Dear Stacy Westfall, how did your horse ‘Popcorn’ get his name?

I will try to keep the story short, lol. Popcorn came from The Road to the Horse competition. He was the horse Stacy Westfall and Popcorn 2006 Road to the Horse Championsthat I won it with in 2006. On the first day it looked like they should never have invited me….I was waaaaayyyyy behind! But I knew I was laying the foundation. I decided that I should buy the horse that I was working with…to see how the fast and unusual (5,000+ people, etc) training affected him. No one had ever bought the colt they had trained before that. Now its the norm;)

I bought him Saturday night when it still looked like I didn’t stand a chance (which was good for the purchase price, lol).

Back in my hotel room I called my mom, who was in the same hotel, and told her that I wanted to name the colt I was working with. (I left out the part where I had bought him…thought she would enjoy the surprise with everyone else the next day.) My mom is great at naming animals but all we had to go on was the ranch he was from, the Cornielus Ranch. Mom said, “Well, ‘Corney’ is obvious…but, we both laughed, out of the question. She thought a minute and said, “How about Popcorn?”


And we both went to bed.

The next day during the competition I told Rick Lamb, the MC, that I had named my horse. Rick Lamb repeated it and asked me a few questions (you need to picture that all four clinicians are working during this, me included)….and I said, “Yeah, I name all the horse I buy.” Everyone was shocked that I had bought him.

As soon as Rick gets done talking with me about the horse I bought (remember, it had never been done so it was a big deal) Craig Cameron interrupts Rick and says something to the effect of, “Hey Rick! Did you just say she bought that horse and named it Popcorn?”

Rick said, “That’s right Craig.”

Craigs response, “It’s tough to compete against a woman!”

Popcorn ROM

Popcorn went on with me to earn his AQHA ROM…the first RTTH horse to do that.

Stacy Westfall's Horse Popcorn as a Breyer Horse

Stacy Westfall’s Horse Popcorn as a Breyer Horse

Popcorn was made into a Breyer Horse.

Stacy Westfall's book Smart Start

Popcorn stars in my book, Smart Start.

Popcorn is in his forever home:)


  1. Megan on December 5, 2014 at 10:03 am

    I love the name Popcorn! I used to work at a barn where there was a small pony chestnut gelding with 4 socks and a blaze, and his show name was “shrunk in the wash”. That’s probably my favorite ever.

  2. Kat on December 5, 2014 at 9:46 am

    and you left out the part about what Craig decided he’d call his colt 🙂

  3. Leonie on October 15, 2014 at 5:41 am

    Is there any way to watch the RTTH? Even if there are no more DVD’s available?

  4. Jennifer N on December 24, 2013 at 9:57 am

    I was in the crowd, directly in front of you when you announced that. First and only RTTH I went to. Its neat being apart of history. Hehe.

  5. Leslie on December 17, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    Stacy- I was at that RTTH and vividly remember that whole scene! I loved that you won and loved that a woman showed them how to do it! Because of you, horsewomen gained a lot of respect that day!

  6. Mel on December 16, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    I forgot to mention, I love, love your end comment Popcorn in his FOREVER HOME. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  7. Mel on December 16, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    Well, Stacy that was a good story and I have to say I have been following your blog for some time now (for a number of reasons, lol, which I will summarize some below) but, this story was all to coincidental and the title “why did you name your horse Popcorn” really resonated with me. I just about named my horse popcorn, too, but it was last year I happen to have thought of it. :). I didn’t name him that since my barn manager added on to the yearling’s current name so we went that route, but the reason I almost named my horse popcorn was because he actually looks like popcorn….he’s a palomino appaloosa. He also acted like popcorn popping in a popper because he was never handled and was such a challenge at first. I used to describe him to my friends as popcorn popping in a popper, lol! That was then but he’s a real good boy now, thanks to you and a few others. So my horse (now a two year old) had the name of J.R. (never knew why) but we kept it and his name is now J.R. Paladin and I like it. As far as the other reasons, I first found out about you when I came across a youtube video on how to start handling a yearling, you were in a barn and the horse was in a stall. Anyways, as time went on I learned more about your techniques with horses such as loading into a trailer. I really loved and followed your story about how you got to riding without a bridle and saddle. Wow! And, then as I learned more about you I found out where you went to school and I got even more excited. I also trained with Dan Huss, Clark Bradley, and Steve Brown in Findlay for two years back in the 80’s so I especially love to follow your triumphs and travels – I am back into horses after a long hiatus. You go girl 🙂

  8. Sharon Silljer on December 14, 2013 at 1:17 am

    Stacy when you have a very forward moving horse that will not back off out of your space. H

  9. Patricia A. Woodruff on December 13, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    Stacy….Popcorn is a great horse. he sure is helping you train Jac!!! Good boy, Pop! …Love you!

  10. randispringfarm on December 13, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    I love Popcorns story! Especially the part about he was in his forever home!!!

  11. pam harris on December 13, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    I love the Popcorn Story!!! More importantly, I love the part that you say he is in his forever home.

  12. Paige Macfarland on December 13, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    A great story.

    Sent from my iPad

  13. Janette on December 13, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    What a great story. Thanks for sharing.
    Is there a DVD available of your RTTH competitions?

    • Stacy on December 14, 2013 at 9:45 am

      Janette-You would have to check the Road to the Horse website. They were selling it as part of a three year set last time I knew but I haven’t checked in at least a year.

      • Janette on December 15, 2013 at 11:15 am

        Thanks for taking the time to let me know of the RTTH DVD’s. I had checked the RTTH site before. I couldn’t see 2006 and 2007. Unfortunately that seems to still be the case. I will keep checking for more reproductions, now I know that is the only place I can get them. Thanks again.

      • Janette on December 17, 2013 at 2:38 am

        Dear Stacy, I got a nice reply from Debbie, at RTTH. She said they are definitely sold out of 2006, 2007 DVD’s and they will not be producing any more. Debbie suggested trying your web site. So maybe you would be able to make and sell your own now. If it interests you.
        I know there is plenty of other DVD’s, but I don’t want to be distracted by another system.

  14. Terry Bolduc on December 13, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    I was there in Tennessee, to watch you and Popcorn ! So glad you bought him, and still have him, he and all your horses look great , even when covered with mud! Happy trails, Terry

  15. teri warming on December 13, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    love his name love u

  16. Gina Gilbert on December 13, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    Great story! Thanks for sharing!

  17. Jaime on December 13, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    Was their a difference in how he turned out later starting him that way versus how you had started others?

    • Stacy on December 13, 2013 at 6:34 pm

      Jamie-Not really. It did change the order of some things but in general, no.

  18. Nikki Bieber on December 13, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    😀 love it! thanks again for sharing!
    Gene is right, he Looks like a good teacher!
    cheers and happy Holidays.

  19. Gene Kanary on December 13, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Popcorn looks like he is being a good teacher for Jac. It was interesting learning his story, he is quite the character.

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