Rising from an abusive childhood, Buck discovers and shares with others the transformative power of learning to communicate with animals and people not through violence or intimidation, but through leadership, sensitivity, compassion, and respect.
For years, National Geographic has helped people discover the deeper meanings behind human relationships with animals through “Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan” on the National Geographic Channel.
The name of “Dog Whisperer” itself though is a tribute to the famous book and film “The Horse Whisperer,” based on the work of several people who have dumbfounded horse owners and crowds with their ability to quietly and peacefully communicate with “trouble” horses who had seemed unapproachably violent to others.
Chief among these sources of inspiration was Buck Brannaman, whose incredible life story is now told in a new documentary, “Buck,” a Sundance Selects Release.
Are there other ways for people to get the benefits of working with horses?
BB: It’s amazing what a healing effect horses can have on kids, particularly troubled kids, that might bridge the gap that a well-intended human just can’t do. And whether it’s working with horses or working with dogs, or with with any kind of an animal, there’s something to be gained there that hopefully people will become a little bit more interested in through the course of this documentary. I hope so.
What are some of the lessons that translate between working with horses and working with people?
BB: You know, in life you might have an idea that you think is a great idea, but if you just try to cram it down someone’s throat, or you try to impose your will on them, it just doesn’t generally pan out–and it sure as hell doesn’t work with horses. Until you can get smart enough to where you set things up in a way that your idea becomes the horse’s idea, you’re just banging your head against the wall.