Ready, Set, Goal!

January 1, 2021.

A new chapter in the book.

A moment to pause and consider…what would I like to title this chapter?

What will the story line be?

While it’s true we don’t have full control of the circumstances that occur…

we can learn to control our response.

And it turns out that when we learn how to manage our thoughts, to change our reactions into responses…we are then able to hand this gift on to our horses as well.

And now the really big question; paper or computer?

Where did you write your goals? I do both. I love free writing in a journal and then organizing on the computer. To hear more about goal setting, check out my podcasts on goals:

Episode 111: 3 reasons you’re afraid to set big goals with your horse

Episode 7: Setting SMART Goals With Your Horse In 2019 (spoiler alert: same advice works in 2021)


  1. Gina Humes on January 4, 2021 at 5:58 pm

    Hi Stacy,

    I’ve come across your podcast recently and have been listening to it on my way to the barn! I love it!

    My goal for 2021 is to get back on my 18 y/o QH. He had surgery on his stifle in October to remove a few bone fragments. Thankfully, he’s recovering well!

    As we near the end of his recovery, we are going to get him back into work. But my question to you is, what is the best way to bring a horse that I have been told has “holes in his training/foundation” back into a safe routine? I’ve owned him for 13 years and he still has moments of being very reactive. A few of his biggest issues are not handling other horses in the arena with him (he acts like they are going to run into him and he jumps out of the way – even when they are at a safe distance) and there have been a few times on his very reactive days that he’s spooked into me as I dismount, due to him spooking at my right leg swinging over his back.

    He’s a tough one, because 90% of the time he’s your typical QH and is generally lazy. But when he becomes reactive, it’s almost dangerous. Prior to his surgery, I did very little work with him….so he’s been out of steady work for about a year.

    I’d love some tips/tricks. Or maybe a podcast on the subject!

    Thanks so much!

  2. Martina Brown on January 1, 2021 at 12:54 pm

    Hi Stacy and Happy New Year! So this last year has been a little crazy. My friend Randi sold me her home and 10 acres. I just moved in 4 weeks ago. So I am finally settling in. My question to you is are you still working on a lead change class? You know I have been wanting to teach Hildy how to do a flying lead change. My other goal is to continue to advance in liberty with Hildy as well. Wishing you an awesome 2021!!! Congrats on all your accomplishments last year in Western Dressage!

    • Stacy Westfall on January 1, 2021 at 8:24 pm

      Yes! I WILL be releasing the Lead Change course in the first quarter of this year. I’ve even got a good portion of it recorded already! Now for the editing and structuring.
      I’ll release it first to a Beta group for feedback…I’ll make sure you get a notification about that!

      • Martina Brown on January 1, 2021 at 9:33 pm

        Oh that is great news. Looking forward to it. If I make this happen I will be so amazed. I know it is a challenging goal but I am looking forward to giving it a try!!! It just seems so difficult.

        • Stacy Westfall on January 3, 2021 at 1:30 pm

          Difficult is good…think of all the learning opportunities!

          • Martina Brown on January 5, 2021 at 12:10 am

            So do you think this can be done during my summer break? So last year I finally loped the 4-leaf clover pattern, this year–FLYING LEAD CHANGE–YIKES. I was so persistent last year to finally lope that pattern. I kept hearing you say–they will start to learn the pattern and prepare themselves. It just kept getting better and better. Your encouragement/podcast is what keeps me focused. I cannot wait to start learning. I am hoping we have a nice spring so I can get started early.

          • Stacy Westfall on January 7, 2021 at 10:24 am

            There’s only one way to answer that question…to try it!
            Good news: either you’ll succeed or you’ll learn what you need to do to succeed!

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No one taught you the skills you need to work through these things.

Riders often encounter self-doubt, fear, anxiety, frustration, and other challenging emotions at the barn. The emotions coursing through your body can add clarity, or can make your cues indistinguishable for your horse.

Learning these skills and begin communicating clearly with your horse.

Click here to learn more.



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