April 28, 29, 30 - Minnesota State Fairgrounds
1265 Snelling Ave North, St. Paul, MN

Sponsored by the Minnesota Horse Council
Back to main menu | Email Us

2017 MN Horse Expo Speakers/Demos

Back to speakers

Schedule subject to change

Stacy Westfall


Even as a young child growing up in Maine, Stacy loved horses and rode whenever she had the chance. She got her first pony, Misty, when she was six. Her mother Sherri was Stacy’s only instructor in riding and training until she went to college. As Sherri looked on she would ask questions that prodded Stacy to think deeply about the mindset of the animals. “Why do you think Misty just did that?” or “How do you think you could get Bay to want to cooperate? What is she thinking?” The habit of getting inside the horse’s head, of thinking like a horse, became second nature to Stacy.

She also learned directly from the horses. One of her favorite memories is of “accidentally” teaching a horse to sit. While riding with a friend in the winter the girls accidentally backed a horse into a pile of snow. The horse lost its footing and sat on the snow. As the girls laughed Stacy decided to set up the situation again. It wasn’t long before the horse would “sit” on anything she backed it up to.

Stacy always had a desire to train and to teach. When she wasn’t at school you might have found her training her dog to navigate obstacle courses in the yard, or giving a riding lesson to a neighbor. With no professional trainers to observe in her area, she relied on the insights instilled by her mother and the instincts and lessons she learned from the horses.

When she was 13, Stacy got her first horse; her Dad had promised her one - if she got all “A”s in school. Stacy rode Bay bareback wherever she went. In fact, Bay was her mode of transportation to work - seven miles each way - until she turned 16. She and her mother rode almost every day and Stacy eventually started to compete in many events including jumping and barrel racing. While other teenagers were playing sports or shopping at the mall, Stacy was riding horses.

In high school, through the urging of a teacher, she found a college in which she could pursue a major in equestrian studies - the Universityof Findlay in Ohio. She studied under traditional-style training instructors including Steve Brown and Clark Bradley. She also worked for champion reining trainers Mike Flarida and Dan Huss. To all of the knowledge she learned from these mentors, she applied the “think-like-a horse” that had served her well in the past.

In 1994, while at the All American Quarter Horse Congress, Stacy met her future husband, Jesse - himself a talented reining trainer.  They married three years later and then established the Westfall Horsemanship training facility in Mt.Gilead, Ohio. They have three boys, Caleb, Joshua, and Nathan. Stacy often teased that she was pregnant three years straight.

Like any good trainer Stacy’s aim has always been to have the most clear and precise communication with her horse as possible. Her goal in her reining was to make the reins unnecessary. While others have approximated that goal, Stacy made it a reality. Ion 2003 she won the National Reining Horse Association Freestyle reining competition
riding with no bridle - and with not so much as a neck rope. She has gone undefeated for two years straight in major freestyle reining competitions and in 2006 she won twice while riding bridle-less AND bareback.

When in 2006 she entered the prestigious Road to the Horse colt starting competition, Stacy heard from more than a few people that she couldn’t possible win. After all, she was facing some legendary trainers. When the competition was over, Stacy was the winner, after a convincing performance that clearly outshone her competitors. In 2012 Stacy was also inducted into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame in Fort Worth, Texas.

That little girl from Maine has grown to become one of the country’s top clinicians and competitors. While Stacy continues to compete, start young horses and train, she truly loves to explain to people what her Mom encouraged her to learn - to discover the ‘why” behind what the horse does.

With Jesse, her invaluable coach, she tours the country offering clinics and making educational appearances at expos and other equine events. She is building the Westfall Horsemanship approach to create a program that is efficient and effective - with resources to compliment the clinics such as DVDs, equipment and an information-rich website and blog.

Stacy inducted into Cowgirl Hall of Fame


Stacy highlights reel:

2011 Congress championship ride


2006 Championship ride Bareback/Bridleless 


2005 Championship ride wedding dress


2003 Championship ride

Friday, April 28 Coliseum  10am-11am
Reading Your Horse Body Language & 3 Reasons for Groundwork

In this demo Stacy will explain and demonstrate the three big reasons you should do groundwork as she works with a horse she just met. She will explain the body cues the horse is giving and how she is making decisions based on them.

Your horse is always talking to you with his body language. Your ability to read his body language and make decisions based on what you see directly impacts how well you understand each other. Come test your skills by reading this horses body language.

Friday, April 28  Coliseum  2pm-3pm
Exercises for Collection and Speed Control

What if you had one pattern, the size of a round-pen, that you could use throughout your horses entire career? Stacy shares her favorite training pattern that she uses in the first 30 days AND in her bridleless riding DVD. She will explain why it works so well and three different ways to use it. 

Saturday , April 29  Coliseum  10am-11am
Exercises to Improve Steering & Neck Reining

Do you understand the difference between direct reining and neck reining? Are you accidentally damaging your neck rein cues while riding with two hands? Would you like exercises you can take home and use with your horse? This demonstration will explain this and more while using horses and riders Stacy just met who also desire to improve their horses steering. Watch as they are coached on the same exercises you can take home and do with your horse.

Saturday, April 29  Coliseum 2pm-3pm
Whoa: Teaching the Stop from Beginning to Bridleless

Do you wish you could stop your horse without pulling on the reins? Would you feel safer if your horse stopped easier? Do you wonder how people can stop without a bridle? In this demo Stacy will show you exercises you can use at home to improve your horses stop. You will leave with a full understanding of how to improve the stop and you will see horses and riders that Stacy just met learning the exercises for the first time.

Sunday, April 30  Coliseum  10am-11am
Bridleless Riding Cues Explained: How More Leg and Less Hand Can Improve Your Riding

Why does bridleless riding fascinate us? Because it demonstrates a high level of trust and understanding between the horse and rider. What are the cues? Should everyone ride bridleless? This demonstration will explain a solid cue system that will allow you to understand how it is possible to have clear understanding with and without the bridle.

Sunday, April 30 Coliseum 1:00pm-2pm
Exercises to Improve Your Timing and Release…while having fun

This demo will make you laugh…and make you think.

What does teaching a horse to bow have in common with teaching a horse to stand still for mounting? How does teaching a horse to lie down relate to teaching your horse to side passing to the mounting block for you? The results for all of these depend on where you release the pressure. This demo will explain the theory behind horse training AND will give you exercises you can do at home with your horse to improve your communication as well as teach the bow, and teach your horse to pick you up from a mounting block. 



Back to the Main Page