“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. Lesia Lowe on April 10, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    WOW…. just seeing this….. makes me want to go “sucker punch” them in the neck….. lol… just kidding…. totally against violence…. but it does kinda tick me off…. keep ya chin up… heres some {{{hugs}}}

    • Lesia Lowe on April 11, 2014 at 12:18 am

      oh one more thing…. Work hard in silence…..let your success be your noise…..ok… I TRY not to comment on every one of your blogs… but I cant help it….sorry…… lol

  2. Fiona on April 10, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    There will always be those who for some unknown reason will spread untruths and the best we can do is ignore them and move on. Keep your chin up and keep on keeping on.

  3. Michelle M on April 10, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    Oh to eradicate the haters and liers. Keep on keepin on! Those who matter don’t care and those who don’t care don’t matter.

  4. Nancy S. on April 10, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    Simply amazing isnt it? The internet the new “fountain of misinformation” Guess we all have to get tougher lol!!! I try to do my little part by letting my friends know when they are passing on erroneous information but somehow people just don’t seem to care to check on things!!! Wouldnt you think the large type and exclamation points would clue them in? hahaha!!!

  5. Valerie on April 10, 2014 at 12:44 pm

    Stacy, please don’t give up on the Internet – I have learned so much from you, about horses, about spirituality, about family. I’ve watched many of your videos and am currently watching the Jac series as well as keeping up with your blog. I’m much older than you and don’t have a lot of experience with horses so I’ve learned so much in that regard that has been really beneficial but I’ve learned a whole lot about life too! You’re special! You’re gifted! I believe God has intended for you to share your talents far and wide. I look forward to meeting you some day, although I live in Canada but I will make that happen one day. Unfortunately, there will always be those negative few in life that we have to deal with but perhaps we can help them too along their journey. :). God bless you!

  6. Marilyn Pranys on April 10, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    Stacy, I have set people straight on that deaf/mute video so many times as it’s crossed my path through Facebook friends. I saw your original video before that so I knew the truth of it. I think whomever changed or added the information about your being deaf mute was trully impressed with your riding and wanted to add a more spectacular story to it… you know…. trained the horse in 3 weeks was it? Etc. Ridiculous certainly as no one can train and develop a partnership with a horse to do the things that your horse was doing, in three weeks! However, non horsey folks might have believed it. Think of it this way, you have become more famous through the infamous video 🙂 I have been trully awed by that video of you riding Roxy, and have often fantasized in my day dreams what it would be like to ride like that! I know I never will so it will remain a day dream 🙂

  7. Ruth on April 10, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    The first couple of times the video of your ride with the “deaf/mute” surfaced on my Facebook page, I just ignored it. When it started making the rounds again I commented on each and every one. I didn’t want to be part of spreading it and hoped my comments of the truth would help stop it. The last couple of times it stated you had only been training her for 3 months. In my comments I always put links to your page and to your appearance on the Ellen show. Also would always state that the “facts” did not in anyway diminish how awesome it was.

  8. Nancy Charest on April 10, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    I had the amazing opportunity to see one of your clinics a few years ago out here in California. I could hear what you said just fine so unless you had someone else doing a voiceover for a clinic in what you dealt with horses you hadn’t met before, I’m thinking you can speak just fine. My horse wasn’t in the clinic, but I did have a moment to express my enthusiasm for one of the suggested exercises to you in person and you seemed to have heard me okay. So unless you have become a deaf/mute in the last 4 years or so, I don’t imagine the rumor is true. By the way, I still use your five cone exercise when I occasionally ride my husband’s nervous horse. I enjoy getting on him from time to time and when I ride him I need a plan. The worst thing for him is for both of us to not know what we are doing! So you have given me the great joy of riding a horse that I had a bad accident on once and helping us both heal. Then I get on my easy mare and we go for a relaxing ride, too, but we don’t usually use the cones. Sorry this is so long. I wanted to have a moment to thank you as well as refute the deaf/mute rumor. That video surfaced in my feed 6 months ago. I think people like to watch people who are “differently abled” accomplish amazing things for some reason instead of seeing talented hard-working people do the same. I don’t know why. Again, thank you!

  9. Robin on April 10, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    Sorry for the harshness of others. It doesn’t make sense to me. I recently saw you “deaf/mute” video on facebook and when I corrected it, I was told that it was still an amazing video, stop criticizing. To which I answered, yes it is an awesome video but you had been trying for years to defeat that rumor.

