SEASON 1


EPISODE 52

COMPASSIONATE CARE
THE LINDSAY MAXWELL FUND

It is with great pleasure that Because of Horses' Season 1 concludes with this very special conversation about philanthropy, inspiration, and kindness.

The Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund is a private philanthropic fund whose charitable endeavors reflect Lindsay’s personal priorities and values: improving the lives of children with special needs; enabling access opportunities to education; and providing care, compassion, and protection to animals.

Joining me are Lindsay Maxwell and Bill Rube, Executive Director.

EPISODE 51

WORLD HORSE WELFARE
DR. ROLY OWERS, CEO

World Horse Welfare was founded in 1927, as a campaigning organization to prevent the export of live British horses for slaughter. The charity's founder, Ada Cole, was spurred into action after witnessing a procession of British work horses being unloaded and whipped for four miles to slaughter in Belgium.

In the decades since, WHW's work has been crucial in improving the lives of horses around the globe through education, lobbying for legal reform and protection, research, investigations, and re-homing.  Issues WHW tackles include responsible use of horses in sport, improvement of working horses' living conditions, sustainable animal husbandry practices, and public awareness and advocacy.

EPISODE 50

HOW THE MUSTANG DILEMMA BECAME SO COMPLEX... AND WHERE WE GO FROM HERE
DAVID PHILIPPS

A Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter’s exploration of wild horses in America―and an eye-opening story of their treatment in our own time.

The wild horse is so ingrained in the American imagination that even those who have never seen one know what it stands for: fierce independence, unbridled freedom, the bedrock ideals of the nation. From car ads to high school mascots, the wild horse―popularly known as the mustang―is the enduring icon of America. But in modern times it has become entangled in controversy and bureaucracy, and now its future is in question. In Wild Horse Country, New York Times reporter David Philipps traces the rich history of wild horses in America and investigates the shocking dilemma they face in our own time.

EPISODE 49

CERTIFIED HORSEMANSHIP ASSOCIATION
CHRISTY LANDWEHR, CEO

Christy Landwehr is CEO of the Certified Horsemanship Association – the organization established to promote safety and education throughout the entire horse industry by certifying instructors, accrediting equine facilities, producing educational conferences, and publishing educational resources through a variety of media. While building a great community of riders and instructors, and keeping it fun!

As the former horse-crazy kid of non-equestrian parents… as the parent of a horse-crazy kid… as a professional horse-woman… and as the author of a book (A Parent’s Guide to Riding Lessons) that’s focused on helping parents support their child’s interest in riding – while keeping them safe – CHA pretty much checks all the boxes for me, which is just one reason I’m delighted to be having this conversation.

EPISODE 48

CARING FOR OLDER HORSES
DR. TRACY NORMAN & ROSANNA MCMILLAN

My guests on this episode are veterinarian Dr. Tracy Norman and Rose McMillan, the owner of White Rock Manor, a retirement facility for horses on her 200-acre farm in Lexington, Virginia.

Our panel discussion is about The Sunset Years: owning, enjoying, and managing equine senior citizens. This includes topics like nutrition, activity levels, stabling, blanketing, and medical and dental care, as well as what retirement looks like. But it also includes the very difficult issue of when – and how – to say goodbye, including the logistics and expense.

EPISODE 47

MOUNTED WARFARE HISTORIAN & MODERN-DAY INDIANA JONES
MIKE LOADES

My guest on this episode is a modern-day Indiana Jones – a noted ancient warfare historian and British Museum lecturer, who could go out into the field and kick some serious ass... with phenomenal charm, a wealth of knowledge, and a twinkle in his eyes.

EPISODE 46

WHEN HORSES FLY
LUFTHANSA'S SABINE GREBE

Aired August 31, 2018

As the gateway for most horses going into Germany and Europe, as well as those leaving Europe for international travel, Lufthansa Cargo’s Frankfurt Animal Lounge handles horses of all breeds, disciplines, and training – from elite FEI and Olympic equine competitors to wild Mustangs, fresh off the range.

My guest is Sabine Grebe, Lufthansa Cargo's Animal Lounge chief. If you've ever thought about shipping a horse by air -- even if you've just wondered how it's done -- you'll really enjoy this episode.

From riding in full cowboy regalia in a Bandera, Texas, Memorial Day parade to providing meticulous and knowledgeable care for all of the animals in her charge, Sabine's story is fun and fascinating.

EPISODE 45

THE RIGHT HORSE INITIATIVE
CHRISTIE SCHULTE KAPPERT

Aired August 24, 2018

Good people for good horses. 

The Right Horse Initiative is a collective of equine industry and welfare professionals and advocates working together to improve the lives of horses in transition. Funded by the WaterShed Animal Fund, a division of the Arnall Family Foundation, The Right Horse is dedicated to improving the lives of companion animals. Specifically, their goal is to massively increase the number of successful horse adoptions in the United States by working together to reframe the adoption conversation and shatter the stigma surrounding horses in transition.

