Almost ready for the tests to come.

As birthdays are a great time for reflecting…here goes.Stacy Westfall and her mother Sherri riding Scrapper.

I’m 41 years old today. It is strange to think about it because I can very clearly remember my own mother at this same age. I can remember driving from Ohio to Maine to surprise her for her 40th birthday. I find it completely fascinating that I can look at that time period from my memory back then as well as from my current age and knowledge level.

I often do this ‘time travel thinking’ when I am thinking about horses and horse training. I love the ability to remember the mistakes I made by reviewing my memories. At the time I didn’t even know I was making a mistake but I do remember what I was doing and why, as well as the results.

An example of this would be the first time I tried to teach a horse to lunge. I had read an article about lunging in a magazine and I headed to the pasture to try it out. It sounded pretty achievable. We had no arena so I went to the flattest part of our pasture. I tried doing what I remembered and I sent my horse out and around me. The first half of the circle went ok but then my horse turned and walked back to me. I stepped out of the way, sent her past, and tried again. Half a circle later she came in again, I stepped out of the way again, and we repeated. I never achieved any more than that. I did try making her go faster, which resulted in her trotting in towards me, which resulted in me jumping out of the way. I could see that this more closely resembled Spanish bull fighting that lunging so I quit.

Insist on yourself. Never imitate.This reflective moment is going somewhere, really, it is.

As today is my birthday I am receiving many well wishing messages through texts, Facebook, cards and for those I would first like to say thank you. Thank you for thinking of me and for taking the time to write, text, call or mail things.

Many of you also congratulated me on my achievements or on chasing my dreams or other versions of this. Would it surprise you to know that if I did my ‘time travel thinking’ and went back to the same age where I remember my mom at my current age (drink some coffee and re-read that sentence)…I didn’t see any of this coming?

None. Of. It.

I didn’t even have the ability to dream this big, so can I claim to have chased my dream?

There are many, many times when I watch one of my freestyles and it is like watching a movie. It still doesn’t seem real.

One thing I have noticed that has consistently worked for me is following my heart a.k.a. that still small voice that speaks to my soul.  The one that often leads me down paths that are not common.

I wish I could claim I always followed it or even slowed down long enough to think about it but I don’t. I still make mistakes and face the consequences but I hope I am learning the lessons quicker now.

Horses are amazing. From the time I was a child I wished I was one. When difficulty comes and I respond I often ask myself what kind of horse I would be at that moment; defiant, confused, willing…am I the horse I would want to ride?

Horses learn much faster than humans do. If I sit here and compare my ‘training’ to my horses training level I would observe this. I have been prepared by my Master and I have been to some schooling shows. Some went well and others not-so-well. I feel simultaneously strengthened and dependent on my lessons.

I am almost ready for the real tests to come.


  1. Sharon Montooth on October 1, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    I had some dreams that I thought could never happen but thy did. I never learned how to lunge horses either though I tried anyway. You are an inspiration. Sharon

  2. Terri Anderson on September 29, 2015 at 11:17 pm

    That is one of my favorite scriptures………love this post:) I have a horse beyond my dreams,and am doing things,trail riding in Mts, competing at reining, that I didn’t even know enough to dream about! You have been an inspiration for me to go after my dreams……One of my favorite sayings….”If you own a horse, you are more blessed than most” is going up in my barn:)Have a blessed week:) Terri

  3. Firn Hyde on September 28, 2015 at 2:14 am

    Loved this post. Thank you!

  4. carly on September 27, 2015 at 7:20 pm

    you are such an inspiration not just in things horse related but on such a deeper level as well. Whether you knew you were following your dreams or not, you are inspiring many more to follow theirs. You should feel blessed and amazed at how God has used you to reach people beyond where you are at– myself included. Your articles and blog posts not only give me insight and ideas to try with my horses, but on the “bad days” give me hope and encouragement as a wife and soon-to-be mother in the horse training world.

  5. Christin Smethurst on September 27, 2015 at 7:50 am

    Dear Stacy , thank you so much for this block, it comes at the right time for me. I just have to remember, that I have to follow my heart, every time. I guess It’s hard for all of us. So thank you to remember us. Happy Birthday and I wish you all the best!

  6. johanna on September 27, 2015 at 5:06 am

    Following your heart, even most of the time, is a huge achievement—truly. That IS the dream…

    Many Happy Returns of the Day on your 41st-

  7. Michelle Largay on September 27, 2015 at 1:18 am

    Happy birthday Stacy. I’ve been pouring over so many videos on Facebook and I just love what you have been able to achieve. You are very inspirational and I thank you for all the training tips. Life is definitely a series of tests. I turned 43 a couple of days ago and all I wanted was your DVD set….well maybe Christmas now. Lol. Anyways bless your heart. Happy birthday!!

  8. rob pearce on September 26, 2015 at 11:09 pm

    Thanks for this blog and your honesty about dreaming, and success. Much to paonder on in this blog. Thanks again.

    • rob pearce on September 26, 2015 at 11:10 pm

      ponder not poander …. danged ipad keyboard

  9. Lesia Lowe on September 26, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    “Almost ready for the tests to come”???….hmmmmm sounds like a competition is in the near future!!!… question….have you UN-synced your blog/twitter notices for your Facebook?? I used to get mobile and email alerts about your blogs… now I don’t…. 🙁 … I feel like I might miss

    • Stacy Westfall on September 27, 2015 at 9:22 pm

      Lesia…you are so great at keeping me up-to-date! I think the notices got messed up when I switched from to this one. I should track that down…

      • Lesia Lowe on September 28, 2015 at 9:56 am

        lol…. is that a compliment or friendly sarcasm??..J/K….but I did love getting an alert!

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