Plaidcast 339: Bastian Schroeder, Luke Taylor & Elke Scholz by Taylor, Harris Insurance Services

Plaidcast Episode 339 Bastian Schroeder Luke Taylor Elke Scholz


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Piper and Traci Brooks speak with Bastian Schroeder about his shipping company Equijet, Luke Taylor about Taylor, Harris Insurance Company and Elke Scholz about ways to handle anxiety. Brought to you by Taylor, Harris Insurance Services. Listen in!


  • Host: Piper Klemm of The Plaid Horse Magazine and Traci Brooks
  • Guest: Bastian Schroeder is a lifelong equestrian that grew up riding in Greifswald, Germany. After a year abroad in California during high school, Bastian knew he eventually wanted to return to the US to pursue a career in the horse industry. After gaining valuable experience here and abroad, Bastian founded Equijet in 2017. Equijet is a company that specializes in shipping horses domestically or internationally with services including airport pickup and delivery and handling additional equipment, all necessary paperwork, customs and any quarantine that is needed. 
  • Guest: Luke Taylor is the Director of Operations at Taylor Harris Insurance, and he also has his own consulting and advisory business working with founders to hone their business strategy, growth, marketing and operations. Luke believes deeply in amateur and grassroots sports, the role they play in teaching life lessons and building friendships and communities. Luke got increasingly involved in Taylor Harris during the pandemic after seeing the increasingly powerful role Taylor Harris can play in supporting the equine community. 
  • Guest: Elke Scholz, MA, RP, REACE, is a registered Psychotherapist, an internationally registered Expressive Art Consultant/Educator, and an internationally certified EMDR Therapist. She is the well-known author of 3rd edition, Loving Your Life and Anxiety Warrior. She is also an affiliate author for ProjectHappiness. Her work includes creative anti-anxiety/wellness kits for employees, youth-at-risk, and seniors in managing anxiety and depression.  For over 35 years Elke has helped people and runs her private therapy practice in Bracebridge, Ontario. She is a co-chair on the board for IEATA, International Expressive Art Therapy Association and Host of The Anxiety Warrior Podcast.
  • Photo Courtesy of Bastian Schroeder/Equijet
  • Title Sponsor: Taylor, Harris Insurance Services, Taylor, Harris Insurance Services (THIS) was founded in 1987 to provide specialized insurance for all types of equine risk. THIS places their policies with the highest rated and most secure carriers, meticulously selected for reliability and prompt claims settlement. THIS is proud of their worldwide reputation for responsive and courteous service, and welcomes the opportunity to discuss your equine insurance needs and provide you with a quote.
  • Subscribe To: The Plaid Horse Magazine
  • Sponsors: Purina Animal NutritionAmerica CryoAlexis Kletjian Jewelry, LAURACEA, BoneKare, StreamHorseShow Strides Book Series, With Purpose: The Balmoral Standard, and American Equestrian School

This transcript was generated automatically. Its accuracy may vary.

Piper Klemm 
[00:00:53] This is the plaidcast. I’m Piper Klemm, publisher of The Plaid Horse Magazine. And coming up today on episode 339, I’m joined by Traci Brooks at Balmoral Farm. On today’s show, we talk with Bastian Schroeder about his shipping company, Equijet. Luke Taylor of Taylor Harris Insurance Services and Elke Scholz about ways to handle anxiety. This episode is brought to you by Taylor Harris Insurance Services. I also would like to announce before we get started that I went back on my word and changed my mind and I got a tik tok. It’s at the plaid horse mag. If you want to come, come follow us. And there’s a lot of discussion of books and reading and horses, which I know will be a surprise to anyone who listens to this podcast. So come join us at the Plaid horse mag on Tic Tok. 

Piper Klemm [00:04:07] Bastian Schroeder grew up riding in Germany after a year abroad in California. During high school, Bastian knew he wanted to return to the United States to pursue a career in the horse industry. After gaining valuable experience here and abroad. Bastian founded Equijet in 2017. Equijet is a company that specializes in shipping horses domestically and internationally, with services including airport pickup and delivery, handling additional equipment, all necessary paperwork, customs and any quarantine that’s needed. Welcome to the plaidcast Bastian. 

Bastian Schroeder [00:04:44] Good morning. Thanks for having me. 

Piper Klemm [00:04:48] When I am at parties with non horse people, it’s still occasionally happens to me. Oh, one of the things that always seems to come up is people ask about how horses travel, or I’ll say some horses from Europe or something like that. And people are like, How do they get here? And when I say they fly like non horse, people just like cling on to that fact. It’s so fascinating. Like how do they fly? And I’m like FedEx, because it always I always say FedEx because it gets a laugh from the crowd. So tell us a little bit about what what it’s like and what it’s like for horses, too, to get on an airplane and, you know, kind of that that experience that a horse experiences on a flight. 

Bastian Schroeder [00:05:35] Yeah. So it’s it’s a very interesting business and it never gets old because there’s always something different. People travel for all different reasons- import to part of the excitement of someone makes it to a big show, or if someone just bought a new horse, we ship to many different exotic destinations. The horses travel. Then their travel took me to many, many different places that I probably otherwise would have never seen. But horses, they travel well. There really are, they’re troopers. A lot of the horses do surprisingly well on the plane with the loading, the stress going on the tarmac, getting loaded onto the airplane. And they just are most of them are really relaxed and cool as cucumbers doing that. 

Piper Klemm [00:06:22] So is there anything special? We see some pictures on Facebook sometimes, but you know, what is it? Once I walk up into the plane, I mean, what’s it like for the horses in there? It’s kind of just like being on a trailer. How is it different? 

