Horse Sense

Every once in a while, I like to share a book, art exhibit, or movie that resonates deeply with me.  Buck, a movie directed by Cindy Meehl, made me really stop & think.  It received the Sundance Audience Award for Best Documentary & I can clearly see why.  Buck Brannaman is a master horseman & the consultant/inspiration for Robert Redford’s The Horse Whisperer.  I’d go so far as to say Buck’s a philosopher whose “horse sense” could benefit educators, parents, & well… anyone who wants to relate better to others in a more positive way.

I’m always inspired by people who overcome life’s obstacles & rise above adversity with dignity, class, & style.  Buck is one of those people.  While others use their experience being abused as an excuse to abuse others, Buck was determined to break that cycle.  The pain he suffered at the hands of his father helped him to relate to horses who were also  “broken”.  He realized there must be a better way to train these beautiful animals & soon connected with someone who taught him gentler, kinder horse-training techniques.  Throughout the DVD, in his soft-spoken way, Buck lets us know that everyone (humans & animals alike) responds better to kindness.

At one point in the movie, a woman shows up at one of his clinics (workshops) with a horse who has clearly been mistreated & attacks anyone who dares get close to his teeth or hooves.  In the clip, Buck is obviously distraught but honest with the woman.  The horse has to be put down.  He’s violent & dangerous.  It’s not the horse’s fault, Buck explains, it’s hers.  She didn’t care for this animal responsibly & now he would be paying the price with his life.  Buck tells her that “the horse is a window to the owner’s soul” & she has some serious soul-searching to do.

How true it is… how you treat others speaks volumes about you.


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