100 episodes

Because of Horses is the podcast for horse lovers. Every week, we curate fascinating stories and feature notable guests discussing horses, timely topics important to horse-people, and the challenges and triumphs of living the Equestrian Life.

With host Elise Gaston Chand.

Because of Horses Elise Gaston Chand

    • Sports
    • 4.9 • 35 Ratings

Because of Horses is the podcast for horse lovers. Every week, we curate fascinating stories and feature notable guests discussing horses, timely topics important to horse-people, and the challenges and triumphs of living the Equestrian Life.

With host Elise Gaston Chand.

    Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association Founder, Bob Cacchione

    Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association Founder, Bob Cacchione

    Today’s guest on Because of Horses is Bob Cacchione — a living legend in the horse world — and one to whom so many owe immense gratitude for founding the Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA)!
     
    Though the IHSA has helped countless young equestrians explore their competitive riding talents and dreams, their origins were pretty humble. Bob was an 18-year-old sophomore at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, New Jersey when his parents told him they would no longer pay for his riding. Rather than have that be the end of it, Bob negotiated free use of horses at a local stable in exchange for giving riding lessons, where he then gathered what soon became a competitive team. Next, when he held a show using donated horses, nearby colleges caught wind of the event and what began as a small group of riders soon grew exponentially over the ensuing years. Now, it’s a huge network, including almost 400 colleges across the U.S. and over 8,300 riders in hunt seat equitation, western horsemanship, and reining.
     
    Beyond all this though, the organization is about so much more! In a world where show-winners are often those who can afford the finest horses, the IHSA truly levels the playing field. Countless young riders and adult equestrians have Bob to thank for that! In this episode, Bob shares stories of alumni who have gone on to do incredible things in the horse world, gives his take on how he has seen the evolution of youth competition, his predictions on the future of riding, some incredibly touching (and funny!) stories from those who have been involved in the IHSA, and what makes IHSA so remarkable!
     
    Topics of Discussion:
    [:24] About today’s episode with Bob Cacchione.
    [1:49] Bob shares why what they do at IHSA is so important for the horse community. He also describes how the events themselves are set up and how they level the playing field.
    [4:52] Bob highlights what’s especially remarkable about IHSA and tells the stories of alumni who have gone on to do incredible things in the horse world!
    [8:52] Why Bob believes many of those who ride with IHSA go on to remarkable careers in the horse world beyond competing.
    [12:50] When Bob’s parents stopped paying for his riding lessons at 18, what motivated him to create his own path?
    [15:22] Elise and Bob discuss the incredibly unique community IHSA is, as well as its broad impact and appeal.
    [18:34] Bob gives his thoughts on the horse world's evolution as well as his predictions on the future of riding.
    [20:35] What Bob would like the parents and young riders who listen to Because of Horses to know about IHSA.
    [22:16] Bob speaks about his retirement from IHSA.
    [24:05] What does Bob want his legacy to be?
    [25:45] In a life full of remarkable experiences, what stands out to Bob?
    [28:08] Has Bob had any “fan” moments when he has met somebody famous in the horse world?
    [29:31] If Bob could speak to ‘young Bob,’ what would he tell himself at 17 years of age?
    [31:35] Bob shares some funny and touching stories of meeting people who were involved in IHSA.
    [38:13] Bob shares some final words on IHSA.
    [41:45] Elise shares an important announcement about the Because of Horses podcast.
     
    Mentioned in this Episode:
    The Hampton Classic
    Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA)
    USEF
    USEF Convention
    EquestFile (Use coupon code: BOH10 to receive a 10% discount for two months off your subscription)
    A Parent's Guide to Riding Lessons: Everything You Need to Know to Survive and Thrive with a Horse-Loving Kid, by Elise Gaston Chand

     
    Like what you hear? Because of Horses would love to hear your feedback!
    Please email elise@becauseofhorses.com to send Because of Horses your thoughts.
     
    To Support the Podcast:
    Subscribe: RSS Feed, iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, and Player FM

    • 43 min
    An Incredible Story of Healing and Transformation: The Horse Boy, with Rupert Isaacson

    An Incredible Story of Healing and Transformation: The Horse Boy, with Rupert Isaacson

    Following one’s passion isn’t always about making our own life better — sometimes, we get a very unique opportunity to fully harness the skills, talent, experience, connections, and interests we possess in the service of someone we love. This is precisely what happened in Rupert Isaacson’s case when his young son, Rowan, was diagnosed with autism. And in Rupert’s very real quest to help his little boy, he discovered a therapeutic approach that could help others who are on the same journey. To share this desperately needed support as broadly as possible, Rupert wrote a book, created a film, and established a foundation. He’s even taken his message personally to the world to anyone who would listen through clinics, conferences, personal appearances, partnering with neurologists and therapists around the world, and doing everything in his power to shift our thinking about autism and how to support autists in a more nurturing and effective way.
     