Bastian Schroeder [00:06:35] So all the horses arrive at the airport and most of the bigger European ports and around the world have centralized airports that most of us shipping agents you. Where they have the facilities to lay over and become walk the horses from the stall onto the plane. So the horses arrive. They get trucked there either a few hours prior to it,  lay them over. Let him rest. If they coming from close by. They get shipped there right before loading at a designated time. They walk off their trailer and. Off the truck in a building, a warehouse, and right onto the pallet. And you have to imagine that it looks like a massive oversize horse trailer. We can ship them in various configurations, help people how the horses demand space or how people would like them to travel. We can ship in economy class. That would be three horses in one air stall which i would say the majority of the horses fly. Then we can do business class. That’s two horses, per air stall, gives them a little bit more space. So you have a horse that just needs a little bit more space, or if you’re in the time crunch or the horse really needs a lot of space, you find first class and that’s the horse just by itself to get on an air stall to get to its final destination. 

Piper Klemm [00:08:03] I can’t even imagine the logistics between all the vans and all the van drivers. And when the flight’s leaving, as you said, of their shipping locally and coming in kind of pretty soon before, you know, I could see people running into traffic. Like what are some of the logistics that maybe people don’t think about but that you’re constantly thinking about? 

Bastian Schroeder [00:08:22] So there’s a lot of moving parts that go into this. It starts with. The time of purchase, the bloodwork that’s required to get the horses to to the country of destination, who ships the horses? When do they arrive? Is the shipper on time? Or do they lay over, are the health papers done? Do we need to get the health papers checked? You know, certain countries that are not standard. We do like what we call an octave forward. We check with the local authorities and say, are these papers sufficient for import? Do you guys are they approved? Is there anything you’d like us to change, especially horses going to Europe? And some vets just interpret different rules differently. Those pieces need to be put in place. What’s the onward destination? We do have good partners in every country. And that help us tweak all the little details and then to go back to the customers, give them details on their travel plans. When are the horses coming, when do they arrive? Get the blood work, make it to the lab out in an arrival on time. Is there a delay in quarantine? We had bad weather delays. We had planes rerouted because they was weather at the port of destination. The plane set somewhere else on the ground for a certain amount of time. Then you have to organize like what happens with the horses when they’re there, when they’re laid over, or do they come off the plane? Do they stay on the plane? All these little pieces that we do behind the scenes and try just to give the customers peace of mind that their horses travel safely from point A to B as seamlessly and effortlessly as possible.

Piper Klemm [00:10:01] Within, you know, internationally, obviously, you don’t really have a choice other than to fly your horses. I know a lot of people fly their horses within the United States as well. What are some benefits of of flying or of different travel options? Even transcontinental here. 

Bastian Schroeder [00:10:18] The vantage of us for shipping to find domestically just that we can get to most of our destinations within 12 hours from door to door from picked up at the barn to delivered. Obviously that varies a little bit on if there are layovers or any delays on the flight, but that is our big selling point for domestic flights. We get there quickly. We don’t have traffic. We do we do face weather delays, but they usually manageable. And if we do face them, we are grounded somewhere in a safe location, we’re not on the road and we can guarantee the timely delivery. And horses stay safe and they travel much quicker and get to that point much faster without the added stress of travel. 

Piper Klemm [00:11:04] Tell us about your background in the sport and and growing up in Germany, I assume that you didn’t see yourself as a kid aspiring to open a horse transport company. So I’m always interested how people kind of evolve and find their passion in the sport organically. 

Bastian Schroeder [00:11:21] Right? Yeah, I did not. So I grew up riding in Germany, showing a little. Then I did an exchange program in California. The people asked me when I applied for it, where I wanted to be and friends of mine told me all you got to go to the East Coast or the West Coast if you want to ride. So I said, I want to ride somewhere there. So that’s okay. So they place me on the West Coast. The riding was different. I. Lived with some really nice people, but they did Western horses and they roped. So that was an entirely new experience. 

Piper Klemm [00:11:53] Oh Really different. 

Bastian Schroeder [00:11:54] Very, very different. I’m grateful for the time I had there. I learned a lot. It’s a different way of working your horses. Different way of riding. And I picked up a lot of. Good tricks and tips from them. But then when it was time to go back home, I graduated high school in Germany, then traveled the West Coast with a friend of mine and a camper up and down for a month and said, Shoot you know what? Know I like it here. I want to come back and ended up in a big sales barn in New Jersey. In between my college breaks and every time we were off for spring break or summer break, I came here, I helped, I rode, I worked, and at some point they approached me and said, We want to open to a CEM quarantined. And I looked at him and said, Well, why do you? You start at the top of the food chain because they were importing a lot at that time and said, Why don’t we just do a horse transportation business? We can always do a quarantine, but why don’t we do a transportation business? Because we weren’t completely happy with the services that we received at the time and just that we can do it better. We can do it better for our own horses. And then that’s organically growing into a service that other people want to use that developed nicely over a few years. And then there was a point where I just felt like I should start my own shop. Because I could do a lot more things autonomously that I could have not done with the partners I had at the time. And that’s how I ended up with that Equijet. And it’s been a very exciting ride for the past almost six years now. 

Piper Klemm [00:13:32] We talk a lot about, you know, monopolies and such within the sport because of, you know, the mileage rule and horse shows and so many changes going on right now. But but as you said, I mean, other people are doing similar things. You kind of are in a crowded market. How do you stand out with other people in your space and other competitors? You know, why do people choose you and how do your values signal that? 

