Episode 175-Why horses might put their ears back during work

What is the first thing that comes to mind if you picture a horse keeping its ears back? Do you think aggression? Pain? Doubt? In this podcast, a listener asks for advice on working with confident young horses that often keep their ears back. I outline two groups of words that I typically use to describe these horses including skeptical and focused. I also share two rules I use to keep myself safe while creating a situation that encourages the horses to have more pleasant expressions during work.


Episode 175-Why horses might put their ears back during work.mp3
Stacy Westfall: [00:00:00] When I’m picturing this skeptical, confident horse that basically eye rolls at me and thinks like I don’t have that much to offer. Totally unimpressed. I end up thinking, how can I change what I’m doing to be more interesting?

Announcer: [00:00:19] Podcasting from a little cabin on a hill. This is the Stacy Westfall podcast. Stacy’s goal is simple: to teach you to understand why horses do what they do, as well as the action steps for creating clear, confident communication with your horses.

Stacy Westfall: [00:00:38] Hi, I’m Stacy Westfall and I help writers become confident, communicate clearly, and get better results with their horses. This season of the podcast is all Q&A. If you have a question you’d like me to answer, you can leave a voicemail by visiting my website and looking for the orange button that says, “Leave a Voicemail for Podcast.” Today’s question is about reading a horse’s body language. Let’s listen to the question.

Caller: [00:01:05] Hi, Stacy. My name is Val and I’m calling from Maine. Thank you so much for your podcast. My question is about why horses might put their ears back during work, specifically groundwork. I’m a trainer and my primary job is to help retrain and adopt out rescue horses. This means that I get to work with many different horses who I don’t yet know very well. When I’m with a horse and see their ears go back I always take note and first ask myself whether it could be a physical issue. Some examples of times I see this would be while asking a horse to yield their front end over in hand, when asking a horse to lead up next to me, as opposed to lagging behind, or when moving a horse out around me on a lunge. So I would say it’s in response to some type of pressure being applied. Most often I see this tendency in younger horses with more dominant personality types. When I notice ears going back in these situations, I wonder if I should do something differently or whether it’s no big deal and I’m overthinking that. I would love to hear your thoughts on this and what you might do if observing this behavior in your horses. Thank you so much.

Stacy Westfall: [00:02:08] Thanks for the question, Val, and for doing such important work. I really, really respect everyone who is involved with horse rescues because it’s such an important part of the horse industry. And I know that your question was mostly on groundwork, and I’m going to focus my answer mostly there. However, I would like to reference two videos. I will put both of them in the show notes of this episode over on my website. But the first one is actually the bareback bridleless ride that I did on Roxy, so that would not be groundwork. It’s ridden work. And the other video is video episode number two of the Stacy Video Diary: Jac series that’s on YouTube. And I’ll also put a copy over on the website and you can actually watch any of those, but especially the really early videos will be good to reference. When thinking about this episode of the podcast, I went back and watched both of those videos when I was prepping for this recording. And I think on the surface, and especially if you haven’t watched them yet, if I asked people who had never seen any of these videos, which horse do you think will be keeping its ears back more, the finished raining mare that I’m riding bareback and bridleless or the young stallion that I’m working with the first time? I’m going to guess that most people would guess the young, untrained stallion, assuming that the ears being back must equal aggression. And in truth, if you watch both of these videos, the young stallion never gets his ears even close to as far back as he did at moments when I was riding her. Yet, I’m going to introduce this idea. I think that you can tell that Roxy was carrying her ears back at moments during that ride because of focus, concentration, and effort which is interesting because if you watch when I ask her to do something that’s really physically challenging, like the spins, her ears go really focused back for a couple of reasons. I think it’s the effort and the cues I’m giving. She’s really focused on me and she’s putting a lot of effort in. And what’s really interesting is as soon as I cue her to stop her ears, spring back forward and start swiveling around, taking in not only me but the surroundings. And she’s very relaxed. You can watch her actually switch back and forth between those two. And I bring up these two videos to illustrate the fact that there is often more to the story than just the ears. When I started making an outline for this episode, I made a quick list of things that just popped into my mind when I was thinking about horses using their ears in general. A couple of thoughts were relaxation versus tension, tension versus aggression, concentration and effort like you see in the Roxy ride, and questioning authority. Then I kind of went in my mind to the other extreme, and instead of thinking about ears being rotated back, I thought about ears rotating in different ways. So relaxed and swiveling, taking in all the surroundings, ears focused forward, and focused somewhere else, past the person handling them on the ground, and then ears focused forward, very forward, as in high anxiety about something out there. And I think it’s kind of interesting to think about what we make it mean when the horse’s ears go back or when they’re swiveling around or when they go forward. Because when the horse’s ears are back, a lot of times the words I want to use would be doubt, skeptical, unimpressed, tension that could be positive or negative, concentration, effort, and aggression could be something there. That’s the one we really don’t want to allow. But here’s another thought. The ears being back could be doubt about you or your request. Ears being forward-focused somewhere else I think can also equal the horse leaving you mentally, which is below doubt. It’s not even considering you. So sometimes people think ears forward is a better place to be than ears back. But I would even argue that ears forward or highly forward, taking the horse’s brain to 30 feet, 50 feet, 400 feet, half a mile away from you. If that’s happening, I think that is oftentimes a rung lower than doubt because at least when the horse has doubt about what you’re asking and those ears are just in that slightly skeptical range, slightly back, I think that’s actually showing some consideration of you versus the ears being really forward and completely gone from your realm.

