Barbra’s “Insights” Interview With Stacy Westfall
Horsemanship Series

“Key Principles That Help You Communicate With Your Horse”

Yes, we really did discuss all of these things.

Interview Topics:

Communicating With Your Horse
Think About “Why”
Put Yourself in the Horse’s Place
Start From Your Emotions Under Control

A Horse’s Body Language
That’s How Horses Speak
It’s Important to Combine “Why” With Function
Believe in the Bond of the Relationship

Learning to Combine “Why” and Function
Inspiration Comes Before Perspiration
You Get Feel in Little Pieces
There is a Tipping Point From Function to Feel

Develop Feel Quicker Through Ground Work
Ground Work Creates Separate Identities
Ground Work Facilitates the Transition From Ground to Astride

Tips for Nervous, Spooky, High-Strung Horses
Riders Are Sometimes Timid With These Horses
Horses Want a Rider to be a Stronger Leader
Ground Work Facilitates People Becoming Stronger Leaders
Strong Leaders in People Help Horses Relax

Three Things Ground Work Can Do Really Well
1. Give a Person the Best Place to Learn to Read a Horse’s Body Language
2. Give the Horse the Best Place to Learn to Read a Person’s Body Language
3. Help the Horse Learn Emotional Control and Confidence

Exercise: Parking Break
Ground Work Does Give You the Deepest Connection With a Horse
It Facilitates a Horse Standing While You Mount
It Facilitates a Stop From Steering When Astride Later

Exercise: One Hand
It Focuses all the Rider’s Energy on One Hand
It Teaches Riders to Have Feel
It’s a Simple Exercise to Help Riders Master the Basics
It Helps Teach Riders and Horses to Spin
It Teaches That Complexity Comes From Mastering the Basics

Exercise: Teaching a Horse to Backup
Three Cues That Can Stop a Horse: Bridle Reins, Voice, Legs
It’s Good for Mental Work for Horse and Rider
The Rider’s Three Answers to the Horse’s Response to Leg Waving
It’s Important to Allow the Horse Time to Think

Most Common Rider Errors
Not Accepting That Change Takes a Lot of Time: The 1% Change Idea
Going too Fast: Causes Discouragement and/or Not Reading the Horse
Not Reading the Horse’s Body Language Appropriately

Different Kinds of Horse Body Language
Body Language That Says, “I’m Trying to Think it Out”
Body Language That Says, “My Attention is Focused Elsewhere “
Body Language That Says, “I Need Guidance”

Never Sacrifice a Relationship to Reach a Goal
:Keep the Relationship With the Horse Connected
Every Exercise is a Tool to Show Our Relationship With the Horse
A Physical Goal is Easier to See Externally Than the Relationship
When a Horse is Confident, He is Asking the Rider, “Is This Right?”

A Challenge Stacy Overcame That Changed Her Life

Q&A Topics:

How to Find a Calm Horse That’s a Good Match
How to Get a Horse Over Bucking Every Time Saddled
How to Get a Nervous Horse in a New Place Relaxed and Focused
How to Adjust to a New Horse