    In this week's Season 3 premiere episode — that also marks Rupert Isaacson’s return to the podcast — he shares about his incredible journey with his son, Rowan. He provides insight into how autists experience autism, how Rowan’s journey is helping thousands of people (autistic or not) through the Horse Boy Foundation and Kids Must Move, their journey through Mongolia and why they chose to film absolutely everything on their trip — even the moments that seemed far too raw for the camera, and some of the powerful moments that really stand out to him when he looks back on his family’s journey.
     
    Topics of Discussion:
    [:24] About today’s episode.
    [1:51] Rupert speaks about the early days of his son, Rowan’s, autism diagnosis and the beginning of their journey to help him cope through the magic of horses.
    [5:34] Rupert provides his insight into how autists experience autism.
    [11:43] Rupert speaks about the incredible transformation he noticed in his son after the San Bushmen healers prayed over him during their ceremonies in Mongolia.
    [16:55] How Rowan’s journey is helping thousands of people (autistic or not) through the Horse Boy Foundation and Kids Must Move.
    [18:33] What is shamanism? And how can it help aid healthy brain function and be especially beneficial to those with autism?
    [21:40] Rupert reflects on his journey with Rowan and speaks more about the characteristics of shamanism and the major differences between it and western medicine.
    [24:25] Rupert speaks about their journey through Mongolia and why they chose to film everything on their trip.
    [26:34] Were there ever any moments that were too raw for the camera?
    [29:29] When Rupert looks back on his family’s journey, what stands out for him?
    [32:18] When does that healthy reliance on proven methods in Western medicine become an impediment to utilizing new methods that have incredibly positive outcomes?
    [35:02] Rupert’s book, The Horse Boy, was received with stellar reviews — most notably perhaps was the review from the Autism Society of America’s former President and CEO, Lee Grossman. Does it ever strike Rupert the degree to which his journey is helping to improve others’ lives?
    [36:54] Rupert offers some guidance to those on a similar path to his own.
    [38:42] What’s next for Rupert and Rowan?
    [45:42] Where to find out more about the work Rupert is doing.
     
    Know Someone Inspirational, Whose Life Has Been Forever Changed Because of Horses? Because of Horses would love to get to share their story!
    To recommend someone please send an email to elise@becauseofhorses.com.
     
    Mentioned in this Episode:
    The Hampton Classic
    Rupert Isaacson
    Because of Horses Ep. 7: “The Horse Boy and Rupert Isaacson”
    Horse Boy Foundation
    The Horse Boy: A Father's Quest to Heal His Son, by Rupert Isaacson
    The Horse Boy (Film, 2009)

    EquestFile (Use coupon code: BOH10 to receive a 10% discount for two months off your subscription)
    Kids Must Move (Facebook Page)
    GGTFootin

    • 49 min
    Listeners’ Choice Collection: Excerpts From Our Most Popular Guests

    Listeners’ Choice Collection: Excerpts From Our Most Popular Guests

    This week Elise is bringing you an especially fun episode because it’s all about you — the listeners! This episode will be featuring the four guests that listeners have chosen as their favorites from the 103 episodes that have aired in Seasons 1 and 2 thus far! Elise will be sharing the best excerpts from these incredible episodes as she counts down the top favorite guests, including Stacy Westfall, Through Rider Gillian Larson, Guy McLean, and King Ranch's James Clement.
     
