Equestrian Voices dives deep into the emotions, lives, stories, and everything we don't talk about when it comes to life as an equestrian. Join our host, Caroline Culbertson, for vulnerable, different, and sometimes hilarious chats with riders from all backgrounds. We want to get the 'human' out of horse people. Thanks for being here.
Can We Help Horses Heal from Trauma and Grief? Using Physical Touch to Heal Emotional Wounds with Good Shepherd Gabriel
Horses are well known for their power to heal. The positive feelings we have after spending time with our horses are, after all, one of the main reasons why we ride, and equine therapy is used to treat a wide range of physical and mental health challenges.
How often, though, do we think about the flip side of the coin - how do our actions help, or hinder, our horses’ mental and emotional well being? How can we as horse lovers be more in tune with the spiritual needs of our partners, and show up for them in a state that disrupts their natural way of being as little as possible? How can modalities like bodywrok help our horses heal when they need it?
This week, host Caroline Culberston sits down with Gabriel Gandzjuk, better known as Good Shepherd Gabriel, to discuss his work healing horses with both mental and physical injuries in their lives mainly through shiatsu massage and acupressure. Their deep conversation also delves into:
What “healing for horses” means, both physically and mentally
How horses process touch, and how it figures into his work
The ways in which horses process grief, and how we can support our horses when they experience it
Pain and stress behaviors in horses from the perspective of a practitioner who grew up outside of the horse world and didn’t come to them until adulthood
How you can support your horse spiritually, physically, and emotionally
Changing Your Goals, Finding a New Horse, and “My-horse-itis” with Chelsea Canedy
You’ve just left the barn after another frustrating lesson, and you don’t know what to do. You know that your horse is more than capable of achieving the goals you’ve set for your riding, but in your heart, you also don’t feel like your horse is having fun in the process. How do you go about deciding when it’s time for a new direction for both you and your horse? What are the feelings that come up during the process, and once the decision is made, how do you move forward with a new partnership?
In our latest Equestrian Voices episode, host Caroline Culbertson sits down with Equestrian Masterclass instructor Chelsea Canedy to talk about all of this and more, as Chelsea shares her first hand experience of selling her long time partner, Albert, and transitioning to a new (and very different) mare, Lila. They also discuss:
Evaluating your goals as a rider
Deciding whether or not those goals line up what your horse enjoys doing
Getting a handle on your ego as it relates to your partnership with a horse (new or otherwise)
Finding your own, unique joy as a rider
Integrating a new horse into your life
The emotions wrapped up in purchasing a new horse, and selling an old one
If this episode resonates with you, Chelsea Canedy has a new Equestrian Masterclass training program available now that walks you through the first 30 days with a new horse, or gives you tools for a "relationship reset". Go to www.equestrianmasterclass.com/newhorse to purchase the bundle for $27.
Is the Forward Seat Still Relevant? Peter Wylde on Rider Style, Feel, and Evolution of Position
Americans are known for their smooth, forward positions on the horse, so much so that it became known as the ‘American Forward Seat’. But how has it evolved over the years as our light, sensitive Thoroughbreds have blended with the heavier horses of Europe? Does it still provide the same effective foundation today as it did before, or is it less relevant today?
In this episode, Caroline sits down with Olympic Gold Medalist and former top show jumping rider, Peter Wylde. Peter, whose depth and breadth of experience also includes coaching top eventing like Boyd Martin and Liz Halliday Sharp, digs into all of the above questions, and so much more. The amount of knowledge covered in this special episode is truly astounding, and includes topics such as:
How the American “Forward Seat” originated, and how it’s blended with the European style of riding to create a more modern, effective version
The effects of globalization of the sport on rider position
Why modern course design has had a direct impact on how riders position themselves in the saddle
A list of riders who Peter believe are excellent riders to study and emulate
Defining what “riding style” actually means and encompasses
The role that confidence plays in developing (and keeping) a positive riding style
The differences in both environment and rider culture between top 3 Day Eventing and Show Jumping competitions.
The nuances of coaching elite level riders
It’s worth noting that if you like what you hear, Peter Wylde has an Equestrian Masterclass available now that’s all about how to become an effective, smooth rider. You can get $50 off an annual membership by going to www.equestrianmasterclass.com/voices
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What It’s Really Like to Run a Horse Rescue (All Seated in a Barn & Storeybrook Farm)
We’ve all seen the pictures: the emaciated horse who looks ancient, but in actuality is in their prime, their coat dirty and their eyes dull. We’ve all also had the desire to just hook up our trailer (or commandeer one) and take them home to a better life.
