12 episodes

Welcome to Live Free Ride Free, where we talk to people who have lived self-actualized lives on their own terms, and find out how they got there, what they do, how we can get there, what we can learn from them. How to live our best lives, find our own definition of success, and most importantly, find joy.

Your Host is New York Times bestselling author Rupert Isaacson. Long time human rights activist, Rupert helped a group of Bushmen in the Kalahari fight for their ancestral lands. He's probably best known for his autism advocacy work following the publication of his bestselling book "The Horse Boy" and "The Long Ride Home" where he tells the story of finding healing for his autistic son. Subsequently he founded New Trails Learning Systems an approach for addressing neuro-psychiatric conditions through horses, movement and nature. The methods are now used around the world in therapeutic riding program, therapy offices and schools for special needs and neuro-typical children.

 You can find details of all our programs and shows on www.RupertIsaacson.com

Live Free Ride Free with Rupert Isaacson Rupert Isaacson

    • Education
    • 5.0 • 6 Ratings

Welcome to Live Free Ride Free, where we talk to people who have lived self-actualized lives on their own terms, and find out how they got there, what they do, how we can get there, what we can learn from them. How to live our best lives, find our own definition of success, and most importantly, find joy.

Your Host is New York Times bestselling author Rupert Isaacson. Long time human rights activist, Rupert helped a group of Bushmen in the Kalahari fight for their ancestral lands. He's probably best known for his autism advocacy work following the publication of his bestselling book "The Horse Boy" and "The Long Ride Home" where he tells the story of finding healing for his autistic son. Subsequently he founded New Trails Learning Systems an approach for addressing neuro-psychiatric conditions through horses, movement and nature. The methods are now used around the world in therapeutic riding program, therapy offices and schools for special needs and neuro-typical children.

 You can find details of all our programs and shows on www.RupertIsaacson.com

    EP 11: Diana Ellbaum - Beluga Tree Production

    EP 11: Diana Ellbaum - Beluga Tree Production

    Have you ever dreamed of being a filmmaker, a producer? A storyteller of the screen? We all have at some point -anyone who consumes screen entertainment hankers at some point to be the one making the content. Yet how to even get started? Even in these days of YouTubers and independent film making platforms where movies made on cell phones get sold to TV, we know its hard. How do you get the finances, the actors, the costumes, the scripts? How do you put it all together and make a go of it, a successful career of it?
    Diana Elbaum knows how. Starting as a confused young Belgian girl with a naive desire to tell stories, her two companies, Entre Chien et Loup (between wolf and dog) and Beluga Tree have produced well over ninety films of all genres. She’s done the Hollywood thing – her groundbreaking movie The Congress featured Robin Wright, Danny Huston and Harvey Keitel. But Diana has also explored a side of film that many of us in the English speaking world are largely unaware of – the thriving French, Belgian and European cinematic and television world which produces billions of dollars a year and many works of great quality – a goodly number of which then get bought by Hollywood and put into English language versions.
    Diana has won a string of awards, started the EP2C Workshop which helps young film makers from around the world – or even older ones – get started. Maybe she can help you.
    So listen on, if there was ever a woman who has self actualized, and at the same time helped dozens of others do the same, it's Diana Elbaum.
    Contact Dianahello@belugatree.be
    Find our other shows and programs:https://rupertisaacson.com

