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Because of Horses

Oct 25, 2019

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 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


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