Horses: You don’t have to own them to learn from them

Weaver Leather Pop Up Clinic in New York

Weaver Leather Pop Up Clinic in New York

There are many ways you can improve your horsemanship, one of them is by increasing the number of horses you work with. While this might seem like a great excuse for buying more horses…the reality is that you can often find ways to interact with horses without owning them. When my mom was young she didn’t own a horse. As a teen she would knock on doors and ask anyone with horse standing around in the pasture, “Could I ride your horse?” While this might not be the best idea for everyone, it worked for my mom.

I am adopting that same idea during this part of our trip. My horses aren’t with me but there are horses everywhere. We left our horses three days ago and I’ve still managed to be with horses every day. Our first stop was the Weaver Leather Pop-Up clinic in New York where I demonstrated groundwork techniques for an hour and a half before answering questions. That little mare was fun because by the end of the demo it was easy to see her figuring things out.

Click photo to watch video of the mini's new life

Click photo to watch video of the mini’s new life

Our next stop was Miracle Mountain Ranch where two of our kids spent the last week in training. As a bonus I was able to visit with Popcorn and the mini’s.  You may remember my post and video about the mini’s finding their true calling. I’m happy to see that they are still doing well. Last night they received baths and this morning, after taking a few pictures with me, they were loaded onto a trailer to go participate in a parade. The folks at MMR offered to let me drive them in the parade but my mom is anxiously awaiting our arrival in Maine, so I postponed the offer until next time.

Popcorn has also been hanging out at MMR as part of the ‘staff’. I still own him but I can also see his value as a teacher in his own right. A well trained horse is a great teacher to learn from so when we hit the road last year in the motor home I offered to loan him to MMR for use in their program. Yesterday I had several students approach me and say that they enjoyed riding Popcorn and learning from him. It makes me happy to know that Popcorn is in a win-win situation where he is enjoying his life and the students are enjoying him.

As for me, I have faith that I will find horses along our way as we travel. I am especially looking forward to seeing the horses that show up at the clinics in Germany in July. Although there may be a slight language barrier with the people, I am confident that the horses will speak my with Popcorn

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  1. Lori on June 28, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    Hi, while visiting your mom in Maine, will you be doing any work? We boarder Maine, in Canada, and I would love to attend your clinic, or have you here!

    • Stacy Westfall on June 28, 2015 at 4:17 pm

      I’m doing a demo at Hemphill’s on July 1st!

  2. sherry martin on June 27, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    A horse is a horse of course!

  3. Lesia Lowe on June 22, 2015 at 11:15 am

    Stacy… since PoPcorn is trained SO well… do you ever wonder if a beginner rider riding him … does/will it confuse him??

  4. Gwen Young on June 21, 2015 at 11:33 pm

    I doubt you,ll have any problems with horses in any other country speaking your language.Your one of the best. Have a great time.

  5. Simone Schulz on June 21, 2015 at 2:46 am

    If You come to Germany ,which town do You visit and when is your clinic? Simone

  6. Jill Haines on June 20, 2015 at 8:08 pm

    I would like to thank you for the clinic at Stagecoach West on Thursday. I am currently desensitizing a horse and found the clinic very informative and helpful. I have a 37 year old QH which can now only ride in the arena or up the road, she is my ‘Wonder Horse’. The owner of the barn where I board Kelly is letting me use her horse for trail riding but she has never been desensitized and has not been ridden for 4 years. I am working with a good friend to make her safe for me to ride her on the trails. Thank you again, Jill

  7. Megan Hunter on June 20, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    After your trips to Germany and such you should make your way over to Puyallup, WA! Myself, as well as several ladies at my barn would love to have you!

  8. Leah on June 20, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    Yes! I had wondered where Popcorn was, so glad he’s happy.

  9. Stefanie lajuett on June 20, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    If you are ever near raleigh NC you can ride my horse Stacey!! He’s a tennessee walker….would you ride a gaited horse??

  10. Eva on June 20, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    Great article! Could not agree more. Every horse has something to teach us.

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