Stacy Westfall: [00:07:41] Isn’t that an interesting thing to think about? You gave me some really great details in your question and I’ve turned them into bullet points, almost breaking your one question down into several sections. And the first section was the general question, Why might horses put their ears back during work, specifically groundwork? And I think there are three reasons for this. The first one being that groundwork is the first place where we establish communication with the horses. And because of this, it also tends to be, especially in the beginning, the place where we spend the most time. And on top of that, I believe that groundwork is often the place where more accidental training happens. That means we’re handling them, we’re on the ground with them, but maybe we’re not considering it to be training. And so for these three reasons, I think that’s why we see it quite specifically. I’m going to keep going deeper and deeper into this one as we go. But I just want to put it out there that it’s the first place we establish communication. We spend a lot of time there, even if it’s just leading them from the pasture to the barn to wherever we saddle up. It’s the general time spent there. And because of that general-ness, it’s often the place where accidental training happens. Now, in your specific situation, you brought up the idea that you’re handling a lot of different horses that you don’t know very well. The flip side of this is that you’re also handling a lot of horses that don’t know you very well. So not only you don’t know them, but they don’t know you. And in my observation, horses that are in this type of situation that you’ve described, they’re coming into a rescue, they’re with you, you’re a new person. They have a higher likelihood, from what I’ve seen, to have been in situations where they had more inconsistent rules or boundaries. Sometimes they weren’t given respect. So that’s kind of almost the opposite. Maybe somebody was really hard on them and the horse didn’t even understand why. And so all those inconsistencies show up in all horses. However, they do appear different depending on the horse’s temperament, which is something that you also referenced. Before I jump to the temperament part of it, I really like that you said you always take note and first ask whether or not it could be a physical issue, and I think that’s really wise. For everyone else who’s listening if I understood correctly, what I made this mean was that when I’m working with a horse, because I do this also, when I’m working with a horse, I’m always trying to identify if this is purely just kind of who they are and kind of their–their temperament that’s talking to me or if there’s something physical going on and the way that I would do that would be that I would notice when–let’s just say the ears pinning. We’ll go as far as even labeling at ear pinning. We’ll say that if those ears get really tight or pinned, is it happening mostly when we’re turning to the left? Is it some kind of trigger of pain? Like really tight turns? Is it hard ground? Is it different footing? Is it, you know, great at the walk and the trot, but then not so good at the lope? So there’s ways that you can start to collect the information and notice that the ears are not the same all the time, or they’re more specifically tight in areas that could be pointing towards pain. Those are what I do when I am keeping in mind that it could be a physical issue. And I’m going to guess that you probably have horses in varying conditions physically coming into you. And so I appreciate that you’re keeping this in mind.