To learn more, please watch their video:  The Right Horse Initiative

EPISODE 44

BEFORE THEY WIN THE BELMONT
SHELLEY BUNNING

Aired August 17, 2018

Before the cheering throngs at Churchill Downs or Belmont or Saratoga watch young Thoroughbred racehorses charge from the starting gates, Shelley Bunning and her team at Timber Town Stables welcomed many of them into the world as newborn foals. 

This episode, Shelley talks about her experience at Timber Town Stables, working with the racing world’s finest multi-million dollar broodmares, what it’s like to foal out and raise champions like Belmont winner Tonalist, and how it feels to watch "her” young horses race for the first time. Join Shelley and Elise as they explore the heart-warming and sometimes exhausting broodmare and foaling side of Thoroughbred racing.

EPISODE 43

STAYING CALM IN THE ARENA
DR. MARGIE SUGARMAN, EQUESTRIAN SPORTS PSYCHOLOGIST

Aired August 10, 2018

Riders wanting an added competitive advantage recognize that the highest physical achievements can be seriously undermined if your head isn’t in the game. Discussing this topic with Elise is Dr. Margie Sugarman, a leading board-certified psychotherapist and sports consultant, with an extensive client list that includes Olympic, professional, and amateur athletes across the US.

EPISODE 42

SPECIAL OLYMPICS - EQUESTRIAN
ALEX HUBBARD, MARTHA JOHNSON, AND OLYMPIAN STACEY JOHNSON

Aired August 3, 2018

This year, Special Olympics is celebrating its 50th anniversary. It was founded by Eunice Kennedy Shriver in 1968 and continues to provide year-round training and competitive events to five million athletes in 172 countries. Competitions are held every day, all around the world, including local, national, and regional competitions, adding up to more than 100,000 events each year. The 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games are scheduled March 14-21, 2019, and will take place in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates -- the first time the Special Olympics have been hosted in the Middle East.

Helping to quantify what Special Olympics means to athletes, their families, and volunteers all over the world are my guests: Area 10 Program Director, Alex Hubbard; Stacey Johnson, a Special Olympics gold and bronze medalist, as well as the President of the Athlete Leadership Program, a member of the Special Olympics Torch Run Officers, and a Global Messenger; and Martha Johnson, Stacey’s mom, who is also the Director of Finance at Equest Therapeutic Riding Center in Dallas, Texas.

EPISODE 41

NIOBE THOMPSON
ON HIS NEW FILM SERIES: "EQUUS"

Aired July 27, 2018

Not so long ago, all horses were wild. But then we transformed our world with horse power.

These are the opening lines of the exciting new three-part film series, "Equus: Story of the Horse," and internationally renowned Canadian filmmaker Dr. Niobe Thompson is my guest on this episode of Because of Horses.

Niobe is a Cambridge-trained anthropologist; an Emmy-nominated filmmaker who’s won multiple Canadian Screen Awards, Alberta Film Awards, and the Edmonton Film Prize; and he is a self-proclaimed horse lover.

EPISODE 40

MSU'S EQUINE STUDIES & ADULT EQUINE EXTENSION PROGRAM
DR. KAREN WAITE

Aired July 20, 2018

How to begin describing Professor and Sports Psychologist Dr. Karen Waite, whose expertise and generosity in sharing her knowledge are truly remarkable -- even among the phenomenal guests Because of Horses Podcast has been fortunate to interview? (And did I mention she's incredibly nice and fun to talk with?) Read on and you'll see what I mean: Director of Undergraduate Education in Michigan State's Department of Animal Science, Coordinator of Michigan State's Horse Management Program, Faculty Coordinator of Michigan State's Horse Teaching and Research Center, Faculty Advisor to Michigan State's Equestrian Team, Karen manages the Michigan 4-H Horse Judges List and much more!

In short, ask Karen anything about horses, competing, and being an equestrian, and you're going to be treated to an astounding wealth of knowledge. She's especially passionate about teaching and inspiring students to explore a wide variety of careers within the horse world.

EPISODE 39

DREAMS DO COME TRUE... A BOOK-LOVING, HORSE-CRAZY GIRL GREW UP TO BE A BELOVED & PROLIFIC AUTHOR JESSIE HAAS

[Original air date October 20, 2017] Aired July 13, 2018

Note from Elise:

When a scheduled guest's episode fell through at the last minute in our production schedule, the welcomed opportunity arose to revisit a favorite episode.... something I've wanted to do for a while now.

Jessie Haas epitomizes what I hope to express through Because of Horses Podcast: how to be true to yourself and the things that give you joy, by creating an intentional life doing what you love most. That Jessie is an internationally acclaimed, prolific, and beloved writer whose books have brought immeasurable happiness to horse-loving children and adults alike? Icing on the karmic cake.

EPISODE 38

THE ANDALUSIAN WORLD CUP KEVIN KIDDER

Aired July 6, 2018

Kevin Kidder wears many hats and he wears them well!  Professional photographer, graphic artist, marketing professional, and the Chief Operating Officer of Andalusian World LLC, the organization responsible for the annual Andalusian World Cup in Las Vegas.

