Live Free Ride Free with Rupert Isaacson

Here on our pilot episode of the Live Free Ride Free Podcast, we talk about the nature of success and self-actualization - what this means, not just in terms of money and career, but in terms of personal happiness and fulfillment.

Our host Rupert Isaacson, tells his story from doing manual labor as an illegal immigrant to running his own successful writing career and businesses as well as his charity and human rights advocacy work.

We set the tone for the exciting guests to come: people who have achieved the pinnacles of their potential, often from rather unlikely beginnings.

What can we learn from considering these questions on the true nature of human fulfillment and how it sets us free.

Join us for this Pilot and remember to subscribe and share!

What is Live Free Ride Free with Rupert Isaacson?

Welcome to Live Free Ride Free, where we talk to people who have lived self-actualized lives on their own terms, and find out how they got there, what they do, how we can get there, what we can learn from them. How to live our best lives, find our own definition of success, and most importantly, find joy.

Your Host is New York Times bestselling author Rupert Isaacson. Long time human rights activist, Rupert helped a group of Bushmen in the Kalahari fight for their ancestral lands. He's probably best known for his autism advocacy work following the publication of his bestselling book "The Horse Boy" and "The Long Ride Home" where he tells the story of finding healing for his autistic son. Subsequently he founded New Trails Learning Systems an approach for addressing neuro-psychiatric conditions through horses, movement and nature. The methods are now used around the world in therapeutic riding program, therapy offices and schools for special needs and neuro-typical children.

 You can find details of all our programs and shows on

Rupert Isaacson: Welcome to Live Free
Ride Free, where we talk to people who

have lived self-actualized lives on
their own terms, and find out how they

got there, what they do, how we can
get there, what we can learn from them.

How to live our best lives, find
our own definition of success,

and most importantly, find joy.

I'm your host, Rupert Isaacson.

New York Times bestselling
author of the Horse Boy.

Founder of New Trails Learning
Systems and long ride

You can find details of all our programs
and shows on Rupert

welcome to Live Free, ride
Free episode number one.

This is your host, Rupert Isaacson.

Some of you may already know me from
my book and film The Horse Boy, , which

told the story of how I and my autistic
then very severely autistic son Rowan,

traveled across Mongolia, , in search
of healing on horseback because he had

become, In the saddle in front of me.

and then a subsequent book called
The Long Ride Home, which talked

about, , three further journeys that
we made in Africa and in the Australian

rainforest and in the Navajo Reservation.

, again, looking for
healing and , finding it

what is Live Free?

Ride Free?

It's about, People who self-actualize.

What does that mean?

It really means we're talking with people
who've managed to successfully live life

following their passionate interests.

We could call that living
life on your own terms.

We could call that
achieving a certain freedom.

We could call that fulfillment.

We could call that, , living a Life.

Of creativity and joy , but really
what it comes down to is how

is it possible to live a dream?

To dream a dream, go after it and live it.

Because so often we are told
that this is not possible.

The, the messages that we get, at school
often from our parents, from the wider

community are, no, you can't do that.

You've got to go for security.

You've got.

Get a job, you've got to,
immediately get on the property

ladder as quickly as you can.

You've got to be responsible.

You've got to, you've
got to, you've got to.

And really the underlying message
of that for so many of us growing up

is you're not allowed to have fun.

Fun is counterproductive to, success.

even though people who are successful
seem to have quite a lot of fun.

and I remember.

You know, noticing that when I
was quite young and thinking,

well, how does that correlate?

Well, we're not here to have fun.

We're here to work.

Well, why can't work be fun?

Well, you're not here to have fun.

You're here to learn.

Well, why can't learning be fun?

Why can't it be joyful?

I never really bought it.

I never really bought the
line that you had to suffer

somehow in order to be worthy.

And I never quite bought the
line that you had to have a bad.

In order to effectively have a good time.

So where was the missing link?

And it's, it's, it's something that
has gone through my whole life.

So let me talk a little bit
about my own story, Rupert.

so I've spent my life really, making
my living, doing things that everyone

told me you can't make a living at.

It started really early, with my
interest in writing stories and drawing

pictures and that sort of thing.

And people said, well,
that's a waste of time.

You should be doing more maths.

You should be doing more science.

