Stacy’s Video Diary: Jac- Episode 12-Read the body language from horse to horse

“Learn to read the body language from horse to horse, then apply that from horse to human.” -Stacy Westfall

The best place to practice reading a horses body language is by studying horses interacting with other horses.

This is one of my favorite episodes…I can’t watch it without laughing! Horses ‘say’ so much when you learn to read them. Keep in mind I am narrating this live from just out of camera view…and every once and awhile you will see Popcorn looking to me…asking me questions.

Look at how horses ask other horses questions! In just over one minute Jac struck Popcorn…just to ‘ask’ a question. Then Jac proceeds to nip and nip and nip repeatedly…no wonder he tried taste-testing me in Episode 9.

Isn’t it amazing that Popcorn tolerates as much biting as he does? Do you know why Popcorn does this? It is because Popcorn is saying that he is willing to have a conversation. Popcorn is willing to allow Jac to ask questions. Willing to hear what Jac has to say.

Having said that, I also state at 10:20, ‘If Popcorn follows his normal pattern, he will get more firm over the next few days…which is the same training that I try to do.” Again I am learning from the horses!

In the last segment ‘One month later’ keep in mind that Popcorn is in the back and Jac is in the front (sorry, iPhone video here). Watch as Popcorn nearly drops Jac to his knees by biting his neck/whithers! It is easy to see that Popcorn is being pretty clear and VERY firm with Jac, yet notice as they separate Jac is turning back towards Popcorn.

Popcorn is a great example of a leader. Willing to discipline firmly yet still respected. Learn from these great leaders.


  1. LINDA Wilkinson on December 11, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    Stacy, I am so glad I watched the episode of Jac & Popcorn! I have a 7 month-old filly that I’ve been introducing to the herd, and to watch the body language!! I had to laugh watching her first encounter with the gelding (the other 3 are mares)! As she was doing her “chomping”, to meet him, she lowered her shoulder and pushed into him!! Had I not watched your video, I would have not understood what she was saying to Rico!! Thank you, Stacy!! Press on teaching us!!

  2. Mandie on November 28, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    Please make Training Jac a DVD people can buy

    • Stacy on November 29, 2013 at 11:20 am

      Mandie, thank you for saying that! We are working on it!

  3. Anna Scantlan on November 28, 2013 at 3:15 am

    I just can’t get enough of these videos! I love them and feel like I’m learning SO MUCH about how to have a conversation with a horse. Thank you Stacy for doing these, they are so wonderful and fun.

    Have a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving.

  4. jfrench72 on November 27, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    So enjoying learning along with Jac. Great series! Thank you Stacy for sharing your knowledge so generously.

  5. Claudia Davids on November 27, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    I have a general question. What is jacs Birthdate and which month have you started the video diary. (To compare the behavior of my stallion to jacs.)

    • Stacy on December 4, 2013 at 1:03 pm

      Claudia-I keep forgetting to look at Jac’s papers for his birthdate. I think it was March or April of 2011. I started the videos (the date shows in Episode 1 at time code 1:51) on March 9, 2013.

  6. Bea on November 27, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    I am so impressed by how gentle Popcorn puts Jac into his place. My mares are way more radical …

  7. Mary on November 27, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    I think this is my favorite so far. How enlightening. Thanks for your commentary all the way through – you are really great at reading what’s happening. Having just put a new horse out with our herd (but not a stallion) I saw a little of this same behavior and can put it in context much better.

  8. Anne Hunter on November 27, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    I really enjoyed this episode. I have 3 geldings, all quarter horses – 16.1 24 yo 15.1 13yo 14.2 10 yo. They mostly get along but I see the “dominant” horse is currently changing. The 24 yo has always been the leader and reminds me very much of Popcorn. He is losing his ability to respond quick enough to the 10yo (who also happens to be the “newest” to the herd). The 24 yo and 13 yo are very best of buddies. I believe the 13 yo is defending the 24 yo. The 24 yo has been having bite marks on him and the 10 yo has some bite marks. (the 24 has no top teeth so he can’t remove hair) Do you think I am correct that the 13 is defending the 24? I’m not sure what to do to try to eliminate this behavior. I had grazing muzzles on them over the summer to prevent the biting, but now it is cold and they need to be able to eat hay. I have some new bite marks on the 24 and the 10. Do you think I should just let them work it out?

  9. Maria on November 27, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    Love Love Love this episode! Are there going to be one more episode this week (noticed the discussion on Facebook about 1 x 22 minutes or 2 x 11 minutes)? Can hardly wait to see the next one!

    • Stacy on November 27, 2013 at 8:36 pm

      One this week, one the next week and then I am looking at doing multiples if they are going to be long! Happy Thanksgiving!

      • Maria on November 27, 2013 at 10:05 pm

        Thanks for letting me know! Happy Thanksgiving!

  10. Melody Clark on November 27, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    So love all your videos I am learning more this way than I ever have. Thank you so much. I think Popcorn is a fabulous horse. One of my fav videos is him rolling in the mud. lol

  11. on November 27, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    What a joy it is to watch these two beautiful animals interact and play. Popcorn is a jewel.

  12. Ann on November 27, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    Love to watch Popcorn and Jac interact

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