The Story of Buck Brannaman

The Story of Buck Brannaman

We’ve all heard the term, “horse whisperer” at one point or another. Whether it was in a film, a novel, or in a television show, the term has become synonymous with those that are able to communicate with horses in a special way. Some view a horse whisperer in a more mystical manner, and because of that, there is fair amount of scepticism of the talent. What many don’t realise, however, is that a horse whisperer isn’t so much a person that uses ‘magic’ or other fantastical abilities to tame a horse, but rather someone that builds an innate connection with a horse, allowing them to tame it more effectively than would be possible through conventional methods.

It’s a term that is most often placed on certain individuals, often due to their ability to tame even the wildest of horses. Horse training, for the most part, has been perfected over the years through various trial-and-error methods, and most trainers are able to effectively tame their horses without any problems. But, depending on the breed, and the individual temperament of that specific horse, they can sometimes be impossible to tame through traditional methods. This can sometimes cause some problems, especially when a horse is bred from two famous racers, and is expected to do well. A lot of investment goes into a horse’s potential future, and to not be able to tame one can cause problems, especially in a world that is powered by such industries that place large emphasis on horse racing and AFL betting odds.

This is when a horse whisperer is called in, and of the many that have found fame throughout the years; few are as well-known as Buck Brannaman.

Brannaman’s Early Life

Brannaman was born in 1962 in Wisconsin, and was raised in Idaho and Montana. For many years, he was a student of Ray Hunt, who was one of the founding members of natural horsemanship, a movement that aimed to change the way horses were tamed and trained. Brannaman had a difficult childhood, and was often faced with considerable abuse, especially at the hands of his father. He spent many years in and our of foster care, and the only solace Brannaman was able to find was in horses.

He once wrote, “I’ve started horses since I was 12 years old, and have been bit, kicked, bucked off, and run over. I’ve tried every physical means to contain my horse in an effort to keep from getting myself killed. I started to realise that things would come much easier for me once I learn why a horse does what he does.”

Brannaman’s Methods

The philosophy of Brannaman’s taming methods are based on classical concepts from the vaquero tradition. This includes working with the horse’s nature, attempting to understand the horse and how its feeling, and trying to communicate with the horse through patience, trust-building, and care. This also involves slowly teaching the horse to accept humans over time, and allowing them to work more confidently with humans, while always making sure the animal feels secure and safe in its environment. Brannaman’s success with horses all over the world has led to his fame, and he has been cited as inspiration for the film, “The Horse Whisperer.”


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