Stacy Westfall: [00:11:58] You did mention that you tend to see this with younger horses that have a more dominant personality type, and that sounds spot-on accurate, especially if these horses have been in inexperienced hands. Then you can see how that particular horse could more quickly be almost accidentally rewarded for the more dominant trait. Meaning if you have a young horse that’s naturally a little bit more pushy or dominant and the person handling has less experience and therefore maybe backs off when they see that type of behavior from the horse it could have been partially trained even in a young horse, just because they get some subtle rewards for it. And you gave some really good examples, like asking a horse to yield the front end over in hand or asking the horse to lead up next to you instead of lagging behind you or sending the horse around you on a lunge line. The one thing in your question that I want to have you kind of think about is that you made the comment, you would say it might be in response to some type of pressure being applied. So you equated the yielding the front end, leading the horse up next to you or setting them around you as all being kind of pressure situations. And I will grant you that those situations, you could use the word pressure, but it wouldn’t be my first choice. I would be more inclined to view the horse as expressing doubt or being skeptical or unimpressed or holding tension. Interestingly, that one can kind of go either positive or negative, and then on the other extreme, we can even look at it like concentration or effort. We’re not going to go quite there yet, but let’s just leave it at some of these horses could be doubtful, skeptical, unimpressed. The one thing I do want to keep coming back to at least a couple of times in this episode is you don’t want to allow anything that looks like aggression. You didn’t really clearly say that. So I’m making up the part that you’re not–not reading that from the horse’s mouth. But if I do start to see that horse get into a more aggressive, like the ears get really a little bit more tight, and again, make sure you focus on the whole thing, because especially when they go towards aggression, you’re going to see a change in the eyes, a change in the muzzle, a change in the overall expression. The way I was listening to this question, I’m getting more of a picture of the horse that’s a little bit more skeptical. So when you go to move their front end, they’re a little bit more, ears str back a little bit and–and it’s just got this like, yeah, I don’t know about that. Or when you go to lead the horse up, but they’re like, not so sure about that. That’s more of the impression that I got listening to this call. And it actually matters. Sort of. And it doesn’t. Because when I give you the tips on what I do, you’re going to see how it sort of does and it sort of doesn’t. But for just a minute before we go there, I actually want to break these different words that I just gave you into two separate groups.

Stacy Westfall: [00:15:22] So I want to group the first set of words into like doubtful questioning. So imagine that you’re handling one of these horses and you’re trying to lead it along, and it’s kind of lagging back and it seems kind of confident and you kind of almost feel like it’s like eye-rolling at you, like, doubtful. This always makes me think like a teenager version of doubt. Like unimpressed, skeptical about you, your request. So any of these to me have a certain feeling of, like, doubtful questioning. Now, that’s a little bit different to me than the other category, which I’m going to put like, unsure during the learning process. So sometimes when horses are unsure during the learning process, there’s kind of a tension there. And you almost in that tension can’t quite tell whether it’s positive or negative. I almost want you to think about this one like focused face. Like maybe a great example of this would be sometimes when I’ve been working with a horse for a little bit, and let’s go to your idea of sending the horse around you in a circle. So a really common place for the horses to get this really focused face would be if you’ve done a few days of lunging the horse and then stopping with the horse facing you and whipping the ground around if you’ve got a confident horse. Oftentimes when you’re whipping around them, thinking like, you know, you’re standing facing them, you’ve got to stick and string. You’re whipping on the left side and right side on the ground, and you’re kind of hitting that ground. A lot of times that produces in the horse they will look at you with this really focused look, which is actually the purpose of the exercise. And they’ll lock–their feet are kind of locked in place and they’re looking at you and you’ve got to think of it from their point of view, like they’re looking at you and you’re swinging a whip left, right, left, right. And it naturally causes them to kind of have their ears kind of in this, like, focused look. And to me, sometimes this focus look almost looks a little bit like a scowl. Not really negative, but it’s just, like, super focused. And some horses have a scowling look when they do this. But I think it’s concentration and effort. Now, this particular horse that I’m picturing in my mind when you do this, a lot of times when you go to send this horse, so you’ve been having them face you, now you are standing in that same spot. You now start pulling your lead rope say out or out to your left side, and you got this sticking string in your right hand and you’re trying to send that horse counterclockwise around the circle. A lot of times that horse is kind of locked in place and you start to swing that stick and string, like asking them to go to your left or counterclockwise. And they kind of sit there focused and not moving. And in this moment, I want you to appreciate that the dance between like doubting your request, being skeptical, or like being a little bit overly focused and unsure. Can you see how this becomes a blended line? Because the horse is like, you just want to be facing you and not responding to this whippy thing and now you’re swinging this whippy thing. And I’m kind of a confident horse and I’m going to just sit here and stare at you. And in that moment, like, a lot of times I take that stick and string and I’m actually now taking that string out there at like a one or a two, which is what it takes for pressure to be able to get that string horizontal. And now I’m actually tapping, swinging it and it’s actually landing across the horse’s side. And a lot of them will sit there and they’ll flinch and they’ll have this tight look to me. This tight look is unsure during learning. They see the contradiction of, sometimes you want me to stand still when that thing swings around and sometimes you don’t want me to stand still, you actually want me to move. And especially the confident lazier ones will be a little bit like, Yeah, I’m just going to stand here. And a lot of times that tightness, that doubt, especially as you add that request to move, they’re really trying hard to figure it out, but it’s got this tightness because they are naturally wired to be a little bit tougher, stronger, more confident, naturally. So it does get a little bit tricky to tell the difference. But I am going to talk a little bit more about that in just a minute.