Bastian Schroeder [00:13:58] So our biggest selling point is we are a small boutique business. Everybody in that works for me and works with me is either a horse person, owns horses, they know the industry. They know the demands. Everybody that works with us, they’re available at any time. We understand that it’s different. Horse people don’t have a 9 to 5 schedule. We are available at any time. You want to call me on a Saturday? You can call Saturday’s book a, get this organized, and on Sundays on Mondays there are readily available, always available. And you get updates. It’s a small boutique business, and at the end of the day, our sales pitch is with customers. You know, we all offer similar services, but you got to choose the agent that you feel comfortable with that you have a good relationship with. And the horse business is relationship driven for all of us available. You can get us at any time. We’re a small, boutique business. From horse people to horse people. We’ll keep you updated from step A to B from booking to intermediate steps to the release and be organized from door to door. 

Piper Klemm [00:15:11] I think the relationship aspect is something that so many new people in the sport miss in so many facets of our industry and and how much that trust has built over time and and frankly, even over things going wrong. Like, you know, when things go wrong and you communicate well and you make them right and figure it out and handle it for the client, you almost gain more trust than if nothing went awry. 

Bastian Schroeder [00:15:38] That’s correct. So there is we’re dealing with. People’s pets, sport, horses, investments. And it is important that, things can go wrong. It’s logistics that not everything always goes as planned and perfect, planes can change schedule, cancel. We have weather delays like work gets delayed and how you handle that and how you keep the customers informed. And even if that means you’re breaking even at a job, or you’re might have to help the customer out, lay the horses over, deliver them, make other arrangements for them, so that they are always assured their horse arrives safe and sound in the best condition possible. 

Piper Klemm [00:16:27] What are some things growing up in Germany that, you know, brought your approach to this business and kind of seeing both sides of it? You know, I was expecting you to say when you said you went to California, it was so different because the U.S. market handles trading and horses and care so differently. I wasn’t expecting you to say Western. That’s completely different. But like, what are how does kind of bridging that gap in between the two worlds because it is so similar and so different at the same time. 

Bastian Schroeder [00:16:55] So big advantage of me being German is I know most people in Europe have a broad. Contact base of sellers, dealers, people we’ve worked with before. And those previous relationships really make it easy to get the entire process organized. And it’s it’s so much different here. When I grew up, we went to my mom and my dad. We went to the horse shows. My sister came with me. We had a pickup truck, and we tied the horses up on the trailer. We walked our course. We jumped on the horses. Off we went. And then we went home, groomed the horses, gave them a bath and put them away. Here, it’s a entirely different. You know, not not market, but it’s been done differently, at least on the A circuit. And even at the local shows, you train, it takes you to the shows you have some of that’s there. You have a groom that takes care of the horses. It is really different than how I grew up with horses. And it’s fascinating. And it gives everybody a market. And that’s the question in business or equine business in this country has so many niches for everybody that wants to work with horses to have a chance to work with horses. 

Piper Klemm [00:18:13] Whenever I talk to Europeans, it’s almost like a much more career minded discussion, it seems. You know, you talk to Americans who, like, have a little talent and some success and it’s like, I want to get to the Olympics seems to be the next logical mindset step. Whereas like I feel like when I talk to many Europeans, like they have some success or they’re good and they’re like. Oh, I think I can make a living off this. Can you can you kind of talk about that, that business mindset and how kind of this like hybrid of both? I think the answer is a hybrid of both worlds. I don’t think anyone’s right, anyone’s wrong, but the kind of bringing that like ounce of practicality into the dreaming can, you know, I feel like from the outside has really fueled your career. 

Bastian Schroeder [00:19:01] Yeah. So I think in Europe in general, you know, horses are a lot more of a daily lifestyle of people that are passionate about their work in this business. And they do have maybe a different outlook on it because there are so many good people in Europe that it’s so much harder to get to the top. But there’s so much more of a broader base of developing young horses, breeding horses, bringing them, you know, scouting them and then selling them, showing them so that everybody has a has a. Essential piece in that value chain from from the grooms to the riders to the vetrinarians to us, the shippers, that everybody put something to the table. That is a big piece of the success of the final product. Hopefully that someone can sell a horse or someone purchases a horse. And that’s what we see ourselves with our customers like you’re part of their value chain, like our performance is. Has a big impact off the client success that the horses either get to the point that they have to be on time, which are quickly cost effective. So we see ourselves as partners with. With the people working here and doing they’re doing the imports. Either it’s the hobby horse or it’s the sport horse coming in or dealing horse. 

Piper Klemm [00:20:18] Are more people importing horses for for more hobby horses or, you know, what are you seeing that that’s being imported or what’s driving the business right now? I know there’s a ton of resale, you know, a lot of sales operations that bring a lot over. But you know, the people bringing one horse over here or there, what does that kind of look like? 

Bastian Schroeder [00:20:38] Yeah. So our customer base is is a broad mix out of the competitive kind, the competitive kind that goes to to Europe to show and travels back and forth out of there. Dealer that brings in inventory to resell. And the private kind that found the horse once. Now, in point, a horse buys a horse a year, maybe once a year, or maybe every 2 to 3 years. And they’re all just as important to us. If you ship one horse or 30, everybody is just as important and gets the same attention to detail when the horses get important. 

Piper Klemm [00:21:19] For people just getting started in the process. I know, you know, in the adult amateur lounge, it’s a discussion all the time. Should I import my own horse from Europe or, you know, buy a horse over there? And, you know, even as someone who has enough gamble to own a print magazine in 2023, I’m like no not for one horse. That’s way too much gamble for me, but good for the people who have a more firm stomach than I do, I guess. 

