A Horse’s View: Newt’s couzin and laying down on the job

Roxy's granddaughter

Roxy’s granddaughter

Dear Uncle Louie,

I am riting with good news. Too good news-es in fact.

Did you hear that we had a little couzin born today? She looks kinda small and wobbly but they say she should improve quickly. I think she looks a bit like you.

I also made an interesting discovery this week.

My mom has been riding me on a very loose rein…she even took the bridle off once.

That made it really easy to play in the dirt. I like digging in dirt with my nose.

Newt bow

Horses often bow on the way to laying down.

Well, I had my head down to push dirt and a thought occurred to me.

I don’t have thoughts often…so I decided to go with it.

You see, mom has been teaching me to lay down sometimes.

I like it.

It is easy.

She doesn’t have me do it while we are riding.

She should.

It would be easier.

So I decided to lay down.

This is a bit embarrassing to admit, but as you are my uncle I will tell you. I got stuck half-way down.

It happened like this; mom asked me to move my hip, I did and I put my head down too, I had the idea to lay down, I buckled my legs and went down on my knees…and then mom started kicking me.

I guess she didn’t want me to lay down…but I couldn’t get up either (I fell over once trying and with her on me I didn’t want to do that)…so I just knelt there. She got off and got me up.

Newt 1st lay down

Newt’s idea

I wasn’t sure if she was happy I had the idea…or not.

Later, at the end of the ride she showed me a cue to lay down. I was so excited! She must have liked my earlier idea.

The next few days I tried laying down but I guess I’m only supposed to do it when she asks me to.

I will keep you posted. Maybe you should try it?

Rite back if you can,

Newt (Noodle)

Newt likes laying down on the job.

Newt likes laying down on the job.


  1. Kailey on March 29, 2014 at 10:08 am

    These letters are hilarious 🙂 One of the many reasons you are my favorite trainer!! 🙂 I also love dirty chia lattes and soy peppermint mochas 😉

    • Stacy on March 29, 2014 at 1:34 pm

      Glad you enjoy…Louie wrote back to Newt…that blog is coming soon!

  2. James Moore on March 22, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    got a question. I strained my back and am a little stiff this week. I got on Sophie, a hot former barrel horse, and rode bareback up to the mailbox. She walked slowly, head low up to the gate and turned sideways for me to get off. She stood there and waited for me to return from the mailbox, climb up on the gate and remount.. She has never been so calm. Did she pickup on my pain or my body language? Very strange behavior for her. She usually likes to trot and is ready to go.

  3. Allyn Stoller on March 21, 2014 at 11:15 pm

    Stacy, you are amazing. I love the way you work with horses. I haven’t had a chance to watch all your training segments with Jacl, but I’m working my way through them. I just want you to know that I love your blog.

  4. Luke Gingerich on March 21, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    Love this cute story, thanks Stacy! And yes I would absolutely love if you would make a DVD/video/blog on your gentle non-forceful methods of teaching a horse to lay down!!! It would be so helpful!

  5. Sharon Bowen on March 21, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    Not to get too grammatical but the correct word is LIE not lay. You teach a horse to lie down. You lay down a fork. Otherwise a truly funny and very cute letter from Newt. He sounds like a horse that would be fun to be around.

  6. Lars Dyrendahl on March 21, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    Your blog is great and I really enjoy following it. It’s inspiring how well you connect with the animal! I suppose you share all information you ever want right here in your blog (that is very GOOD). But, if you ever felt you had time. Id be honored if you made a post on my site: http://www.equobiz.com.

    Thanks again, and keep up the good work!


  7. mswomanoffire on March 21, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    Hey Stacy,
    You have a killer way with horses! No stress…everybody’s calm. The pictures say it all! 🙂 Also, love the mis-spelled words. I laughed.
    Blessings, Susan

  8. Nikki B on March 21, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    The only time I’ve had a horse lay down while riding was my very first beach ride on my ex-racehorse. We had been going through sand dunes and he was pretty sweaty. We were leisurely walking through the dunes and all of a sudden he just dropped, I screamed and jumped off – my first thought being that he’d had a heart attack. No, he just wanted a roll and a rest! My fellow trail riders had a great laugh, took me a few minutes to get my heart rate under control.

  9. Darlene on March 21, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    Love Newt and his comments and articles….too funny…..made me laugh because I often
    wonder what they are thinking. Our Arab was easy to train, and if you did something he
    would look at you quizzically as if to ask what are you doing??

  10. Bonnie Hall on March 21, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    I don’t even watch tv anymore, just “Westfall-a-vision”. Much more entertaining and educational. Welcome to Texas, we are so glad to have you!

  11. johanna on March 21, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    haha! awesome-that was very funny-AND educational-thanks!

  12. Eli Rivera on March 21, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    Hi Mrs. Stacy,
    Could you give us a family tree of how Newt, Louie, and the new foal are related? I would love to know their pedigrees. Thank you for your time!

    Eli Rivera

  13. Jeanne Weaver on March 21, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    Stacy, you’re awesome. I love the way your mind works. I’m so enjoying and learning from your series about Jac. Give Jac and Newt a hug for me.


  14. Nikki Hale on March 21, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    Are you going to do a segment on your method to training a horse to lay down? Also, any ideas about how to distinguish bowing from laying down? I have been teaching my colt to lay down, but it was kind of learn by trial and error and lots of YouTube videos. None of them were as comprehensive and natural as how you teach. I have kind of plateaued on his training with laying down and it would be great to get some tips with your training method!

  15. Gabriele Schimke on March 21, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    I really like to train my horse to do this too, but I don’t know how to start.
    I mean, when she laying I’m able to sit on her.
    What is your advice ?
    I’m looking forward to hear from you.

    Thank you


  16. Laura Tilly on March 21, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    Hi Mrs. Westfall,

    I would love to teach my horses to lay down and to use it as a trust building exercise. How do you go about doing so without freaking them out? I’ve read several ways of doing it but all of them involve taking away the horses choice to stay standing; tying a leg up, roping a leg, etc. I’ve also seen is done where you simply have the right leverage and their head to their side and simply don’t give them any here to go but down. I’d rather not take any of these routes if possible. Especially with my skittish Mustang or our baby. How do I go about exposing themselves an enjoyable experience?

    Thank you!


    • Stacy on March 21, 2014 at 4:12 pm

      Laura-I didn’t use any rope to teach them to lay down. I will try to either make a video or a blog post explaining. I really should take the time to make a full blown DVD on it. I did make a DVD on bowing. In that one I use a rope but not to force and I show the training with 4 different horses…time, time, time…how can I find more time!

      • Jodi on March 21, 2014 at 7:23 pm

        I would love this as well. I have Rheumatoid Disease that is likely going to make it harder for me to mount as it progresses – and I’m a trail rider. I’ve thought about teaching Yankee to either bow, or lay down, to make it easier to mount from the ground, but not sure how to go about doing it. So far, Yankee hasn’t offered to do it on his own like Newt did, lol.

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