This blog is dedicated to my friend, my mentor, and the best teacher I have ever had. Without him, I would not have embarked on this amazing journey. Split, this blog is for you!
Ponderosa Misty Icon, aka "Split," is a handsome gray Welsh pony who came to me via a phone call "out of the blue" (actually Peterborough, Ontario). Our first few months together were rocky to say the least, which made me question my ability as a horse owner, as a horsewoman, and as a rider. Forty years of horse ownership had not prepared me for this little gray pony!
But we muddled through and because of Split, I have begun a journey that is both spiritual and enlightening. I hope something here resonates with you and that you'll check back now and then.
We leave you with one of our favorite quotes: "The best whisper is a click!"

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Buck - A Movie Review

OK. I used to watch Siskel and Ebert. I can do this. I mean, how hard can it be to watch a movie and then report your thoughts to your adoring public? Well, harder than I thought....
My daughter Katie and I treated ourselves to a matinee yesterday and went to see "Buck" the bio of Buck Brannaman. I'd read a review in the "Preview" section of our local paper and it included a brief interview with Buck himself, talking about the movie. According to that article, Buck is pleased with the results of the filming and editing and has seen the movie 4 times himself! That seemed like a pretty good indication that it was a movie worthy of my $7.50 so off we went.
Three words: I LOVED IT. Is Buck Brannaman perfect? No, but then who among us is? (Well, there are those who THINK they're perfect but I don't like them and they're no longer my friends! LOL) But I found myself hanging on his every word because they rang very true to me. He talked about how the horse is a mirror of ourselves and sometimes we don't like what we see lookin' back at us. He talked about mutual respect, about how anger shuts down communication between horse and human, and - wonder of wonders - he told the people in his clinic that it's NOT JUST ABOUT THE HORSE!!! People interviewed for the film included Buck's family and friends, the riders in his clinics and - may I say one of my favorites - Robert Redford. At one point Buck was faced with a disastrously difficult horse and I won't give away what happens but when he lit into the owner about taking responsibility for her own life, telling her that she should take a good, hard look at HERSELF, I found myself biting my fingernails to keep from crying. Because I know how that human felt but I also realized that Buck was being 100% honest and I've had to take a hard look at MYSELF - much closer than I wanted to - in order to become the person my animals love and respect.
There's some very disturbing footage of "horse training" from the 40's or 50's and it's not pretty and I wanted to stand up and scream, "STOP IT!" How far we've come!
Go see this movie and take away from it whatever you will. The quote I most remember is from a woman who was talking about "horse whisperers" in general. She said that most trainers like Buck Brannaman are, as human beings, more sensitive than others; many of them are "tortured souls on some level" and that's why they identify so deeply with the horses. I intend to go see this movie again!

Your horse is a mirror to your soul. Sometimes you might not like what you see… sometimes you will. ~ Buck Brannaman

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