Stacy Westfall Deaf & Mute?

Deaf Mute Girl riding horse

Have you seen this false claim about Stacy Westfall being a deaf mute who trained her horse in three weeks?

Have you seen the following email?

“A GENTLE TOUCH CAN HAVE!” A Horse Whisperer Hard not to get a bit emotional while watching! (read story below before watching) This girl is a deaf mute … she can’t hear, nor can she speak. No bridle, no saddle … all commands are by touch only. This is one of those, “I wouldn’t believe it unless I saw it with my own eyes” kind of things. A Horse Whisperer This girl riding the horse is in her 20’s – her father passed away just 24 days before this performance. You can hear her dedication to him just before her performance so turn up your speakers a bit. Notice that it is just the girl and the horse – no bit, no saddle. She uses signals and touch cues, she’s mute. Oh yes, this isn’t even her horse. She is training it for someone else, although she obviously has a relationship with this one.”

Although some of it is true, my dad had just passed away and I had no saddle or bridle…some of it is untrue.

I WISH I was in my 20’s…can we make that part come true? lol

And I am NOT deaf (I can ignore the kids sometimes) and I am not mute (my husband might wish it).

This reminds me of a book we have for the kids, “Mr. Peabody’s Apples” by Madonna…yes, Madonna.

It is a great book about spreading things you think are true. “Spoiler Warning” In the book the boy (Tommy) here on the cover has told something he thought was true…but was not about Mr. Peabody. Mr. Peabody tells him to keep compare Cialis and Kamagra drugs Tommy is then instructed to cut the pillow and shake it out into the very windy day. Relieved Tommy asks if that is all it takes to make things better and Mr. Peabody says, “Just one more thing…go pick up all the feathers.”

I am just thankful that this ‘deaf-mute’ thing is mostly harmless (mute dvd sales….). This serves as my reminder that you just can’t trust EVERYTHING you read on the internet. Please go to the source and check.


  1. Brian on August 24, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    Additional embellishment has also been added that you had only been riding the horse for three weeks?

  2. Eunice Amdahl on August 17, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    It is stil making the rounds on facebook.

  3. Anna on August 10, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    I love this video Stacy. Anytime I need a pick-me-up I watch it. It is so inspirational. I would love for my horses to be as responsive as Roxy. So sorry she passed.

  4. Joyce Carlson on July 30, 2013 at 5:26 am

    Obviously you were not deaf/mute… you are speaking and listening to the people around you at the very beginning of the video. I also appears you are speaking to your horse during the performance. The other trigger that alerted me that this was a rumor, how can you have not written the horse in THREE WEEKS, yet you only been training the horse for TWENTY DAYS. Hmmmm. Regardless… it WAS as AWESOME and heartfelt performance!!

  5. Kimberly on June 29, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    Hi Stacey! Must be rotten to be incorrecsotly portrayed as deaf or mute, but really, good grief, PLEASE make some training videos!! You are amazing! I’m sorry you lost your Dad and I also love that song! I lost my only child, my son,Jesse, so I feel that I need to truely live for both of us now, and I feel most alive when on my horses, as I’m sure you do as well…Thanks for this video,!!! Like alot of the comments, it brought me to tears!

  6. on June 22, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    I knew you weren’t but yes the rumor goes on!

  7. Nancy on April 26, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    Love your run, cry every time. I knew the deaf mute was wrong cause I saw you at equine affaire, did a clinic on bowing, and my horse now bows, thank you very much!
    I like your method much better than the old carrot between the legs.

  8. Sherry on April 20, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    I fell in love with horses all over again when I saw this video, you are a special lady. Thank you for what you do.

  9. Jacqueline Parks on April 19, 2013 at 8:15 am

    Either way your video is inspiring. What gain would there be to make up such a story? I am confused. I did cry when I watched you, but knowing now somebody made up the story is pathetic.

  10. christine horn on April 15, 2013 at 9:03 am

    The story did not detract at all from the ride…it was amazing and a pleasure to watch. You have a true gift…

  11. […] Click here to see the video. This link is to her blog and tells her response to the false claims.  Very interesting.  Hope this makes you think about the info you read online next time before you believe it first. […]

  12. […] Her name is Stacy Westfall. She's a professional trainer and she is neither deaf nor mute. Stacy Westfall Deaf & Mute? | Stacy Westfall Horseblog […]

  13. Amanda M on February 1, 2013 at 3:11 am

    Hey Stacey, this is a posting from a local spa in Kelowna, BC Canada. I am a little upset to see that they are advertising this in their “adored friends” section on their website. Even the championship location is incorrect. states that you are deaf, a mute, and that it was done in Popkum BC. Rediculous…

  14. ChyPacas on January 31, 2013 at 6:45 am

    Reblogged this on ChyPacas and commented:
    Despite riding as a kid I’ve always been scared of riding horses. My sister rode and we had a beautiful arab as kids. But I rode him age 4 (we were both 4 as he was born weeks before me). The first person to ride him. Watching this I want to overcome my fear through love and gentleness. Thanks Stacey this is amazing.