  10. Julie K. on April 10, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    Some beautiful, uplifting responses to your blog, and I agree with all of them. I find it also helps to pray for those who spread lies and discontent. If you can get to the place where prayers for them overtake the sadness and hurt that they inflict, it will be easier to let it all go and have peace. I’ve experienced this with a family member, and God finally brought me to the point of being able to sincerely pray for them. There is still sadness, but I have peace within it.

  11. Matraca on April 10, 2014 at 11:53 am

    If it helps every time I see the deaf/mute post I comment with the truth and a link to your page 🙂 Seems like some people have nothing better to do than try and hurt others by spreading crap. The people who know the truth won’t hold the lies that are spread by others against you.

  12. Gail Conley on April 10, 2014 at 11:43 am

    everytime that video comes around, I set them straight…most horse people know the truth, it is the ones that are not horse people that are amazed and the deaf mute part makes people more intriqued.. makes me cry everytime cause my dad was ahorse trainer and the biggest part of my life, I dedicate it to him to as I am watching it..He died in 2012

  13. Angela Swedberg on April 10, 2014 at 11:40 am

    I really feel for you Stacy. I myself am a Native artist, although I prefer to share my work and not focus so much on my “Breeding” or “Indianness”. I have been at what I do for over 40 years and have a lot of respect in the Native community for what I do, and also for trying not to cross lines of “Sacred” or appropriation that are a huge hot bed issue in my world. That said, I periodically get some ignorant, uninformed ( and usually non-native ) highly judgmental person in their riotousness taking a run at me for things they have no clue about. Gets old. One cannot fix stupid….you just need to keep on keeping on and doing your best work. Those who know see this. Those who know understand just how good you are. I as a horsewoman have also been highly inspired by what you do. You cannot please everyone and sadly the internet gives voice to those with no discretion of thought or action. It only perpetuates ignorance.

  14. bev6886 on April 10, 2014 at 11:40 am

    hi stacy,
    i believe you and IN you and your training and horsemanship style. since finding you accidentlly on the internet, i have saved every single one of your posts and videos !! i admire and trust you (and Jac) .
    i truly don’t think anyone would care if you WERE deaf and mute…i’d follow you anyway !!
    hugs and HAPPY HORSEFEATHERS to you !!
    bev McC…new port richey, florida

  15. Janette on April 10, 2014 at 11:28 am

    “A society grows great when old men plant trees, whose shade they know they’ll never sit in.”

    Greek Proverb.

    Dear Stacy, you are a young lady who continually plants seeds that will grow into beautiful trees, whose shade you will never sit in.
    Bless your dear heart.

  16. Renee M. on April 10, 2014 at 11:22 am

    There will always be cynics and critics. It exists whether you are a personality in the spotlight or not. The world is a tough place and people are really struggling. I think that translates into hatred. The trick is to tune it all out, give a care less, and pursue your dreams with a child-like abandonment. It will all come out in the wash anyway!

  17. Theresa on April 10, 2014 at 11:21 am

    I recently had the video in “question” posted by a friend, with of course with a comment to share. I did share that video and researched the information the next morning. I commented giving the correct information from your blog. My friend was very upset because “She had continued a lie.” I told her to give the correct information in a comment and let the person who she got the video from the correct information! It was still an awesome ride! I do try to research things to make sure they are true before passing them on. My friend said “I thought it was a little funny that she picked out a song to play, being deaf how does she know the song?” Love reading and watching you work!! Thank you for sharing!!

  18. Roxanna Hiebert on April 10, 2014 at 11:20 am

    Stacy, when I see the video of you on Roxy and the deaf mute thing, I always comment that this is a LIE. A lot of people do not bother to check stuff out and will believe anything and I am afraid, forward it. We have no control over these people but at every opportunity I let them know what the truth is. I am sure it must be frustrating for you, but there are those who can only get attention by riding on the coat tails of someone else even if what they spew are lies. We know the truth and will not hesitate to let others know it also.

  19. Kim Stone on April 10, 2014 at 11:18 am

    Yes, absolutely. Do not grow weary, Stacy! You are blessing so many people. One apple won’t spoil the whole bunch, if you’ll just toss it on out quickly!

    (I hope you can private message me when you get a minute so I can get your Flexi’s out to you!) 🙂

  20. kshai1715 on April 10, 2014 at 11:16 am

    There are just way too many people who are quick to leap to opinions without doing their due diligence. There also a plethora of people who readily make harsh judgments against others on topics they actually know nothing about, or have never done for themselves.