Stacy Westfall: [00:19:41] But I want to jump to one thing before I go there. You said you were wondering if you should do something differently or if it’s a no, not a big deal. Are you overthinking of it? I might be the wrong person to give overthinking advice because I love overthinking things. The–one of my favorite Netflix shows was that modern-day Sherlock Holmes series that they had on there, because I think that’s what working with horses feels like. It feels like I’m constantly gathering all these seemingly random facts together. I’m always collecting this information, always in my head. I’ve got this running information line. And then if it’s really kind of an outlier and or if I’m new to practicing it, I remember years ago when I was new to practicing it, I would write it down somewhere. Because anything unusual that could become a pattern is worth noting. And so what you’re observing when you’re doing an exercise like this is your’re–you’re observing the horse’s different behavior under different things. So the example I just gave you is a version of pressure. Like the horse was like, okay, standing and facing, I’m whipping around. That’s like an emotional pressure that’s not touching them. Now I’m asking this horse to go to my left, to go counterclockwise and lunge, and I’m using this stick and string and I’m adding pressure and the horse is like, I am doubting, and you’re not even sure. Keep this in mind. Are they doubting you and your request or are they doubting themselves and the answer? But a lot of times when you’re observing this, there’s this like doubt that’s there. And to me, a lot of times early on, that’s what that tension in their ears is. How do I tell the difference between this doubtful questioning or aggression or this unsure stage? I’ve got a couple of different things I do. First of all, in this sending example, I actually sit there and stay the course. I stay there and I just kind of stay annoying because they look like they’re annoyed. Right? Remember I said it’s like a teenager version of doubt. So I’ve I’m laying the stick of string across and across that string is out there touching and touching and touching. And if you go watch the Stacy Video Diary” Jac series, then you’ll be able to see examples of this, because Jac definitely went through those moments where you could actually see him stuck and questioning it. You can actually see a video of this skeptical look, I always like to think like one eyebrow raised, like, I’m not sure about you. I’m not sure about this. I’m not sure. And so in that example, I just stay the course. Now you’re going to hear me saying I’m going to keep the horse far away from me in a minute. So as we’re doing this, I always want to keep safety in mind because I’m not quite sure which direction, you know, like, how’s this horse processing it? But I’m giving the horse a chance to process it so that it can work its way out. And as it’s working its way out, as I start to see the patterns that develop. It tells me a little bit more about whether it’s a concentration thinking moment or whether it starts to lean more towards like unimpressed.

Stacy Westfall: [00:23:07] So at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter whether it’s doubtful questioning or whether it’s this unsure concentration effort thing. There’s a couple of things I do, and it doesn’t matter which one it is. Let me use Presto for an example. You can also use Jacc for some of these too, if you want to go watch the visual of it. But Presto has been really interesting because he’s actually not naturally dominant. He’s not naturally a leader, but he is another very common type of horse that could become a pinny-eared horse because he wishes he was the leader. Those oftentimes are more pinny-eared than the true leaders. In the past, when Presto was younger. Every time he was turned out with a horse that he could push around, he would get in the habit of pinning his ears and pushing the horse, and they would move. And then he would come in from the field and I would put a halter on him and he would ask the exact same things of me. He would approach me with this scowl, the same idea in mind. And even to this day, right now, when he’s out in the field, he’s turned out with Gabby. Gabby is very naturally dominant, and it’s so fascinating to watch him because he taunts her right to the edge of her breaking point. If on a given day her breaking point is ten feet away, I know because Presto will be ten feet, one inch and he will be hopping up and down like bunny-hopping with his front feet, pinning his ears, swinging. I mean, he looks vicious. But he’s ten feet, one inch away. Whenever he finds the line, if he ends up going to nine feet, she will actually attack him back and she will push him away. But here’s the really interesting part. The interesting thing to me isn’t that he’s still doing this to Gabby. The interesting thing to me is that he doesn’t do any of it with me anymore. So as a six-year-old, somewhere between being a three-year-old that was using this tactic out in the field and pushing a horse around and then using this tactic on me, now he will use it if he’s allowed on a horse out in the field. But he doesn’t use it on me. Why? And the reason why is because Gabby and I draw our lines in different places. And if I put him out with a different horse that would let him push them around, then that horse would again have a different line. And so Gabby does have a line or a breaking point where she draws a line for Presto, but she draws her line, she varies it depending on whether she’s coming into heat, out of heat, completely out of heat, really angry that day, whatever it is. Like she draws that line at different points and he walks right up to the edge of that line every single day. What Gabby does different than me is that she has the line where he’s allowed to be, but she doesn’t care how he looks outside of that line. So she’s okay with him being ten feet plus one inch and looking like an angry snake hopping up and down. She doesn’t care. She’s like, as long as you don’t cross that invisible line, whatever. I care. So rule number one, whenever I see this tightness and I don’t know the horse, I always keep them further away from me. Rule number two is I get more creative. But let’s talk about number 1 first.

