Advice, essential oils, negativity, and relationship: Q & A

As I was answering emails today, I came across these questions from a high school student.
What is some advice for those who are just starting to work with their horse?
Spend lots of time. Ride with, hang out with, and watch people who are successful in the way you define successful with horses.
Do you have any thoughts on the use of essential oils or herbs?
I have an essential oil diffuser running right now with Peppermint & Thieves (Young Living). In the barn, my horse chiropractor/acupuncturist left me a blend for the horses:)
What do you usually say in response to negative responses to your methods?
People are welcome to their opinions. Many of these go back to my answer to question#1, which is how they define success. Thankfully, I haven’t had a lot of negative response to my methods. Sometimes there are trolls on the internet but they seem to be having a generally bad day vs attacking any specific method.
What tips do you have for new or current horse owners to develop a better relationship with their horses?
Realize that your horse will likely behave somewhat like your children or your dog. Boundaries are boundaries and when they are healthy they produce certain results across the board. Horses love consistency and will test the boundaries more often with inconsistency…which makes everything even tougher. Figure out solid basics first such as respecting each others space and focused attention. Mastery of the basics leads to success.
If you could have your questions answered, what would you ask?

7 Comments

  1. Mary Ann Stoothoff on March 20, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    I have been so impressed with your horsemanship. I have a 17.3 Dutch Warmblood, 17 yrs. old. I feel we have a really good connection but can’t get enough of him! He is so affectionate and I allow him to get in “my personal space”. How can I try to reverse that a bit.
    I do dressage, used to do Western but I know horses behavior doesn’t adjust to disciplines. I would love to train with you or get information on working my boy Congo.
    Respect to you Stacey!

    • Stacy Westfall on March 23, 2018 at 9:50 am

      Mary,
      Thanks for writing! Personal space is personal space… regardless of discipline:)
      Some horses just test a bit more, lol. It sounds like you need to set some boundaries about your space that Congo (love the name) might disagree with. You are welcome to work with me either in person or virtually (something new that I’m offering:)
      Let me know!

      • Mary Ann Stoothoff on April 18, 2018 at 6:41 am

        I would love to have a personal, Virtual lesson with you. Please advise the cost. Having said that….since my last message a bigger has occurred. I took a fall and fractured my pelvis in 2 places.. Congo walked off as I was mounting, I landed on his rump and he freaked out. He got worried and took off so I bailed before the situation got any worse.
        Now my husband wants me to get rid of my horse and promise to never ride again. If I’m honest, I’m worried about getting my confidence back if I do.

  2. pasaport on March 16, 2018 at 3:55 pm

    Thanks for keeping us aware of our kids needs!

  3. Nancy on March 15, 2018 at 6:58 am

    I love your training methods and your overall philosophy of life with horses, family and friends.
    I wish you would wear a safety helmet and recommend it to all riders.

  4. Jackie on March 11, 2018 at 8:14 am

    p.s. —- when riding if ever you feel you should get off, GET OFF. There is always tomorrow to ride,

  5. Jackie on March 11, 2018 at 8:11 am

    Since I’m a fairly new horse owner (4 years) and I wanted horses all my life I have some ideas. First, take the time to learn about horsemanship. How a horse thinks and what they’re needs are(safety, comfort and play). I made a mistake on the first horse I tried to buy and it sent me searching for information. This is how I learned of you Stacy. I read one of your books that demonstates the training through stages similar to school levels, grade school, high school, college. That really fits. The training is not just for the horse but the human also. Everything you do with a horse matters. They are constantly learning. If you want consistent behavior from your horse, you will have to be consistent how you interact with your horse. Never punish your horse, They are not wired to understand and respond to punishment. They will give you what you need, but you made need to slow down and take time to introduce them to what you want (approach and retreat). Never ‘make’ your horse, set things up so they discover what your want … if you make them, they could feel threatened and unsafe, so then they cannot possibily think and do what you want. Have boundaries … know the guide rails and keep your horse there. They will find comfort in those boundaries. Also, this is an aspect where your horse will see you as the leader. They have to have a leader, if you don’t take the leadership role they have to. They would rather have a leader. Be kind, be consistent be fair, and give the the time it takes to full fill your every dream. I have never smiled more or had more sense of joy (since raising my children) then my horse time. Good lucky and enjoy!

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