Kevin has been featured by Time Warner, CNN, The Press Enterprise, and The Sun; and his designs and photography have appeared in many magazines, trade shows, 5-star hotels, and national art galleries.

But its Kevin's work on behalf of the annual Andalusian World Cup that is -- in many ways -- one of his most notable accomplishments: an ongoing endeavor that truly expresses Kevin's heart, creativity, and his ability to unite people all over the globe on behalf of our beloved horses.

EPISODE 37

KEMI GRADUATE
HEATHER HOLDERBY

Airing June 29, 2018

Heather Holderby, former KEMI intern and now a rising professional in the horse world, is a wonderful example of the incredible talent within the ranks of "horse-crazy" young people.

Through KEMI, Heather's experiences with some of the finest Thoroughbreds and professionals in the horse world included working at Ashford Stud, where she was among the lucky few to welcome American Pharaoh straight off the trailer from winning the Breeder's Cup; working at Timber Town Stables for the renowned Shelley Bunning; and helping foal out such legends as Havre de Grace, Groupie Doll, and Unrivaled Belle.

EPISODE 36

KEEPING THE WILD IN THE WEST
MUSTANG MEG

Aired June 22, 2018

Mustang Meg (Sonya Spaziani) is renowned for her photography, field research, and ongoing efforts to educate the public on the status of wild Mustangs.

Currently, 75,000 wild horses are caught in political, emotional, and environmental controversy. Another 45,000 are held in government holding pens, costing the Bureau of Land Management nearly $50 million annually. It is estimated that there are more wild horses in captivity now than exist in the wild -- with more round-ups scheduled regularly.

Wild horse advocacy has become one of the largest grassroots efforts in US history – a touchpoint for horse enthusiasts, conservationists, ranchers, and even politicians.

In the midst of this volatility, Mustang Meg is respected not only for her expertise, but also for her willingness to partner, as a steadfast advocate, with all sides on behalf of the horses she so devotedly works to protect. 
This is a very special episode of Because of Horses. 

EPISODE 35

COWBOY POET LAUREATE SMOKEY CULVER

Aired June 15, 2018

Cowboy poetry is a form of poetry that grew out of a tradition first created by cowboys and hands working on cattle drives and ranches. After a long, hard day of work, they would gather around a campfire and entertain one another with tall tales and folk songs. Newcomers to cowboy poetry are often surprised to learn, however, that it is a contemporary art. But the cowboy lifestyle is a living tradition that exists throughout western North America and resonates wherever people still work livestock, from Central and South America, to Spain and New Zealand and Australia.

Cowboy poetry is quite popular, with conventions and performances held around the world… not just beside a campfire. In fact, the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering is held every year in Elko, Nevada; there’s the NFR Cowboy Poetry Contest in Las Vegas; and many cities in the US and Canada hold annual “roundups” dedicated to cowboy poetry. And Cowboy Poetry Week is celebrated each April in both the US and in Canada.

EPISODE 34

PORTUGAL'S GIFTED
SOFIA VALENCA

Aired June 8, 2018

The Valenca name is known throughout Portugal – and the world – for its legendary horsemanship and for the family’s equestrian center, with its focus on continuing the centuries-old Portuguese Equestrian Art.

Speaking with Sofia was such a delightful pleasure and I was also honored that her father, Master Luis Valenca,  joined our conversation. Daughter and father: the level of horsemanship, expertise, kindness, and generosity of spirit... it's very clear why the Valenca family is so respected and admired worldwide.

EPISODE 33

THE KENTUCKY EQUINE MANAGEMENT INTERNSHIP LESLIE JANECKA

Aired June 1, 2018

Horse-crazy kids are born every day and many others find their way to a passion for horses as they go through childhood. But for those who want to some day work in the horse industry, figuring out where to begin can be extraordinarily difficult -- especially if they don’t have the contacts or the level of knowledge needed to get that first break.

The Kentucky Equine Management Internship (KEMI) was founded in 2000 to resolve this very real need. The feeling was that there were an awful lot of young people with a passion for horses, but without the connections to really get anywhere from a career perspective. The internship program bridges the gap between education and the Thoroughbred industry, and much of its success is due to Leslie Janecka, the program’s coordinator for 18 years. Because of this program hundreds of students have graduated and gone on to realize the careers they only dreamed about as youngsters.

EPISODE 32

THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF EQUINE PRACTITIONERS DAVID FOLEY

Aired Friday, May 25, 2018

There are guests whose dedication -- to horses and their well-being, to educating and supporting equestrians worldwide, to devoting their professional life to genuinely making a difference --  is terrifically inspirational and serves to reinforce my respect for my fellow horse enthusiasts, and my gratitude to be part of this remarkable community.

