I figure today is as good as any to share with you my experience of seeing “Buck” for the second time. Especially since the DVD was released yesterday and I watched it twice already. The first time we saw the film, Zach took me on a date (which is rare for us, because we’re so far from anything) to Bismarck, ND where it was showing, closest to us. The second time, however it was in Decorah, IA on the first night of the clinic.
It was a first time to see it, for Kelsey and Sharon who came to the clinic with me. My niece however had already seen it with her mom in Bismarck a week or so after I did.
The film is mesmerizing. Especially if you’ve never read, “The Faraway Horses”. But even then, it’s amazing. It’s well put together and tells a story of someone who is not only a horseman, but a counselor, teacher and therapist for people. He is not a horse trainer. Let’s don’t confuse the facts. There’s a difference in someone that trains horses and a horseman. Horse trainers are often on a schedule; with clients and judges to please. A horseman realizes that there is no schedule; no deadlines. The horse will be where he will be on any given day and it’s our job to realize that anytime we touch the horse we teach him something. We should take the horse from where he is that day. Nothing is ever the horse’s fault. Horses are sensitive. Buck says: A horse can feel a mosquito land on his butt in a windstorm.
It tells of Buck’s abusive childhood, and shows how much he loves his daughter Reata and his wife, Mary- and how a choice was made not to further the violence and abuse of his past. Further it teaches that good horsemanship isn’t just held with the horses- you don’t be a good guy at the barn, and when you leave the barn you go back to being an ass. If you want to truly succeed and have what Buck has (or my Zach) for that matter with horses, your life must encompass these thoughts. Reward the try. Set it up again if they fail. Don’t punish the horse (or kids) for their willingness to try. Don’t ride with hands like a butcher. Push your kids and your horses to think, learn, and to try and reward their successes. Buck isn’t lying when he says you have to be a parent to your kids before you can be their friend. It’s no different with a horse. You need to be their leader, their partner- not some domineering force over them.
After watching the movie, the folks that were from the clinic in the theater, knew Buck was coming to do a Q&A. But those that were in the theater from Decorah, had NO IDEA! I honestly don’t remember every question asked- but I will share those that I do recall!
It was actually entertaining to hear them gasp and murmur when the manager told them that Buck was in town and would be doing a short Q&A.
The first question he got asked was, “What are you doing in Decorah?” Which of course was followed up by, “Can we come to the clinic?”
He was asked about Smokie- his brother; who after graduating High School spent 25 years in the Coast Guard and raised a family of his own. He now lives in Wisconsin.
Someone asked him about Monte Roberts- and I’ll not go into detail there; we’ll just suffice it to say that he is not a fan.
My Niece asked him what happened to his foster father, Forrest; he died a few years back.
Someone wanted to know who his compatriot was that went to meet with Robert Redford before they started filming the “Horse Whisperer”. It was Kip Fladland.
There was the ever present talk about Tom and Bill Dorrance and Ray Hunt, and how really Buck will never live a life other than the one he lives now because he has undertaken the mission to bring this style of horsemanship to the world.
The rest of the night is kind of a blur- but a lot of people asked him questions and it was a really good time. He started by saying he was really tired and had considered not coming, but he’d told the clinic participants earlier in the day he’d be there, so he came. I can’t blame him really for being tired. I have no idea where the man gets all his energy; but I’m ever thankful he does!
I promise I’ll wrap up the series on riding with him soon. This our busy time of the year on the ranch- there’s been lots of riding to gather bulls and we’ve already done fall shots for one group of pairs. This week, we should be getting to the other two sets of pairs.
Y’all be good!