Stacy Westfall: [00:26:50] The first thing I do is I keep them further away from me. So if the horse wants to scowl or show that type of doubt, I’m going to keep them at least eight feet away, probably ten or more. So when I think about that line for me, that physical distance, the way I come up with that is I’m typically holding a stick and string and that stick part is four feet long and the string part is four feet long and my arm is a couple of feet long and I am like, stay out of this bubble. So I keep them 8 to 10 feet away. One of the reasons people resist doing this is because you have to become handy with your tools. This means that your horse is going to be on a longer line and you’re going to have this stick and string. And it’s really helpful if you can handle it in your right hand going one direction and your left hand going the other direction. But it is very critical to me if I’m a trainer and I’m handling a lot of different horses, that I can do this. Because this rule, you’ve heard it before on the podcast, I have to earn the right to be in their space and they have to earn the right to be in my space. And that means I need to be able to establish and hold my own ground and I can establish and hold that 8 to 10 foot spot. And that’s number one. Now, let’s say that I’ve pushed them out and they’re 8 to 10 feet away from me and they’ve got that scowl. That’s where I then switch to number two, which is being more creative. I almost wrote, Be More Startling, because that’s the way I actually think of it. But I don’t want you to get the impression that startling is the goal. But when you hear me describe it, hopefully you’ll understand how it’s like this creative startle surprise that is actually going to help change that general expression. So think of it like this. If they appear to have this teenage level of doubt and skepticism, it almost comes across like they’re confident, which is what you said. And they kind of almost are like, whatever, eye roll. What is the opposite of that? The opposite of that to me is a look of surprise. And if you think of the opposite type of a horse, you’re looking at like a horse that’s like shocked and surprised with everything, and therefore they look scared all the time. So when I’m picturing this skeptical, confident horse that basically eye rolls at me and things like I don’t have that much to offer, totally unimpressed I end up thinking, how can I change what I’m doing to be more interesting? Personally, I go a little bit on the startling and silly side. And the reason I go for that is because startling and silly keeps me in this energy that does not fit well with skeptical and unimpressed. It might create doubt in the horse’s mind, but it’s going to be a doubt like doubt about your sanity, not like a doubt about–it’s not going to have that eye rolling doubt. It’s going to be more like, Oh, okay, then that was unexpected. That’s a different expression of doubt. So things that I do are things that would help lighten the mood and yet keep the horse further away. So sometimes that will be sending them around me. Maybe I ask for a little bit more kind of quickly. Maybe I stomp the ground. Maybe I do something that almost–and this is why I said startling–almost like almost spooks them just a little bit because that would get them to move. Now, I don’t love using that as the movement. If they’re focused and I’m using that tapping, I actually just stick with that because I think they’re trying to work it out because that is not a eye roll to me. That is them trying to work it out. Do you see why I don’t want to startle them when I’m sitting there tapping along the sides? Now let’s say they’re trotting and they’re in motion and they kind of have this–this doubtful scowly kind of look, and they’re trotting around me, that’s when being silly works really well. So they’re going around me and they’ve kind of got this scowl look, and it does look like it’s aimed at me. It’s kind of like they’re looking at me and it’s slanty. Then jump, like, just randomly jump up in the air, and that will generally make them startle and their ears will pop into a different spot, which actually makes me laugh, which completes the circle because it’s, it keeps me from getting into this really negative, combative energy about getting their ears forward. I’m like, Oh, you need me to be more creative. So some of the other things that I can do to change that dynamic would be if I see this particular horse, I go out there and I start working it. It’s naturally confident. It seems a little bit scowly. I want to do things that are going to make them more curious. So maybe while I’m lunging them, I’m slapping my leg, I jump up and down. I start involving obstacles earlier. Tarps, balls, pools. Because. That’s going to be other things that are going to make them flick their ears. Can you see how that would work? So you’ve got this horse that wants to be tight about the ears while you’re lunging them, and then you send them over a tarp. What’s that going to do? They’re going to flick their ears forward. They’re going to look, you’re going to laugh. It’s going to start changing the whole dynamic. And I love to do anything that makes the horses have that like, Wow, you’re really creative kind of a look, because then instead of that kind of eye-roll teenager look, they start to be like, okay. They go somewhere between wondering what I’m up to and questioning my sanity, which also makes them basically wonder what I’m up to and it makes me laugh. And again, these are all with confident horses that are kind of giving you that doubtful look and you’re keeping them at a distance. Because until, for me, until they will maintain that more curious look, I don’t allow them in. I don’t allow them into my space with that really pinny-eared look.