    If I listened to everyone who did things like to me, I’d never come out from under my bed sheets.

    Just whisk it off, and hold your head high. That’s all you can do.

  21. Julie Dewyer on April 10, 2014 at 11:13 am

    I met you at Equine Affaire in Pomona, Ca several years ago…I want to say 2009? as soon as I saw the video being posted with the deaf/mute bs, I IMMEDIATELY corrected the poster and reposted on my page in all caps saying it was bs. One would think that there are enough videos of you on you tube that people could easily find out the truth. **headdesk**

    Rock on girl! Glad I got to meet and chat with you, and meet Roxy. 🙂

  22. shelly born351@yahoo.com on April 10, 2014 at 11:10 am

    Stacy…you can’t fix stupid! Keep on being you…the Awesome person that you are! P.s….you really need to create t-shirts so we can show our love for you!!!!

  23. Joanne Pforter on April 10, 2014 at 11:04 am

    You are a wonderful person! and one that I admire greatly.
    I just saw that video last week and ignored it. I had seen you on the Ellen Degenerous show a few years ago, in the same video.

  24. Susan Fletcher on April 10, 2014 at 11:01 am

    Well..the way I see it is..if they are talking about you..you must be doing something right. I only met you once at a clinic but you seem like a person with morals and standards. Keep up the good work. I always tell my girls I teach to watch your videos and see what can be done.

  25. Marlene Seielstad on April 10, 2014 at 10:59 am

    Looking forward to seeing your amazing self at Equine Affaire tomorrow. Someone once told me, that those who lie about another, are just jealous wanna be’s. I find that pretty easy to believe in your case. I know at least two young ladies that “wanna be” just like you when they grow up…and they ride ENGLISH!!! Keep on, keepin’ on!

  26. Dawn on April 10, 2014 at 10:59 am

    Stacy, don’t forget that you would never have heard from people like Kathy had it not been for the person posting the erroneous info. Keep up the good work. Hello to Jesse. Dawn

  27. christiancowgirlpoetry on April 10, 2014 at 10:58 am

    Stacy, I’m no fashionista, but I live by one of my now-favorite quotes by Tim Gunn of “Project Runway” fame: “I cannot control how I am perceived. I can only control how I am presented.” Be secure in the truth of who you are (and Whose you are) and trust that the rest will work itself out. Not trivializing, I know it hurts. But by letting people who spread gossip and lies rent space in your head and heart (for free!), you also limit space for the next good that God is waiting to give you! Hang tough, Stacy! You’re awesome.

  28. Kitty on April 10, 2014 at 10:53 am

    Please don’t let those people get to you. I’ve been following you ever since I saw the deaf/mute video and your awesome ride. I know how you really care for the horses and how good you are-it’s so obvious to almost everyone who watches and listens to you. You’ve been through a lot in the last few years and please don’t let it get you down. I always wanted to do what you’re doing, but I never got the chance or had the support from my family to be able to do it. Hang in there and keep up the good work. 🙂

  29. Joyce Pickering on April 10, 2014 at 10:52 am

    Stacy, don’t let negative people hurt you. They are just jealous. You have helped me so much. You helped me through the loss of my beloved horse. You also helped me learn how to wait for the horse to understand. That was one of the things I was lacking in my training. I rushed onto the next task before I let them think and learn. I am 70 years old and am still learning. Your blogs have been so helpful. Thank you so much.

  30. Holly on April 10, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Someone that shows up in my news feed had posted that ride with a whole story about how the rider was a deaf-mute and what a miraculous thing it was that “she” was able to do what was done with the horse and how it was a great example of God’s glory and all along that line. I, of course, commented on my friends post that the video was not of some unnamed deaf-mute miracle woman, that it was a video of you and you are certainly not a deaf-mute.

    I think that the video that they shared was on of those where someone took a video they liked and changed the backstory to make it “more inspirational”…. or, i’m sad to say, added the bogus back story to garner more shares and likes (of course it had the obligatory “share if God is good!!”) line attached to it.

    While i’m not disagreeing that God is, indeed, good or that he has wrought miracles in this world, it drives me absolutely bonkers to see people use that to garner shares and likes of a video that isn’t even theirs to begin with. To me it completely cheapens what He is and what He does in the lives of many. Not to mention the complete and utter disregard for the truth shown by those who share this stuff all over the place.