And I was like, well, I'm
not really good at those.


Um, it's not that I don't find them
interesting, but when I'm in those classes

at school, my teachers, humiliate
me and make me feel really stupid.

so I find it rather difficult to
learn under those circumstances.

So naturally I gravitate towards
the things that I find not only

easier, but that give me joy.

And what happened was I
ended up becoming a writer.

Now people said, oh, well you
can't make a living at writing.

And I remember, Hearing that, um, as a
sort of a teenager and thinking, well,

but you go into a bookstore and there
are thousands of books in there that are

being published by companies that have
been around for some of them for over a

hundred years, who've obviously made quite
a lot of money publishing these books.

And some of these writers must obviously
be making their living doing it.

Or how would they possibly.

Be able to spend the time.

It's very time consuming.

Writing books, writing these books.

So I remember thinking, I
think I could probably do that.

And then also in my childhood and
early teens, I was always horse mad.

Horse obsessed.

Horse driven.

When as a three year old, I was always.

Being found in my aunt's farm,
sitting out in the field with her old

retired horses, just talking to them.

And it was very, very clear that I
was gonna have a life around horses.

And I remember my own parents
saying to me, well Ru, you know,

that's just an expensive hobby.

You can't, you can't do that.

And I remember thinking, yeah,
but there seems to be this thing

called the bloodstock industry.

There seems to be this
thing called the horse in.

And people seem to buy and sell
horses and people seem to get paid

to be professional riders and people
seem to get paid to breed horses and.

where is the disconnect?

Why can't I develop a skillset
where I could maybe make my living

doing this as well as other things?

And of course, that's end ended
up, you know, what happened.

and then, when I was very young
too, sort of 16, 17, I got really

rather heavily into playing.

Fantasy role-playing games, Dungeons
and Dragons, that sort of thing.

And, smoking too much of things
I shouldn't smoke and listening to

too much heavy metal and doing it
partly cuz I was a bit depressed.

And partly cuz it was
fun and, and escapism.

And again, people saying,
well this is a waste of time.

You, you, you can't make a living
doing this is just, you know, this

is just not, you know, something
which is gonna be productive for you.

And I remember looking at these
Dungeons and Dragons books and these

Dungeons and Dragons figurines and
saying, well, someone's getting paid.

Because someone is publishing these
books, someone is selling these games,

someone is creating these figurines.

Why not me?

And of course, as we all know,
um, the gaming industry since

then in the last couple of decades
has taken off exponentially.

It's now worth much, much
more than any other sector of

the entertainment industry.

And, I ended up, , getting together
with a group of people and putting

together a TV show called The Quest,
which is exactly about gamers and,

putting people into a fantasy world.

teamed up with the people who made Lord
of the Rings and that sort of thing.

Now, how did I become
a professional writer?

I ended up writing a
couple of bestsellers.

How did I end up becoming a
professional horse trainer?

I travel all over the world doing that.

Now, how did I end up?

producing media, including
this gaming stuff?

Well, I simply did it because I felt
I didn't really have any other choice.

I was so compelled by these interests
that I had, these passions, if you

like, that I had that I couldn't really.

Think about doing much else.

But in order to establish myself,
while I was trying to figure out

the professional tracks of this,
I did every Jo job under the sun.

You know, I have done
every construction site.

I have been a window cleaner.

I have been an industrial cleaner.

I have clean toilets,
I have shoveled snow.

I have, I have, I have, I have
every menial job you can think of.

And I did this for some years.

And so what is true is that when you
want to live free and ride free, , the

early years of this can be, quite
uncertain and not everybody can deal

with that uncertainty and that anxiety.

Without mentorship, I didn't really
have much mentorship, but I, what I

did have was a family where there was
somewhat of a tradition of freelancers.

And, so it wasn't completely outside
the box, even though my parents were

skeptical about the horse side of things.

And certainly ske skeptical about the
gaming and heavy metal side of things.

By the way, I do have a heavy
metal band and hopefully we will be

producing an album for next year,
which I'll turn you guys onto.

but the writing, at the very least, they,
they, they could see that that could

work if one really put one's mind to it.

So I didn't have much mentorship.

I had a bit of a precedent to follow.