  15. Jaime on December 24, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    I too have defended Stacy to several people too that are circulating this video. I had to snicker as you can clearly see her talking to someone outside the gate. LOL REALLY people? I even kindly told someone just tonight that she is indeed not deaf and not mute and that she had been riding this horse for years…only to make the person angry. :/ Regardless, Stacy…I think you are amazing!!!!

  16. Facebook trends...Stacy Westfall deaf and mute? on December 24, 2012 at 11:41 am

    […] […]

  17. Debbie Davies on December 17, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Hello Stacy, i found this on facebook, i hope it helps

  18. Debbie Davies on December 17, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    Donna Artechi Perry
    November 24
    Nov 24, 2012 4:17pm
    Girl on Horseback

    A deaf-mute girl on a horse that she has ridden for only THREE weeks!!, not to mention the song she picked out to dedicate to her deceased father! Listen to the announcer’s voice crack! The horse she is riding is not even hers; she is training it for a client and has had it only 20 days at the time of the ride shown here. Note that she rides without a saddle or halter and bit and (obviously) without voice commands. She is using the method used by North American Indians. When you think your voice can’t be heard I want each of you to watch this Video. She has no voice. She cannot hear. Yet she has persevered and achieved! Thought you all would enjoy this — with Casey LynnCampbell, Brian Coghill, Lisa Santa Cruz and Jessica Santa Cruz.

    6 people like this.
    N 482,373 shares

  19. Kathy Hutchison on December 13, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    You wanted to know if someone had the link to the latest lie on Fb… I don’t know if this is what your looking for but here is a copy of the link: I hope this helps you…!/photo.php?v=10151247520933901&set=vb.636868900&type=2&theater

  20. Kirsty on December 12, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    Never mind deaf and mute, are you all blind? Can’t you see what the horse is telling you in this video? The constant licking, signifying continual submission, the ears back, and the tail switching, all show how unhappy and anxious this horse is. Certainly, she’s well trained and obedient, but from what I see here, it is not a bond of trust.

    • Stacy on December 18, 2012 at 3:21 pm

      What does a happy horse look like?

      • Tami on August 8, 2013 at 6:02 am

        Wow Kirsty came full force out of negative left field huh? Jealousy was definitely what NOT what you inspired in me when I saw the video. Maybe she has never ridden a horse? I don’t see how she could have mistaken that display for anything but mutual respect and love being in the spotlight. I just watched another friend who had video taped a horse actually swinging his head and moving his mouth as if singing “dancing” to a popular song on the radio. No one was riding or showing him. He was in his stall, eyes netted(for flies–etc) just going with the beat. Seemed as if this horse too enjoyed the music and the show…I recently found out that my grandma was from the Nez Perce Indian tribe. I didn’t find out until I was in my 30’s but this confirmed my love of horses and you your show just inspired my longing to own and ride some day. Your are inspirational.

    • Robin J. on December 23, 2012 at 12:57 am

      Okay, so are you telling me you can ride your horse in a an arena surrounded by people and noise without a saddle and bridle? The only way that can happen is if you and your horse are partners, members of the same “herd” so to speak and the horse wants to be with you and follow you! That takes volumes of trust! Something that takes time and compassion, not cruelty. I am a veterinarian and I have seen people who are impatient only add more contraptions – tie-downs, harsher bits, etc. to get a horse to do something where a little more training and knowledge of a horse’s natural behavior could produce better results. A horse without a saddle or bridle is only listening to the body language of the rider. She could easily spook and run away, but she does not! Why? I think you could learn a lot from Stacy. Instead of judging her, educate yourself.

    • Nancy on April 26, 2013 at 4:11 pm

      A lot of times ears back signifies the horse listening to the rider.

    • Valerie Netto on July 3, 2013 at 10:08 am

      That was an odd comment. One of those “it’s what you learn after you know it all that counts” kind of moments.

    • Valerie Netto on July 3, 2013 at 10:10 am

      That was an odd comment. One of those “it’s what you learn after you know it all that counts” kind of moments.

