I have gushed over Buck Brannaman’s 7 Clinics DVDs all over my blog and I really can’t say enough good things about his training methods. To me, there’s a fine line we have to dance with making the horses conform to our world and helping them do it in a way that benefits them, rather than just shoving a square peg into a round hole. It’s unfair how many horses “cowboyed” and turned into spooky/scared/unhappy/mean monsters. We have spent the better part of human history using horses for our benefit, so it’s probably about time we do something respectful to them to thank them for the invaluable service, and pleasure, they have given us.
Buck’s training method help humans understand that we can be benevolent alphas to our horses. We can teach them to do the things we want without fear and intimidation. We can use positive reinforcement to teach them what we want them to do. We can correct them without anger or aggression and we can show them that they have a choice to do as we ask and have an easy time, or choose to do what we don’t want them to and it will be much more difficult – but it is a choice they can make.
Each and every horse is different and requires adaptation and interpretation of the “rules” of any training system. If your horse doesn’t back well with the Parelli method but will back like an angel with the Downunder Horsemanship method, you’ll probably use that instead. It’s all about learning what works for you. I believe that your personality dictates both the type of horse you’ll choose to own and the training method both you and your horse will excel at – and that’s great. Buck’s teachings really speak to me.
Hopefully Buck will actually speak to me to! I’m planning on attending one or two of is clinics. He is finally visiting the east coast and venturing all the way down to Clemson, SC September 20-23 and Lexington, KY the following weekend. In Clemson, he’ll be doing horsemanship 1 and 2. Unfortunately, horsemanship 1 was full for riders so I won’t be able to take Smokey, but I will audit the crap out of this clinic. Auditing is $30 per day and Clemson has a spectacular indoor arena to watch from. It’s where I went and saw the Extreme Mustang Makeover last year – basically ground zero for my mustang addiction.
In Lexington, he will be teaching colt starting and horsemanship 1. Having a week in between will allow me to formulate all my questions for horsemanship 1 and the new colt starting info will really be great. Since I’m sure at some point in my life I’ll train another mustang, this will be invaluable. I wish I had been able to see his colt starting clinic before I got Smokey. That would have been awesome. But if I have to go back a few steps with him to correct some things, I’ll be more than happy to if it will help in the long run.
Is it too stalkery to follow him two weekends in a row? I don’t care.
If you haven’t seen the documentary Buck, you’re selling yourself short. Find it on Netflix or YouTube and watch it! You will probably cry and you will probably learn a whole lot. And if you’re as passionate about it as I am, go to one of his clinics and/or buy the 7 Clinics DVDs! Jenn and I will be in Clemson, so come with! Even if you’re a hardcore clicker or Parelli diehard you’ll probably learn something from this guy.