What do you do if you're coming out of
a situation where everyone is giving you

negative feedback, but there's this little
niggling part of you that says, yeah, but

I kind of want to live free, ride free.

How do I do that?

So that's really the
point of this podcast.

We are gonna talk to mentors.

We are gonna talk to really interesting
people who've done it, who've made it,

who've bootstrapped it, who've come up
from wherever they've come up from, and

have done extraordinary things that
people said they sort of couldn't do.

In this first season, I've
got the amazing Sir Tim.

Who is the head of the
Eden Project in England?

Absolutely amazing man who was actually
a musician and then a music producer.

and then sort of fell outta the
industry and ended up in Cornwall

with his family, wondering a bit what
to do, and discovered these gardens

behind a wall and turned them into the
lost gardens of Halligan, which is.

I think it's the third or fourth.

, most visited tourist attraction in the
uk and then he started the Eden Project,

which is rainforests under
roofs, a massively successful

billion dollar project.

and he's now doing these,
environmental education Eden Centers.

Internationally, all over the world.

Absolutely incredible, man.

How did he achieve it?

How did he go from wondering what to
do with his family in Cornwall to that?

Well, he's gonna tell us, , what
did he say with all the naysayers?

Well, he's gonna tell us
how did he find the money?

He's gonna tell us how did he
find the drive and the energy and

the, and the mastermind community
that he had to pull together.

And where did he find mentorship?

He's gonna tell us.

We've also got the amazing Tony
Lyons, a guy you've never heard of,

but you might have seen his books.

he is a publisher in New York and he
has Skyhorse Publishing and he's one of

these guys who will publish all the stuff
that other people just will not publish.

, all the super controversial stuff,
all the stuff that can really,

sometimes get you in trouble.

I stayed at his house once and picked
up the fact that the FBI were actually

monitoring, , the internet there.

Very, very brave man.

Very, very cool man.

Has made.

An absolute success of this, bringing,
if you like, truth to the masses.

How did he go from a guy in New York
working on Alaskan fishing boats, trying

to make some money to running this
incredible publishing house that does

the cutting edge, or the conspiracy
theory stuff, but really looking at

where the truths of it are and where
the smoke and mirrors of it are.

all of the, really interesting stuff,
that, some of us maybe don't want to look.

But are always fascinated by even
down to things like coloring books

and anything, anything that will work.

How did he do it?

How, how do you become that
sort of an entrepreneur?

Well, he's gonna tell us, I've got
the incredible Warwick Shiller.

Warwick Schill is a horse trainer,
but he's much more than that.

He runs an incredibly successful podcast
and online, video library, that has

made him so independent that he's now
on a mission to explore another of his

passions, which is shamanic healing,
and self transformation around in these

different places around the world, the
rainforests, the deserts, and so on.

He lives this incredible life.

He started, , just with
horses in a round pen.

, in fact, before that in our
sheep farm in, in Australia.

How did he get from there to here?

How does anybody get from there to here?

It's a process and it's a process
of dreaming first small dreams that

become bigger and bigger and bigger.

And one bridge, one
dream bridges to another.

and he now mentors people,
Warwick in how to do this.

Jane Pike, the incredible
Jane Pike from New.

another horse, woman, but who
has moved into the realm of,

understanding the nervous system
and its effect on the brain.

and has taken that type of, neuroscience
out to the masses, in a way that

is really quite unprecedented.

, how did she do that?

She was sitting, in a, on a
farm in New Zealand, wondering

what to do during covid, during
lockdown, , with her children.

And, but she'd always had this interest.

She starts writing about
it on the internet.

And then from there she begins to podcast
and she begins to, broadcast stuff.

And little by little it grows until
it becomes this sort of engine.

How did she do it?

She's gonna tell us Megan Beasley, Dr.

Megan Beasley Anthrop.

Gone Rogue who worked with the Bushman of
the Kalahari, the COIs son, people known

for their healing hunter gatherers, has
helped them, get their land back after

mass evictions and, and illegal, all sorts
of horrible, illegal stuff out there.

She started as an academic, , went
and lived with these people and then.

Has parlayed that over 30 years into,
one of the most, successful, sort of

community benefit organizations called the
Kalahari Peoples Fund, that it currently

exists, between Africa and the usa.

