“It is hard to be defensive toward a danger which you have never imagined existed.”

 

It is hard to be defensive toward a danger which you have never imagined existed.Ah, what a perfect photo for my recent ‘encounter’ online.

 

Just last night I had the pleasure of reading on a Facebook page that ‘Stacy Westfall didn’t train the reining horse she rode, Stacy wrote an article telling people to jump off and drag along the side of a runaway horse and that during Road to the Horse Stacy had to watch the other competitors to figure out what to do.’

 

Yep, all in one post from one person. And we all wonder how rumors such as ‘Stacy Westfall is a deaf-mute’ get started.

 

How much ‘danger’ is this? I don’t know. I never imagined that a relatively harmless rumor such as the ‘deaf-mute’ thing could spread or maintain itself for years as it has: my first blog against the rumor was posted in September 2011.

 

The ‘danger’ that I never imagined until after that rumor was that other more harmful or hurtful things could spread and I would be just as helpless to stop them. For example I still receive emails like this one:

 

Kathy H. wrote,

 

“Please Clarify: A video surfaces the internet on occasion of a ride made at the 2006 Congress by Stacy Westfall — however the information with the video states Stacy is a deaf/mute. Are you one and the same? Was deaf/mute information erroneous? This has puzzled me for a long time & just recently that video made the rounds again — decided to attempt to clarify. thanks, Kathy H.”

 

I wrote back,

 

“Kathy, I am the person in the video…but someone started the deaf/mute rumor that they are sending around with it. That is false. Here is my blog written in 2011 addressing the problem. http://stacywestfallhorseblog.com/2011/09/22/stacy-westfall-deaf-mute/

Thanks for checking to see if it was true. -Stacy Westfall”

 

Kathy wrote back:

 

“I so appreciate the response to my question.

Sometimes I feel rumors are going to be the ‘death’ of us all — and some can certainly ruin relationships, ethics, etc.  Facebook, Twitter, etc each have their place in the modern communication world — but — we all must access ‘the benefit of doubt’ to almost everything we see in print.

Continue on with your amazing talents – you are truly a ‘blessed’ lady! -Kathy”

 

Sometimes after reading lies on the internet I want to have nothing to do with it. Give me a horse and let me go ride. But then I remember that the people who lie will still be there…and so will people like Kathy who care to seek the truth.

 

And those who seek truth are the ones I want to have a relationship with.

 

93 Comments

  1. Gaylene Bowman on April 11, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    Its simple really …. your talent and professionalism speak volumes …. there are too many gullible internet junkies out here in the WWW. Everyone that actually takes a keen interest in your work as a pro, will take the time to get the whole story, and not depend on so called FB posts. You cant fix stupid and shouldn’t even try. In my opinion you are likely one of the best all time woman trainers in the US if not North America. The people perpetuating the lies could use your help!! They need your sympathy…. you don’t need theirs. You are a truly blessed horseperson and doesn’t everyone know that already? 🙂

  2. Amanda on April 11, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    Wow. It’s incredible how hurtful and mean people can be. I will say I am very very jealous of you (both that you get to interact with horses on a regular basis and the things you’re able to do with them), but it’s hard to imagine someone being so jealous or so resentful that they try to hurt your reputation. Hold your head high and keep on riding! You’ll leave them all in the dust.

  3. Dingbat on April 11, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    I don’t get how people think the deaf/mute thing is an insult, I would be more impressed since you would not be able to use auditory cues during training, etc. All that should really matter is a) can you sit a horse and b) can you and the horse act as a team.

  4. Kim on April 11, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    I’ve shown reining horses since 1999. I often have a well intentioned non-horsey friend send me this “deaf mute” video with amazement in their note. It makes me so mad! People think sensationalism sells more than the truth, I guess? I gladly bust their bubble but at the same time reassure them you are an awesome talent and to please put an end to passing this video around.

    Social media keeps us on our toes! I remember a professor from college reminding us to check all sources before you commit to your final opinions.