    • 2 hr 23 min
    Ep 10: Nick Ross - Art History Abroad

    Ep 10: Nick Ross - Art History Abroad

    Have you ever heard of the Grand Tour? If you haven’t, you’ve certainly benefited from it – in the 18th and 19th centuries young artists, composers and  aristocrats from northern Europe, most especially England and Germany, used to tour the great cities of Renaissance Italy, adventuring in all sorts of dissolute ways but also learning the Classics along the way, not to mention witnessing the great art of Venice, Florence and Rome, and bringing this Enlightenment firmly into our modern consciousness. Byron, the Shelleys, Goethe – all found their muse on the Grand Tour. We would have no Frankenstein, no Childe Harold, no Faust if their authors had not had their artistic world view split wide open in the Uffizi, the Vatican and The Grand Canal  Even Mark Twain, that great alderman of American letters, was by his own admission greatly affected in his writing by having made this rite of passage.
    Today, a small British outfit with the succinctly appropriate name of Art History Abroad is helping people self-actualize by making the Grand Tour in our post-modern age. Can this old aristocratic tradition be democratized? Could deep immersion into the realm of art and beauty still be part of making a young (or indeed any age) person, a more rounded, more effective, indeed more empathetic individual, better able to tackle the vicissitudes of our own times?
    Nick Ross, our guest on this edition of Live Free Ride Free, has demonstrated that yes, art, beauty, the Grand Tour can indeed set us free, Despite battling an early paralysis, endless setbacks and the perhaps inevitable -  you cant make a living doing something so old fashioned – nay-sayers, has spent the past thirty five years dramatically opening up the world view of countless Brits, Americans and others, helping them find themselves through art – and its timeless, peerless wonder. Nick Ross has, one could say, self-actualized through helping others do the same. The arts, it seems, can connect us with the divine with ourselves. Listen on, for in many ways Nick has, frankly, pulled off the impossible.
    Contact Nickhttps://www.arthistoryabroad.com/nick@arthistoryabroad.com
    Find our other shows and programs:https://rupertisaacson.com

    • 1 hr 47 min
    EP 9: Jill Cohen

    EP 9: Jill Cohen

    To live free and ride free you don't have to be a celeb. You don't have to be changing the world in an obvious way. The non-obvious, the non celebrity pathway is just as powerful but oft overlooked. With that in mind I feel it's very important to balance the extraordinary ways in which we have seen guests on the podcast live self actualized lived with equally extraordinary tales of a more ordinary path. Ordinary circumstances is perhaps a better way of putting it. But what extraordinary response to those circumstances. Jill Cohen, of Santa Cruz, California, is one of these extraordinarily self actualized ordinary people. Like you, like me, changing the world in ways more subtle. There is much to learn from Jill.
    A Jewish mother, who runs a healing practice so effective that her waiting list is miles long - yet you've never heard of her. Five times married, sailed around the world, an equestrian, always self supporting. A self-proclaimed hippie flying that freedom flag high, who began to earn her living as a potter at the age of 15. never compromising her independence, not for society, not for any man, and making a go of it.
    But there's more. In this episode we ask, is it possible to self actualize and change the world through quiet service? Jill is grandmother to an extraordinary but challenging autistic young man, Sequoia. Giving up her freedom to co-create a safe environment in the California Hills for her granddaughter, daughter and parent, Jill sacrificed a lot, took on the role of sole breadwinner and equal care giver, but achieved great insights and great joy. No sooner had that adventure run its course than her own mother, declining with dementia, needed the same care and with the same immediate, unthinking courage, Jill rose to that occasion too. The freedom to move at will, go where she wanted, how she wanted with whom she wanted now replaced with years of service to these demanding family members, and at the same time developing and deepening her mastery of the healing arts, Jill has never lost her sense of humour, her perspective, her deep and quiet joy. Can we learn from tribal elders like Jill? Indeed, we can, and must, if we are going to self actualize in our daily, our ordinary lives. For this of course is where we are closest to the diving. So, listen on, to hear Jill is to love her. And you'll never regard your seemingly ordinary life as quite so ordinary again.
    Find our other shows and programs:https://rupertisaacson.com

