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Because of Horses

Sep 7, 2018

Elise’s guest on today’s Because of Horses podcast is the incomparable Mike Loades: expert horseman; British military historian; television host for Discovery; popular presenter at the British Museum; advisor for the video game Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag;  multi-published author; fight choreographer for TV, film, and theater; director of several TV specials for National Geographic and the History Channel; advisor on archaeological sites around the world; and historic warfare expert in more than 100 documentaries.


Mike is like a modern-day Indiana Jones – going well beyond lecturing to demonstrate how so many ancient weapons were used, the strategies our ancestors employed, and the horse’s role throughout. Mike makes the most remote history accessible, meaningful, and incredibly intriguing to people today.


In this episode, Mike talks about the fun of sharing history in entertaining and informative ways; what the modern rider should know about our ancestors’ skills and relationship with horses; Mike’s favorite topics and time periods; what he thinks about Game of Thrones, Gladiator, and the Lord of the Rings trilogy; and of course, all about his intriguing career -- from demonstrating horse archery and fighting with two swords at once, to our historic relationship with horses from the beginning of recorded time to today.


Topics of Discussion:

[:45] About Elise’s guest, Mike Loades.

[1:24] What it is like for Mike to make history accessible and engaging, and how he created his unique and intriguing career.

[4:23] What do modern riders need to know about horsemanship in the ancient past?

[13:45] Mike talks Elise through a video demonstration where he rides without tack and performs archery at top speed, as well as other archery techniques like the incredibly difficult Parthian shot.

[21:28] About Mike’s work advising on the video game Assassin’s Creed, as well as demonstrating fighting and wielding weapons from horseback.

[24:35] Does it ever strike Mike as ironic that modern technology is utilized to share his  extensive knowledge of archaic topics?

[30:25] About Elise’s book, A Parent’s Guide to Riding Lessons.

[32:12] About Mike’s breadth of knowledge, his favorite topics and time periods, and how he applies his knowledge and skills to his job.

[36:37] How Mike choreographs fights and training actors to fight with ancient weapons, when most people have only ever seen them in museums or in books.

[41:54] Mike’s favorite (and least favorite) film depictions of horses in battle.

[46:21] Mike explains the evolution of chariots and mounted soldiers in battle, and how our ancestors went from harnessing horses to riding them in battle.

[52:43] Did the tweaking and breeding of horses begin way back when they were being used in warfare?

[57:32] About Elise’s guests on next week’s episode of Because of Horses.

[58:22] Mike speaks about the utilization of horses in warfare, both in ancient times and as recently as 2012 by US Special Forces in Afghanistan.

[1:08:53] Where to find Mike and his work online.


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Mentioned in this Episode:

Because of Horses Facebook Page

Mike Loades’ Horse Archery Video

Mike Loades’ Books Page

A Parent’s Guide to Riding Lessons: Everything You Need to Know to Survive and Thrive with a Horse-Loving Kid, by Elise Chand

The Official Mike Loades Facebook Page


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