Piper Klemm [00:21:49] Like, what advice do you give them for, like, shopping, for getting stuff together? You know, how do you when you’re doing this all for the first time, it’s it’s overwhelming. And the paperwork I know becomes routine. But for your end. But but what can people do to prepare themselves to shop in Europe, to take care of themselves? I mean, if they’re going to do this one horse or try to bring over the one horse of a lifetime. 

Piper Klemm [00:22:13] Like I said, they they have a lot firmer stomach than I do. But what do you tell them? 

Bastian Schroeder [00:22:18] It is an exciting process. So what we always recommend is if you are thinking about importing. Call your shipping agent call us, get a quote that at least gives you a ballpark number of what you have to plan with. Obviously, that varies a little bit. You know, where in Europe you’re getting the horse,  but not by by a long shot. And then either pick a good dealer here or an agent here in the states that has great connections in Europe that can help you. Or if you want to go try the horse. There are a lot of reputable horse dealers there that can help you. They have great choices of horses to try and. You know, go with the horse that you like and with. With people’s recommendations. You know, the nice thing is there’s a lot of people that have imported they have a lot of great advice. Everybody has different experiences with someone. Positive, negative, you know, somewhere in between. And, you know, follow your gut feeling. If the horse passes the vet and it looks great and you’re comfortable with the idea of purchasing a horse overseas directly from the dealer. Go for it. One of the advantages of buying in this country. But to be seen from speaking with customers is you have someone here. If something doesn’t work out or, you know, not every horse is quite the same when they come here as they were advertised in Europe. And it’s the animals, it’s normal. That can happen. It’s not a big deal, but it’s nice to have someone to fall back on that can help you correct the situation. 

Piper Klemm [00:23:51] Cause I think that’s always been like essentially the issue. Like at some level, you know, if if a horse deal goes wrong here, I mean, a lot of people will take the horse back or are there some sort of return policies that people seem to think are in place in today’s world, which I don’t totally understand, But like when the horse is already in the U.S., it doesn’t like ship. You know, like there’s not much you can do. 

Bastian Schroeder [00:24:20] So again, that really depends on the dealer you’re buying from. If you’re buying from a reputable horse dealer in in Europe, most likely they have a connection in the states that they work with or they have maybe a couple other horses here that they send here to be sold and. For most parts what I’ve seen. Having talked to customers and vendors, they’ll try to work it out because at the end of the day, reputation is everything in our business and repeat business is key. That’s how we make our living by. People sharing their experience and saying this went well, this could have maybe gotten a little bit better, but they made it right. And that’s how we build a strong customer base in the same applies to to all the established horses or sellers and dealers in Europe. From what we’ve seen in our experience. 

Piper Klemm [00:25:15] Talk to us a little bit about kind of the scale of of some of these European barns. I think it’s like almost unimaginable here because you don’t really when someone says they own 40 or 50 horses here, it’s like, wow, that’s a lot. You know what? What are they breeding in in Germany and the Netherlands? Like, I think a lot of it’s hard for people to imagine as as how much it’s a numbers game. And the top horses there are very much picked from very large pools. And not to say that every horse, every other horse doesn’t have a job and find its people and find its role in society. But I think there’s really a sense here with a lot of people I talked to that every horse they buy, they want to work or every horse they want to buy, they want to work for the role that they want it to work for. Every horse they breed. They want to work for the role they want it to work for. And it’s I don’t get that sense when I talk to European breeders at all. 

Bastian Schroeder [00:26:20] Right. So I think our market here is a bit different than the import, but I import a hunter. Then you want it to be a hunter. You want it to jump in a certain way. You want it to be quiet. You wanted to do certain things. And I think in Europe, it’s a little bit different. Like, if it’s if it’s a jumper, they look at the horse, it’s a jumper, and it maybe can go around a meter successfully. It’s a little hot, but it doesn’t matter because you want to be fast and jump clear. So I feel like when you import, you do have a job in mind for the horses here and it’s not being set scene. You guys seen that too? Probably that there’s a lot of horses that that may be imported for a certain job and then they turn you know they were maybe too slow as a jumper but turned out to be a fantastic hunter. But I think in Europe it is cheaper to breed the horses, to raise the horses, to produce the horses. And I’ve seen that from a lot of my customers. We had a good amount of customers moving to Europe to get to base out of Europe for a definite amount of time, indefinite amount of time, because they felt like they could scout horses easier, that there they can get some more experience and mileage in the showing. At a lower cost. Okay. I mean, if you’re based in Holland or Belgium or even certain parts in Germany, within 30 minutes, you probably have five or six shows per weekend to choose from. You ship in, you jump around. At a fraction of the cost. But it costs us here to produce and show these horses. So I think that is the biggest difference between here in Europe. 

Piper Klemm [00:27:56] Bastian thank you so much for joining us on the plaidcast. 

Bastian Schroeder [00:28:00] Thanks for having me. 

Piper Klemm [00:29:18] Luke Taylor is a director of operations at Taylor Harris Insurance Services and also has his own consulting and advisory business, working with founders to hone their business strategy, growth, marketing and operations. Luke believes deeply in amateur and grassroots sports and the role they play in teaching life lessons and building friendships in communities. Luke got increasingly involved in Taylor Harris insurance services during the pandemic. After seeing the increasingly powerful role Taylor Harris can play in supporting the equine community. Welcome to the plaidcast Luke. 

Luke Taylor [00:29:48] It’s great to be here. It’s an honor to be here. 

Piper Klemm [00:29:53] So tell us a little bit about Taylor Harris as the family business and kind of how it’s evolved to where it is today since it started in 1987? 

