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Tag Archives: Newt

Stacy Westfall’s first time riding bridleless on Newt

Yippy! Newt is giving bridleless riding a try!

This is a video of the first time I took the bridle off Newt and rode him around. Newt is six years old in this video and I started his under saddle training as a two year old.  I had been practicing the cue system during his entire training. For several months before this I had also been tying the reins up and focusing on riding with only my body, leg and voice cues. I chose to ride with a neck rope (one of my reins removed from my bridle) because Newt liked the familiar feeling of the neck rein cues and was more relaxed and confident.

Please realize that many, many hours of training have happened prior to this and you should not try riding bridleless unless you are confident that you have a clear communication system with your horse that doesn’t rely on the bridle in case of an emergency. The prior sentence is not meant to be reversed to imply that the bridle should be your emergency system…but the reality is that for many people the bridle is their strongest form of communication with their horse in an emergency.

If I sound a bit concerned it is because I know that other videos of me riding bridleless have inspired many people to give it a try. Many have had success but there have been a few that have been injured because they (either horse or rider or both) were not properly prepared. Just last year I met a trainer who said one of his youth girls broke her leg while trying to imitate my ride.

Clear communication through consistent training is the key…I’m just saying don’t just pull the bridle off and hope for the best as it isn’t fair to either you or your horse 🙂

This was videoed in February 2015 while we were in California. You may also find it interesting that I have only ridden him bridleless a handful of times between then and now as I am still continuing to advance his ‘in the bridle’ training.

 
8 Comments

Posted by on May 6, 2015 in Thought provoking, Training, Video

 

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Name this foal: Newt has a little brother!

IMG_5860Newt has a little brother!

He still needs a name, or two, a barn name and a registered name.

He is by a stallion named Starlights Wrangler and his mom’s name is Whizards Maggie Mae.

Fun fact: Whizards Maggie Mae is a full sister to Whizards Baby Doll (aka Roxy).name that foal, what should my name be?

 
142 Comments

Posted by on April 4, 2015 in Life

 

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Newt made the News…his TV debut!

This is Newt’s TV debut. Notice how he is trying to sneak closer to the camera. Maybe he was trying to get across the idea that he was going to be at Jeffer’s tomorrow too during the Weaver Leather Pop Up Clinic.

Photobomb the video? Videobomb?

Yes, Newt will be at the demo too.

 

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on February 28, 2015 in Life, Video

 

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A Horse’s View: Newt meets his first elk

Dear Diary,

As you know we have been moving a lot. We have been in our current location in Flag-staff for three days. It is nice here. I have a stall with shavings and I can still go outside and play games with Hope.

The stuff up here isn’t as poke-y to taste test as it was at the last place. I did find something unusual today. I think he might have been a distant couzin but he was pretty shy. I tried to chase him down so I could ask him a few questions but Mom wouldn’t let me. She doesn’t understand.

Maybe he will come visit me tonight. An owl visited last night. I will stay up all night and see.

Newt, the horse, signature

 
6 Comments

Posted by on February 6, 2015 in A Horse's View, Video

 

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My horse, Newt, learning to balance on a box.

This is a video of Newt, my horse, trying to find his balance standing on a wooden box. Newt had previously been trained to cross over a wooden bridge, so when he first saw this box…he walked straight over it. For each of the seven days prior to this I spent a few minutes a day asking Newt to step onto the box. His first response was to want to walk directly over it. To change this, I asked him to step one front foot up and then immediately asked him back off the box. This resulted in Newt slowing down instead of trying to walk straight over it.

Next I asked for two front feet up and then asked him to back off the box. During this phase Newt figured out how far forward he could step until he found the front edge of the box. He even tried to step directly over it in a very wide straddle! If he tried to step to far I would ask him to back up. He did step off the front and even lost his balance and slipped off the front without harm.

Now that he knows where the front edge of the box is, and understands that I don’t want him stepping off the front, he is now stepping forward with his hind feet. What I love about this video is that you can see how s-l-o-w Newt thinks. Many people would have asked him to do something during the long period while he was standing there. I like taking my time. It is funny to watch him mentally process this nice and slow.

It surprised me that Newt lost his balance so many times when he picked his last hind foot up off the ground. He seemed to think that he should counter balance by sticking that last leg out instead of adjusting his head. Another interesting observation to make about how Newt thinks. I love watching horses learn.

I have a bunch of this footage but I couldn’t decide how to best use it. I have one version that is 25 minutes long but that seemed too long. How much of Newt’s box footage would you like to see? How many more times do you think Newt had to practice before he found his balance?

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2015 in A Horse's View, Thought provoking, Training, Video

 

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A Horse’s View: Newt and the box trick

 

Dear Diary…I can’t even explain this new ‘thing’ I am learning to do. I’m just going to put some pictures in here so I can try to remember it all. Newt, the horse, signatureStacy's horse Newt 2 Stacy's horse Newt 3 Stacy's horse Newt 4 Stacy's horse Newt 5 Stacy's horse Newt 6

 
10 Comments

Posted by on December 21, 2014 in A Horse's View, Life

 

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A Horses View: The good and the bad

Newt the horse diary

Newt, the horse, is keeping a diary.

Dear Diary,

Hello Diary, this is my first time doing this but with all of my traveling I want to make sure I remember it all. The good and the bad.

The first good thing I want to remember is my first time swimming. It was scary at first because the ground was all squishy but then it got fun. It made me snort. I hope I get to do it again.

The bad thing is I got in trouble. Mom told me not to beg for treats…but I keep forgetting. The kids have been sneaking me treats and then I got all excited and kept stopping other people. It’s really hard to remember which ones give me treats and which ones don’t. I will try harder tomorrow.

Well, thats all I have for now. I’m headed to bed. We just got to a new place today and I bet we will do something fun tomorrow.

Newt, the horse, signature

 
8 Comments

Posted by on December 7, 2014 in A Horse's View

 

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