It is hard to be defensive toward a danger which you have never imagined existed.Ah, what a perfect photo for my recent ‘encounter’ online.


Just last night I had the pleasure of reading on a Facebook page that ‘Stacy Westfall didn’t train the reining horse she rode, Stacy wrote an article telling people to jump off and drag along the side of a runaway horse and that during Road to the Horse Stacy had to watch the other competitors to figure out what to do.’


Yep, all in one post from one person. And we all wonder how rumors such as ‘Stacy Westfall is a deaf-mute’ get started.


How much ‘danger’ is this? I don’t know. I never imagined that a relatively harmless rumor such as the ‘deaf-mute’ thing could spread or maintain itself for years as it has: my first blog against the rumor was posted in September 2011.


The ‘danger’ that I never imagined until after that rumor was that other more harmful or hurtful things could spread and I would be just as helpless to stop them. For example I still receive emails like this one:


Kathy H. wrote,


“Please Clarify: A video surfaces the internet on occasion of a ride made at the 2006 Congress by Stacy Westfall — however the information with the video states Stacy is a deaf/mute. Are you one and the same? Was deaf/mute information erroneous? This has puzzled me for a long time & just recently that video made the rounds again — decided to attempt to clarify. thanks, Kathy H.”


I wrote back,


“Kathy, I am the person in the video…but someone started the deaf/mute rumor that they are sending around with it. That is false. Here is my blog written in 2011 addressing the problem.

Thanks for checking to see if it was true. -Stacy Westfall”


Kathy wrote back:


“I so appreciate the response to my question.

Sometimes I feel rumors are going to be the ‘death’ of us all — and some can certainly ruin relationships, ethics, etc.  Facebook, Twitter, etc each have their place in the modern communication world — but — we all must access ‘the benefit of doubt’ to almost everything we see in print.

Continue on with your amazing talents – you are truly a ‘blessed’ lady! -Kathy”


Sometimes after reading lies on the internet I want to have nothing to do with it. Give me a horse and let me go ride. But then I remember that the people who lie will still be there…and so will people like Kathy who care to seek the truth.


And those who seek truth are the ones I want to have a relationship with.