Very, very humble lady,
but she, she took a dream.

Of these people that she sort of fell in
love with and has turned it into a success

for herself and for them that has actually
sort of gotten them their land back.

And how did she do it?

How did she get from there to
here, and what steps can you take?


What I don't want to do is denigrate
the idea of getting a job for security.

There's absolutely
nothing wrong with that.

When I was, piecing it together
myself to become a writer or a horse

trainer or, producing other types of
media, the jobs that I did gave me the

money to build what I wanted to build.

and then I would risk.

certain amounts of money to go off and do
expeditions, which I would then try and

sell to magazines and newspapers and that.

So sometimes I was successful
and sometimes I was not.

but the, the overall,
momentum eventually.

Took over after a certain number of years.

So there's nothing wrong with saying,
well, you know, I want to, have a

job so that at the weekends or in
holidays I can pursue my interests.

That's perfectly good.

What is tricky is if one says, I'm gonna
work for 30 years and only when I retire.

Am I then going to allow myself, to
follow my passions and my interests?

The problem with that is it
kills the soul as we know, and

we don't have to put it off.

You might die tomorrow.

You don't have to wait for that.

You can, we can all live free, ride free.


Some people also say,
ah, it's too late for me.

You know, I'm in my fifties,
I'm in my sixties, whatever.

Well, I'm in my fifties.

it's never too late.

It's never, never too late.

If you are breath.

It's not too late.

And, some of the people which we're gonna
be interviewing here were late starters.

people only really got going in their
forties, fifties, and sixties after,

if not drifting for some decades.

Certainly not really finding fulfillment.

a really good, , example, I think
of somebody who, did what you might

call a Joe job or a job that he didn't
find at any, at any rate, fulfill.

But ended up parlay that into massive
success, was the author Charles Bukovsky.

, some of you may know him.

Very controversial writer from the
sixties and seventies, but real

genius, well, he worked in the postal
service for decades and decades,

, before his writing ever got going.

And he course he used that and he
used the frustration of that to some

degree, , in his writing, , and created
some very powerful, very funny things.

But now he's a household.

So it's not that you have to
completely buck the system.

It's not that you have to not have a job.

It's not that you have to, , not
put some sec, you know, emphasis

on security and that sort of thing.

But what you don't want to do is
say, well, I can't follow the dreams.

I can put off fulfillment because
I haven't got the time, I haven't

got the wherewithal clearly.

There is a way to bridge from one to the
other, and that's what the people here on

Livery Ride Free are going to teach us.

Alright, so how are we gonna do it?

Well, we're going to do it in two stages.

So each person's gonna come on and we're
gonna interview them and have their story.

How did they get there from here?

But then we're gonna have them back.

And you guys, you, the listeners can ask.

Your questions.

Some of that's gonna be live, and some
of that's going to be you emailing

them in and we will have them answer
your questions so that we can get

mentorship going so that those of us
who want to benefit from the wisdom of

a Tim Smith, a Warwick Schiller, a Tony
Lyons, a Jane Pike, a Meghan Beasley,

we can actually tap into them directly.

So it's gonna be a two
staged, process inspired.

Leads to inspired action
leads to an inspired life.

Thoughts become habits.

Habits become destiny.

Thoughts become things.

So we want to think good thoughts.

So join us on the Adventure to Live free.

Ride free.

Look us up on, my websites too,, which is our neuroscience,

and, autism, work that we do.

And long ride, which
is our shamanism, personal

development and horse training,

Rupert Isaacson: Also, check out our other
podcast, equine Assisted World, which

looks into this fascinating universe
of how people use horses to heal.

Basically, whether it's physical,
neuropsychiatric, emotional, you

name it, there's this incredible
world out there that's developing all

the time and we are looking at it.

So give it a shot.

Thank you for joining us.

We hope you enjoyed today's podcast.

Join our website, new trails, to check out our online

courses and live workshops in Horse Boy
Method, movement Method, and Athena.

These evidence-based programs have
helped children, veterans, and people

dealing with trauma around the world.

We also offer a horse training
program and self-care program

for riders on long ride

These include easy to do online
courses and tutorials that

bring you and your horse joy.

For an overview of all shows and
programs, go to rupert

See you on the next show.

And please remember to
press, subscribe and share.