And then there’s David Foley, the Executive Director of the American Association of Equine Practitioners. In addition to his work at the AAEP, he’s very active within the equine, veterinary, and association communities. Just some of the organizations he’s supported include the American Horse Council, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, PATH International, the Racetrack Chaplaincy of America, the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance’s advisory board, and both the American and the Kentucky Societies of Veterinary Medical Association Executives.

EPISODE 31

BEHIND THE MICROPHONE ELISE GASTON CHAND

Aired May 18, 2018

My guest on this week’s episode is… me.

Episode 31 airs on my birthday, May 18th. So it seemed like a good time to respond to the surprising number of listener emails expressing an interest in learning more about the person behind the microphone.

Especially things like how I decided to do a podcast, how guests are selected, how podcasts work, and what it’s like talking to such interesting and inspirational people week after week.

So, to all the listeners who asked for a “behind the mike” look…. Here you go!

EPISODE 30

PARTNERING WITH HORSES PAULA JOSA JONES

Aired May 11, 2018

For years, horse trainers and equine experts have sought new ways to tap into that which for many remains elusive: the ability to use the human body, and our often neglected power of intent, to explain to the horse what we want, as well as receive in and understand his answer.  

Now in her fascinating book -- Our Horses, Ourselves -- dancer and choreographer Paula Josa-Jones examines this age-old conundrum from a whole new angle, combining her two greatest passions: movement and horses. Through stories, strategies, and over 65 meditations and gentle exercises, Josa-Jones shows us how we can develop greater somatic awareness away from the horse, as well as how being with the horse can help this consciousness continue to evolve.

EPISODE 29

MYSTERY, SUSPENSE, AND THOROUGHBRED RACING SASSCER HILL

Aired May 4, 2018

Sasscer Hill, a former Maryland racehorse breeder, trainer, and rider, uses the sport of kings as a backdrop for her mysteries. Her “vivid descriptive”prose about greed, evil, heart, and courage propelled her prolific “Nikki Latrelle” novels to multiple award nominations, including an Agatha, a Macavity, and the Dr. Tony Ryan Best in Racing Literature Award.

Her new series from St. Martins Press, featuring Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau agent "Fia McKee,"debuted with FLAMINGO ROAD in April of 2017, and received excellent critical reviews. The second book in the "Fia McKee" series, THE DARK SIDE OF TOWN, won the Carrie McCray 2015 Competition for Best First Chapter of a Novel, and was a runner up for the prestigious Claymore award. THE DARK SIDE OF TOWN is out April 17, 2018!

EPISODE 28

ROMFH EQUESTRIAN APPAREL LAURA ROMFH

Aired April 27, 2018

Function, form, fit, fashion... and beauty. I have long been a fan -- and a dedicated customer -- of Romfh Equestrian Apparel. So it's with great pleasure that I look forward to sharing Laura's story with Because of Horses listeners.

Laura Romfh is a lifelong equestrian, avid athlete, and the visionary fashion designer who created Romfh Equestrian Apparel. She's also the first designer to create technical equestrian performance sportswear -- thinking of riders from an athlete’s mindset -- and using fabrics and design elements that provide comfort and athletic performance benefits.  Laura's designs also are flattering for different body styles and are arena-ready, honoring our sports’ traditions and legacy.

EPISODE 27

MAKING EVERY MOMENT COUNT STACY WESTFALL

Aired April 20, 2018

How did a horse-crazy, young girl grow up to appear several times on the Ellen Degeneres television show, and become one of the top trainers and clinicians in the world? It's a fascinating journey!

Stacy Westfall is the renowned trainer, clinician, and competitor whose remarkable style of riding without a bridle or saddle -- and in the highest levels of reining competition -- set the bar for true horsemanship.

This episode was awarded first place at the American Horse Publications Equine Media Awards!

BOH Episode 26 Thumbnail .png

EPISODE 26

DMF PRODUCTIONS DANNY FORBES

Aired April 13, 2018

Family-owned and -operated, DMF Productions specializes in producing clinics with some of the world's finest equestrians, including George Morris, McLain Ward, Scott Brash,and -- this April 2018 in Ontario and October 2018 in Texas -- Isabell Werth, the most decorated Olympic equestrian in history.

 DMF's owner, Danny Forbes, has enjoyed a long career in the industry, both in and out of the saddle.  His own love of horses and the incredible generosity offered to him by talented trainers and riders over the years, inspired DMF Production's mission:  to give riders, from amateur to professional, the opportunity to school with some of the most decorated athletes in the sport. 

EPISODE 25

ON DUTY WITH
THE DALLAS POLICE MOUNTED UNIT

Aired April 6, 2018

In the state of Texas alone, there are more than 100 mounted police units. This includes city and county units, as well as posses and the mounted patrol that watches over the Capitol complex in Austin.

The Dallas mounted unit consists of 12 horses and nine officers, led by Sergeant Michael Hunter. Senior Corporal Bobby Favors selects and trains the horses and riders. Both officers are my guests on Because of Horses' Episode 25, recorded onsite at the Dallas Police Department’s Mounted Unit’s headquarters on the grounds of the Texas State Fair, near downtown Dallas.

