The trail to the World Show Episode 1: Meet the Horses & Goal Setting


Looks cold. So there’s a project I’ve
been wanting to do. It would be taking you guys behind the scenes and letting
you guys see what it’s like to get a horse ready to show. Now a few years ago
I did a video series that I called Stacy’s Video Diary: Jac, where I tracked
my training progress with a colt named Jac which happened to be Roxy’s last
foal. And I tracked that for a year what I’d like to do with you this time is
share with you the story of Willow and Gabby and their journey to the show pen.
I think it could be interesting for you because there’s so much about the
training that is so valuable for improving communication with your horse.
It’s also gonna be interesting because Willow and Gabby are so different in
temperament. Willow is much more, what should we say, timid she’s much more
insecure. And Gabby I jokingly call my stud mare because she’s very confident. Let’s go meet them. Look at you girls this morning. This is Willow. This is Gabby, As I go throughout this video series one
thing you’re gonna hear me talk about over and over again are the ways that
the horses different temperaments will change and affect what happens at horse
shows and out on the trail. Willow here is a more timid horse, she’s eight years
old now you can’t see all of her natural timidness anymore because it’s kind of
been covered up with training Gabby here is four years old she’s very naturally
confident so you’re gonna see that shining through but you might not see
some of the areas that she’s resistant but I think as the series progresses
you’re gonna see both of their temperaments showing themselves. When I
watched these two playing it’s interesting for me to notice how much
their brains are reflected in the way that they use their body. Look at that
extension from Gabby right there. Gabby’s really comfortable with getting herself
extended, she kind of opens up her body because she’s very confident and so for
her to open up her body is more natural. If you watch Willow she seems to be
looking over her shoulder a lot of times because she’s not naturally that
confident she tries half-heartedly to remind Gabby you know ‘hey I’m here like
stay out of my space’ but she doesn’t actually ever follow through. And if you
watch Gabby for the most part she doesn’t really take her very seriously.
Willow I always say is is pretty tight in her brain she’s more reactive timid
and if you watch a lot of her moves are very tight and collected so collection
is going to come more naturally to Willow…and extension is going to be come
more natural to Gabby and I find it just really interesting that you can watch
their bodies and see some of what their minds are like just
by the way that they use their bodies even when they’re just out here playing.
Remember my job as the trainer is to rock the teeter-totter
and move them to the most balanced state that I can get them to, mind and body. What do you think guys show year this year? Wanna show together? Head to the
world show in October? They give away apples at the show. You’ve had an apple
at the show haven’t you Willow? You’ve got a little on your nose… Now that you’ve met the horses let’s go back up
to the cabin and I’ll tell you the rest of the plan. Our spring weather has been crazy here
we keep getting hot and cold so my hands are freezing
did you see Gabby’s breath in the video? I’m gonna make a little coffee then
we’ll go upstairs and talk. At the end of last year I said to Jesse
that I had an idea, I wanted to show in 2019 in western dressage, traditional
dressage, reining and ranch riding. When I asked him what he thought he said, “it
sounds expensive.” Outside of sounding expensive, I like the
goal. I like the idea that a lot of these events really, I believe, line up and
overlap well with each other. I like the idea of setting big, scary, hairy goals
that could make you a little bit nervous but that also stretch you. So at the
beginning of the year I said I want to show Gabby and Willow at the Western
Dressage World show in October. I started making a plan by charting out all of the
Western dressage classes that I could find and then because I believe that the
tie-in between traditional dressage and Western dressage is high I chose to pay
Willow up in USEF and USDF memberships. I will be showing Willow at traditional
dressage shows as well as Western dressage shows. I’ll do a little bit of
reining with Willow and then with Gabby I’m planning on showing her in Western
dressage, ranch riding and some reining. As of right now I’m not quite sure
whether or not I want to pay up the additional fees to be able to show (Gabby) in
USEF and USDF classes. In my podcast episode
number seven I talked about setting SMART goals and smart stands for
specific, measurable, actionable, relevant and time-bound what I know will happen
from setting these SMART goals is that it’s going to make me focus more on some
of the precision. One thing I’ve always admired about dressage as well as
reining is the accuracy is a big piece of this and accuracy in
patterns I have found makes more accurate riders and the more accurate
you are at your requests the better chance your horse has at getting more
accurate at reading your body language. I know that if I just go trail ride which
is primarily what I’ve done the last two years with these horses I know that when
I’m trail riding I tend to not ride as accurately. Now that is absolutely NOT
going to stop me from trail riding because I live behind a state park so
you’ll see that while I’m showing these horses in these events it’s not all I’m
focused on I’ll still be trail riding I’ll still be doing my groundwork and
I’ll still be having a lot of fun with them. I’m excited that you’ve chosen to
tune in to this first episode and I hope that I’ll see you in the next episode.
Here are a few clips of some upcoming things to look forward to. “…the day of
many hats…” “…this is my husband Jesse…” “… discover something new…” “…think under
pressure and recover…” “…we literally just walked out of the pen…” “So……….I’m tired.”


