“Why do I put myself through this?”

This is a photo of me hugging Vaquero…I had to look twice to figure it out myself!

You should be able to click on the photo and watch a cell phone recording of the performance from the Quarter Horse Congress on Saturday night. (scrap that…here is a link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YCgsZmjsww

As I was working to get Vaquero ready for the ten days prior to Congress I was paying close attention to the emotions I was experiencing. One that kept coming up was ‘why put myself through this?’  what kind of person signs up for the pressure of competing, the long hours of preparing, and the loads of self doubt that pop up?

Thanks to Pam for sharing under the ‘Nothing is More Painful than Regret’ post the following a quote byTheodore Roosevelt,

“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled; or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whos face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again…who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.”

I have been blessed to known failure, defeat, and success. Are you among the dusty, sweaty crowd or the cold and timid?


  1. Carla Gentry on October 21, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    I had shivers and tears while watching your video. Absolutely awesome Stacy.

  2. amile snider on October 20, 2011 at 11:37 am

    in the dust and sweat club.

  3. Charlott on October 19, 2011 at 11:48 pm

    I enjoy following you Stacy. I am 71 years old, showed at the first ever Quarter Horse Congress; when I watch you ride, I cry. I miss it so much, but ride every chance I get. I really think you have everything in perspective, which is not an easy thing. God bless you and everything, the children you inspire, the love you share – thank you for giving the horse community so much.

  4. Al on October 19, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    Sorry I didnt mean to sound like it looks once i READ IT. WE were at congress to see the reining and cutting, especially freestyle.tha was our main reason for being there getting to see you rdie in person was a huge Bonus!

  5. Al on October 19, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    I am disabled due to a work injury (my lungs) I still ride and hope to someday do Reining, I have shown pleasure,Trail, Showmanship with and without an oxygen tank. My wife is my trainer and a huge inspiration. I saw your ride in freestyle since we were there and you are truly incredible and awe inspiring . My wife was truly impressed and that does not come easy. Thank you.

  6. Jennifer Daniel on October 19, 2011 at 2:49 am

    Love this quote. You are an inspiration. Thanks for being so real and transparent.


  7. Pat Barriage on October 18, 2011 at 8:29 pm

    You are an inspiration to all of us. Thank you!

  8. Amanda Accordino on October 18, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    i am SO happy for you! i felt the same way watching your routine as i did when I won the revolving trophy for western pleasure in my county. I was the COMPLETE underdog. especially being 13 years old and in walk-trot two years ago. now, i’m competing with horses and riders in my county that compete at congress! i can’t even BEGIN to stress the amount of blood, sweat and tears it took to get as far as we do, but oh is it worth it; it pays off in more ways than just a trophy.

  9. Nikki on October 18, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    germans are not allowed to watch this video! 🙁

    to the blogg, i cant imagine anyone better for this task then you.
    you do it cause you love to do it…. at least thats the way it comes across to me!

    the biggest cheers to you and your 4legged friends from over the big pond! 🙂

  10. erica winnestorfer on October 18, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    Thanks for this, I needed it. Sometimes its hard to see the small rewards through the sweat and grime. Very well put.

  11. Kathy F on October 18, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    Your answer should be in the reward. Not just the money and the saddles and such but in the performance that is enjoyed by your viewers on film and in the arena. You bring such emotion to the performances that it chokes me up and leaves me in awe everytime I see you.

  12. Janet on October 18, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    I remeber chatting with you in Reddeer about the dress and it looked awesome girl. As for putting yourself through all the stress it comes down to one thing and that is a passion and that passion shows in the work that you do and the perfection in which you strive for. After watching the video I can also see that Vaquero is going to take you to your next level what ever that maybe for you. Enjoy the ride girl for God has given you a gift and the means of which to share.

    • Kathy F on October 18, 2011 at 1:32 pm

      Well said…. I agree whole heartedly

  13. Ida Marie on October 18, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    I think we put ourselves through it because we are proud of what our horses can do and we enjoy the partneship we have with our horses.

  14. stonepony1 on October 18, 2011 at 8:45 am

    I guess I am among the dusty,tired souls. I have tried for many years to have a horse worthy of championships but have not yet made it. Now that I have Stacy’s videos maybe I will find what is missing in my horse training tecniques. I have helped lots of horses to be not afraid of humans and I have helped some people to be not afraid of horses. that initself is an accmoplishment. however i have not won any awards for it, in this life anyway.

    • cbw on October 18, 2011 at 1:20 pm

      To Stone Pony……to have helped lots of horses not be afraid of humans and to have helped some people to not be afraid of horses IS a huge accomplishment and while your award may not have come in an arena with pomp and circumstance, the reward should be equally as defining. If you accomplished what you said you did there are many people and horses out there all the better for the difference you made in their lives. You shouldnt let your sense of accomplishment or winning come from a trophy wall. While Stacy Westfall IS an unbelievable talent, with many accolades, Im sure not all of hers are on a trophy shelf either. Look in the faces of the people and horses you helped and the bonds they have – there my friend you will find your award!

      • Stacy on October 18, 2011 at 4:03 pm

        Amen to that cbw! Sometimes I think that one of the reasons I have been allowed to win so many trophies, etc. is because they don’t mean as much to me. I am not saying that they are not enjoyable but it always surprises me when my husband, Jesse, says something about somewhere I did well…and I don’t even remember the show. I do remember the big ones. I have enjoyed success. The best feeling is what I experience when I am riding…and sometimes that happens at home alone, and sometimes it happens at a show.

  15. Devra Barfield on October 18, 2011 at 6:32 am

    great food for thought!

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