Remembering Roxy

How I remember Roxy.
As a wobbly legged black foal that I said, “Oh, I bet she’ll be a grulla like her grandmother.”
As an insecure two year old that while I was riding her around our indoor, the young lady working for us at the time remarked, “Your crazy if you ride that mare outside.”
As a four year old when I chose the song, “A moment like this.” for our first freestyle because it so beautifully matched this mare.
As a five year old when I was practicing bareback and bridleless and I knew the song “Live Like Your Were Dyin” would be our next song.
And all the everyday things. The “diet hay” that we tried feeding her to keep her weight under control (she was an easy keeper who loved to eat:), the late nights, early mornings, photo shoots and lots of time spent hauling down the road. 
And the unusual things. The trail ride where my mom needed a horse so she rode Roxy (pretty safe choice). Trying to convince Ellen’s staff that Ellen should ride Roxy (pretty safe choice) and my joy when she did.
Thanks again Darrell Dodds for sharing this photo with me on Facebook (post info below photo). It was a wonderful walk down memory lane.

This is how I remember us…

My Facebook Post regarding this photo:
This caught me off guard.
I don’t know if this happens to you but…
FB changed the way my page shows up when I view it and posts by other people, on my page, disappeared. It was only yesterday when I figured out where they were all going so I scrolled down responding to comments that had been left. Including the following one from June.
As Darrell states below, I had never seen this photo before yesterday. That kind of surprise can really take your breath away. Its like seeing a new photo of an old friend years after their death, bittersweet.
I look like a total goof…but I am:)
And Roxy looks like she expects this behavior of me…because she did…
Thank you for sharing this with the world Darrell. Most remember Roxy for our bareback/bridleless ride…but I remember us like this.

22 Comments

  1. Lisa Dry on August 23, 2017 at 11:20 pm

    I’m a newcomer to your page … my first rodeo so to speak – digging your personable down to earth real world style and I find myself relaxing in your honesty. Cool. There’s so much I want to learn, so much I’ve yet to learn … my lack luster horsemanship resume’ consists of GODS Grace because IT always kept me safely mounted every time I wildy & mindlessly jumped in the saddle on some frivolous weekend ride with a bunch of rowdy friends ? I don’t deny still reveling in) In essence with all that aside there’s the lifelong dream for a gracious opportunity to develop “that” special bond with just 1 magnificent creature such as your Roxy. She is absolutely grand, Stacy. Your nature touches my Heart and I find myself more hopeful than ever before. Tysm for sharing it with me … with us … with the world.

    Sincerely,
    a hopeful & aspiring student,
    Lisa

    • Stacy Westfall on August 24, 2017 at 8:07 am

      Sounds well balanced to me! You’re seeking both the mindless and the mindful.
      I love mindlessly jumping into the saddle and running off with friends…which reminds me that my college buddy hasn’t shown up yet this year to run the trails with me (and by run, I mean run on horseback wherever it is safe:)
      The mindful riding that results in taking yourself and your horse to the highest level possible is also rewarding…just a heck of a lot more work!
      Thanks for joining me here. If it can inspire you a tiny bit then I am thankful.
      Ride with Faith,
      Stacy Westfall

  2. Amy C. on August 23, 2017 at 10:26 pm

    Hi Stacy,
    I won’t lie, I cried while reading this blog post. Mostly because I have always followed your training post, blogs, videos, because I admired the partnership you have with your horses. The moment I saw the “live like you were dyin'” freestyle, my whole perspective on horses changed. I realized that they can be some much more than just 1000lb creatures we sit on, they could be loyal, willing partners. You see, when I started with horses I was told something along the lines of, “they can never be trusted, because they will always be looking for a way to hurt you and get away from you”
    Then I saw the video of you and Roxy and I knew that those words were only true in some cases (very rare cases).
    You guys inspired me to go try new things with horses. Now I’m trying things like mounted archery and bridles riding.
    So, thank you for going out and showing everyone the truth about how amazing horses and riders can work as a team. Also thank you for posting this; I enjoyed my own little trip down memory lane aswell.

    • Stacy Westfall on August 23, 2017 at 10:32 pm

      This is why I love blogging…its a conversation that benefits both of us. Thank you so much for your words…they remind me that I have something to offer…because there are days (or maybe the last year…) when it seems easier to hide on a horse and not risk the internet trolls. On those days I need to come read comments like yours. Thank you:)

      • Claire Dupuis on August 24, 2017 at 3:00 am

        Stacy I can not believe than one the reasons you disappeared online would be for fear of negative feedback (“internet trolls”). That is just insane. You have a *huge* and very faithful following. I’m a total amateur, backyard owner etc, but at the same time I keep myself pretty well darn informed on everybody and what they do in the horse world, both horsemanship and reining industry. You are the one person that comes to my mind (along with your husband, of course) who has managed to be both super successful, and true to the horse, and themselves. There are more successful trainers/internet gurus out there, but I wouldn’t want to make a surprise visit at their barn when they’re riding. OTOH, I would LOVE to visit you and see you ride, because I’m sure what I would see would be in benefit of the horse, period. You also have kept a superbly modest approach to your celebrity, you’re the only horseworld big star that I’ve “chatted” with (through questions/comments and answers) online. So I’ll sum it up again for you : you’re immensely gifted, you’re real, you are true to your beliefs in horsemanship and life in general. So don’t even worry about any negative feedback you’d ever get (I still can’t fathom that you would) and please grace us with your kindness again.