EPISODE 24

CAVALIA RIDER AND AERIALIST CLAIRE BEER

Aired March 30, 2018

What's it like to soar 30 feet above a whirling circle of madly galloping horses? Ever imagined riding Roman-style, standing on the backs of two horses and running full-tilt? Or have you ever considered joining the circus, spending your time entertaining spell-bound audiences?

As one of the many incredibly talented Cavalia aerialists and riders, Claire Beer shares her insights with Because of Horses' listeners about performing with this talented group of artists and horses, touring worldwide all year ’round, and her exciting plans for the future

EPISODE 23

NCEA CO-CHAIR & DAD TO A POWERHOUSE EQUESTRIAN FAMILY TOM O'MARA

Aired March 23, 2018

Tom O’Mara is co-chair of the National Collegiate Equestrian Association’s advisory board, as well as a frequent guest on the Plaid Horse’s Plaidcast, where he keeps listeners updated on the latest NCEA news. He is also a horse show dad – and husband – who knows the competitive horse world like few others, spending 35 weekends out of the year on the road attending horse shows... where his four equestrian children competed at a whopping 34 Equitation Finals.

It would be easy to focus on the incredible professional and competitive accomplishments – his own and his family’s – and on the difference Tom O’Mara is making across the US through the NCEA to draw support for collegiate-level equestrian competition.

EPISODE 22

SAVING MUSTANGS AND INMATES RANDY HELM

Aired March 16, 2018

Experienced rancher and former undercover narcotics agent, Randy Helm now runs the Wild Horse Inmate Program at the Arizona State Penitentiary in Florence, Arizona. Through this program each year, 150 wild mustangs that might have spent their lives in long-term BLM holding pens are gentled by inmates -- providing both with a shot at new lives. 

EPISODE 21

THE HILL COUNTRY EQUESTRIAN LODGE DIANNE LINDIG LOVETT

Aired March 9, 2018

Hi, this is Elise. During the week between Christmas and New Year's in 2017, I had the opportunity to stay a week at the Hill Country Equestrian Lodge, just outside Bandera, Texas. While there, I met Dianne Lindig Lovett -- a talented equestrian and co-owner of the Lodge.

I was so taken by her story, wonderful hospitality, and love for/skill with horses, I asked Dianne on the spot to be a guest on Because of Horses. And very happily, she agreed!

How Dianne and her husband met, married, and returned to her beloved hometown, Bandera -- the Cowboy Capitol of the World -- then found this beautiful spot in the Texas Hill Country is heartwarming and delightful... and full of fascinating insight into history, culture, and human nature.

EPISODE 20

JOURNALISM, EQUINE HEALTH,  SPIELBERG'S "WAR HORSE," & THE 3-LEGGED PONY NAMED MOLLY FRAN JURGA

Aired March 2, 2018

Award-winning blogger and author Fran Jurga has spent her professional life weaving delightful stories about veterinarians and farriers, the unsung heroes of the horse world, for her popular websites, The Jurga Report for EQUUS Magazine and The Hoof Blog for her own Hoofcare Publishing. She has traveled the world, going from small blacksmiths in Scotland to Hunter Valley in Australia, Chantilly in France, and to New Zealand, in search of the latest discoveries in hoof health. 

And she has been studying and reporting on how human friends of horses have striven to cure horses of debilitating and often fatal diseases, and has reported on pioneering breakthroughs in hoof treatments.

EPISODE 19

NCHA & AQHA TRAINER & HORSEMAN OF THE YEAR, WITH 45 WORLD TITLES AL DUNNING

Aired February 23, 2018

With over 45 World and Reserve World titles, Al Dunning and his students have dominated in AQHA, NCHA, NRCHA, and NRHA events. He’s owned and operated the Almosta Ranch in Scottsdale, Arizona, for 48 years. And his love of teaching has taken Al all over the world, conducting clinics and sharing his training techniques and his philosophy on horsemanship. In addition, Al has developed an online lesson and mentoring program, Team AD, as well as AD Tack, an online store for tack and training equipment.

Al is as generous with his expertise and insight into reining, cutting, and cowhorse competition, as he is with his perspective on living a good life, putting in an honest day's work, and teaching the next generation.

EPISODE 18

OKLAHOMA STATE'S NATIONAL CHAMPION EQUESTRIAN TEAM HEAD COACH LARRY SANCHEZ

Aired February 16, 2018

Leading the Oklahoma State Equestrian program is Head Coach Larry Sanchez. Entering his 18th year at Oklahoma State, Sanchez continues to bring national titles home to Stillwater year after year. Under the guidance of Sanchez, Oklahoma State Equestrian has made its presence known at the National Championships every year, winning National Championships in 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2013. Sanchez also led the Cowgirls to Big 12 Championships in the 2009, 2012, 2013, and 2014 seasons. And in 2018, OSU's equestrians are again setting the bar for excellence.

