Need Relationship Help?….Buck Knows Relationships

It’s no secret that relationships can be complicated. As a result, it can be helpful sometimes to look at relationships through a different lens. In this case, the lens belongs to a master horseman.

Even though this 1960’s picture of me on Frosty the pony might suggest otherwise, I’m not a huge horse fan today. But my wife is, so that means an occasional horse movie will make it’s way into our life. Last night it showed up as a Netflix movie titled, Buck.

Buck is a documentary about Buck Brannaman. He’s a horse trainer who’s been delivering clinics around the country for over 27 years. He was also part of the inspiration for Robert Redford’s movie, The Horse Whisperer.

Buck’s life story is really a turnaround story that started with a kind mother, but also a physically abusive father. The turnaround was the result of a loving foster family and a career involving horses.

Both my wife and I enjoyed this movie a lot, but for me some of the best parts were the many examples of how building relationships with horses differs very little from building relationships with our kids, spouses, other family members, friends and coworkers.

The relationship parallels weren’t a huge surprise, but it was still valuable and enjoyable to be reminded of them. Here are some of my favorite thoughts that Buck shared and showed:

  • “There is a lot of fear in both a horse and a human.”
  • “It’s a real trust thing between the two of you.”
  • “One of the biggest challenges of a horseman is to be able to control your emotions.”
  • “To have contempt for the horse would never even occur to me.”
  • “Don’t be overly critical of them, because they are just babies. If he feels like you are angry at him at all, he will just shut down.”
  • “I’m still on the move, I’m getting better because I’m still studying. I still want to be a better horseman.”

If you like true human interest stories, horses, beautiful scenery or you simply want another perspective on relationships , I suspect you’ll like this movie. Hundreds of other reviews can be found at Amazon and at Rotten Tomatoes.

Final Note: If you do opt to watch this one, be sure to stick around during the credits for this song by Pearl Jam and Buck’s favorite joke, as told by his foster mom.

“A person isn’t who they are during the last conversation you had with them – they’re who they’ve been throughout your whole relationship.” Rainer Maria Rilke (Poet)

Question: What other lenses do you look through for guidance around relationships?