Unfortunately, few of us have the resources or the means to follow through on that impulse - so how do we go about helping all of the horses who are in dire need? And what are the lives like of the people who do follow through and take the one (or in one of our guest’s case…more than one) horses back home - what do they want everyone to know about their lives and organizations? What do they really need from us to succeed and keep their doors open?
In this episode of Equestrian Voices, host Caroline Culbertson sits down with Tahlia Fischer from All Seated in a Barn and Olivia Alcorta from Storeybrook Farm.
In their candid, heartfelt, conversation, Caroline and her guests discuss many of the seen (and unseen) aspects of the horse rescue world, including:
How they came to each run horse rescues.
The common misconceptions about rescues that people carry with them.
The day to day reality of what it takes
What horse rescues can (and cannot) provide for the horses they receive.
An open kimono discussion about vet bills, and the overall costs of running an organization that regularly brings horses back from the brink.
Most importantly, how you can best help these critically important organizations in their work.
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Why Doesn’t Riding Have An Athletic Culture? Embracing Rider Wellness with Ifa Simmonds
When you go to a horse show, you can see riders diligently warming up their horses prior to competition, making sure their partner is both mentally and physically ready for the task ahead. But you rarely (if ever) see those same riders warming themselves up before they mount up, making sure they are just as prepared. Why is there such a vast disconnect between horse preparation and wellness and rider self-care, and how is it affecting our sport?
On today’s podcast, Caroline is joined by Ifa Simmonds of Ifa Fit. Ifa’s Equestrian Fitness Academy (EFA) is a holistic online program with categorized fitness training, nutrition, and mindset programs geared to improve riders from the inside out. The program's signature system helps riders in the 4 pillars equestrians often look to improve upon (Stability, Suppleness, Strength & Stamina). He also believes in a holistic approach to fitness - not just lunges and crunches.
In their wide-reaching, thoughtful discussion, Caroline and Ifa touch on many topics around fitness and wellness in the equestrian world, including:
What it truly means to be an “Athlete” - and how to determine if you are one (or not)
If there is an Athlete’s Culture in equestrian sport (or not)
The concept of “wellness” and what it fully means
Consistency, and how to use it effectively
The difference between intention and action, and how it affects our riding
Habits, and how early adoption can help ingrain helpful ones (and not-so-helpful ones!)
Trigger warning - body weight, and how Ifa feels it does or doesn’t correlate to performance
Rest, recovery, and how to think about both as part of your overall performance and fitness
Amy Skinner: “If you don’t understand pressure, you’ll be forced to overuse it.”
There are many ideas about what good training looks like with horses. We imagine a well-trained horse as one who is able to perform its job at a high level, and view subsequent competition results as a validation of correctness. But what if that same horse can’t be mounted without being held, or has trouble loading onto/unloading off the trailer? Can we still say the horse is well trained if it’s not able to navigate the world around it with confidence?
These questions, and so many more, are explored in our latest podcast episode, where Caroline sits down with Amy Skinner of Amy Skinner Horsemanship to dig into what “good training”, pressure, and horsemanship means in the equestrian industry.
Amy Skinner is a highly sought after trainer and rider who gives clinics around the country, as well as being the author of two books around her training methods and unique background in the sport. She specializes in “problem” horses and helping horses and riders find better connections. Centering her philosophy around Classical Dressage and postural rehabilitation, Amy is a unique voice with deep insights into horses, training, and life in general.
In their intimate (and funny) conversation, Caroline and Amy discuss a wide variety of topics, including:
The concept of “pressure” and how it plays into the lives of both horses and humans
Why competition results aren’t always the best litmus test for good training
Where we fall short in training our horses, and how we can become more self aware of our own gaps
Appropriate training levels for young horses, and why our hyper competitive space can break horses down early
The concept of a training “bank account”, and how our actions either pull from it, or deposit into it
Why horses who are trained solely through pressure and pain responses will never be truly safe.
Quality Horse Content for Beginners to Advanced
I have learnt so much about it the horse industry and really would encourage any equestrian to give it a go. Particularly liked the episodes about buying and selling, even though I am in Australia it is still relevant and helpful
Really really great content with interesting and engaging speakers
The podcast that keeps giving!
Love LOVE! The work you guys are doing!! Thankyou and keep it up.