Luke Taylor [00:30:04] Well, I’ve sort of for much of the history of the business, I’ve really been watching it from the sidelines. Like you said, my dad started it in 1987, and I think he would never say this, but it’s a it’s a really good sort of entrepreneur story, almost. He wanted to start his own business and saw an opportunity to do something a bit different and a bit better than what he, he felt was currently out there. And he really built the business around his love of people and his love of horses and the horse community. And I think he, you know, was always really important to them to to be a part of the community and to have have a team that sort of, you know, knew horses, loved horses and shared shared the same love of horses. The you know, the businesses, clients would come to them, come to them with. So so I mean, since then, he’s you know, he maintained that focus and as you know, as as the business grew and he had the opportunity to sort of support the sport and, you know, hopefully bring more people into it. He really, really sought to do that at every opportunity and support the community as well. And yeah, I think it’s appropriate, sort of clear in the way in the way that the business operates. And I’ve only really been involved since since the pandemic. I happened to get stuck in in Florida. And through that time we just naturally ended up talking a lot about Taylor Harris, and the business and my background’s in marketing. And so we looked for ideas around and stuff like that. And yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s been his focus to, to maintain that trajectory of being a a horse business for horse people from horse people. 

Traci Brooks [00:32:14] And I think that’s part of the success and that’s why Taylor Harris has been so great. Full disclosure, I’m a Taylor Harris agent, so I guess I’m biased. But because Taylor Harris only insures horses, there are other companies that insure other things. But Taylor Harris is strictly horses across all disciplines. Can you speak to how that how about specializing? Keeps everything tight and makes you able to offer more service to your clients. 

Luke Taylor [00:32:49] Yeah, there’s sort of there’s a bit of an adage that I mean, not an addage necessarily, but for a business, it’s easy for a business to spread itself too thin. And you know, you could easily go from horses to other bits of insurance that you’re saying, you know, if you have clients, have a horse farm, maybe you look at insuring that farm or you could look at helping them with insurance other areas that business. But I think the. The key is is staying really focused on what your what your goal is. And I think the goal for Taylor Harris was to always provide a product that was really designed for people that that love horses and a part of the horse community. And so I think that focus and not are not sort of getting too overexcited about, you know, other ways that the business could grow has really been a part of of the. It has been like key to the business’s trajectory and, you know, the brand and the role that we want it to play for the sport and for our clients. 

Traci Brooks [00:34:07] So talk to us a little bit about how Taylor Harris supports the horse community in general. We all know about the Taylor Harris Medal and we know that’s been expanded. And now you’re expanding into some other causes as well. 

Luke Taylor [00:34:22] Yeah. So and that was so that was really what Dad and I started discussing in the pandemic. You know, he had this, this great brand and I think had sort of been doing these things, but. As we discussed it, we really realized that that was, you know, our our role and our purpose in in the community, I think, was to try and support access to the sport as much as possible and to support education in the sport as much as possible and to support, you know, the relationship that. Owners have with their horses and try and foster a strong and healthy relationship as possible and then also with the broader community. And so we you know, like you said, the National Children’s Medal, he’s been a part of and Taylor Harris has been a part of for a really long time. I actually can’t remember the exact dates, but it’s nearly a decade. Anyway. So the National Children’s Medal has been a really important part of it. And then we support and sponsor a lot of other shows through throughout the year. But we’ve been looking at trying to get that overlap and stay true to those values as much as possible. So we’ve been sort of looking at other ways that we can get behind. Growing the number of people that can compete and the number of people that can compete for our country throughout the year. So it’s one of them that I think is relatively new. And a few years ago we started supporting the national the adult championship at the National Horse Show. And I went for the first time this year in, to the finals. And it was just it was really cool being able to talk to the people that have been competing and hearing, you know, how excited they were to be able to keep competing in an event that was, you know, designed designed for them. And then, yeah, we’re sort of we’re always on the lookout for ways that we can reach those goals of of, you know, education and bringing more people in sport. 

Piper Klemm [00:36:52] I think we’re at such kind of a precipice of time as us education shifts so much. And it’s so part of all these conversations where we’re all going to keep happening and keep trying to move forward. But how do we raise the. You know, the horses have worked generationally for a long time because we’ve been able to raise the younger generation in the barn and learning and be really hands on. And because of so many things lately, that’s just shifting around and there’s kind of no substitute for for being there and being present and. I think it’s so admirable to keep everyone really thinking about how are we going to keep getting the next generation to the barn and experiencing the things that we grew up with. 

Luke Taylor [00:37:42] Yeah, it’s there. There are a few sports that seem to. Had this huge, huge increase in interest over the last five or ten years. And equestrian sports is one of them. But I think a similar thing is happening in. Cycling in surfing and climbing. I think that they’re all sports that were not necessarily sort of mainstream previously but are increasingly becoming mainstream and. It’s it’s it’s it’s a really exciting moment for those sports because I think that, you know, as people within the sport and who are already involved in it, it’s an exciting moment because we get to share all of the amazing things that come from being a part of this community and being part of, you know, the things that that that you get from being involved in in the equestrian community and competing in events. You know, there’s millions of them. You get you know, you learn particularly for kids. I think it’s amazing because you get to learn, you know, the. The results pay off from from hard work that you get to build incredible relationships with people that you compete against and people you see different different shows. And you know the role that, you know, the people that are supporting you play in your life. And it is also, like you said, though, a bit of a precipice in that when there’s a huge influx of people, you can bet is always a danger that the culture changes or the community changes. And so I think in all of those instances, it really behooves the people that are in the community doing everything they can to uphold those, you know, those values and the things that they see as being really good and fundamental, as you know, and the things that they have been fortunate enough to take away from the sport over that time of being involved in it. And that’s you know, that’s actually one of the reasons why, you know, all of this incredible knowledge that Traci and Carlton have, why it’s so special that was published in the book and why media platforms like the Plaid Horse are so incredible because they help cultivate that community and they help and part of that knowledge and make it more accessible for people that are joining the sport. 

