Horse whisperer Buck Brannaman draws a crowd at Pasadena Rose Bowl

by | 02.19.2012 | 7:56am
Buck Brannaman

About 200 people paid $25 a head to watch horse whisperer Dan “Buck” Brannaman display his unique horse training methods at the Pasadena Rose Bowl equestrian facility on Friday. It was the first day of a four-day clinic in which Brannaman is guiding 25 students, who each paid $600, through the basics of getting to know their horses.

Brannaman was the inspiration for Robert Redford's character in the film “The Horse Whisperer” and was also the subject of the recent documentary “Buck.”

“I want the horse to understand, ‘You yield to me, I never yield to you,'” said Brannaman, whose techniques involve gentle tapping or swatting of the horse with a rope or flag. “You might realize today, maybe for the first time, you've been your horse's doormat for a while.”

  • Joe

    It also involves riding difficult horses (often only because their riders messed them up) and (allegedly) unbroken horses during workshops. I have seen Buck ride a handful of allegedly difficult and green horses around an arena with only a halter (and Western saddle) but only after he had worked all horses one by one into a lather in tight circles and they had no energy left.

    How whisper-y does “You yield to me, I never yield to you” sound? It is about the domination of exhausted horses which anyone can do, over-priced snake-oil salesmanship like with Pat Parelli, not genuine, gentle horse whispering. Beside, most often it is the riders who mess-up horses and need lessons not their horses who simply want to understand what is asked of them, please their riders and avoid scary and painful experiences.

    Yet, it is comforting to see that at least Sunday riders respond to the horse whispering idea in mass. Bring on the rider whisperers?

    • guest

      Yielding is part of the basics of herd animal mentality that must be understood in order to relate to them on a level with which they can understand and respect.  Most horses need not be exhausted to learn this, but given the exceptionally limited time table with which he has to work with each horse, he must pack alot into a small portion of time. Not all horses begin simply wanting to understand what the rider/handler is asking (as many fantasy dreamers would like to believe), particularly if they have already decided the handler is not worth respecting.  Working with a horse in a circle establishes more psycho social understanding with them creating constants and boundaries in order for them to be able to understand you when you leave the boundaries. 
      These are basics that I would think anybody with a descent amount of horse experience would understand when they see it.   

  • Joe

    It also involves riding difficult horses (often only because their riders messed them up) and (allegedly) unbroken horses during workshops. I have seen Buck ride a handful of allegedly difficult and green horses around an arena with only a halter (and Western saddle) but only after he had worked all horses one by one into a lather in tight circles and they had no energy left.

    How whisper-y does “You yield to me, I never yield to you” sound? It is about the domination of exhausted horses which anyone can do, over-priced snake-oil salesmanship like with Pat Parelli, not genuine, gentle horse whispering. Beside, most often it is the riders who mess-up horses and need lessons not their horses who simply want to understand what is asked of them, please their riders and avoid scary and painful experiences.

    Yet, it is comforting to see that at least Sunday riders respond to the horse whispering idea in mass. Bring on the rider whisperers?

  • August Song

    There is another horse whisperer, Kerry Thomas, who is about to come out with a new book. From the sample read, it looks like a great book for anyone involved in competitive racing or dressage, or simply is trying to understand equine psychology and what motivates and affects them. The book is at the publisher and should be out just in time for the Kentucky Derby. Here is the sample that I read:  http://www.horseandriderbooks.com/pdfs/Horse%20Profiling%20Web%20exc.pdf

  • August Song

    There is another horse whisperer, Kerry Thomas, who is about to come out with a new book. From the sample read, it looks like a great book for anyone involved in competitive racing or dressage, or simply is trying to understand equine psychology and what motivates and affects them. The book is at the publisher and should be out just in time for the Kentucky Derby. Here is the sample that I read:  http://www.horseandriderbooks….

  • guest

    Yielding is part of the basics of herd animal mentality that must be understood in order to relate to them on a level with which they can understand and respect.  Most horses need not be exhausted to learn this, but given the exceptionally limited time table with which he has to work with each horse, he must pack alot into a small portion of time. Not all horses begin simply wanting to understand what the rider/handler is asking (as many fantasy dreamers would like to believe), particularly if they have already decided the handler is not worth respecting.  Working with a horse in a circle establishes more psycho social understanding with them creating constants and boundaries in order for them to be able to understand you when you leave the boundaries. 
    These are basics that I would think anybody with a descent amount of horse experience would understand when they see it.   

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