[00:33:09] I do think it’s worth noting as I wrap up this episode, that the finished product, when it involves like concentration and effort in the way that it was shown in the Roxy video, the bareback and bridleless video, that concentrated effort can become part of the groundwork, liberty finished process at times for a couple different reasons. Number one that really focused face, the ears kind of back in that really focused look, is exactly the same thing as what I was showing you with the bareback bridleless, that concentration and the effort. So that’s one reason why high-level liberty horses can exhibit that. Now. It’s also interesting to me that those high-level liberty horses, often when they’re asked to do something less intense, will also get more expressive with their ears, just like Roxy did. So it is interesting to note, is it all the time? Or do they flick in and out of it? And I think that’s something worth noting. Another reason why high-level liberty horses on the ground will become more pinny-eared or tighter with their ears is sometimes the trainer has actually invited that horse into a very horsey conversation where they’re actually allowing that high-level horse to use some of that, what I’m even going to label, ss moments of that like aggressive expression. That same expression that Presto is giving to Gabby from ten feet away, but he’s not breaking into Gabby’s boundary. There are times when liberty trainers will allow or even encourage that type of expression because that’s the look that they want in that horse. That’s a whole different discussion, and that is a personal decision that people make when–when they’re working with the horse. I think the talk about the higher level groundwork and the way that the horses might use their ears is not quite fitting with your question, Val, but I thought it was worth putting in here because that is one thing that comes up when people see some of that higher-level work being done. I absolutely train all of my horses to have a foundation of having just a generally good work ethic. And there are times that those more dominant horses have a more natural tendency to have that skeptical look. Gabby happens to be one of those horses. And because of that, there are moments in the training that I get ultra-creative to make sure that as I am teaching her, I am also subtly discouraging that look. Again, one of my primary tools for doing that is just being more creative with what I’m doing, whether that involves obstacles, whether that involves me slapping my leg, jumping up and down, or just changing things up and making sure that I’m changing my energy while I’m working with them so that they get that really curious look, and I laugh and they get rewards for that. It is actually amazing how much that practice changed Gabby from being this really doubtful, skeptical look when she was looking at me to now when she looks at me, a lot of times her ears are forward and she looks at me like, you are really strange. And I’ll take that any day of the week because she looks very sweet and curious when she’s looking at me. I hope this gave everyone listening some ideas. And Val, I hope this helps you with all of the rescue horses that you are helping out. Thanks to everyone for listening and I’ll talk to you again in the next episode.

Announcer: [00:37:15] If you enjoy listening to Stacy’s podcast, please visit stacywestfall.com for articles, videos, and tips to help you and your horse succeed.

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  1. Elushia Parker on November 28, 2023 at 11:32 pm

    Hi I have this problem and am interested in the reply. I’m looking at getting a hitching aid to give resistance but I can’t get this horse to float bc of the pulling back problems

  2. Megan on March 25, 2022 at 1:47 pm

    Hi Stacy-
    I find all of your podcasts really insightful and helpful.
    Could you do an episode on retraining a horse that pulls back when tied?
    Thanks for all that you do.

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