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Because of Horses


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 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.


United States


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

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...


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....


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...


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...


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...


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...


Shawn Flarida: NRHA $6 Million Reiner

This week, the Because of Horses Podcast is celebrating its 100th episode with a very special conversation with legendary reiner, Shawn Flarida! Shawn is the winner of five gold medals at the World Equestrian Games, winner of the All-American Quarter Horse Congress nine times, and the first person to break the $6 million mark in Reining, which he did at the 2017 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Futurity. But, despite all of the record-breaking firsts and the extraordinary career...


Mark Rashid, Considering the Horse

Mark Rashid is an internationally acclaimed trainer, clinician, and prolific author, renowned for taking the guesswork out of communicating with our horses. His ability to understand the horse’s point of view and solve difficult problems with communication rather than force is unmatched. Mark began working with horses at age 10, when he met the “old man,” who taught him to work with horses, not against them, and to listen to what the horse is trying to say. This figure is featured in many...


Desert Flight: A Love Letter to Show Jumping, with Filmmaker Samia Staehle

"Desert Flight" is an award-winning film documentary that explores the horse-human bond through the world of show jumping. Filmmaker Samia Staehle’s goal was to capture the visceral way horses enrich our lives and our senses. The film provides an honest look at how much the sport of show jumping means to its participants through the perspectives of equestrians from different walks of life. Shot over three weeks during the climactic end of the HITS Thermal horse show circuit in California,...


The Hampton Classic Collection: Talking with the Greats

This week is a very special edition of Because of Horses! Your host, Elise Gaston Chand, talks with some of the horse world’s most accomplished equestrians — sharing their riding and training philosophies, their insights into horses, advice for aspiring competitors, and their fondest memories of the Hampton Classic Horse Show! These featured guests are Georgina Bloomberg, Kelli Cruciotti, Peter Wylde, Joe Fargis, and Chief Press Officer Marty Bauman. For over 40 years, the Classic has...


The Horse of Kings Is Now the Horse of a Lifetime, with Kimberly Van Kampen

Kimberly Van Kampen is a top supporter of U.S. dressage and one of the most respected breeders of Pure Spanish Horses in the world. Kim has dedicated her career to promoting the growth and development of U.S. dressage through her leadership and sponsorship of various programs, riders and horses. She is a top supporter of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival but is equally committed to helping young riders at the grassroots of the sport. Kim is the founder and owner of Hampton Green Farms,...


Remembering WWI War Horses: Heroism and Heartbreak, with Jo Ellen Hayden

Jo Ellen Hayden is the author of the Horse Heroes website, produced in collaboration with Brooke USA and the World War I Centennial Commission, and she is Elise’s guest on this episode of Because of Horses. Horse Heroes was created to shine light on the critical role equines played throughout the world during the years of The Great War and to honor their legacy through raising awareness of the needs of the nearly 100 million working equines in the developing world. With 250 images and...


Horses in Film and Human Survival, with Julianne Neal

Julianne Neal is an award-winning director, producer and educator, committed to creating films which raise awareness of issues facing horses and their owners. She is the director of the critically acclaimed documentary, “A Pony and His Boy,” one of many films that Julianne has directed for the Spotlight Rescue Series, a partnership with the EQUUS Film Festival. “A Pony and His Boy,” tells the story of Josh, an 8-year-old boy living with Down syndrome, and the transformative effect of his...


Rising Young Star Kelli Cruciotti, Aiming for 2020 Olympic Gold

The wildly talented 22-year-old rider, Kelli Cruciotti, epitomizes what can be accomplished when you follow your dreams. Her illustrious junior equitation career included medaling on the Young Rider Nation’s Cup Team, winning the Artisan Farms Under 25 series in Wellington, and capturing the blue ribbon in the Encana $50,000 Under 25 Grand Prix at Spruce Meadows. And it culminated with her phenomenal win at the USEF Pessoa Medal Finals in 2015! Not only was Kelli the youngest rider in the...


Can Science Identify the Next Secretariat? With Dr. Emmeline Hill

Humans love horses. We all know this. And just one expression of this passion is to breed horses for particular jobs — a skill that has historically been based upon horsemanship, knowledge of bloodlines, and a significant amount of instinct. We also know that each foal brings with it a genetic legacy with the potential for qualities that make for a talented jumper, or a superb cutting horse, or a blazing fast racehorse. In this week’s episode, Elise is joined by geneticist Dr. Emmeline...


Jim Masterson and the Masterson Method

Elise’s guest today is Jim Masterson, creator of the Masterson Equine Bodywork — an innovative form of equine massage that allows the horse to release pain and tension in muscles and connective tissue. It’s based on the use of light touch and gentle movement in a relaxed state, as well as careful observation of the horse’s response. It not only helps with a horse’s overall wellness, but it also improves the communication and relationship between a horse and their rider. Jim has applied...


HBO, Netflix, and a Plow-Horse Named Snowman, with Filmmaker Ron Davis

Documentary filmmaker Ron Davis, whose work includes Harry and Snowman and the 2019 release Life in the Doghouse, seeks to tell inspirational true stories that are largely unscripted. Ron’s own journey to becoming a filmmaker might be worth a documentary of its own. Ron grew up riding and competing in the hunter/jumper divisions near his home in northern New Jersey, but left the sport behind to pursue a career in publishing in New York City. He spent 10 years working his way up the ranks,...


The Mayo Clinic for Horses: Rood & Riddle, with Dr. Tom Riddle

Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky, is an international leader in veterinary medicine, providing specialized medical and surgical care to all equine breeds and disciplines. Dr. W. Thomas Riddle and Dr. Bill Rood founded the full-service equine hospital in 1986 and, ever since, it’s known throughout the world for its commitment to quality care and relationships with clients and the surrounding community. Its talented staff has provided full-service medical and surgical...


The Real War Horse and Winston Churchill at the Gallop, with Brough Scott

British television, radio and print journalist Brough Scott, MBE, began broadcasting nearly 50 years ago after a career as a jump jockey, ultimately becoming one of the best-known figures in British horse racing and sport. As a jockey, he rode over 100- winners including at the Imperial Cup and the Mandarin Handicap Chase. As a journalist, he has reported at major sporting events ranging from Wimbledon to the Olympic Games to the Epsom Derby. As a journalist for the Sunday Times,...


The Streets Raised Us… and Horses Saved Us, with Kristen de Marco

Elise Gaston Chand welcomes Kristen DeMarco, an equine specialist and mental health advocate to Because of Horses podcast. Kristen is the executive director of Gateway HorseWorks and has combined a lifetime of equestrian experience with her background in psychology to help humans partner with horses in new and innovative ways. She is passionate about helping individuals, teams, families and corporate groups improve their quality of life through guided interactions with horses. Kristen...