Monday, July 30, 2012

Buck Brannaman And The Horse Knows

In a recent interview from the website,, some great insights about horses were given that apply to people in so many ways.  Buck Brannaman is known by many things, but the thing that I enjoy seeing is just how real he is.  Yes, he works with horses and he understands horses like few people do, but because of his life's experiences, he knows how to be true, real and honest.

When a horse wants to be around you, that is when Buck feels safe with the human.  It is amazing to think about, but since I come from a farm background, I understand what he is saying.  We had sheep growing up and if you weren't a safe person, the sheep did not want to be around you.  I remember trying to get the sheep to go in the barn one time with my father.  They would just run around scared, confused, nervous and doing anything but what we wanted.

Finally I realized that it was my father who was causing the problem and asked him to go to the house.  He did not like that of course, but deep down I knew that the sheep didn't trust him.  Once he went to the house, they almost walked in single file like it was no big deal.  Animals can tell instinctively what a human is like.  They react to what they sense and see, not what the human tries to portray.

Try not to make things happen is another comment Buck gave in the interview.  Instead you want the horse to think it is their idea and buy into what you are asking them to do.  It isn't forcing them to do anything but gently leading them in the direction you want to go.  It is almost like an invitation from a place of authority and trust.

In many circles around the world, we try to force humans to do what we want.  Whether it is through laws passed or just pushing our beliefs upon others, we fail to honor and respect other humans.  We think that through control and manipulation we are getting somewhere, but in all reality we are doing just the opposite.

One field manager I worked under several years ago in Cargill, told me something that made every bone in my body cringe.  When I first met him, he would tell me that if you make someone believe something, than it is true, regardless if it was true or not.  Humans instinctively know what is truth and what is not, even if they are not aware or conscious enough to understand. 

Just like the horses, you can try to fool them, but in the end you lose the respect and decency of being human.  Just like this field manager I worked for, I had very little respect for him from that day forward.  In the end when I left Cargill, he proved my distrust of him.  So too, horses can see through all the fancy words and actions that we do. 

If you really want to understand what a person is all about in their life, look to the horses or just about any animal.  Animals are a mirror to the people they spend their time with each day.  Humans try to hide so much, but in the end if the animals feel good about you, it will be quite evident.

You can learn more about Buck Brannaman in his documentary, "Buck".

Blog Post And Images (c) 7/22/12 by Don Shetterly

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