The Adventures and Wisdom of One of America’s Most Renowned Horsemen
“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 realize that things would come much easier for me once I learned why a horse does what he does. This method works well for me because of the kinship that develops between horse and rider. ” –Buck Brannaman
The Faraway Horses, which was the inspiration for the Sundance Film Festival’s award-winning documentary Buck in 2011, is Buck Brannaman’s richly textured and stunning account of his life from an abusive childhood to his phenomenally successful approach to horses. A real-life “horse-whisperer,” Buck possesses near magical abilities as he dramatically transforms horses–and people–with his understanding, compassion, and respect. A truly American story about a cowboy and sage, The Faraway Horses tells the tale of the extraordinary life of an extraordinary man. At heart, this rich and rewarding memoir is a roadmap for living a harmonious and honorable existence among horses and humans. This updated edition features a new foreword and introduction.
(softcover, color photos, 256 pgs.)
Excerpt from the book:
I try to give the horses I work with a safe place to be and a sense of peace. Sometimes this means their just standing near me for a quiet moment. The feeling may not hold long because trust doesn’t just happen, but I know the horses feel the peacefulness. I felt it hat night in the backyard when I was crammed into the barrel with my dog Duke. For a little while I was in a safe place for the first time since my mom died — a little cold, but safe.
I can’t help remembering this time spent with Duke when it’s time to wean our young colts. We wean them when they’re six months old, and no matter how many years I work with horses, I still feel sympathy for the youngsters. I know the terror that must well up in them when we separate them from their mothers, and I try to make being weaned as easy for them as I can.
The colts make a clean break from the mares. I like to take the colts out of earshot, so the mares don’t hear their cries and become frantic. Mothers love their babies, and its hard on them, too.
The first few months of life are a very precious time for the foal and the mare. The mare’s instincts have evolved over thousands of years, and she know more about her baby’s needs and comfort level than I do. My colts end up being comfortable with my presence and handling after I wean them.
The first few days of separation are a troubling time for these young horses. It’s therefore necessary that they have the chance to work things out for themselves. Quite often the colts take support from one another because we leave them together as a heard. To further help the process along, I always put a “baby-sitters” in with the newly weaned colts, usually an older retired gelding whose stability is reassuring to the little ones. This isn’t an idea I came up with on my own — people have been doing it for years, but because of what I went through as a kid, I know what it feels like to have my mother taken away. I understand the reassurance and comfort that can come from a stabilizing factor.