As one of the most respected and successful equestrian coaches in the country, Sanchez has been essential in the move toward varsity recognition for equestrians. He currently serves as the spokesperson for the Varsity Equestrian Steering Committee, which is responsible for the development, organization, and implementation of all aspects involved with assembling varsity equestrian as an emerging NCAA sport.

EPISODE 17

ICONIC RANCHER, BEST-SELLING AUTHOR, & JUSTICE SANDRA DAY O'CONNOR'S BROTHER ALAN DAY

Aired February 9, 2018

As a third-generation cattleman, Alan’s upbringing branded him a cowboy from the day he was born. Growing up on his family’s historic 200,000-acre Lazy B Ranch, which straddled southern Arizona and New Mexico, cemented his love for the land and for horses.

Alan's incredible adventures include a visit from actor Kevin Costner in his quest to find a great place to shoot "Dances with Wolves," lobbying Congress to save 2,000 wild Mustangs, creating and operating the first wild horse sanctuary in the US, piloting his Cessna countless hours between his ranches to keep the cattle businesses thriving, writing several best-selling books (including one he co-authored with big-sister Justice Sandra Day O'Connor), and living the life of a modern-day cowboy and cattleman... without ever forgetting the traditions on which his family's way of life was built.

EPISODE 16

FROM TOP 10 MEDAL FINALIST TO TV SPORTS ANALYST CATIE STASZAK

Aired February 2, 2018

For most of us, how we design a life involving horses tends to be somewhat singular… We write about them. Or we photograph them. Or we train them. Or we paint them. Or maybe we even podcast about them. Each is rewarding and each takes hard work, resilience, fortitude, and determination.

And then there's Catie Staszak: University of Miami alum (Valedictorian), active equestrian competitor, and TV analyst and sports journalist. This talented, driven, and professional young woman takes a love of horses to an entirely new level.

EPISODE 15

TAKES THE FAMILY NAME TO THE NEXT LEVEL WITH "NO LIMITS" BRANDI LYONS

Aired January 26, 2018

Brandi Lyons doesn’t just carry on with one of the most trusted names in the horse industry – yes, her dad is the iconic John Lyons – she takes to the next level the work her father began. A renowned trainer in her own right, Brandi has spent the last 18 years working with horse owners through her No Limits clinics, symposiums, DVDs, and certification programs.

Brandi is renowned for her patience and kindness, and is a much sought-after clinician worldwide. Her perspective on the horse/human bond is both fresh and eye-opening, and based on a lifetime of experience and a wealth of common sense. She’s also a remarkable human being: the mother of five beautiful daughters, she knows first-hand what can happen when the worst occurs and she’s personally fought back from grave injury to not only ride again, but to help others manage their own fears.

EPISODE 14

56 MILLION YEARS OF EVOLUTION (AKA: WHY WE LOVE HORSES) WENDY WILLIAMS

Aired January 19, 2018

Wendy Williams, science journalist and author, has written for a wide variety of iconic publications, including Scientific American, Science, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, and Audubon magazine. As well, Wendy is a lifelong equestrian and is legendary for her love of horses.

In her book, The Horse: the Epic History of Our Noble Companion,  Wendy chronicles 56 million years through extensive research and her conversations with horse experts around the world, revealing how our biological affinities -- and differences – help define the horse/human bond.  And she shares her belief that horses and humans are bound to one another in a fashion that “is somehow encoded in our genes.”

EPISODE 13

FROM GERMAN AU PAIR TO PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER BIANCA MCCARTY

Aired January 12, 2018

It can be tempting to look at people who are following their dreams, especially at a young age, and incorrectly conclude that they are uniquely courageous, uniquely driven, and uniquely gifted in a way “normal mortals” aren’t. And while it’s accurate to say that people who follow their dreams possess each of these characteristics,  what truly sets them on their paths is true resilience and the determination to stay the course. This is certainly the case with the talented young photographer, Bianca McCarty

Every time a path opened before her, Bianca acknowledges having felt some degree of fear… yet her conscious decision to move into that fear, to not allow it to hold her back… led her to the States from her home in Germany… led her to give a college photography course a try… led her to become a promising professional photographer whose work is already being recognized internationally… led her to meet and marry her husband… led her to a beautiful existence on a horse farm, photographing Iberian horses, and living in Colorado – one of the loveliest places in the US. And it all started with a passion for riding, back when Bianca was a little girl, living with her family in the middle of a big city in Germany.