    I will continue to police your video in my neck of the woods! 🙂
    Come see us in Kentucky. ckrha 🙂

  5. brandy on April 11, 2014 at 7:58 am

    For what it’s worth, I saw the “deaf-mute” video and thought, “I didn’t know Stacy Westfall was deaf-mute” so I looked it up and found that it is not true. But in looking you up I found more info about you have watched the Jac video series (awesome, btw) and have become a fan of your techniques! The people who don’t critically think are idiots.

  6. Jjaks on April 11, 2014 at 6:29 am

    Pleasepleaseplease don’t let those XXX chase you from the internet! I am german, and I will likely (sadly!) not ever meet you in person, let alone watch you work with your horses. Those videos of Jac’s training have helped me and my two-year-old gelding already in more ways I cold have imagined. I (and he, I suppose) would like to thank you for your efforts and time you put into your online appearance!

  7. Marisa on April 11, 2014 at 6:00 am

    High school never ends

  8. Gitte Ogendal Garcia on April 11, 2014 at 3:46 am

    Good grief, someone has too much time, is jealous of your achievements, need to get off the couch or just plain to get a life. Kill it with silence, and let them wonder for ever.

    One more thought: even if you had been a deaf-mute person who did not train your horses yourself, it would still have been a major acomplishment to ride Roxy like you rode her back then. I could see myself go flying if I tried to make a sliding stop without sitting firmly in my saddle 🙂 Keep up the good work. I truly enjoy your videos of Jac´s training. It inspires me to keep working, as I´m sitting over here in Denmark having a hard time getting good training.

  9. kali on April 11, 2014 at 1:23 am

    This would be a situation when if you don’t have something nice to say don’t say it at all.

  10. Elise on April 10, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    I’m sorry Stacy. Those are very hurtful words, especially with the loss of your Roxy. Some people are just plain mean.

  11. Judy Bank on April 10, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    Stacy, life is too short to allow your precious time to be wasted by idiots who are jealous of your talent. Instead, devote your time to what you do best.

  12. Cari McNeil on April 10, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    Rest assured that everytime I see the deaf-mute thing come around, I jump on and set them straight. I have even had to argue with a few. I don’t get the rumors or lies or any of that….. Ride on!!

  13. johanna on April 10, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    hah! no way!

    you’re not in danger from these ”Trolls” as those internet rumor-mongers are called!

    Sun Tzu said ”How victory may be produced for them out of the enemy’s own tactics—that is what the multitude cannot comprehend.”

    I am not referring to victory or war, but rather that these Trolls in reality, only serve to get more people to your site 🙂 —-to learn the truth.
    The worse the rumors are, the more curious people become to see who the ‘horrible” person actually is.
    And guess what?! When people get to your website, they are enlightened and educated, and given one of the greatest gifts one can get, in my view: they get to see and understand what human-animal communication actually is, at its best and deepest. They in fact get to witness Truth: the see a true professional, truly capable of making the world a better place, one training session, one video, and one horse at a time..

    Nah, that beautiful foal in that picture is in danger, but you’re not…

  14. Janet Sproles on April 10, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    After a seventy year career with dogs and horses,unfortunately this human behavior goes with your success.Great job Stacy!

  15. Katherine Barrett on April 10, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    Hi Rose, This is clarification on the Stacy Westfall bridle-less horse video. I have seen this video posted so many times by horse folks … with the description of the rider as a deaf mute … which is not true. Just wanted to forward the article to you.

    Katy

  16. Trudy Bendetti on April 10, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    Continue doing you and let the others bay and froth. The more attention these rumor mongrels get the more they like it. Don’t feed the pig. Those who take the time to read you or get to know you will know better. The rest? Well, they can let THEIR horses drag them alongside. lol

  17. Madeline C. on April 10, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    Everyone has something to say about everyone and everything they do because they have nothing better to do with their OWN life. It’s like high school bullying world-wide style. Honestly, it’s their loss and you have enough support in the world that I don’t think you’ll have anything to worry about.