    • 2 hr 24 min
    Ep 8: Sofia Valenca - Valenca Equestrian Academy, Portugal

    Ep 8: Sofia Valenca - Valenca Equestrian Academy, Portugal

    Have you ever gone looking for treasure. And found it? Like many who go looking for gold, the first clues came through offhand comments, snatches overheard conversations that somehow struck a resonance, a chord, in the gut. I had embarked upon a journey to the centre of the Old Masters tradition of dressage. At first, I didn't know that was what I was doing. My quest was to understand more about how to truly and softly collect a horse _ and not for the usual reasons. You see, I had stumbled into something; when riding with my then four-year-old autistic son Rowan I had noticed from the first ride that when the horse was more collected, he spoke more. Intrigued, I set out to find out why. Consulting with neuroscientists. it was explained to me that the soft rhythmic hip rocking experienced when riding a horse this way feels so good ( and we all know it does) because it causes the body to produce a hormone called oxytocin, which is in itself a sort of Holy Grail. >For it is the joy hormone. Its also the hormone of communication.
    So, what has this to do with my guest for this fascinating podcast, Sofia Valenca? Well, realizing that I needed to know more about collection so as to be able to produce more oxytocin and therefore get more communication from my son and the other young autists with whom I was starting to work as part of what is now Horse Boy Method, I realized I needed to learn more about dressage. Now, anyone who knows anything about horses knows that dressage, real light dressage, is a complex and difficult skill to learn, and takes about 500 years or so. I didn't have 500 years, and I found the first dressage lessons I took unclear, unfocused even punitive, with the instructors barking orders but not really explaining how....
    I consulted with dressage professionals I knew, What would you do if you were in y position, I asked, and needed to learn this impossible skill not in centuries or aons, but in as efficient and enjoyable a way as possible, Go ti Portugal they all said. Why, I asked? Because that is where they still use dressage for the original purpose of war, so they don't mess around. They teach you on schoolmaster horses that know all the fancy stuff, and at the same time teach you the in-hand work, where you learn it from the ground and also create a balanced horse underneath you that fully understand the work. that made sense, but wait, I said, Portugal isn't at war with anyone, right? No, it was explained to me, its about the mounted bullfight - Portuguese bullfighters don't try and kill the bull, as happens in Spain. Instead, they learn to dance around it on horseback. One doesn't want to bullfight of course, but to learn those martial arts skills with the horse, well, that's true dressage.
    So down I went to Portugal and found this was indeed all true. I also began to hear, not just in Portugal but in the UK, the USA, France, elsewhere a certain name began to come up over and over again. Valenca.
    The whole Valenca family - headed by Mastre Luis Valenca, his three daughters Sofia, Phillipa and Bea and now his granddaughter Ines are legends in the dressage world. Not bullfightes, but equestrian artists, the family is a  hidden treasure that many have heard of, but few have found. Which is strange because you couldn't find a nicer, more open, more approachable bunch. The first five days in their Picadoro (the small inside arena they use in Portugal) I learned more about horses and horsemanship than i had learned in years of lessons elsewhere. I also saw a family dedicated to joy, to art, to self expression and self actualization, who were dedicating their lives to helping others set their dreams free, Its no wonder that the family produces the incredible horses that perform the fantasy sequences in the massively successful equestrian theater spectacular Cavalluna, which tours Germany six months of the year. It's about turning dreams to reality. How do they do it? Well, listen to Sofia now. You may be int