EPISODE 12

HAPPINESS, HOPE, AND HEALING THROUGH HORSES EQUEST & HOOVES FOR HEROES

Aired January 5, 2018

Join us for a wonderful discussion with: Equest Founder Susan Schwartz, Equest CEO Lili Kellogg, Hooves for Heroes Director Jeff Hensley

Giving comfort and peace to those with PTSD, depression, or severe anxiety. Providing a place of belonging and hope to many who’ve been marginalized and who are viewed as DISabled. Hearing a traumatized child utter a belly-laugh for the first time in years. Watching someone leave a wheelchair behind and race the wind on the back of a therapy horse…

For the staff and volunteers at Equest and at Hooves for Heroes, this is only a small glimpse of the incredible difference they’re making every single day in the lives of people they serve. It’s why Susan Schwartz founded Equest 37 years ago. It’s why Lili Kellogg leads Equest as its CEO. And it’s why Jeff Hensley is the Hooves for Heroes director. The happiness, joy, and hope therapeutic riding offers its participants are best summed up by one autistic boy who recently told his mother, “When I ride, I feel human.”

EPISODE 11

HOLISTIC EQUINE HEALTH AND WHAT OWNERS NEED TO KNOW BETH DANIELS

Aired December 29, 2017

While there are legions of talented female farriers around the globe, it remains a predominantly male profession. So it is especially fascinating that the American Farrier's Association's executive director is a woman who, having attended Mount Holyoke College and Yale School of Management, also happens to be incredibly well-educated ... until you have a chance to talk with Beth Daniels and hear her driving passion for horses, their health, and educating owners on the critical importance of developing a partnership between themselves, their vets, and their farriers.

With terrific insight and a wonderful sense of humor, Beth takes the old adage "no hoof, no horse" to entirely new levels.

EPISODE 10

HORSES, MUSIC, & LIFE IN THE SPOTLIGHT TEMPLETON THOMPSON & SAM GAY

Aired December 22, 2017

Country performers and songwriters, as well as husband-and-wife Sam Gay and Templeton Thompson have found the perfect blend of their love of music, of each other, and Templeton's passion for horses.

Currently, Templeton and Sam are on tour, performing at venues across the US. They're also doing a lot of good along the way, not only uplifting hearts, but also championing important issues like retired Thoroughbred racehorses through the retirement facility, Old Friends Equine, and bringing attention to Alzheimer's through their song "She Remembers Riding."

EPISODE 9

FROM TOP JOCKEY TO TRIPLE CROWN REPORTER DONNA BROTHERS

Aired December 15, 2017

When Donna Barton Brothers retired from Thoroughbred racing in 1998, she had won almost 1,200 races and earned the second-most winnings -- $11.2 million – among female jockeys in the United States.

After retiring her jockey silks, Donna became a television racing analyst, working for ESPN, NBC Sports, and TVG (Television Games Network). She also covers a variety of other equestrian sports, including the Hambletonian Stakes, the Rolex Three-Day Event, the World Equestrian Games, and the American Quarter Horse Association’s (AQHA) World Championship Show.

Donna’s mother was one of the first six women in the US to become a licensed jockey, and Donna’s brother and sister were jockeys, as well. But even though she grew up around horses … and horse racing was the world she lived in… Donna didn’t initially consider pursuing the profession herself… In fact, she grew up wanting to be anything but.

EPISODE 8

HER MOM'S SEWING ATTIC & A SHETLAND PONY LED TO THE LARGEST WESTERN SHOW ATTIRE COMPANY IN THE WORLD SUZI VLIETSTRA

Aired December 8, 2017

Suzi Vlietstra is the founder and president of Hobby Horse Incorporated, the largest supplier of western show apparel and related accessories in the world.

Hobby Horse began 30 years ago, but its origins go back further -- to when Suzi’s mother, a sewing teacher, taught her young daughter to sew. And together, they made a wild assortment of costumes and accessories for a variety of Shetlands, Paints, hunters, and trail horses – all from Suzi’s mom’s attic sewing studio.

EPISODE 7

THE HORSE BOY, MONGOLIA, & THE LORD OF THE RINGS RUPERT ISAACSON

Aired December 1, 2017

In April 2004, Rupert Isaacson’s son, Rowan, was diagnosed with autism. At first, Rowan seemed unreachable; then one day, when walking in the woods, Rowan spotted his neighbor’s horse herd and ran in among them. Rupert’s heart froze – as a lifelong horseman and former professional trainer, he’d been keeping his son away from horses for fear he’d get hurt. That day, however, Rupert witnessed something extraordinary – instead of trampling the squirming, babbling, three-year-old child, lying on his back among their hooves… the herd gently backed off. Then the alpha mare came over and lowered her head to Rowan, licking and chewing with her lips (a sign of equine submission). It was clear to Rupert that something very significant was happening between his son and the mare.

Most importantly, it became evident to Rupert that autism was not a problem to fix, but a gateway to adventure. He also realized that the standard approach of teaching autists “normal” behaviors completely missed their gifts and often stifled their intellect and sense of wonder.

EPISODE 6

RETURNING FROM A TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY
ON THE HORSE WHO ALMOST KILLED HER
SALLIE STEWART

Aired November 24, 2017

Sallie Stewart suffered a traumatic brain injury when her Andalusian stallion, Escogido XXV, lost his footing and fell while she was riding him. Sallie hit the ground first… and then Esco landed on Sallie’s head, causing facial fractures and a brain injury that dramatically changed her life. While her husband and sons taught her to walk, talk, dress, and feed herself, Sallie’s greatest healing was still to come. With her personal life in disarray and her family’s finances in tatters, Sallie was contemplating suicide when she received a life-changing phone call from her dressage coach, Mike Osinski.