     
    Topics of Discussion:
    [:25] About today’s special episode!
    [:48] Listeners' choice guest #4 is Guy McLean!
    [1:44] In this first clip, Guy speaks about his journey going from a shy little boy who found his place in the world with horses to now performing at some of the world’s most legendary venues.
    [5:28] We often talk about what we want from horses, but what does Guy think horses want from us?
    [9:07] Guy McLean recites his remarkable poem, “This is War,” and explains the story behind it.
    [14:06] What does Guy wish people knew about ‘so-called’ difficult horses?
    [21:48] Listeners' choice guest #3 is the renowned trainer, clinician, and competitor, Stacy Westfall!
    [23:45] Stacy speaks about how she turned a major competition mistake around (that got her disqualified) and whether there’s a pattern for conscious decision making and willful positivism that can turn even the most disappointing moments into positive outcomes.
    [27:50] Stacy speaks about positive intent, ethics, and how our connection with horses reinforces them.
    [30:00] Did Stacy have any idea of the impact that her viral ride would have on her audience and viewers online?
    [33:55] Stacy reflects on her experience during this viral ride.
    [38:07] Guest #2 on the listeners’ choice list is James Clement III from the iconic King Ranch!
    [39:26] James Clement shares the story of the legendary stallion, Old Sorrel, and why he’s so important to today’s Quarter Horses. James also shares how the King Ranch came to be founded.
    [44:02] James tells the story of Captain King and explains how his life truly optimizes the American dream.
    [48:11] James continues the story of Captain King and speaks about how he is following in his predecessor's footsteps.
    [51:43] About the amazing heritage that many of the coworkers at King Ranch share.
    [53:11] The guest that listeners voted #1 out of 103 episodes: Through Rider Gillian Larson.
    [53:53] Gillian speaks about her daily routine in caring for her horses on the trail, and how she manages to keep them healthy and sound as they travel thousands of miles together.
    [1:04:19] Has Gillian had any wildlife encounters during her travels with her horses? Any Stephen King moments?
    [1:17:00] Elise wraps up this week’s special listeners' choice episode!
     
    Know Someone Inspirational, Whose Life Has Been Forever Changed Because of Horses? Because of Horses would love to get to share their story!
    To recommend someone please send an email to elise@becauseofhorses.com.
     
    Mentioned in this Episode:
    The Hampton Classic
    Episode 65: “Guy McLean: Australia’s National Treasure and Ambassador of the Outback”
    EquestFile (Use coupon code: BOH10 to receive a 10% discount for two months off your subscription)
    Episode 27: “Stacy Westfall Has Done It All: Ellen DeGeneres, NRHA Champion, Quarter Horse Congress Record, Road to the Horse Winner”
    Stacy Westfall’s Viral Ride (Youtube Video)
    Episode 67: “The King Ranch Legacy: Quarter Horses, Triple Crown Contenders, and 170 Years of Breeding Excellence, with James Clement”
    GGTFooting.com/BOHP
    Episode 62: “The Lone Rider: Border to Border on Horseback, with Gillian Larson”
     
    Like what you hear? Because of Horses would love to hear your feedback!
    Please email elise@becauseofhorses.com to send Because of Horses your thoughts.
     
    To Support the Podcast:
    Donate on Paypal to help keep Because of Horses running — all amounts are welcome! Subscribe: RSS Feed, i

    • 1 hr 17 min
    Helping Our Horses Dance, with Visconte Simon Cocozza

    Helping Our Horses Dance, with Visconte Simon Cocozza

    Elise’s guest today wondered about the difference between the horse that moves so beautifully it’s like dancing vs. a horse that doesn’t… or possibly can’t. He recognized that it’s all about the horse’s inner strength and balance and that the way to help the horse achieve this difference is through applying yoga principles, designed and intended for humans, to our equine partners!
     
    After 30 years refining his work with some of the finest equines and trainers in Europe, as well as his own horses, Visconte (Viscount) Simon Cocozza wrote his book, Core Conditioning for Horses: Yoga-Inspired Warm-up Techniques: Increase Suppleness, Improve Bend, and Unlock Optimal Movement. Simon is also a performance coach and examiner for the French Equestrian Federation, a British qualified trainer, and one of Europe’s leading bio-dynamics researchers. He has made it his life’s work to apply a scientific approach to the principles of equitation with the goal of helping each horse to become the healthiest he or she can be!
     
    In this fascinating episode, Simon is joining Elise from his equestrian center in Normandy, France, where he trains and, as he says, enjoys far too much cheese.
     
    Tune in to learn more about Simon’s philosophy and approach about core conditioning for horses and learn how you can utilize it for yourself as he walks listeners through the ideal warm-up, the benefits behind his approach, and all you need to know about what goes on in a horse’s body!
     
