Buck Brannaman is a famous horse trainer in the United States. He is considered one of the best horse trainers, in fact, horse lovers all over America, even as far as New Zealand and Australia attend his yearly clinics on horse-back riding, colt-breaking, roping, cow-working, problem-horse solutions and all about horsemanship, just to learn lessons from him.
He is noted for his unique style in handling horses, in his own natural way. He always mentions that he learned his good horsemanship from his mentor, Mr. Ray Hunt, a pioneer in humane horse training in the west.
Instead of the usual "muscle technique" in training horses, Buck Brannaman employs a much kinder approach. He insists that a good relationship with the horse is always a must and should be maintained by the trainer or horse keeper as a rule of thumb.
One may ask, why is Buck advocating this kind of horsemanship? It would be worth mentioning that the root of this issue actually started when he was a kid. At a very young age, he already lost his beloved mother and he and his brother were treated badly by their father. His father wanted them to be professional trick ropers at a young age, so he has been exposed to being with horses since he was a kid. Unfortunately, his father had a hard way of teaching them about the trade. He and his brother were beaten by their father any time they would make a mistake.
With this kind of childhood, he had to escape from his father's abusive treatment to make life out of his own accord. No wonder, his way towards horses is the exact opposite of what his father did to him. He actually tries to make a horse understand him.
The terror that he suffered from his father pushed him to love horses more than ever. It made him realize that horses are like humans; if you beat them up, they will not cooperate as you want them to. Having a kind and gentle approach is more effective in training horses.
As Buck says, "Your horse is a mirror of your soul, and sometimes you may not like what you see." Horses can actually build strong relationships with people around them. Consequently, it makes you a better person.
Valuable Lessons from Buck
People are Solely Responsible
What you sow is what you reap. If you treat a horse with violence, you will get the same treatment from the horse. Your personality reflects on how you deal with your horse. Exercise due diligence in the way you handle your horse, if you don't want to end up having a disrespectful horse.
Put in More Sacrifices to Get Your Goal
Spend quality time with your horse. If it needs for you to quit smoking, then you have to do it, to have a good horse. A good sacrifice makes you a better person. Buck spends long amounts of time away from home just to help people with their horses.
Do Not be Influenced by Your Dark Past
Have a positive and happy disposition towards your horse. This is what Buck does in his training regimen, despite of the fact that he had a horrible and frightening experience with his father during his childhood. He did not allow the ill effects of this experience to influence him in the way he handles horses.
Treat Your Horse as a Person
A horse is just like any human being, not a mere creature that relies at the mercy of its owner. You have to treat them with tender loving care by understanding their likes and dislikes, at the same time, training them to understand what you want them to be.
Whatever you do to your horse, never stop loving them, just like a good father loving his children without conditions. Learn your lessons from the past, just as Buck Brannaman is doing for the sake of the horses.