    • Anna on August 10, 2013 at 1:02 pm

      I see very clearly what the horse is telling me in the video. The ears back are listening to Stacy’s requests. I say requests and not commands because the mare is showng she is willing with the licking and chewing. Please read up on horse body language before being critical. It’s obvious you are not well informed about horses.

  21. BigMike on December 12, 2012 at 8:44 am

    I just saw the (false) FB post and was amazed by your riding and saw the Westfall Horsemanship banner and came to your web site. My wife has been riding for the past 9 years or so and has an Irish Sport-horse. I posted the video on her FB page directly from Youtube without all of the false information. Hopefully that will take off and be shared without the misinformation. Also, I did comment on the original (false) FB post correcting it. Keep up the great work!

  22. Elizabeth on December 11, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    I’m sorry the story that was told with your video had lies attached to it. I was still brought to tears while watching it. I know your daddy is proud of you. May God bless you and your family in this Christmas season.

  23. dawn mcleod on December 10, 2012 at 8:59 am
  24. Mieke on December 9, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    Dear Stacy, the crazy caption also appeared in Dutch, just saw that on Facebook today. I sent the author of that caption a message to point out his information was incorrect, with a link to you on Wikipedia. 😉 How I knew? I saved this video years ago on my YouTube playlist “Amazing Horse Video’s”, and just can’t stop watching it. 🙂 Keep doing what you are doing!

  25. SQ on December 9, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    I watched this on my phone so didn’t even read the details (deaf etc). I was bawling even without that stuff!!

  26. Ron on December 8, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    Stacy, for being a deaf mute you sure can talk up a storm during your clinics…….lol

    • Stacy on December 18, 2012 at 3:25 pm

      REALLY good voice over team…that is the trick, lol

  27. Diana McDargh on December 8, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    I have no respect for someone who would create such lies. People are searching for heartfelt truths in a world full of pain and lies as it is, and this is a big let down. You should be ashamed of yourself. Just running the video with the truth would have been beautiful as you do have a way with the horse. But the lies took it all away.

  28. Brenda on December 7, 2012 at 9:00 pm

    Stacy We all just got around to seeing but I have to admit you would so be able to teach this method to the deaf and or mute for sure… I wish you all the best and we all need mentors in our lives and your Father would be so proud of you…. May he smile down on you from time to time. Bless your heart for showing the rest of us you’ll never know unless you try…

  29. Tasha on December 7, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    I have JUST watched that video and I made sure I checked, because I wasn’t quite sure and I didn’t want to spread false info around.

  30. Peter on December 7, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    Stacy, well I am mute, not deaf, but I can’t speak. I also loved to ride and I could tell from the video that you and your horse were “talking”. A friend sent me the video believing the “deaf and mute” angle. I still appreciate their intentions, but wanted to clear things up. Anyway, real nice ride! Wish I could’ve seen it. Be well

  31. Angela Marshall on December 7, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    I very much enjoyed the video, and I have never seen you ride before! After the video it gave a link to your page. I checked it out and in seconds found out the words may not be true, but it doesnt make anything less amazing. On your page there were comments about how stressed the horse was because it was licking and chewing….. I couldnt stop laughing at them. I saw that some comments had been hurtful, and sorry you are dealing with it all. Just remember the accomplishments and that they can only be jealous!!!

  32. Pauline on December 7, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    Thanks for the clarification! I am guilty of sharing this inaccuracy on Facebook and had the correction pointed out by a friend. Wonderful video anyway, I was absolutely riveted, and shame on anyone who interprets it as cruelty to the horse. There is clearly a wonderful and subtle communication there and the horse is working willingly and with pleasure too I think.

  33. Sandra J Yanez on December 7, 2012 at 7:04 am

    This false story still going around, was just posted in my Facebook, I posted your story telling the through, thanks for this page, I still find you amazing…..

  34. Crissy Georgelas on December 6, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    Regardless, You are one of the most amazing people I know. What you did with that horse was beautiful. Thank you both!!!

  35. Karen Campbell on December 6, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    maybe Stacy can contact facebook about it, here is a link to the original post with 437,654 shares.
    the people who start these things are only in it to get the shares/likes because they get paid for it

  36. Karyn on December 6, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    Absolutely an incredible obviously have a very special bond with your horse. Horses are beautiful & graceful animals to watch and your video was very heartwarming. Would love to see more videos &/or a movie with your talents.God Bless!

