Stacy’s Video Diary Jac-Episode 32-Using horse shows and trail rides as training.

The goal for Jac’s first horse show wasn’t to win a prize, the goal was to use the whole experience as a learning and training session.

The atmosphere is a lot of the training; many horses around, warm up pen, bathing, riding, preparing, walking into the pen alone, odd hours, etc.

Gathering information is key to predicting how a horse will handle future experiences. By making the first several trips to shows very low pressure the horse is more likely to have a positive experience.

Jac’s first class was a green horse class and the goal was to do the maneuvers correct with little or no degree of difficulty. Unfortunately, Jac broke gait (went from a lope to a trot) when slowing down from the large fast circle to the small slow circle. In the video I explain, “I’m going to blame that on me…I wasn’t helping him or guarding him…I was using the class to gather information. Had this been a show I was concerned about I would have helped him. Instead I learned Jac was very relaxed.”

The learning that takes place at a show is not only the horse. The rider also learns how to better prepare and show the horse.

I answer a question about my goals when taking a horse to a show or a trail ride for the first time; what types of things do you do to ensure a good experience for the horse.

I explain that many people ride their horses harder at a show or when they haul them somewhere than they do at home. When this happens the horse learns to expect hard work when they are hauled.

I ride my horses harder at home than I do at the shows so that the horse learns that traveling doesn’t require more work.


  1. […] At 6:00 you can hear the dialog between Stacy and Jesse as Jesse is riding Jac. The ‘break of gait’ is in reference to Stacy showing Jac in Episode 32. […]

  2. Martina Braden on April 17, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    Could you explain how you taught him to do flying lead changes and I always hear that in order to have a good stop you should do fencing with your horse. Did you do that with Jac to get that good stop?

  3. Mary on April 17, 2014 at 11:46 am

    Looks like both Westfalls are off to a good start with their “Legacies”. Way to go Stacy and Jac and Jesse and Lucy!!

  4. Luke Gingerich on April 16, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    Wonderful video Stacy, Jac is so amazing! Wish my gelding would have been that good at his first show…lol I see Jac is doing flying lead changes already, did you not have any videos of him learning that? I would LOVE to see him in the process of learning it, as I would like to get to that level at some point with my four year old gelding I’m training myself, but I’m a little unsure of how to get there…:/

  5. Janette on April 16, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    Another great video, thanks Stacy. The gate latch is very impressive also, I will be copying that one.

  6. Terri Anderson on April 16, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    Very nice! He was so nice and laid back:) This is such an important step…I do have a question….my gelding is pretty wired at a show. He requires a lot of loping to get the edge off in order to listen to me well.. ….I am still in the rookie and green classes, so I don’t ask a lot of him in the ring, but I do end up loping him down more than I do at home. Any advice on a more “nervous “horse? He is improving as we go along, my trainer says I need to remember to “be the pilot” to get him through any spooks…..

  7. Lesia Lowe on April 16, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    Loved it………man he is smooth…….. but you really seemed very “serious” in this video……. hmmmmmm game face maybe??

    • Stacy on April 16, 2014 at 5:02 pm

      Pure exhaustion! Horses aren’t the only ones who get more serious from the late nights and early mornings…lol. Plus been fighting a cold or something…lost my voice on Monday after Equine Affaire:)

      • Lesia Lowe on April 16, 2014 at 5:14 pm

        ohhhh ok….. hope you feel better soon….. maybe it was the weather change from Texas back to Ohio…. now you will have to deal with all the pollen!!!! ugh!!

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