  18. vicki hardy on April 10, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    Stacy
    I fist saw the video you are refering to on Facebook a couple of months ago with the comment that you were deaf and dumb. I’m sorry someone put that on there, but I have to tell you that was the most awesome display of horsemanship ever! You are an amazing person and have inspired me and I am sure many others. Because of that video I started watching you work with Jac. I was so inspired that I went out and found myself a new horse. I sold my horses 2 years ago after losing my Mom and Dad. I had previously owned horse for 25.
    I quess I just want you to know what a positive impact you’ve made on my life and others.
    Thank you

    Vicki Hardy

  19. Flo on April 10, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    That’s one of the good things about social media. You find out a lot quicker what someone is saying about you, and you can call them out and do damage control before it gets totally out of hand.

  20. Leah Sinclair on April 10, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    Hi Stacy
    That’s how I found out who you were too. Saw the video and then googled you and found your website and then your facebook page, Along with who you really were. I too tell all my horsey friends that your amazing ride with Roxy is just that – an amazing ride with your lovely mare. Now through your page and blog I get to see horses in another part of the world whether it be Jac or the wee nurse mare foals. I enjoy your blog and like your down to earth life philosophies. Thank you for sharing your feelings about Roxy and Jac as well as the training. I think we all learn to search out the truth.

  21. Alice on April 10, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    Most mean people in my life have had some inner agony that I later heard about. That leads me to believe that all cruel people are suffering in some way. Knowing this gives me compassion for them…not that it’s always easy to deal with the fallout, or to forgive.

  22. Michiela S on April 10, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    As in Linda Smith’s case, ditto, I have informed many also after seeding the story’s authenticity. I live in Queensland Australia and admire your horse skills and posts. You are doing great things Stacy, love your work xx

    • Michiela S on April 10, 2014 at 5:46 pm

      Seeking* that is

  23. Trisha on April 10, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    Hi Stacy
    I have watched the 2006 video of you & Roxy at least a hundred times. Each and every time, I am in awe of you. But to tell the truth I never took the time to search out more of your accomplishments until I saw the rumour of you being a deaf mute. It was then that I put Google into high gear to learn the truth. LOL
    The truth being ever so much more than I could of expected; training videos, competitions galore, a blog filled with greatness, an extremely talented young woman turning into a wife & mother creating a family built around the love of the horse. What an incredible journey you have travelled!
    After following your blog for over a year now, my respect for you has grown tenfold and then some.
    Having had horses in my life for more than 40 years, it is now that I am just starting to understand them, all because of you.
    My biggest regret in life is not finding you ( or someone with a similar philosophy) sooner. My age and physical abilities may now be against me but you keep me hanging in there, still trying each day to make myself into the person my horses deserve.
    Stacy, please remember that you can not educate them all, only the ones that want to listen and learn, ignore the rest and keep on doing what you do best!!
    Wishing you continued success and may you find in Jac all the love that Roxy left for you.

    • Trisha on April 10, 2014 at 4:30 pm

      ….sorry, not sure if it is an issue but I misspelled my email in my previous comment so have corrected in this one….oops 😉

  24. Connie C on April 10, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    Stacey,
    Keep up what you at doing and who you are. You are wonderful at both.
    Thank you for everything.
    Many blessings♥

  25. Liz on April 10, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    People target other people because they are jealous. So sad. Keep up the good work and try not to let Aholes get to you!

  26. Linda Smith on April 10, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    Stacy, I saw that ridicules comment many years ago and have replied to every single person that sent that out that you are not deaf/mute. I get tired of stupid people with their stupid comments and normally they have no clue about anything. In my heart of hearts, most of these negative comments whether it be about you not training your reining horse or whatever is mostly comments by jealous women. You are a remarkable young woman and have some pretty damn awesomely trained horses. Hugs! 🙂

  27. Jacki on April 10, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    Stacy, unfortunately there are always those in this world who live to hurt others. I guess the positive in this is that if you had no credibility, no one would try to discredit you. The fact that you have had such success and done so much good for the horse community is intimidating to some and makes you a target to others. Keep doing what you do and communicating your beliefs and methods just the way you have. Those who choose to believe the rumors would not have believed the truth anyway and everyone else that hears these ridiculous rumors take them as just that, rumors – delete, delete, delete…