    • 2 hr 19 min
    Ep 7: Sammy Leslie - Castle Leslie, IRE

    Ep 7: Sammy Leslie - Castle Leslie, IRE

     Living free and riding free - it's one thing to do it. It's another thing altogether to provide a whole universe that allows others to do it. Castle Leslie in Ireland is that place. A thousand acres and a castle, an equestrian tourism paradise, a place people go to disappear into the hills and forests of the border region, a research and learning site for climate and soil science, a treasure house of baroque and renaissance art that you can live in, the sort of place that rock stars go on honeymoon, and  special needs families can find healing in. Sammy Leslie has created that world - a sort of Hogwarts for the soul - from the ancient seat of the family of the same name.
     Yet this is not a story of an aristocrat inheriting and then repurposing the old estate with canny business acumen with a bit of altruism thrown in. Sammy Leslie did not inherit the estate. The illegitimate daughter of the Jewish mistress of the estate owner, whose hippy commune at the castle during the sixties and seventies provided fun and fantasy but little in the way of sustainable income, Sammy went to the local school, roamed the wilds of the estate, forged her own career as a riding teacher and hotel manager in the UK and further afield, and finally, when her father died, instead of inheriting the estate decided to buy it, piece by piece, with an entrepreneurial flair matched by a complete and total lack of capital. Yet she did it and created one of the world's most legendary heritage resort hotels. That would have been enough, but Sammy's deep love of the land, of the nature, of the paradisical estate led her to forest management, soil restoration and environmental activism and education.
     Everyone has struggles as they build their professional worlds - Sammy added cancer and MS to those - allowing them to inform her desire to make the estate not simply a playground for the rich and famous, or the ecologically minded, but also for those vulnerable people who would not normally have access to such a world. 
     How does one create such a universe, overcome such odds, both build and run an insanely complex business without burning out completely? How does one in fact cope with the inevitable burnouts that such an intense live free, ride free journey must entail?
     Well, a sense of humor helps. Sammy, as you will find out as you listen to this edition of Live Free Ride Free, is herself excellent craic, as they say in Ireland.
     There is much to learn from Sammy Leslie, much to be inspired by and laugh with. Best of all, once you're done listening to her incredible story, you can pack your bags and go experience the world she has created first hand. If you're looking for a place to live and ride free, Castle Leslie is it, and Sammy is its chatelaine.
    Enjoy.
    Links and books mentioned:Dear Daughter CampaignThe Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World - Michael PollandOmnivorist Dilema God is an octopus https://amzn.to/3OUFFvE
    Contact SammyLeslie Foundation lesliefoundation.ie info@lesliefoundation.ieCastleleslie.com
    Find our other shows and programs:https://rupertisaacson.com

    • 2 hr 9 min
    Ep 6: Lisa Diersen - Equus Film Festival

    Ep 6: Lisa Diersen - Equus Film Festival

    Film Festivals are something one reads about all the time. We accept them as institutions that drive the movie business in the same way that we take for granted music festivals and literary and other arts festivals, as things that exist almost as geological features of the landscape. Or at least the cultural landscape. 
    What many of us don’t know is that the festivals that come to accept as institutions in and onto themselves, were all started by someone with an idea. This includes such behemoth such as Sundance, which was the idea of the actor Robert Redford. The Cannes Film Festival, which was the brain child of a French man called Jean Zay, who with a couple of friends decided to set up, what has become to be the defining festival of the entire movie industry. 
    The Lollapalooza Music Festival was the idea of musician Perry Farrel. The list goes on. 
    I have often wondered what it takes to really get a festival off the ground and make it successful. Lisa Diersen, who conceived the Equus Film Festival – a niche festival, specializing in equestrian based subjects is one of the few people I know who has made a go of it. 
    Starting with an idea based around one documentary – The Horse Boy – it quickly grew and has now become self-sustaining and a stand alone within the myriad of festivals out there. It’s boutique and it’s unique and it works. 
    In this episode we talk to Lisa about how she conceived it, got it off the ground, and made a success of it and how she keeps the whole thing going. 
    She is also a horse breeder and horse trainer and makes a go of that too. In terms of living free and riding free, Lisa is right up there. Let’s find out how this extraordinary lady does it. 

    Films to check out
    Healing HorsesRiding my way back – Robin RosenwellThe Mustang Discovery Ride ProgramLady Long Rider https://www.endeofthetrail.com/ Unbranded https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3020666/ A Man A Mule America https://www.pbs.org/video/our-state-mule-rider Return of the horse https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2076314/ Equus Film Channel https://filmfestivalflix.com/festival/equus-2-2/Equus Film Festival http://www.equusfilmfestival.net/
    Contact Lisa:
    Lisa@equusfilmfestival.net Find our other Programs and Shows:
    https://RupertIsaacson.com
     

    • 2 hr 7 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
6 Ratings

6 Ratings

Jeanette Beard ,

Rupert Isaacson and Sofia Valenca

This was the first podcast I have listened to. I have had the pleasure of meeting them both previously. I can not emphasize how important it is to listen to this podcast and soak in what they staying.

Knowledge is so powerful and we need to remind ourselves to think about what makes us passionate about the horse and live the dream.

I could go on forever but simply tune in and learn and allow yourselfto awaken.

Jeanette Beard
United States

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