    Topics of Discussion:
    [:25] About today’s guest, Visconte Simon Cocozza.
    [1:22] How do yoga-inspired warmup techniques increase suppleness, bend, and optimal movement in our horses?
    [2:25] Simon describes the core muscles in horses and explains what can cause them to become stiff or painful.
    [5:22] Why does Simon think that most people tend to interpret a horse’s body language as stubborn rather than being in pain or discomfort?
    [8:44] The importance of finding out what is causing your horse’s discomfort or point of pain.
    [12:02] Simon explains why it is so crucial to understand where a horse’s discomfort is coming from and why we should address it as soon as possible, as well as the reason behind why he wrote his book, Core Conditioning for Horses: Yoga-Inspired Warm-up Techniques.
    [15:25] How can a rider differentiate between a horse experiencing discomfort vs. simply not having the talent for a particular discipline?
    [18:15] How can riders utilize Simon’s approach and philosophy throughout their training and not just during warm-up?
    [20:50] Simon explains the differences between fitness and elasticity in horses.
    [27:15] Simon walks listeners through an ideal warm-up to employ when they first begin using his techniques.
    [31:10] The incredible purpose that Simon’s yoga-inspired warm-up technique serves.
    [33:27] How does a rider know when they’re successful in helping their horse’s core muscles become more conditioned?
    [35:02] The positive outcomes of using Simon’s technique.
    [37:44] In talking about releasing tension in our horses’ bodies, how can we release tension in our own so we’re not bringing that to the barn?
    [40:32] Simon explains how he first made the connection between yoga principles and horses and provides some examples that illustrate the improvements he has seen in applying yoga principles to horses.
    [43:18] Simon reflects on his childhood and growing up in Rome, Italy, with a family who was passionate about horses.
    [45:24] When Simon thinks far into the future, what would he like his legacy to be?
    [47:57] About next week’s episode of Because of Horses!
    [49:04] Where to find Simon’s book online and learn more about his approach!
     
    Know Someone Inspirational, Whose Life Has Been Forever Changed Because of Horses? Because of Horses would love to get to share their story!
    To recommend someone please send an email to elise@becauseofhorses.com.
     
    Mentioned in this Episode:
    The Hampt

    • 51 min
    What Science and Experience Tell Us About How Horses Learn with Dr. Stephen Peters

    What Science and Experience Tell Us About How Horses Learn with Dr. Stephen Peters

    Every time we think we can make a definitive statement about how the human brain works, science makes advances, and in many cases, proves those beliefs to be wrong. The same is true of horses’ brains, which directly impacts how they learn, how they experience the world, and how we can more effectively work with them and provide them with better lives.
     
    Elise’s guest today, neuroscientist, author, and horseman, Dr. Stephen Peters, was frustrated by the many often opposing views about training and working with his own horses. Dr. Peters decided to apply his knowledge of the human brain to developing science-based horsemanship to understand how a horse’s brain and its behavior are related and how they, in turn, affect learning. Dr. Peters partnered with trainer and fifth-generation rancher, Martin Black, whose early years of training horses were guided by working for legendary horsemen Tom Dorrance and Ray Hunt. Together, they wrote the book, Evidence-Based Horsemanship, to share their intriguing findings.
     
    In this episode, Dr. Peters shares his incredible insights on how the equine brain thinks and how we can apply this knowledge to work more effectively with our own horses. He also gives his impression of how he believes horses experience the world and how we can best interact with our horses to accommodate this.
     
    Topics of Discussion:
    [:25] About today’s guest, Dr. Stephen Peters.
    [1:39] What can the equine brain think? How does it think? And how can we apply this knowledge to working more effectively with our own horses?
    [6:22] What is Dr. Peters’ impression of how horses experience the world? And in particular, with regards to our interactions with them and creating that calm environment that is most beneficial to learning.
    [27:38] When Dr. Peters is working with young horses, what is the middle ground between exposing them to new experiences and completely “bubble-wrapping” them?
    [35:57] Has Dr. Peters been surprised by any of his findings as both a neuroscientist and a horseman?
    [41:07] It’s been proven that horses are good for humans, but are humans good for horses?
    [50:13] Dr. Peters and Elise discuss the ongoing evolution of horsemanship in understanding what is actually most beneficial for the horse.
    [52:20] About next week’s episode of Because of Horses.
    [53:37] Where to learn more about Dr. Peters and find his book online.
     
    Know Someone Inspirational, Whose Life Has Been Forever Changed Because of Horses? Because of Horseswould love to get to share their story!
    To recommend someone please send an email to elise@becauseofhorses.com.
     
    Mentioned in this Episode:
    The Hampton Classic
    Evidence-Based Horsemanship, by Dr. Stephen Peters and Martin Black
    EquestFile(Use coupon code: BOH10 to receive a 10% discount for two months off your subscription)
    GGTFooting.com/BOHP
    Horse Head: Brain Science & Other Insights, by Maddy Butcher and Dr. Stephen Peters (Contributor)
     
    Like what you hear?Because of Horseswould love to hear your feedback!
    Please email elise@becauseofhorses.comto send Because of Horsesyour thoughts.
     
