Thursday, June 2, 2022

Riding with Rose: An Interview with Rose Cushing

Riding with Rose: An Interview with Rose Cushing
by Gina McKnight
Archived from the May 2022 Issue of Florida Equine Athlete
No duplication without permission
Sometimes we meet extraordinary people who inspire and motivate our life. Rose Cushing is one of those people. She is an all-around horse-girl who knows horses – and horse media. Rose’s extensive resume includes the Publisher of Southeast Hoofbeats, Producer of Carolina Hoofbeats TV, American Hoofbeats  TV, From the Ground Up, and Cushing Media Productions.
Welcome, Rose!
GM: When did you meet your first horse?
RC: When I was about eight years old, my neighbors got a couple of ponies. When I got the chance to ride one of them, I was so excited and in love! His name was Lightning, and he was a sorrel chestnut pony. I rode him almost every day. My neighbor's grandfather had giant cattle pastures, so we were free to roam a bunch of acreages and explore every inch!

GM: You are well known in the publishing industry. What inspired you to be a producer of horse-related TV and media?

RC: I loved publishing the magazine Southeast Hoofbeats! I had an idea for a magazine-style television show to celebrate equestrian stories, educate the audience, and encourage them to try new things with their horses. Our industry is so diverse and growing very fast. I wanted to make sure that relevant information is readily available for horse owners. Because of my love of all things horse, the industry holds a special place in my heart. I have tried to see the needs as they arise and do my best to fill in the gaps, give a leg up or nurture new horse folks. TV is a powerful medium that reaches thousands of people differently than print. Each medium has its place and reaches people differently. The expos have been fun to produce. It gives me a chance to showcase clinicians and colt starting competitions, trail obstacle challenges, farriers, horse organizations, and whatever else I can dream up. I even created a horse show, Horses Got Talent, that was purely entertainment and horsemanship!

GM: Through your years of journalism, do you have a favorite anecdote to share of a horse/experience?

RC: We had the opportunity to meet a young girl diagnosed with a rare fatal disease. She requested to have her very own horse through Make a Wish. Her Mom told me that she said they would go to Disney World or something, and the trip would be over, but a horse would be there to love her every day. So, Make A Wish hadn't had that request before, but they found a reputable horse dealer in the area. The situation touched him so deeply that he let her choose any horse he had. She, of course, chose the most beautiful one. Unfortunately, the mare was way too much horse for a beginner, so she wasn't much joy for the child. Her family had decided to just get out of the horse business altogether.
I talked to them and asked them to let me help. I didn't know what I was going to do, but surely I could fix this with all the folks I knew. I called one of my dearest friends Wayne Newcomb of Newcomb Quarter Horses in Oxford. He and I talked, and he explained that he had a beautiful palomino mare. The horse was, in fact, a World Champion Youth Horse.
He would gladly donate her to the little girl. The first problem is solved. Now, the rest of the story. I had also agreed to take the other horse and find her a good home. Thank heavens for good friends.
On the day we delivered her, the little girl was so excited, and it was pretty much love at first sight. I turned to look at Wayne to my surprise, tears were rolling ever so slightly from his eyes. The other horse turned out to be a mare that he had raised at his farm, and he was very excited to have her back! Everyone was happy. The little girl sent me many photos of her winning blue ribbons at the shows, and sometimes the neighborhood kids were all riding the mare. Her disease went into remission, and today she is leading a great life, of course, still in love with horses.
GM: What a wonderful story! You touch so many lives, and we are so grateful. In your opinion, where in the world can we find the best equine experience?
RC: I love nature, so trail riding is my favorite riding experience. I feel that the natural bond, the real-time is in the minute details like grooming, bathing, feeding, teaching, and admiring the horse. I am establishing that true partnership and trust through those intimate activities.
GM: Of all the equine disciplines, what event do you enjoy producing the most?
RC: I love the Expos because I can create many different experiences. I try to celebrate all things horse, the education, the experience, the competition, the vendors, the general knowledge, TV shows, podcasts, magazines, and up-and-coming horsemen and women. We even do an equine art show during the expos from time to time. We feature a nighttime show that is well received on Saturday night, even though it may be neighborhood kids forming a drill team or a professional freestyle. There is a place for everyone, every horse, every discipline at my events.
GM: Describe a day in your life...
RC: I start my day at 6:00 a.m. I first make a notation for what I am grateful to have in my journal. Then I begin making social media posts, answering emails, and making my to-do list. I usually begin my first podcast recording between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. for Today's Horsewoman. Then when those are finished, it is time to run errands and grab lunch. I have a writer's group in the afternoons and then go home and record more podcast episodes for the two new writer's podcasts we are launching Carolina Writer's Speak and Speaking of Writing. About 6 p.m., my husband gets home, and if we have a television shoot scheduled, we do that; if not, we eat dinner, work out in our yard, or edit.
GM: Tell us about your podcasts...
RC: When Covid closed everything down I did not want to lose the momentum we had built with our television show. I decided to create a podcast for Horsewomen. Today’s Horsewoman has been on the air a little over a year and has enjoyed thousands of downloads. We are nationwide and ten countries. You can find it on every major podcast host site in the world!
I am very proud of it. It is the only podcasts in the entire world exclusively about horsewomen for women. When you think about it women make up 85% of our industry so why wouldn’t you target their interests?
Also during Covid I wrote a novel. It is a fictional story about waking up one day and being very rich. Fortunate Tides is it’s title and it is available on I wanted to try something completely different out in left field. All my life as a journalist I have written factual stuff so a fictional novel was a challenge, but I did it

When it came time to actually sell it, it was a very different animal than I had ever tackled. So I decided if it is this hard for me, it must be for all writers. I decided to create a new podcast for writers to give them a voice, much like my TV show and podcasts have done for horsepeople. Carolina Writers Speak was the first one I created and it launches April 24, 2022.

Then I realized that I had tons of friends who had written books all over the country and they wanted to be on the show. So I created a second one Speaking of Writing that will launch in May for everyone who doesn’t live in the Carolina’s
We are very excited to launch these new avenues for people to tell their stories as part of Cushing Media Productions.
GM: Wow! I am excited to listen to your new podcasts and watch to see what’s new in your equestrian/writer wheelhouse! What advice do you have for those looking to purchase their first horse?
RC: Don’t do what I did and decide what color you want first. Get someone that is very knowledgeable and experienced to help you. Be honest with yourself about what your level of riding ability truly is and what you intend to do with the horse. Then, ride it for sure, yourself and make sure that you are a good fit. Make sure that the seller has a satisfaction guaranteed policy for some amount of specified time. Most importantly listen to your helper’s advice and follow it.
GM: What does horsemanship mean to you?
RC: Horsemanship encompasses many things to me. First and foremost it is doing what is right for the horse, regardless. No exceptions. Arm yourself with knowledge and the things you don’t know take time to learn them. No one knows it all. If you put your horse first in all aspects of his care, his riding and his stabling that displays good horsemanship to me. It’s not just about how well you ride. It is the total package.

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