What are the most important steps to take to become a horse trainer?

Stacy Westfall Horseblog

“Dear Stacy, I am studying to become a horse trainer at LBCC and had a question I would like to ask you. What, in your opinion are the most important steps to take to become a horse trainer? Your answer would be greatly appreciated! Thank you. ” -Holly B.

The number one thing is knowing yourself and your goals. These will likely change as you change but it is still important to have a general idea of where you are headed. Being a horse trainer can mean different things to different people. For example, you could be a horse trainer who does some training and some lesson, or you could be a horse trainer and take horses to national shows or even the Olympics.

Knowing this general direction is important because three things to consider when becoming a horse trainer are the lifestyle, your knowledge level and your financial capabilities.Your current knowledge level will determine where you start...your willingness to learn will determine where you go.-Stacy Westfall

Lifestyle: Being…

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How Sharp Is Your Tongue?

Have you ever heard someone say “it’s not what you say, but how you say it?” The tone in which we speak to each other says a lot about us as a people. Have you ever known someone who really seemed nice until you hear them speak? They never really say anything wrong; however, they cut you right in two with the tone of their voice. Have you ever read an email or text message that you were sure someone was being ugly or snippy in because of the tone of the message? As a respectable human beings we must guard ourselves against having unwanted tones in our voices when we speak. It is impossible to convey an idea or desire if when we speak it is delivered with an unwanted tone. You certainly would not attempt to tell your significant other that you love them dearly with a hateful tone of voice. Why would talking to horses be any different?

I have found that while my horses are in their stalls eating that this Continue reading

Let It Go…Let It Go.

Ok I guess i have some catching up to do since I haven’t posted anything for several days. I am so over all this cold weather and snow. It has become liken to having a house guest. I was very happy to see it come, but I can’t wait to see it leave. It has long over stayed its welcome. I look outside and all I can say is “Let it go, let it go”.

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I am still trying to get over one of the worst head colds that I can ever remember having. This cold did not even make any sense. My head was so stopped up yet at the same time my nose was running like a water faucet. It was making me feel down right miserable and the wife said i was even grumpy. Which by the way I  did not agree with her assessment because I never get grummpy. Ok well almost never.

On a more positive note warmer weather is in the forecast for next week. My wife and will be going to Kentucky before too long to pick up a 60 foot round pen that I purchased. I hope that we have better weather by then since we will be traveling through parts of West Virginia. This will be our second trip to Kentucky and we have plans to visit the Horse Park in Lexington, KY. while we are in the neighborhood.

Selling A Horse

Being a horse trainer is a lot like being a telemarketing salesman. Very seldom does your client (the horse) come looking for you to sell them something. You are generally offering something to them that they do not want. Most of the time you are interrupting their life or the one thing that they are doing at that moment.  It doesn’t take long for you to feel that you don’t have their undivided attention and they would rather be doing something else.  Thus the life of a salesman (horse trainer) is a rough way to earn a living.

Here is a great tip from an ex-salesman. Try this the next time you are training your horse. Think of yourself as a salesman and your horse as the client. After all you truly are trying to sell the horse on your idea. The secret to this sell is being able to make them think that it is their idea. Lay out your proposal in a simple way that makes it very clear what it is that you are offering. Then shut up and wait. Just wait on the horse.

There is an old saying in sales that says he who speaks first loses. How does this relate directly to training your horse? Well, lets say you are working on lateral flexing at your horse’s neck. You have a halter on and have the lead rope pulling the horse’s head to one side. You hold pressure waiting for the slightest try. You wait, and you wait, and you wait. Nothing happens.

Your horse continues to brace against the slight pressure you have on the lead rope.  Then you begin to wonder if you are doing something wrong. It feels as though an hour has gone by. Still no sign of your horse buying what you are selling. What should you do? Shut up and wait.

If you speak first by releasing the pressure then you have just lost the sale and the game. Hang in there and be confident that you can make this sale.  Trust in your own abilities. Trust me your horse will give in and eventually yield to the pressure and when he does there is no greater feeling.

Timing Is Everything

Surely we have all heard this saying many times before and in reference to many different things. We have even heard and used variations of this phrase. Things like perfect timing, good timing, or bad timing. With a little planning one can choose their own timing. You wouldn’t necessarily ask your boss for a raise when your business is doing very poorly. However, you might choose to start-up a new business when indicators show that there is a demand for the product you plan to provide. Both of these examples gives an individual the opportunity to devise a plan and then carry out that plan.

Much of the same is true when working with and training horses. You should always have a plan as to what you want to work with on a horse. Continue reading

The Feel Of The Horse

What is the feel of the horse? How does one develop this feel? These are just a few questions that pop up within the circles of natural horsemanship training. I remember many years ago trying to develop my feel for the horse while training a 3-year-old Spotted Saddle Horse.  The horse came to me as a 2 1/2 going on 3-year-old green broke horse. He was saddle broke and had a few trail rides under his girth. I remember the challenge of the first time trying to load him in a two-horse straight load trailer. The challenge wasn’t getting the horse to enter the trailer, but rather getting him to understand what it was that I was asking him to do. Continue reading

Starbucks Pony Espresso: Riding My Horse, Newt, Thru the Drive Thru

A nice hot cup of coffee would be nice right now. Just finished snowing in VA. about 14″ of snow on ground now and 23 degrees.

Stacy Westfall Horseblog

In Norco, California we found horse trails that lead us right up to the drive thru! Norco is considered ‘Horse Town USA’ and horses are given a wide range of privileges that other cities may not allow. Many of the shops have pens, like the one shown in the video, to tie your horse…but we opted for the ‘ride-thru’ instead.

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