Who is Buck Brannaman?
Buck Brannaman is a horse trainer, author and star of the widely acclaimed Buck – an eighty-eight minute documentary. For more than thirty years, Brannaman has taught that riding a horse is “like dancing—a combination of wooing, leading and mutual respect.”
Overcoming Great Odds
Brannaman teaches horse clinics all over the country advocating non-violent horse training methods. His exceptional equine abilities stem partly from a traumatic childhood. Forced into public performances doing trick riding and roping, Brannaman and his brother were victims of a brutal lifestyle after their mother died. Escape and relief from the violent beatings of their abusive, alcoholic father were found on the back of a horse.
Eventually, the boys were put into foster care. Brannaman credits his foster family and horses for helping him come to terms with his fractured childhood.
Why Buck Brannaman is the REAL Horse Whisperer!
- Because the author of the novel, The Horse Whisperer, said so.
“Others have falsely claimed to be the inspiration for Tom Booker in The Horse Whisperer. The one who truly inspired me was Buck Brannaman. His skill, understanding, and his gentle, loving heart have parted the clouds for countless troubled creatures. Buck is the Zen master of the horse world.” – Nicholas Evans
- Because he is an original believer that troubled horses and troubled humans need the same kind of sympathy.
Brannaman’s approach to treating troubled horses and troubled humans with equal doses of compassion has helped promote other fields such as therapeutic horseback riding.
“A lot of times, rather than helping people with horse problems, I’m helping horses with people problems.” – Buck Brannaman
“Horses are incredibly forgiving. They fill in places we’re not capable of filling ourselves. They’ve given people a new hope, a new lease on life. A horse really wants to please you, to get along.” – Buck Brannaman
- Because he has paid his dues.
“I’ve started horses since I was 12 years old and have been bit, kicked, bucked off and run over. I’ve tried every physical means to contain my horse in an effort to keep from getting myself killed. I started to realize that things would come much easier for me once I learned why a horse does what he does.”
Brannaman used his own childhood experiences in his career as a horse trainer, recognizing in difficult animals the same fear and hostile reactions he remembered from his own childhood.
“Abused horses are like abused children. They trust no one and expect the worst. But patience, leadership, compassion and firmness can help them overcome their pasts.” – Buck Brannaman
- Because Robert Redford admits he patterned his character in his film, The Horse Whisperer, after Buck Brannaman.
“Watching Buck ride is like watching a cloud float through the sky. He taught me so much, but he also let me use his horse, and it responded to such subtle movements that you just had to say, ‘Wow.’ ” – Robert Redford
Sometimes I think the most awesome people in this world are those who have suffered much. Perhaps you know someone in your life who, like Buck Brannaman, turned misfortune into something beautiful.
Why do we need heroes?
The Merriam-Webster dictionary says a hero is a person who is admired for great or brave acts. I think heroes are something more. I believe they are icons on which we project our greater selves. Deep in our psyches – maybe in our DNA – we want to believe that if pressed, we will rise to heights of courage and greatness. Heroes make us aspire to flee mediocrity and pursue the impossible ~ Jodi Lea Stewart
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