Did you know that there are scientific facts which support the healing horse-human connections? Studies conducted by the Institute of HeartMath show scientifically how “healing” and a “sense of wellness and peace” happens between horse and human through the electromagnetic field that emanates from the horse’s heart.

According to these studies, the electromagnetic field projected by the horse’s heart is stronger and five times larger than the human one.  Their “coherent” heart rhythm (heart rate pattern or HRV) creates a system that can efficiently recover and adjust to stressful situations.

People experience the emotional bond and physiological benefits while interacting with horses. Scientific research shows lowered blood pressure and heart rate, increased levels of beta-endorphins (neurotransmitters that serve as pain surppressors), and decreased stress levels. They can feel reduced feelings of anger, hostility, tension and anxiety, and improved social functioning. No wonder horse therapy works.

In the “Alchemy of Lightness” (Trafalgar Square Books), researchers Dominique Barbie & Dr. Maria Katsamanis describe “What Happens Between Horse and Rider on a Molecular Level And How It Helps Achieve the Ultimate Connection.” It’s an “ambitious study of the interplay of mechanisms put in motion when man & horse meet, communicate, & ultimately become one.”

Barbie & Katsamanis talk about how “a ‘mental contract’ needs to exist between horse and rider” which can be “entered into after we have found a place of physical comfort for the horse.

When that mental contracts exists, a person can then ask the horse “Do you want to dance with me?”

Red Pollard's bond with Seabiscuit

Seabiscuit & jockey Red Pollard

Seabiscuit & trainer Tom Smith

Seabiscuit & trainer Tom Smith

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Equine therapy at Ridgewood Ranch, Home of Seabiscuit

Trainer Tom Smith and jockey Red Pollard were able to achieve this type of mental contract with Seabiscuit, a bond which healed all 3 for both Pollard and Smith were suffering in their own ways. Once the mishandled race horse was able to relax and connect with humans, he went on from being an angry, stubborn and lazy horse to win and uplift the hearts of millions broken by the Great Depression.

In our documentary Seabiscuit’s Legacy, we’ll show how that healing horse-human connection existed then and how that continues today at Ridgewood Ranch, Home of Seabiscuit. There, an equine therapy program by the Ridgewood TRAIL Riders helps heal and uplift disadvantaged children and war veterans.

15-year old Frank Howard dies in tragic auto accident on the ranch

15-year old Frank Howard dies in tragic auto accident on the ranch


Seabiscuit & owner Charles Howard

In the film, we’ll take a look at the suffering Charles Howard endured after the tremendous loss of his 15 year-old son Frank who died in an auto accident at the ranch.

After that, Howard turns from his love of the automobile (which built his wealth) to horse racing.He empties the barns of his racecars, installs Seabiscuit, and the legend (and Howard’s healing) begins.


Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital, Willits, early shot with few trees

Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital opens in 1927.

New Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital opening Fall 2015.

New Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital opens Fall of 2015.

We’ll also portray how the Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital in Willits began in 1927, how it has been a source for healing, and it will continue with the opening this fall of the brand new $65M Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital not far from the current location.

Follow us as we complete the film throughout the next year as we move from the current development phase through to release at film festivals around the world, and then into theaters and through online distribution. A percentage of the film’s proceeds will benefit T.R.A.I.L., the Frank R. Howard Foundation, and the Seabiscuit Heritage Foundation which maintains the Seabiscuit legend through their conservation and preservation efforts at Ridgewood so that the legend lives on.seabiscuit heritage foundation logo

You can help us achieve this by contributing to the development of the film.