23 Responses

  1. Steve McInnes

    April 12, 2019 8:00 pm

    hi…I really enjoyed the "Jac" videos, and look forward to your following your trail with these 2 mares. Miss you in Wilmore !!! : )

  2. Camilla Grassi

    April 12, 2019 8:37 pm

    I'm literally jumping up and down !!!! Once again, you don't know how grateful I am for all you are doing for us. Thank you SO much Stacy 😍

  3. Christiane Raphael

    April 12, 2019 9:01 pm

    I am so happy that you share your horse training with us again. Loved the Jack training videos. Thank you so much.

  4. Haley Allard

    April 12, 2019 10:49 pm

    So exciting! I wish there were more episodes out because I want to watch them all right now! Already teaching me about patience in this series

  5. Rose Aussie

    April 13, 2019 9:43 am

    I have always had a love of horses, but I only had an opportunity to ride at a riding school in my younger days. I am now 65 and miss those days. I’ve throughly enjoyed the journey you have taken horse lovers like myself on with your wonderful videos. I am excited and look forward to seeing Willow and Gabby’s progress to the World Show. Best of luck Stacy, you are amazing.

  6. Leah Melichar

    April 13, 2019 7:38 pm

    Really looking forward to this series! I liked the Jac videos, and as someone who started showing western dressage last year seeing you take these two horses through dressage and other disciplines will be great!

  7. Emma Flatt

    April 14, 2019 3:12 am

    This was so interesting how you explained understanding their body language which will tell you about their personality. Thank you for this.

  8. Claudia Wang

    April 15, 2019 12:48 am

    Love your channel! I binge watched the Jac series and I even researched as I’m also training my rescue horse and you’ve taught me so much already 🙂 God bless!!

  9. sue mcfarlane

    April 16, 2019 12:16 pm

    Training is learning and the thing taught in all those disapline tie together really well I’m not familiar with ranch riding but dressage is just obedience and working through set movements at set times you can do dressage on the trail people get very hung up on doing just one thing with their horse I used to work for a woman who had her owner trainers licence to train race horses we alway did a bit of cattle work with those race horses and we schooled them in flat work well above what the average race horse usually gets it made the horses more responsive to the jockeys and they were safer in a race because they had greater flexibility if they got jostled or knocked in a race they were better at steadying themselves they also had a better chance of finding a good homeafter their racing career so many exracehorses end up their life in a kill pen because no one wants to invest the time into retraining them ours didn’t need much retraining we even jumped them a little just logs out on the trail sort of thing but even that ment they were more sellable and really it took no extra time or work for us so on days when they were not doing fast work at the track we would ride them about her farm move some cows or school them a bit it was enough that we could tell if they showed any real possible talent for other equine pursuits so we could make decisions about their future post racing

  10. Kerry O'Brien

    April 27, 2019 4:56 pm

    THANK YOU! After 3 years of rehab, my 9 yr old mustang mare is ready to show. Starting small, but with smart goals… sky's the limit. This is so timely for us. Can't wait for the next episode.

  11. Nina Halvorson

    May 19, 2019 3:52 pm

    I loved the connection you talked about with their body language clueing in to their strengths and personality. That was a really cool correlation
    And your house and barn are very cool!
    I like watching your videos and your style as well because I just started videoing my adventures in NRHA with one of my horses and WDAA with my other this summer, and where that journey takes me.

  12. faultroy

    August 18, 2019 10:55 pm

    Years ago, I took dressage lessons from a number of professional Grand Prix Riders, and one of the things that I noticed was how hard and heavy dressage mouths (I actually used a Grand Prix Mare as a lesson horse) are in comparison to well broke western horses and reining horses.

    My question for Stacy is 1) how are You going to ride Your mare to be able to compete in both dressage, and western dressage in which dressage riders ride with such heavy hands, while good western riders want as little contact as possible on the bit.

    This is not a criticism of Dressage (at least not Classical Dressage) as the objective is slightly different. Yes, we want both horses balanced and in cadence, but Regular Dressage wants the horse completely dependent on the Riders hands to balance and "rate."

    Western Riders are not that focused on completely controlling and demanding that the horse only wait for the rider's cue. We want a more comfortable horse that isn't constantly rooting for contact with the bit. We want the horse to have a little wiggle room to do the moves in a way that is comfortable in their own skin and in accordance to their own style based on conformation and temperament. And most good western riders consider it sacrilege to allow a horse to get heavy on the bit.

    The old style of putting a thin piece of wool line tied to the bit as your reins is still the goal for many of us.

    2) How would one conceivably train a horse to do both Dressage and Reining when the objectives are so different? And the styles are so different?

    3) Is it possible to be competitive in both?

  13. Sheryl Benkosky

    December 1, 2019 10:50 pm

    Thank you so much for this wonderful video. Please share as many videos as you can. I can't get enough!


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