        • Stacy Westfall on August 24, 2017 at 8:01 am

          My friends have, from time to time, implied that I may be insane (insert thoughtful emoji here). All kidding aside, it is a double edged sword both with horses and with people if you really care. It leaves you open and vulnerable. I was told early on that I would need thicker skin if I was going to do all of this…but I’m a woman and I don’t want think skin (I really need an emoji keyboard on here…this one would be laughing).
          There is a blog stuck inside me about ‘staying true to yourself’ etc, etc and the total combo played a part in my disappearance. In hind sight I probably could have taken a weekend or two off, or maybe a week here or there, instead of going straight out for so long and then stopping for two long (I think that’s another blog too:)
          I do have an amazing group of people that contribute to my pages. The nice thing is that although I ‘forgot’ some of the upsides when I got too overwhelmed, it is now very apparent to me how much I missed talking with you guys! Thanks for writing! Oh, your blog looks great by the way. I love the photo with ‘notice my kid goofing around in the background’, I have a few of those myself, lol!

  3. Stephanie swope on August 23, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    Hey Stacy,
    Long time no talk! Another walk down memory lane…. cutting me dressed up in a dairy cow costume!! I still have pictures. I tried to find the good one from photographer but can’t. As soon as i do though i can post it somewhere or something for you.

    • Stacy Westfall on August 23, 2017 at 1:24 pm

      LOL! I bet I can find a few…somewhere! That’s too funny. I’m going to have to dig around in boxes after it snows (and I stop trail riding or at least slow down) and do a whole series of flashback photos…some will involve you!!!
      Everything else going well?

      • Stephanie swope on August 23, 2017 at 5:38 pm

        Yes things are great. Will be getting my 5th mustang in sept for the mustang magic. Pretty excited for that. Email me if you get a chance. It would be great to catch up with you and have a chat especially about trail riding. I trail ride a lot now and do those obstacle courses. I love it!

      • Stephanie swope on August 23, 2017 at 5:43 pm

        Things are great. Im about to get my 5th mustang for the mustang magic in ft worth. I do a lot of trail riding now as well as trail obstacle courses. E-mail me so we can catch up and chat sometime

  4. Helen Gordon on August 23, 2017 at 9:51 am

    Thank you for sharing. Loved your video with Roxy so much.

  5. Terri Anderson on August 23, 2017 at 9:19 am

    Love this blog! Your famous ride with Roxy rekindled my horse passion at just the right time in my life! And was so lucky to get to attend your clinic in CO! My horse journey is new and fresh everyday! After some soundness issues with my reining horse, I did studies of biomechanics of movement and became certified in equine massage and laser therapy. My interest there was sparked at your clinic when you stressed the body language signals of the horse? I am enjoying trail riding with my friends and still dabbling in reining and my horse hotel is keeping me very busy. I, too , am very blessed ☺️ Please keep blogging and sending those weekly emails love them!!

    • Stacy Westfall on August 23, 2017 at 11:27 am

      Thanks for the update on yourself! I love hearing your journey:)
      I’ve been trail riding all my reiners, including my 2 yr olds, and I’m completely impressed at how much it helps maintain and enhance their natural movement. Our trails are mostly up or down so they really have to engage. I always said it helped but I didn’t have this much access to trails. Have you noticed a difference in the ‘show horses’ vs the ‘trail horses’ when you are massaging?
      ….my turn to learn from you:)

  6. Shelly on August 23, 2017 at 8:20 am

    Thanks for letting us go down memory lane with you and Roxy. That’s when I started following you, buying your training books etc. – after I saw your beautiful connection with her.You two were one of a kind!

  7. Name *MILENE NERY SANTANA on August 23, 2017 at 8:07 am

    Lembranças… algo que ninguém pode nos tirar!!! Fiquei imensamente feliz que você me respondeu anteriormente, mesmo estando tão longe, mesmo sem falar inglês, seria um sonho te conhecer, passar pelo menos um dia ao seu lado. Graças ao Google tradutor posso chegar um pouquinho perto do seu mundo… Pode ter certeza que essa será um lembrança boa na minha vida!!

    • Stacy Westfall on August 23, 2017 at 11:29 am

      Yes, the internet (and google translate) does make the world a little easier to travel!

  8. Laura Hastert on August 23, 2017 at 12:37 am

    Hi Stacy
    MY FRIEND Lori and I saw you ate Madison WI horse fair in 2016, then by chance was on the same flight to PAWS up ranch in Montana. We also trail rode with you and spent a couple of days there. Like all of us out there, LOVE you and Roxy in the freestyle. You shared some of that story with Lori and I on our trail ride in Montana. Still touches my heart. The love you have and care for horses and people is so true. God bless you and Roxy and her in your heart.
    till our trails meet again.. God bless you, your family, horses and all our animals.
    Laura

    • Stacy Westfall on August 23, 2017 at 8:01 am

      I have been blessed beyond what I deserve. I remember, it was funny that I saw you in both places! PAWS up was so beautiful…I wish I hadn’t been so sick. I ended up on two rounds of antibiotics and unable to even walk into the barn for 2 months…I run myself into the ground like that about every other year…you’d think I’d catch on…plus as I age I don’t recover quite as quickly!
      I hope I see you down the road. You guys are adventurous…maybe you’ll come trail ride down here!

  9. Wendy Sibley on August 23, 2017 at 12:16 am

    Thank you for sharing your memories of Roxy. I will never forget watching your ride. A forever, beautiful memory that holds my heart.

  10. Cindi on August 22, 2017 at 10:39 pm

    I just want you to know how special the two of you are. You touched so many people, even those who are not in the horse world. To this day, I still cry when I see the video of you two Without saddle or bridle. Thank you for showing us how wonderful the connection between human and horse can be.

  11. Frances Miles on August 22, 2017 at 10:12 pm

    Wonderful memories for you…and I watched that routine a hundred times, we only knew her from those videos. Wonderful photos of the both of you…

  12. Vickye on August 22, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    Both of y’all a one one a kind

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