    To Support the Podcast:
    Donate on Paypalto help keep Because of Horsesrunning — all amounts are welcome! Subscribe: RSS Feed, iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, and Player FM

    • 55 min
    EQUUS Film Festival: Horses in the Arts

    EQUUS Film Festival: Horses in the Arts

    Lisa Diersen is the Founder and Director of the EQUUS Film Festival, recognized as the largest showcase of equestrian film, art and literature in the world. An avid horsewoman and movie lover, Lisa believes in the power of telling stories through film. She founded the EQUUS Film Festival with the mission of showing the world how horses can bring everyone together regardless of race, age, gender, ability or disability.
     
    The EQUUS Film Festival launched in 2013 at the Arcada Theater in Lisa’s hometown of St. Charles, Illinois. The main feature was “The Horse Boy,” a documentary film about Rowan Isaacson, a young boy with autism. Lisa was moved by how the movie displayed the ups and downs of living with autism, as well as the healing role played by the horse. She knew that this message of unity and hope, shared through film, was critical to share with a broader audience.
     
    In 2014, the Festival moved to New York City, where it screened 100 movies from 20 countries. The next year, it moved to a larger venue at the Village East Cinema and began offering national and international tour stops throughout the year. In 2017, Lisa collaborated with documentary filmmaker Julianne Neal to create the Spotlight Rescue Series, now an annual feature at the Festival. The Spotlight Series tells the stories of cats, dogs, horses and humans in rescue situations, and the people who work tirelessly to save them.
     
    The EQUUS Film Festival showcases films from around the world, featuring a complex cross-section of the equestrian community. Films are selected for their ability to share the wonder of horses, to help us better understand the horse’s influence on our history, and to appreciate the healing that horses offer.
     
    Since its inception, the Festival has expanded to include works of literature and art which celebrate the Festival’s mission. In addition, organizers present the WINNIE Awards, which annually recognize excellence in equestrian film, writing and art.
     
    The 2019 EQUUS Film Festival will be held Dec. 5-8 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky. Festival films, documentaries, shorts and more can also be viewed on the EQUUS Film Festival ON DEMAND channel, offered in collaboration with Horse Network.
     
     
    Topics of Discussion:
    [:25] About today’s episode with Lisa Diersen.
    [1:39] What it is about film and art, that, when combined with horses, is especially meaningful?
    [5:47] Lisa speaks about the early days of building the EQUUS Film Festival.
    [10:45] Lisa shares her thoughts on how the EQUUS Film Festival has given a platform to — and broadened the reach of — talented filmmakers, writers, photographers, and artists.
    [15:46] Lisa explains how the EQUUS Film Festival is more than a showcase, but also a platform for education.
    [24:00] What are some of the unexpected things Lisa has learned as the director and founder of the EQUUS Film Festival?
    [33:18] Lisa speaks about the upcoming movie based on the 1930s book series, Billy and Blaze, by C.W. Anderson.
    [38:00] What does Lisa hope the new reality TV show, Horse Rescue Heroes, accomplishes?
    [44:16] Lisa shares other aspects of the EQUUS Film Festival: literature and art.
    [48:35] About next week’s guest on Because of Horses.
    [50:15] Where to learn more about Lisa Diersen and the EQUUS Film Festival!
     
    Know Someone Inspirational, Whose Life Has Been Forever Changed Because of Horses? Because of Horseswould love to get to share their story!
    To recommend someone please send an email to elise@becauseofhorses.com.
     
    Mentioned in this Episode:
    The Hampton Classic
    The Black Stallion(Film, 1979)
    Black Beauty (Film, 1994)
    EQUUS Film Festival
    Lisa Diersen
    Elegant Enchanting Lusitano
    Kentucky Horse Park
    Diana De Rosa
    HF Films Rare Equine Trust
    Mustang Saviors (Film, 2019)
    BraveHearts Therapeutic Riding & Educational Center
    Talking to the Air (Film, 2019)
    Their Last Ride (Film, 2015)
    Billy and Blaze,by C.W. Anderson

    • 51 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
35 Ratings

35 Ratings

elfen queen ,

Because of Horses

I have loved these podcasts. Elise has a thoughtful way of phrasing her questions which leads to seamless threads. More like a conversation than an interview sometimes.
I miss this podcast so much. Please come back, Elise!!!

EZZERSBALSAGNA ,

Great podcast, incredibly well thought out interviews and a pleasure to listen to!Thanks!

Thanks so much!

123Moon321 ,

War Horses for Veterans

Outstanding episode!

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