Traci Brooks [00:40:33] Well, we’re so grateful to you and your dad and Taylor Harris for for being so involved with with all that with with the plaidcast, with the book, with just trying to make education available for everyone. And that’s that’s been amazing over the years. I wanted to ask you to let everybody know and just give you a little background, give everyone a little background on you. There’s a fun story and everyone who knows your dad knows he has. He’s a great storyteller and he’s so much fun to talk to. And. And I see. I see that in you, too. Can you tell people about some of the extreme and interesting things that you’ve done and and sort of what your background is outside of marketing? Because, of course, you know, that’s that’s interesting. But there are so many other interesting things about you. What comes to mind is a story about a certain vehicle, an ambulance. Can you tell that story? 

Luke Taylor [00:41:31] Yeah, I can certainly tell bits of it or give you the overview. So Dad often says this, and I think one of the real passions that he’s had, you know, in starting Taylor Harris, is, you know, he loves people. The two things he really or he loves a lot of things in life, but two of the things he really there’s an eye for people and sports. And Taylor Harris has been an incredible way for him to be able to maximize those two things. But he’d often say that he he sort of vicariously that through through his sons. And we all did a lot of sports and love, love and adventure. And so maybe slightly naively, I concocted an adventure with two friends when I was in my first year at college in the I was at college in the UK and we got I think we still got them, but we used to get very long summer holidays. In your first year, you in your second insight, you really encouraged to go and do something that will like help you work out what you want to do in life. And in your first year you kind of have a summer off. And so we heard about this race where people take beaten up old cars and race them from the UK. I think they you know, you normally start in London and you race each other all the way to Mongolia by any means possible. And the cars are normally, you know, 15, 20 year old beaten up old cars. But it became increasingly difficult to to sort of do that because obviously you don’t want beaten up old cars in Mongolia. So they started putting restrictions in on what cars you could take. And we ended up doing it with a a Landrover ambulance because there’s a real lack of ambulances that can get around the country because there at the time, I think this is that’s the case analysis of 15 years ago. But they you know they weren’t there weren’t great roads and there wasn’t great infrastructure. So we drove an ambulance from Oxford to Mongolia, which was it was it was one of the most incredible experiences, but definitely led to some some slightly higher moments and had an had an incredible time along the way. We did it on a shoestring and bought the ambulance for, I think it was about £3,000 and then refurbish the whole thing ourselves and put a new shots in and, you know, completely redeveloped it and then drove it out to Mongolia with medical supplies and gave it to a hospital. And it was it was it was a brilliant, brilliant experience. We ended the trip. I did it with two friends I left with and we ended the trip. We’re still speaking to each other, which I think was a good result. 

Piper Klemm [00:44:34] And for those of you rusty on geography, I mean, what is this like like 6000 miles on, like, you know, somewhat. Paved and other Roads as well. 

Luke Taylor [00:44:46] Yeah, it was. I think it’s about I actually can’t remember the exact mileage and I wouldn’t want you can put it, you can probably find it if you put it in school. But I’m slightly dyslexic so my numbers won’t be remember correctly, I think it’s three or six. Like I should know that. And you’ll it’s paved all the way until you hit Kazakhstan and you can go. And what’s so amazing is you can go. And some people would sort of go south through Europe and really treat it as a bit of a tour. And you get to see all these different European countries and then, you know, whatever happens, you’re going to have to go through Central Asia. And there are some amazing countries that you go through there. We when we sort of stayed north and went for it, we went through Ukraine and then through the sort of southern part of Russia into Kazakhstan and then back into Russia and then Mongolia, which, you know, for for a few reasons. We were really excited about the landscape, particularly on that route. But we also wanted to make sure that we delivered a vehicle that hadn’t been too beaten up. And some of the sudden, you know, some of those southern countries like Tajikistan and Turkmenistan get incredibly high and the roads are really you know, they’re not they’re not great. You know, Kazakhstan had some paved roads, Russia was fully paved and Mongolia didn’t really have any at the time outside of Avatar and near the near the border. Um, but it was it was incredible. It was it was such a great trip. Yeah. Along a long way and got very good at fixing problems with cars. 

Piper Klemm [00:46:33] I it seems relatively like for the horse, the horse adventure. There are other things I read. 

Piper Klemm [00:46:41] It’s it’s all or all adventurers, all of us who really pursue this in our own right. 

Luke Taylor [00:46:49] Exactly. Anything can be an adventure. And that’s what I think so fun about, you know, picking up any sport or hobby or endeavor. You can take it as far as you want. And that always you always run into problems. It’s just how you address them. 

Piper Klemm [00:47:03] Absolutely. Well, Luke Taylor, thank you for joining us on the plaidcast. 

Luke Taylor [00:47:07] Thank you so much for having me. It was great to talk with you both. 

Piper Klemm [00:48:18] Elke Scholz, M.A., R.P. RDA is a registered psychotherapist and an internationally registered expressive art consultant and educator at an internationally certified EMDR therapist. She is a well-known author of the third edition Loving Your Life and Anxiety Warrior. She is also an affiliate author of her project Happiness. Her work includes creative, anti-anxiety and wellness kits for employees, youth at risk and seniors in managing anxiety and depression. For over 35 years, Elke has helped people and runs her private therapy practice in Bracebridge, Ontario. She is a co-chair on the board for the IATA, the International Expressive Art Therapy Association and host of the Anxiety Warrior Podcast. Welcome to the podcast, Elke. 