  28. Edna Griswold on April 10, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    As a passionate horse owner and mom to a daughter that is horse crazy, I cannot tell you the joy you have brought to our world just by doing what you do. When I first saw the video of your ride on Roxy at Road to the Horse, the passion you rode with and the trust that Roxy emitted for you brought me to tears. It was like someone (you) had finally put into action how much they loved their horse (enough to dedicate that amazing ride to your dad) and at the same time display what really loving and trusting a horse gets you (and A LOT of hard work, too)! There are no words sufficient enough to relay my feelings for my horses (all horses,really). I truly believe that they are a gift from God and although we lose some and get others, the individuality of each personality can never be replaced. I read the deaf/mute story several times as it was posted on Facebook and always took the time to explain the truth about who you are and that what you do is as much a gift for those of us out here who dream to one day be able to ride a horse the way you do. I would be heart-broken of you ever quit doing what you do! You blog gives us a lot of insight into what it really takes to be the caliber of rider/trainer that you are. Please, please, please, don’t let the “bad guys” win by shutting out us fans! You were put on this earth to do what you do and I thank my Father in Heaven for the PRIVLEDGE to see into your world. You are amazing and a role model. Thank you for being you!!

  29. Jamie on April 10, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    Where ever there is light, there will always be shadows. Just outshine them.

  30. Allyn Stoller on April 10, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    Wow, I can’t believe that people post crap like that. I think you are an absolutely amazing horsewoman, and I appreciate all you’ve done for the industry. Please just ignore the turkeys, and keep posting on your blog, training, and sharing your horse wisdom with those of us who are smart enough to appreciate it.

  31. Angela Fowler on April 10, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    We can’t help but wonder WHY people would write or say such preposterous things but, truly, they must be a least a bit mentally ill, right? So given that I suppose we should all try to get the truth out there and ignore it beyond that. I’m sure it is hurtful thought, when you are trying so hard to be a good example. Just know that you ARE a good example and hang in there

  32. Tracey on April 10, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    Stacy I think you are awesome and so sorry about all that, unfortunately in the horse industry no matter which it is there are always those who somehow find time to falsify things and almost always to the detriment of the sport and of course to the people involved. It’s hurtful and it”s very sad. I have had friends walk away from horse sports for that very reason, and they have been awesome horsemen and horsewoman. But yes it is worth all that and more coz you inspsire so many of us and make a better place for our horses and our understanding of them. So please don’t let them get to you, walk away from them and smile knowing we all still got your back. Keep doing what you’re doing you’re awesome and so are your beautiful horses !!!

  33. Chris Hayward on April 10, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    I just want to say thank you, for without you, both me and my horse would be training aimlessly.

  34. http://theenglishprofessoratlarge.com on April 10, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    You are right to state the truth about a rumor or attack. Then…..as the old man said when kicked by the jackass, “First, you have to consider the source.”

  35. Alicia on April 10, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    Jealousy is a terrible thing. people who wish they had half the talent and special connection with their horses will do and say mean things to bring down the best of us just to make them look good or to give them their 15 mins of fame.. i saw your vidio with baby and you both were amazing brought tears to my eyes. i saw the deaf-mute thing but did not believe the lies for one minute and is how i found out who you are… I would if I were you just shrug it off… It don’t matter what people say or think they know about you. If you are true to your self people who care or are honest will see right though the lies… Keep doing what you are doing… You are a beautiful person…

  36. Melody Grove on April 10, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Stacv, Gratefully, your God is bigger and will use this to bring people to you, just like this woman. We don’t know if there was malice in her original post, for the deceiver is always about, looking to take someone else down. But again, rest assured that God will use it all, for his glory and to bring you closer, and perhaps introduce others to Him, through you. God bless you…He has big plans for you that can’t be thwarted.

  37. Katelyn on April 10, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    I’m having a hard time even understanding what that person is trying to say?? Jump off a runaway horse and drag? …huh?

    Those battles aren’t with you Stacy, they have many other issues. One being too much time on their hands. Ride on girlfriend! Forget the pot stirrer.

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