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Because of Horses

Jul 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 —  Elise’s guest on today’s 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 self-proclaimed horse lover.


In addition to his fascination with mankind’s evolution, Niobe has discovered that his love for horses is a passion he shares with people all over the world. The resulting film series is a rich, insightful look into the human/horse relationship, how it likely began, and how it’s evolved over time.


In this episode, Niobe takes us through the scientific discoveries made over the course of filming, stories from behind the scenes, and the series' beautiful depiction of our relationship with horses through time. 


Topics of Discussion:

[:45] About Elise’s guest today, Dr. Niobe Thompson.

[2:08] How Niobe decided to make his new film series and why horses are special to him.

[5:28] Niobe explains recreating amazing moments from horse history, including “meeting” the first horse, the species’ evolution, and why our ancestors probably began taming horses.

[12:57] Elise reads listener feedback!

[15:04] Surprises and discoveries Niobe made during Equus’ filming.

[17:45] More interesting discoveries from ancient DNA.

[26:12] How the science, cinematography, and cross-cultural complexities came together so seamlessly.

[31:13] An audio preview of the trailer for Equus: The Story of the Horse.

[32:17] Why Niobe believes that the love for horses knows no language, cultural, or even historical boundaries.

[41:57] What Niobe believes to be worrisome in the evolution of horses.

[46:49] A preview of next week’s episode of Because of Horses.

[47:20] Why does Niobe think humans keep tinkering with the genetics of horses?

[48:33] What Niobe hopes viewers experience and learn from his film, Equus.

[52:14] Why viewers – even if they aren’t passionate about horses --  will love and appreciate the film, Equus.

[54:43] Where to learn more about Equus and Niobe’s other films.


Know Someone Inspirational, Whose Life Has Been Forever Changed Because of Horses? Because of Horses would love to get to share their story!

To recommend someone please send an email to


Mentioned in this Episode:

Trailer for Equus: The Story of the Horse

Because of Horses Episode 14 with Wendy Williams

The Horse: The Epic History of Our Noble Companion, by Wendy Williams

CBC The Nature of Things


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