Elke Sholz [00:49:06] Thank you. I’m happy to be here. I’m excited. 

Piper Klemm [00:49:09] We’ve had a lot of conversations about anxiety and mental health over the past few years, and I still think that with our sport and all the traveling and kind of how we approach it, it’s a very individual and and isolating sport. Can you talk to us about kind of the starting from the basics, what anxiety is and what are some ways that that you work with your patients to manage their anxiety? 

Elke Sholz [00:49:37] Yeah. And actually I manage my own anxiety and that’s that’s how I develop the books and why I do these, these interviews. And so anxiety can be very confusing because, you know, there’s this idea of what are the symptoms and, you know, is it stress, Is it anxiety? Some people say they don’t have an anxiety and I name some of the symptoms. They go, okay, it is a human condition, doesn’t have to be a bad thing. What we want to do is understand it so that that’s why it’s important to learn about it. And so physically it can show up in so many different ways that or, you know, the typical butterflies or trembling or shaking, but it also can show up as IBS or chest pains or decreased heart rate or sweating. It can show up as lack of concentration or I can’t thoughts. It can also show up behaviorally nail biting hair, hair, poise, skipping meals, lack of patience, and maybe emotionally feelings of dread or feeling very unhappy. So anxiety is anticipatory. It’s a sense of worry, concern. And sometimes it helps to understand what’s different from anxiety versus fear. So fear I live in the country and and you’re equestrians would certainly appreciate this too. So one day I was chased by a skunk and I think that it was during the day, so I’m only guessing that it was a female. I was near her den and so she kept chasing me. I was afraid. She was thumping, growling. And those are like the precursors to getting sprayed. Anyways, I kind of ran enough away. I think that time she went back for a den. So that fear, worry or not worry, but anxiety is now when I go and walk. The first few times I was very cautious. I was uneasy about a little bit apprehensive and not in a in a too bad a way. I mean, I still went, but that would be anxiety because I was anticipating that something might happen. So anxiety is, is more anticipatory and it has that tension and it can show up in so many different ways and then worry. It’s interesting to understand. Worry is another word would be negative meditation, looping thoughts. It also comes from the old English word rye. Gone means strangle, which kind of feels like, you know, worry isn’t really constructive. So we need to understand some of those terms. So I hope that before. 

Piper Klemm [00:52:48] Yeah. It’s also very interesting to me because I talk to people all the time, you know, and I, you know, I say, like, what about this or what about that? And they’re like, well, I tried that once and, you know, and it didn’t work or I tried it and it didn’t go well or something like that. And it’s almost like that, that negativity, you know, hearing your explanation, there’s so much of that kind of related to anxiety as well. And I always I always say that people are trying to like look for the answer, especially with the horses. It’s how do you train every horse or how do you train everything or how do you make things work? And you know, there is no answer. You just kind of have to keep putting yourself out there and keep trying. But yeah, if you’re having this response to. Two last time when you go in this time. I never thought about that as anxiety specifically, but kind of the way you’re describing it, it sounds like that. 