Osinski calmed the traumatized horse and challenged Sallie to conquer her fears. As she progressed in her lessons, Sallie recovered her memories and developed a new sense of self. She discovered that her deepest healing took place on the back of the very horse that had fallen on her.... and then she wrote a book about it in the hopes of helping others.

EPISODE 5

FORMER CBS CORRESPONDENT & ACTRESS/PRODUCER ON LIVING THE DREAM KIKI AND DON TEAGUE

Aired November 17, 2017

Kiki and Don Teague have shared multiple dreams as they live what seems like an ongoing adventure together, and their achievements are significant. Don is an Emmy Award-winning journalist and author, a former CBS Evening News and NBC News correspondent.  He won an Emmy, a Peabody, and an Edward R. Murrow Award for reporting from New Orleans in the Katrina aftermath, as well as many other awards. Kiki is an actress and producer, known for “Song of Songs,” “Parent Stuff,” and “Redemption.” As the horse person in the couple, she has owned, trained, and competed; served as a volunteer on a sheriff’s horse search and rescue team; owned a tack shop; and helped manage a horse rescue organization.

These days, Don and Kiki own and operate Night Bird Ranch, a 70-acre spread that is “not your grandmother’s bed-and-breakfast,” as well as Teague’s Tavern, a wonderful place to gather and celebrate what makes life all the more worth living:  great food and great company.

EPISODE 4

GROWING UP IN THOROUGHBRED RACING: "INSIDE" THE TRACK ANNA SEITZ

Aired November 10, 2017

Anna grew up on Brookdale Farm in Kentucky, surrounded by some of the finest Thoroughbred racehorses in the world. Her family has sold horses for over 40 years, while also owning and breeding their own.  This includes over 300 stakes winners and many multi-million-dollar horses sold.

After graduating from Notre Dame, Anna worked on the racetrack for leading trainer Todd Pletcher before joining Fasig-Tipton, where she has worked for six years. She has established several racing syndicates, including one for women called It’s All About the Girls, with members based in seven different countries. And she's launched Thoroughbred Women's Network, an organization established to assist women who are interested in a career in the racing industry.

EPISODE 3

AWARD-WINNING PHOTOGRAPHER, ON FAITH &
SHOOTING WITH THE OTHER EYE
CHARLES HILTON

Aired November 3, 2017

Sometimes in life, there comes a pivotal moment when – overwhelmed by heartbreak and loss, and watching what had seemed like a well-planned, happy existence disappear – you find yourself without a clear path. It can seem like every obvious door is shut. It can be in those moments that we find our greatest rewards. That an entirely new life – one we couldn’t have imagined for ourselves – rises from the ashes of our prior existence. And that new life is everything we wouldn’t have dared dream it could be – rewarding professionally, personally, even spiritually… 

My guest is Charles Hilton and it’s his journey from a successful corporate career to an internationally published and award-winning professional photographer, who we’ll learn about on this week’s Because of Horses podcast.

EPISODE 2

REPORTER & PHOTOGRAPHER SUE WEAKLEY

Aired October 27, 2017

Some people know, right from a young age, exactly what they want to do in life. It seems that the majority of people, however, may only have an inkling of what their passion is, what career path they’d love to follow.

Or they may know exactly what they’d enjoy doing but, somewhere along the way, they get derailed by “life” – the realistic demands of family, the very real need to make a living, to save for retirement, and so on – and, consequently, find themselves in a career they just sort of, well, find themselves in.

Doing what you love and loving what you do is a wonderful concept. But how exactly do you follow your heart and find a job or start a business that you truly enjoy?

My guest this week is the prolific reporter and photographer Sue Weakley. She’s made a name for herself by sharing the human-interest side of the highest levels of international dressage competition.

EPISODE 1

DREAMS DO COME TRUE... A BOOK-LOVING, HORSE-CRAZY GIRL GREW UP TO BE A BELOVED & PROLIFIC AUTHOR JESSIE HAAS

Aired October 20, 2017

Ask a young child what he or she would like to be when they grow up, and you’ll get an imaginative list that – once they reach adulthood – rarely bears any resemblance to the career they wind up pursuing. But occasionally, you’ll meet someone who is doing exactly what they said they’d do, all along. It’s as if their lives are pre-ordained.

The classic books so many of us treasured as children – The Black Stallion, King of the Wind – were not just beloved stories for these determined few. They were guideposts, examples of what they, themselves, could do with their own lives… treasures they, themselves, could create for future generations.

Our guest this week is Jessie Haas, the notable author of over 35 horse books for children and adults, including Unbroken, Chase, Runaway Radish, the Bramble and Maggie books, and books for the American Girl doll, Saige.