


Topics of Discussion:

[2:56] What led Stacy to become the first person to compete at some of the largest and most prestigious events in the U.S. without a bridle or a saddle?

[7:17] Stacy on her experience of dropping her reins and getting disqualified.

[13:07] Stacy looks back on her accomplishments and the decisions that got her to where she is today.

[18:19] Stacy’s focus on positive intent and ethics.

[20:24] Reading listener feedback!

[22:52] The powerful impact that Stacy’s viral ride had on her audience and viewers online.

[30:31] How Stacy was able to take a leap of faith in riding without a bridle and saddle — and how it feels to ride completely without tack in important competitions.

[36:52] What Stacy believes Roxy’s thoughts and experience were like being ridden without tack.

[44:35] How Stacy mastered the sliding stop, bareback.

[46:46] About Stacy’s television appearance on the Ellen Show.

[54:39] Stacy’s multiple horses of a lifetime and how she believes these connections are made.

[58:56] The genesis of Stacy’s annual Equine Career Conference and what it entails.

[1:04:37] A quick preview of next week’s episode with Laura Romfh, visionary fashion designer who created Romfh Equestrian Apparel, airing Friday 27th.

[1:05:36] How Stacy applies the James Michener quote on her website to her everyday life.

[1:09:41] Where to find and follow Stacy online.

[1:10:32] About Stacy’s upcoming appearance at the Columbus, Ohio Equine Affaire.


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Discover More About this Week’s Guest — Stacy Westfall

Stacy’s website: Westfall Horsemanship

Social media: Facebook and Twitter


Mentioned in this Episode:

Stacy’s viral ride (from the 2006 All-American Quarter Horse Congress Freestyle Competition)

Stacy on Ellen DeGeneres

George Strait

Equine Career Conference

James A. Michener quote

Laura Romfh

Romfh Equestrian Apparel

Equine Affaire in Columbus, Ohio 


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