Welcome to the Good Tidings Podcast with host Larry Harper, Founder of the Good Tidings Foundation. This podcast is all about highlighting the good in people and what individuals are doing to make an impact in this world for the benefit of others, and it aims to inspire a community of givers! Today, Larry is at a ranch in Malibu Canyon with this month’s guest: musician and equine therapist Kiki Ebsen!
Larry’s first question reaches back before he met Kiki 22 years ago when she performed at a benefit concert, and focuses on what it was like growing up with a famous father. Kiki’s father, Buddy, is particularly well known for playing Jed Clampett and Barnaby Jones, and he raised his children during the peak of his acting career. Kiki explains what a remarkable man her father was and the ways in which the normalcy of her childhood was preserved. While she spent most of her upbringing blissfully unaware of the realities of fame, as she grew older, she found herself both challenged and grateful as she had to navigate questions of identity and saw the gift of her parents and her childhood with a more complete view.
Kiki dives into the fascinating story of her father’s time working on The Wizard of Oz, which offered later inspiration for her record, Scarecrow Sessions, and show To Dad with Love. Kiki has decades of experience as a keyboard player and vocalist, though she spent years touring with different artists as a backup musician before ever really finding her own voice. Kiki shares about how she cares for her unique and beautiful voice, who her musical influences are, and how she developed in her musical training and interests.
Shifting gears, Larry and Kiki turn to Kiki’s charitable work. Her experience with charity started early, as she joined her dad in charity performances and developed a concept of the arts as a way of giving back. In 2007, she also started The Healing Equine Ranch, which offers equine therapy. Kiki shares about her love of horses, the value of learning how to communicate with them, and the way in which the simplicity of horses can help people to let go of mental clutter and focus on what’s important to them. Kiki doesn’t advertise her equine therapy much, and her ranch doesn’t offer horseback riding, but she finds that people will seek out the healing provided by her horses. Equine therapy offers great benefits that Kiki hopes to continue exploring, and when managed in moderation, it works well for horses even into their old age!