  37. Sammy on December 6, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    Who cares if you’re deaf/mute or not! Its still beautiful! I watched the video out of love for horses and the things they can do, no disrespect but it wasn’t to see a deaf/mute accomplish something “unheard of”. What you did with that horse just proves that are intelligent animals and boy was he pretty out there. People think they are just dumb animals but horses are smarter than people give them credit for. Kudos to you for having a heart of gold!! Horses can sense bad/good people and from the way you pet Roxy and patted her back just proves you have a huge heart.

  38. Maggie Hicks on December 6, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Stacy what a beautiful God given gift you were given plus your Father also had a large part in teaching you that gift. So sorry for your loss. My grandson is nonverbal,autistic, cerebral palsy, with a bunch of other health issues. He does Equine Therapy along with all his other therapies under one roof called Leg Up Farm in Mt Wolf PA. He started saying more words when he got on this one Mare named Dot that they say has a bond with the nonverbal children. He looks forward every Monday for his lesson with Miss Steph his instructor and his side walkers and lead person. He now says Dot, trot and he is tapping twice to go. He does say come on but not consistent and whoa but that too is not consistent. I go every Monday to watch. I cried the first time he said a word. To many ppl take things for granted in life. But it is amazing the bond a horse and a child like my grandson can have. Thanks for such a beautiful video. It was posted by a clients mom where he goes to therapy. Keep up your awesome work. God Bless
    Maggie Hicks

  39. Jerri White on December 6, 2012 at 11:23 am

    The video hit my Facebook this morning. I have several family members who are deaf, but before I sent it on to them, I googled you, and here I am! I admit I am a tad disappointed to know it was not accurate, but oh my, what a lovely horse and ride, and dedication. I cried. Partly due to the deaf connection, but mostly because the relationship shown between person and animal was just so touching. Congratulations on your abilities!!

  40. Anne Iben Lestern on December 6, 2012 at 10:21 am!/photo.php?v=10151247520933901
    This is the video I saw, it brought tears to my eyes, fantastic girl and horse.
    Many greetings from Greece <3

  41. Helen on December 6, 2012 at 1:33 am

    Gosh, what an incredible rider you are! While watching the – yes, emotional – video, I was thinking of how excellent a rider you must be, and that you must have core muscles of STEEL! Thanks for clarifying the story – and I love the Mr Peabody story – I might have to use that in the future myself.
    Happy hello’s and festive wishes from Cape Town, South Africa

  42. Ruth C Messare on December 5, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    Stacy, I saw that FB post on my news feed about you being a ” deaf mute”….it was your awesome ride on Roxy that was posted along with those comments. I can not remember who posted it,but at the time I thought “How STUPID ! ” and I was about to refute it too, I’m sorry I did not as I thought who ever sent it was rather ignorant , I’m so sorry this has happened. If I see it again I will refute it. Love & blessings to you and your family !

  43. morhpeous on December 5, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    Thank you for being you. it is so beautiful to experience your relationship with your horses. I went out with a woman for a while who had a similar relationship with her three horses. It gave a me a fresh perspective on horses as great teachers and reminder of what is really important in life;)

  44. Don fischer on December 5, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Deaf-mute of otherwise, that was just incredible!

  45. Barnmaven on December 5, 2012 at 10:11 am

    My father in law had posted that link on his facebook page. I responded, letting him know that it wasn’t all true. How sad that someone felt that they needed to embellish that video with a falsehood to make it seem more poignant. I’ve watched the video of that ride many times with a sense of amazement, grief and wonderment. No embellishment required.

  46. […] Also if you haven’t heard the news that the above is not true here is a blog post from over a year ago when I answered the question […]

  47. Susan Jordan on December 4, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    PS – Lots of folks in CA would love for you to visit but I don’t see anything on the website about coming out here. Let us know if you have any plans to be out here.

  48. Susan Jordan on December 4, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    I, too, love this video and watched it after having just come back from Mexico and riding a mustang that was simply amazing. I am not sure why folks feel they have to embellish it by describing you as deaf and mute, but I reposted just the video after I watched the Ellen show and saw that you are actually very capable of speaking and hearing. Still – very amazing. I am sorry you lost her but I know how lucky you were to have her in your life.

  49. Kim on December 2, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    Funny how things get started. I’m guessing that the first part of the video where you are using some hand signals was enough to get it started. It was an amazing video, deaf or not deaf, and you are an amazing rider and trainer.

  50. Ellen Rowes on December 2, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    I love the video, breathtaking whether you are deaf or not. However, I object to the term deaf-mute. I know you may not have written that. It is a very derogatory term. Deaf/deaf people prefer deaf or hard of hearing.

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