Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Buck stops here

The last time I hung out with Buck Brannaman was in April 2005, when I rode Lyle in one of his clinics. 
Since then, Buck's been the subject of a pretty popular movie and the whole world has discovered him; 
it's not every horse trainer that goes mainstream.

Buck was giving a clinic in Santa Fe over the weekend and I went up to watch. 
I'm happy to report that all the newfound fame hasn't seemed to change him a bit.

He may be driving a fancier rig, and his p.a. system doesn't squeal and spook Lyle your horse
when you ride past the speaker anymore, but he's still the same Buck. 

He's teaching the same stuff, telling some of the same bad jokes, and still making what he does with horses
look so damned easy, I could just scream because it's anything but.

As good as he was with horses back in 2005, he keeps improving, finding new ways to explain and share his knowledge 
so that his students can catch on a little faster and with a deeper understanding of how to train a horse to "follow a feel."

Buck got a little melancholy talking about his mentor, Ray Hunt, who passed on in 2009. 
He shared a lot of stories about his early days with Ray and how much practice it took for him 
to learn and master the things that he teaches today.

Watching Buck ride is nothing short of inspirational – you can't help but want to run right home 
and practice all the stuff you've learned. Lucy has no idea what she's in for.

Here Buck is giving his students their homework assignment –
it's one of the same assignments he gave to me and Lyle back in the old days.
We may not have mastered anything else at that clinic, but we aced this one...eventually.

Next time you see me climbing a fence to make a video, maybe I'll be getting Lucy to move it on over.


  1. Lucy is quite smart so I bet she'll learn this fence trick quickly. I hope you find time to go for a ride today.

    Best always,

  2. I watched the movie on your recommendation, it was so inspiring!!!

  3. I even ordered the dvd and saw it after you told us about Buck and I have never been on a horse nor plan to do it. and I liked it very much. so Thank you Linda

  4. What a great video of Lyle and you. Inspirational.
    The horse Buck is riding is a realy beauty. What is that color called?

  5. Ah, beautiful Lyle. My little dog liked the music, too.

  6. What I notice most when I watch Buck ride is how light his hands are. He's got that horse's head cranked clear around with his thumb and forefinger. Amazing.

  7. If ever there was a trainer who deserved to get famous, it was Buck.

  8. Oh, how I would dearly love to being able to watch this man work. You're so blessed to have had the opportunity twice! I've really been feeling the pull to bring a horse into our fold...

  9. Looks like an interesting time.

  10. Been wanting to ask for the longest time, and I think now's my chance to do so: Could you point me to the video (or post an encore) where the dinner bell calls the herd in and they come running, hooves a-thundering (well, the Burro Brothers are *thinking* about running ;)), and then Lyle touches the bell with his muzzle and glances at you... My most favorite video, and I've been searching in vain... Thanks!

  11. Wow, Sundog, I haven't watched this one in forever. Thanks for the reminder.

  12. I agree with Sandra--I'll bet Lucy will think this is easy-peasy. In fact, she'll think it was all her idea. :)
    Sweet Lyle video. Made me a little melancholy.

  13. Thank you! The link is now saved to *two* of my Favorites categories.
    I look forward to seeing Lucy "move it on over", and I think the process of getting there will be a(nother) wonderful experience for you and Lucy.

  14. I'm pretty jealous that you got to watch Buck at work again. I'm sure Lucy will pick up that new move quickly. Seeing Lyle again made me a little sad. He was a handsome boy.

  15. That is a beautiful horse in the photos. Love the video!
    Have a great week!

  16. Oh, how this post made me smile, and also tear up a little at the mention of Ray. I know just how Buck feels. Buck really is an inspiration to watch, that's akin to a spiritual thing for me. And yes, I so agree about wanting to scream because he makes everything, EVERYTHING look so damned easy! And it's NOT! Talk about job security huh? :) But, isn't it fun going to those clinics and learning and being around like-minded people who are all in the same boat? For me, there is nothing more fun in the whole world...loved this post!! Thanks for sharing. Lucy (?) in the video looks like she's got the fence thing pretty much mastered.

  17. My second year with Buck and every moment was educational and entertaining. You might come up to Trinity Ranch again sometime and watch other clinicians...and don't worry, that's not Buck's PA belongs to Trinity. Good stuff.

  18. Ha! I know this is almost a year old! But it popped up in a Buck post on FB!!! I am hoping to go audit a Buck clinic in CleElum Wa. in July!!!