Jan 9, 2018
Today I’ll be talking more about podcasting than horses, so if you tune out, I’ll understand. We wanted to get you a podcast update on what is happening at Whoa Podcast for 2018. It’s our 6th year and, what started out as a conversation between Ranae and me about Downunder Horsemanship kept growing and growing. I wanted it to be a place where regular folks could share their “equine experience” thus enhancing all of our knowledge.
Not knowing anything about podcasting, I dove in head first. I liked the technical aspects of producing the show. The hard part was talking and interviewing. My voice isn’t exactly made for radio as they say. My interview style is stilted and a bit stiff. Over the years these improved. In 2017, I made it my goal to produce a show each and every week. I succeeded.
Producing a show week for the last year has been a daunting task. Lining up guests, doing the research, scheduling, then editing takes a chunk of time. Not to mention the writing and time on social media to promote the show. Some of the shows weren’t as “groomed” as I would have liked them to be. With just me as chief cook and bottle washer, sometimes quality suffered over the deadline to get a show published. I tried to recruit other people into the task, but there’s no money and little fame for many podcasters. But, don’t cry for me Argentina, I did and do it because I thoroughly enjoy the entire process.
By offering a wide range of guests, talking about all aspects of horses, we covered a lot of ground. We’ve interviewed veterinarians, farriers, dressage riders. Through the podcast, Ranae and I have experienced Extreme Cowboy Racing, Working Equitation, Trail Trials, and much more.
And, I’m proud that we were able to give the non-professional speakers a chance to share their horsemanship knowledge on the show. Folks like Bernice Ende riding across the country and Dennis Dueker and his therapeutic riding ranch, and Alan Day talking about Mustangs.
We took you along with us all over the place. From the Ojai Valley Cowboy School, to a cutting lesson and out to Colorado to experience the Australian sport of Campdrafting. You followed us along to the home of Doc Bar, the Horsemen’s Reunion, Cavalia, and the Vaquero Heritage Trainers Challenge. We even took you to Mongolia and talked about what it would be like to ride one of those Mongolian horses through the countryside.
Maybe the topics were too broad because we covered polocrosse with Paul Johnson, Western dressage with Jennifer Collman, roping with Denny Watkins, and working cow horse with legendary trainer Doug Williamson.
When I began the podcast in 2012 I did not know much about horses. I still don’t. But, I know a lot more than I did 6 years ago. If you’ve been listening, you do too. It was through the podcast that I learned about a wild, privately managed herd of mustangs and got to start my own - and first - wild horse at the age of 61. I survived the ordeal. Actually, because of all I learned on the show, I accomplished the task without any bodily injury. My pride got hurt a few times, but my bones remain intact.
My goal was to never ask for money from my listeners. I had hoped some sponsor would come along and help. Maybe there was an outside chance for a syndication deal. But, I was doing the podcast for me and all the people who owned horses because they loved them, not necessarily because they knew a lot about them.
I listen to many other podcasts. When I heard RadioLab can spend $100,000 on a single episode, I was astonished. Of course, they have an army of editors, writers, production assistants, and reporters for their show, the whoa podcast has me and Ranae. Yes, I have expenses, whew, a hundred grand - I could do a lot with that! We started a Patreon Page where listeners could help out with expenses if they chose.
This part of the “business” of podcasting is my biggest weakness. I’m simply uncomfortable asking for money and don’t like to do it. Not that what we’ve produced isn’t valuable. It has been and I’ve gotten so much out of it.
To make money through advertising the podcast needed to get to 20,000 downloads a month. While we came close a couple of times, we could not sustain those numbers to attract advertisers.
All this is the long way around telling you that the podcast will slow down in 2018. We have a couple of commitments and look forward to a few shows, but there will not be one every week. The episodes that have tickled my creative fancy the most were the two with old-time buckaroo, Bill Mooney and the story Bobby Kerr and Tom Hagwood had to tell. They weren’t the most downloaded episodes, put preserving those stories, presenting them to you so you can share them, has made them very fun to produce. I’m working on another project to find stories - perhaps in a shorter format - to bring to you in the future. We’ll see if I can make that happen.
In the meantime, the old episodes will still be available, all 175 of them. You can find them at WhoaPodcast dot com. We hope you’ll stay in touch, too. If you subscribe to one of the services, you’ll get a notification if or when we produce another episode. I want to personally thank you for sharing this journey with us, supporting the show through all the growing pains. Ranae and I hope you got something valuable out of it. We know we did. If there is one underlying theme to our show, it’s been to follow your dream - no matter what it is - wherever it goes. If you can’t see the whole path, go as far as you can and from there you’ll learn which direction to turn next. Thanks again for listening and sharing this podcast with your friends and riding buddies. Until next time, Go have some fun with your horses.
We have well over 100 episodes up now and you can find them all for free on iTunes, with our Android App in the Amazon store, and now Stitcher, or wherever podcasts are distributed. Get the Stitcher app and tell us how it works. We are on Google Play too! You can also find every episode and more about the show at whoapodcast.com. Please take a moment and join our email list. Get in on the conversation with Facebook and Twitter and Instagram- just look for WhoaPodcast.
You are a big part of why we do this podcast. We really love getting your feedback. Please let us know your thoughts, ideas, and suggestions for the show. You can email us at John@WhoaPodcast.com
Thanks for listening,