Elke Sholz [00:53:43] Well and yeah, and one of the things and it’s interesting and I hear you about people giving up because even with my own anxiety. It’s so much better now. Like I used to feel I feel almost sick to my stomach when I woke up in the morning. Rings and purple ceilings. And yeah, I had very various different symptoms, which I won’t go into. But what you’re describing and I have the same experience is, you know, one day the anxiety would go away, in a minute, another day it took. All morning long. So the kind of mystery of anxiety and that’s what started my my purpose, my journey, my new book, this part, because with my clients and my own experience, I started coming up with a list and there’s 11 different sources of anxiety. And, you know, I was unpacking this for I guess about a year and a half. So different substances, physical reality, overstimulation, social and cultural beliefs, both highly sensitive memories and comments. And and, you know, when I started to see that wait a minute, we need a bit of a checklist. So with my clients and I started making notes and handouts, I started to do talks in our local town, at the schools, at the library, the senior center churches, because what was happening is I felt like this broken record with my clients and teaching them that we’ve got to look, we got to be a little bit of a detective and figure out where is this anxiety coming from. So now and I’ll give you a little example and then maybe you’ll want me to mention some of these, you know, an example of a source. But what I do now is if anxiety still comes up. And that’s the other thing we can have all the strategies and I think I do. I think I’ve got, you know, enough strategies with these two books. However, anxiety will still come. So but the difference is I have a checklist. So when it comes, I just sit down quietly. First I acknowledge it, so I don’t try to push it away because our mistake is, you know, we think something’s wrong with me. Why do I still have this? I’ve done something wrong. No, just sit with it. Just go. Okay. Anxiety or here. What are you trying to tell me? And that’s when we get into this detective like mode. I was going to ask you about the detective mode. If you know your triggers and you know that. That there are certain things that that trigger your anxiety. How can you in advance of that, how can you work around those triggers? And what are some of the tools? Obviously, you know, you work at around it as much as you can, but it’s still going to happen. What do you do when it actually happens? And I feel like it’s such a circle because as you say, it’s anticipatory. So you get worked up that it’s going to happen before it even does, which makes it happen. So it’s such a circle. Well, yes and no. I mean, we’re humans. So if we could just see it as a human condition. Just as all our other feelings and emotions are. So. So part of that preparedness or the checklist? So a couple of things. So let me first try it with the checklist and then we can go to preparing. So let’s say anxiety comes and surprises us, which it tends to surprise me, you know? So I just sit there the first thing again, acknowledge it. Just go, okay, you’re here, you know, taking a deep breath, that that is always useful. And then my checklist is, you know, what am I thinking about? Did I wake up in the middle of the night with thoughts? Is there something on my plate? You know, is there something that I have to deal with? Maybe it’s composition. Or maybe, you know, I have to go for an interview, or maybe I’ve got an exam or, you know what’s on your plate. That’s what that’s what’s interesting. And then the other thing, too, is, you know. You know what? What did I eat? It. Was it something I ate? Was it something I’ve done? Or maybe I haven’t been exercising. Maybe I haven’t seen my friends, like. There’s. There’s kind of a checklist comes along with the book and then, you know, you mention it if we know or trigger it. If we know, let’s say we’re going into competition, we always get butterflies. However, it makes us too nervous. And then the ground forces feel it, too. So how can we prepare? So absolutely, there’s you have to say so many strategies. One of them, though, is to be present. So it’s really come into your breath, as difficult as that might feel, is doing that deep breathing and there’s different types of breathing in the in the boat. And then, you know, how are you going to ground yourself in? And sometimes it’s also about nutrients. So here are some really interesting ones on calcium and magnesium are like super nutrients for your nerves. So if you’re even me, if I’m in a big event or I’m creating something and even leading up to it, I may increase my calcium and magnesium intake because the nerves, it’s feeding your nervous system just as you’re working out as an athlete. We feed ourselves a certain way. If you’re noticing that, you know, you tend to be a little more nervous around certain situations, then just prepare for that. And there’s lots of different things that we can do around that. I don’t know how far you want me to go, but just lead me on that one. Well, for instance, let’s let’s aim at it riders and not even necessarily competitive riders, but someone who’s going to they’re riding less then and all of a sudden they’re thinking, okay, I’m going to get on a 1200 pound animal. I could fall off. I could break a bone. I could end up in the hospital. I can’t fall up. I’m scared. Something bad could happen. The horse could bolt. Or one time a horse did bolt or one time this happened. It’s really. I mean, it’s real. It’s real. And I think especially for adult riders. Anxiety and fear is natural and it’s part of it. And you are riding an animal that has its own thoughts and brain and it’s powerful. So anything can happen. So that’s it. I don’t know that that’s anxiety or if that’s just being realistic about the risk that you’re taking riding a horse. So how do you how do you rationalize all that? Well, I think I mean, I work in both. So this is what I mean by anxiety is a useful condition. So when we have these. Thoughts and hopefully we’re having them before we leave the house so we can do some prepared work. And so it’s again acknowledging the thoughts and just going, okay, what do I need to do to take care of that? Do I need to wear a special best? Do I need to wear, you know, do I need to get a better helmet or have one that fits properly? Because we have to look at that type of safety equipment. So does that calm my anxiety? The other thing is, you know, if. If we’ve got these and I’m going to call it catastrophe thinking or negative thinking, if we’re looping like that, that’s actually a worry. So, yes, it’s a type of anxiety. So I have an exercise for that. And it is really important because we need this knowledge, our brain, but we also need to not go in that loop. So if you’re after you kind of look at some of these things and these thoughts, if they’re looping, which means they’re just going over and over and over in your head and they’re not leaving your head, then you want to do a worry assignment, and that’s setting your phone for 30 minutes. Or a timer doesn’t have to be a phone. And then you sit there and you dump every worry, concern down. And if you’re done in 10 minutes, you just keep doing it over and over again till you build the 30 minutes. And then the idea is that you tell your brain and then you put that away. That’s not to share with anybody. You can put it in a book or put it in a drawer under your mattress or however you want to. And what you tell your brain is you just have 30 minutes, prime time worrying time. I get the next 23 and a half hours off and the brain doesn’t really pay attention to it right away. So you might find a little later in the day you start looping again. I just tell your brain it has to wait and keep doing it. So you do it the next day and the next day until your brain stops. And this is a very successful exercise. It’s not what I made up, but it’s been around and it really, really worked. So what’ll happen over time? Your brain will resist looping, so you’ll still get the thoughts. And that’s not a bad thing. That’s being careful, being cautious. Maybe, you know, you had a friend fall or you watched a daughter fall or you started. I mean, these things do affect us and we want to acknowledge them. However, we don’t want it to paralyze us to a point where it’s affecting us so much that it also affects our force rate or maybe even the other causes. 

Piper Klemm [01:04:25] Elke, can you tell us a little bit about your your podcast and your book? 

Elke Sholz [01:04:28] Yeah. So I thank you. So I’ve I’ve created a website called Anxiety Warrior Dot C.A.. And on it is a podcast. It’s got a few sessions. There’s all sorts of podcasts. And hopefully what we like to put our link on the one you and I are doing. So there’s other links, other shows on there. There’s you can get the. The books are there. Anxiety worry one is also an audio. There’s a webinar to help you with your energy, which is we’ve just launched and doing really well. So yeah, and you can go on the website and there’s tons of resources there. A lot of them are free. The books on the books are actually very reasonable. I’ve kept them. I always say it’s less than a pizza anyways, so. Anxiety warrior. CA

Piper Klemm [01:05:33] Awesome. Well, thank you so much for joining us on the plaidcast. 

Elke Sholz [01:05:38] Well, thank you. Thanks for the opportunity and I really hope it helps. 

Piper Klemm [01:07:34] To learn more about anything we’ve discussed on today’s show, visit You can find show notes at Follow the Plaid Horse on all the social medias. You can subscribe to the print edition of the Plaid Horse magazine at the Plaid Please rate and review the plaidcast anywhere you listen to it. And if you enjoy this episode please share it with your friends, I will see you at the ring!