    As if what you do and your connection with the horses isn’t amazing enough without the lie of you being a deaf-mute. The first time I saw your ride that was dedicated to your dad, and set to “live like you were dying” I was moved to tears. Sad tears. Triumphant, stand-up-and-cheer-tears. Happy tears to see something so beautiful and a connection between horse and rider that was so amazing. Keep doing what you do and ignore the idiots that spew such hogwash. I think it’s safe to say the majority of people who don’t have their heads stuck in the sand and pay ANY attention to the world around them either recognize the lies for what they are right off the bat, or they soon find out. Some people are just trolls and can’t help themselves.

    Hope you have a wonderful day.

  31. Betty Maloy on April 10, 2014 at 10:43 am

    Stacey, I think you are great! I love watching you please do not give up on us because some people are stupid and jealous.

  32. christy wood on April 10, 2014 at 10:40 am

    Girl, do not let other ignorant people get you down! Keep doing what you are doing, and when people really do want the truth, they will come to you for it!! You have helped millions in spite of the lies created. DO NOT stop doing what you are doing!!!

  33. J. Bauer on April 10, 2014 at 10:38 am

    I had a friend post that deaf/ mute video and I asked her why she posted something with false info. She said because she loved the video, so I sent her the link to the correct video.

  34. william on April 10, 2014 at 10:31 am

    I was at the Rode to the Horse that Stacy won and she did not have to watch anyone else to win,.

  35. bobbii on April 10, 2014 at 10:28 am

    The sad thing to remember is the people who perpetrate those lies have very small lives. If we were to meet and talk with them I’m sure we would leave with other lies as well. Sad…But on to other brighter subjects, you are a bright star and have brought lots of joy to those of us who don’t have horses, but carry a love for them. Thank you for that,
    Bobbi

  36. Annette Pellens on April 10, 2014 at 10:25 am

    Stacy…. People who truly realize the magnitude of what you have accomplished and know anything about horses (your peers) look up to you and admire all that you have done and continue to do. My wise brother once told me “The Best Revenge is Living Well”… so for the people who love gossip and turmoil and speak untruths, that statement is kryptonite. You are doing an amazing job.. I joke around saying ‘when I grow up, I want to be Stacy Westfall”…. in all truth I would just love to hang out and learn a bunch !!! Keep living well and being a great example of a true horse lover!

  37. Kelly Coveney on April 10, 2014 at 10:25 am

    Stacy, one thing I have always lived by is ~ Believe nothing you hear and only half of what you see. People will always attempt to set you up to fail. Maybe because they are trying to build themselves up..who knows. I personally have made myself a “program” out of your Jac videos and I can’t tell you how successful I have been. I have a coming 2 year old warmblood. This is my first attempt at “training”. I watch 1 video for seven days straight, implement it until i have success, and on to the next video. She is turning out to be quite the nice “little” mare. This means that I would personally miss you VERY much on the internet. Your true fans will never believe the rumors and nasties. Please stick with us.

  38. Sabine Roach on April 10, 2014 at 10:21 am

    Stacy, go hug a horse, inhale the wonderful smell of horse sweat, then breathe in the leather while you’re tacking up, and head on out on a trail. Then let the fresh spring air blow throught the horse’s mane (then yours LOL), and leave the stupid and ignorant behind. As they say: ya just can’t fix stupid and the ignorant are living in bliss, so why shouldn’t you? It’s upsetting to have to find out the hurtful things some nitwits spread, but they have nothing better to do. They’re just jealous because you get to LIVE the dream they never even dared to have!
    Ride on, Lady!! You’re awesome 🙂 too awesome to worry about the “haters”…
    Have a fantabulous day,
    Sabine (who’s now going out to enjoy spring weather, do chores, then share the spring morning with my grandson and the furbabies!)

  39. GimmeADream on April 10, 2014 at 10:19 am

    There will always be people who create sensational stories based on what they know to be lies. And there will always be people who (unwittingly) spread those stories. But nothing they do or say can hurt you, unless you allow it to. (this is my advice to myself, lol.)

    In fact, mostly they bring attention to what you are doing. You see, I first heard of you, Stacy through that deaf/mute video, so I went to Youtube to find more about you. And I’m not the only one who sought out more info based on a lie. Now I want more from you and I’m willing to pay for it.

    So you see, the lies and untruths aren’t really hurting you and won’t hurt you unless you allow the lies to upset and stress you out. It is your choice. Keep answering questions truthfully and faithfully and those who can help you will be attracted to what you’re doing.

    In my opinion!

