Sunday, July 3, 2011

Buck the movie review

I met friends for lunch in downtown Sacramento on Friday before making our way to see the documentary movie Buck which opened July 1st.  I have been looking forward to this because I have learned much from another true horseman, Tom Simmons, over the last 18 years.  Horse people need to be taught about the horse and made aware of how they can be for us if we just learn how to "get with them."

True horsemen are a very rare breed although most horse folk like to think of themselves as the "real deal".  One can spend a whole lifetime working with horses and not really understand them like the "true horseman".  A true horseman has a real sensitivity regarding how the horse thinks about things.  Most horse folk (myself included) can not relate well to how a prey animal thinks about things.  We think they are like us in what we need.  We pride ourselves in being good to horses...or are we?  We think we are, but the horse needs us to be good with them in their needs.  In the movie, Buck said that he often spends more time helping horses with people problems, than helping people with horse problems.

There was a powerful illustration of how wrong people can get with horses.  A woman brought a young stud colt to one of Buck's clinics as a last resort for this dangerous stallion.  At birth, the colt had lain without oxygen a long time before the woman intervened and breathed life into him.  She took him into her home and nursed him, spoiling him, and not teaching him anything until she had the most dangerous animal I have ever seen on her hands.  One of Buck's assistants suffered a vicious attack by the horse; showing the woman, once and for all, that the horse had to be destroyed.  Buck was obviously disturbed that people had failed this horse in their idea of being good to the horse.   Buck told the woman (who had 18 more stallions on her place) that the colt told him a lot about her and the problems she has in her life.  She became emotional and acknowledged this, finally seeing the wrong she had done to the horse.

Buck is the go-between horse and human.  He has wisdom gained through personal experience and great mentors such as Tom Dorrance and Ray Hunt.   Buck chooses his life on the road 9 months of the year doing clinics.  Although a good family man, the life can be lonely; but, he continues to help the horse and teaches the human how good it can be through understanding, empathy, trust and respect.  Yes, he is a true horseman and we should seek what he knows for our own horse's sake.  For our own all transfers into every aspect of our own lives.

Thank you Cindy Meehl for making this film and making us aware of a real Horse Whisperer.  And yes, true horsemen and women come to the same knowledge about horses from different paths.


  1. I can't wait to see the movie. I have read Buck's book, "The Faraway Horses" and it's really good.
    Thanks for the review, sounds like it is one heck of a good film!!!

  2. I REALLY want to see this movie! I sent in the "demand" to show it in our area, but don't hold out much hope there. I was person #4 *laugh*. Hopefully, we can get it on DVD.