“Your horse is a mirror to your soul, and sometimes you may not like what you see. Sometimes, you will.” Buck Brannaman
After relinquishing television three years ago, I’ve started watching documentaries online while feeding Miss Finn in the wee hours of the morning (generally 3am). I recently watched the stunning documentary Buck, which patchworks together the life of Buck Brannaman, an American horseman who has a uncanny intuition to speak and connect with horses.
Brannaman is a gentle, softly spoken horse trainer who travels throughout the US on the horsemanship clinic circuit. Throughout his 20 year career he’s started over 10,000 colts in his clinic work. Remember the movie ‘The Horse Whisperer’? Well Buck Brannaman served as the source of inspiration for the main character Tom Booker, a horse trainer played by Robert Redford. Buck also played Robert Redford’s body double in scenes throughout the movie.
“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 realise that things would come much easier for me once I learned why a horse does what he does. This method works well for me because of the kinship that develops between horse and rider.”
Buck’s childhood wasn’t easy, his mother died at a young age and his father was incredibly abusive which resulted in his brother and himself going into foster care. Throughout the film Buck draws parallels between a horse who has been abused and mistreated to his own childhood experiences.
He’s the epitome of patience when it comes to working with horses and more importantly some of the horse owners that he meets throughout his travels. He rides like a centaur – with fingertip control, no force, angst, anger or violence. There is a magical and unspoken bond that he forges with each and every horse he touches.
This all-American cowboy is a true horse whisperer without the ego or bravado and this award-winning documentary is a stunning portrayal and tribute to his life. Watch the trailer here.
Have you watched the film? What did you think?