  40. Nikki Schleppe on April 10, 2014 at 10:16 am

    So True! Think of all the hearts you have touched with the things you do and all the horses who will benefit from sharing your knowledge. We need to always look at the positive in life internet or not. You bring joy to horse lovers everywhere!

  41. Candy Sanders on April 10, 2014 at 10:14 am

    The best price of advice I have ever heard on this topic comes from Joyce Meyer. “What other people think of you is none of your business.” When someone seeks truth then clarify it for them otherwise just let it go. Some people just seek to spread lies. Keep smiling and doing your thing!

  42. Krehkopf on April 10, 2014 at 10:11 am

    Thank you so much for not letting rude people stop you. You have helped me in so many ways!! You have opened my eyes to the questions my horses are asking and have given me keys to have a better relationship with them.
    Thank you SO much!

  43. cindy wygant on April 10, 2014 at 10:11 am

    Stacy; Every once in a while I get a video passed on to me showing your wonderful ride with Roxy and along with it is the “Deaf Mute” thing. I am very quick to comment that this is NOT true and to please go to your web page or U-Tube where they can clearly see that you are most certainly NOT deaf/mute. Even my daughter mentioned this to me once because she had heard it somewhere and I had to set her straight.
    You are an amazing lady and I wish I could ride a horse half as good as you can.

  44. Molly Voth on April 10, 2014 at 10:10 am

    Stacy,
    I watched the video that spread that you were deaf/mute and believed it. I was taking a Public Speaking course at Wichita State University (Go Shox!), when I decided to give a speach on your life, so I dug around online and to my suprise I found out that the tagline of the video was a blatant lie. So, then my speech also included that you in fact can hear and speak, it’s a crazy world we live in. Anyhow just wanted to say that I really enjoy your blogs and the stories about your horses! You’re awesome, keep on keepin on!

    -Molly, WSU Senior

    • Molly Voth on April 10, 2014 at 10:13 am

      *speech

  45. Michelle Justice on April 10, 2014 at 10:06 am

    I have been tagged in that video from friends and always post that the deaf mute part is incorrect, I actually thought it was true at one time until I seen you on the show Ellen, then was like hmm that can’t be right, as I see folks post that video I will try to always let them know. Otherwise no matter what folks make up about you, U are who u are inside and know the truth, which from where Im sitting you’re a very talented, blessed person and rider..happy trails and thanx for sharing all your knowledge!

  46. Sue Smith Chapman on April 10, 2014 at 10:04 am

    Stacy….anyone who even remotely knows you will know this crap is written by someone who hasn’t a clue and is just trying to start some s–t!! You have a huge following who believe in you and support you!! You are the most “down to earth” and easy to understand trainer I know of!!!! LOVE your videos!!!!

  47. Sandy Boone on April 10, 2014 at 10:03 am

    We love you Stacy. I know you are not Blind or Deaf so I correct posts when ever I see them. Saw one on Pinterest the other day. Corrected it and reposted it. It’s sad how a rumor can start and is repeated over and over on the internet. I am sorry to see Teens go through this form of bulling too. One of my favorite quotes: “Live in such a way that if anyone should speak badly of you, no one would believe it.” I think you do this and are a great roll model for my girls. Thank you.

  48. Liana Hickey on April 10, 2014 at 10:03 am

    Having met you at Five Star Ranch in Campbellville Ontario – I can attest to the fact that you are not deaf or mute! LOL You stuck me on the end of a lunge line, and in front of an audience, proceeded to “train” me! LOL I HEARD every word YOU said & I know YOU HEARD all the laughter from the audience!! Thank you for everything you do!

  49. Sara McNeil on April 10, 2014 at 10:02 am

    You just have to ignore the stupid, mean people who just can’t seem to say anything nice. I feel sorry for them. They are filled with so much unhappiness and jealousy that it just bubbles over in what they say. Please remember those of us who admire and respect what you are doing. Focus on the strong positive good wishes that are being sent your way!

    • MELINDA MULLINS on April 10, 2014 at 1:23 pm

      AMEN…GOD BLESS YOU DONT WORRY ABOUT RUMORS…….WE KNOW WHAT A TRUE COWGIRL IS………
      .YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL YOU DO!!!!!!

  50. bellamyland on April 10, 2014 at 10:02 am

    Good post, and hooray for Kathy…I too am a reader and try to look up stuff…you cannot believe everything that is posted on the internet. I knew immediately that the deaf/mute post was false because Ive seen you perform that routine live, and EVERYtime I see it make the rounds, I clarify the truth. Keep on keepin’ on…you’re an amazing talent!

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