I don't want the horse to get trained, because training the horse is absolutely finite. But if you get the horse to where he operates as if to be your legs, an extension of you, you've far-exceeded that whole training notion.— Buck Brannaman
The most valuable Buck Brannaman quotes that are life-changing and eye-opening
Horses are very keen on body language, and what I refer to as “presence”, and expression. They know quite a bit about you before you ever get to ‘em. They can read things about you clear across an arena.
The horse is a great equalizer, he doesn't care how good looking you are, or how rich you are or how powerful you are-- he takes you for how you make him feel.
Discipline isn't a dirty word. Far from it. Discipline is the one thing that separates us from chaos and anarchy. Discipline implies timing. It's the precursor to good behavior, and it never comes from bad behavior. People who associate discipline with punishment are wrong: with discipline, punishment is unnecessary.
I don't believe in waiting for a horse to do the wrong thing and then punishing him after the fact. You can't just say no to a horse. You have to redirect a negative behavior with a positive one, something that works for both of you. It's as though you're saying - instead of doing that, we can do this together.
It is all about the quality of the communication, not the quantity.
And for a lot of people, they want it all to be fuzzy and warm and cosmic, but it's no different with a horse than with a kid...You can't always be the kid's best friend. First you have to be the parent.
Horses aren't lazy and they're not greedy and they're not jealous and they're not spiteful, they're not hateful. They're not that way. But the human can sometimes only describe a horse in the way that they view other human beings.
When you're younger, you ride with 90% physical and 10% mental.
But if you could learn how to use 90% mental and 10% physical you'd be better off.
As far as horses go, people will ask about one breed versus another.
I have to tell you, I really don't have any prejudice one way or another. I treat every horse at face value, how he/she is as an individual.
Anytime you are with a horse, no matter if you are a daily rider or one who just gets a chance to ride to the mailbox, you are interacting with your horse. It is all about the quality of the communication, not the quantity. Doing something right once in a while will far surpass anything done wrong more often.
Someone might steal your childhood, but they can't steal your will.
There is a point where you're given the opportunity in life to stop blaming everyone else and start taking responsibility for your life.
I'm still on the move, I'm getting better because I'm still studying.
I still want to be a better horseman.
A lot of times, rather than helping people with horse problems, I'm helping horses with people problems.
Most people think of a feel as when you touch something or someone and what it feels like to your fingers but, a feel can have a thousand different definitions. Sometimes feel is a mental thing. Sometimes feel can happen clear ‘cross the arena. Sort of an invitation from the horse to come to you.
With the horses, you can’t let them call the shot part of the time and then you call the shot part of the time. They’re not really designed to be your leader, but they can be a great partner, but you need to lead, and they need to respect you and respond with respect. Don’t think of respect as a dirty word. You need to respect them as well.
Controlling your emotions is the biggest challenge for a horseman.
Once I get the horse where he’s responding and working for ya and has a good frame of mind and a good attitude, it’s not just the horse that needs fixing. It’s the human that needs fixing and it’s the human that created that in the first place.
A horse that has made a positive change in his behavior needs an opportunity to 'soak', to concentrate on & digest what he has learned. He needs his quiet time. Given this opportunity, his response will be better the next time you work with him.
Every time you interact with a horse, you are teaching the horse.
In life, we don't know why things happen.
I believe God is not responsible for the bad things that happen to you. Sometimes I think He's responsible for the good things, but sometimes it's something you shape up for yourself.
One of the biggest challenges of a horsemen is to be able tot control your emotions.
You allow a horse to make mistakes, the horse will learn from mistakes no different than the human. But you can't get him to where he dreads making mistakes for fear of what's going to happen after he does.
I often tell people in the clinics, the human possesses the one thing that means more to the horse than anything in the world, and that is peace and comfort.
A horse can have a job and not be a slave.
He can look forward to it and enjoy it. That's the same for me.
All your horse looks for is the thing that matters most, peace and contentment. Give it to him.
That's the cool thing about horses - they don't have prejudice.
They don't care if you're tall or thin or if you're dark or if you're light, or if you're rich or you're poor, if you're handsome or not so handsome.
With the horse I always consider that if I do too much in too little time and I'm not patient, he's gonna shut down and I won't get anything done.
Not all horses are going to be show jumpers, not all horses are going to be dressage horses. So you have to sort of find where the horse physically fits into what might suit him, but all horses can be comfortable and all horses can have good, solid fundamentals.
On a horse there is a perfect position of balance where he doesn't feel like he's pushing you along with him or dragging you along with him. It's like two converging currents in a river, where those currents converge, there is a point where there is no movement, no energy; and that's what you're thinking when you're on the back of a horse.
You get that horse to really operate as if he’s your legs and you can take that anywhere you want. You can dress up in any kind of clothes you like. You can be a jumper, dressage rider, trail rider, cowboy, anything.
Someone who doesn't know anything about the ways of the horse could be fooled into thinking the approach is all cosmic or mystical. It's not. Anybody can do it who has a passion to do it and has put in enough time. These people are horsemen and horsewomen, not whisperers.
Don't be a victim. Be busy with your horse so you stay out of trouble - otherwise, trouble will come and find you”, Brannaman would say. “Be assertive but don't be aggressive, if you are aggressive you'll make the horse flighty. The horse needs perimeters like anyone else. Give them guidance, support, rules. The same rules. Don't change the game. Don't let them have excuses just cause of their past. And love them.
There is something in the human psyche that there is a connection between horses and humans, a real special kind of a thing, and I guess it’s always been there. I hope it will always be there, I hope we don’t evolve past that.
Whether one was going to have a horse, or a dog, or a child, with that comes a great responsibility to raise them.
I just spend my life driving down the road, training horses and helping people.
The horse can just be a great vehicle for some people to overcome things in their life that they might not be able to overcome otherwise.
Your Horse is a mirror to your soul.
Most people don't realize how little it takes to get a horse to move.
Timing is everything.
Whether it's horses or whatever it is you do, it doesn't become an art until your soul goes into what you do.
The horse seems to wanna please the human and so many times if the human isn’t much of a leader well then the horse has gotta do it’s own thinking. The horse isn’t really designed very well to be the leader but just because the horse is responding to ya, I don’t really think of it as it succumbing to you. I think it’s more of the horse sort of joining you, being more of a partner.
The comforting thing to the horse is, is as you become more and more accurate, he knows you’re aware of him, and pretty soon because of that he’s aware of you more and more of the time.
You try to do as little as you can, but you need to do as much as is necessary to get a result. When you get a result, you do less.
It's a process and it's a matter of understanding the horse and through any of these little projects you have a beginning, a middle and an end. And if you made up your mind early when he's still scared, you'd think that wasn't working at all. Sometimes it might get darker, before it gets dawn. You might have to work at it a little bit in order for it to come out the other side.
As a rider, you must slowly and methodically show your horse what is appropriate. You also have to discourage what's inappropriate, not by making the inappropriate impossible, but by making it difficult so that the horse himself chooses appropriate behavior. You can't choose it for him; you can only make it difficult for him to make the wrong choices. If, however, you make it impossible for him to make the wrong choices, you're making war.
There are things that the horse did for me that a human couldn't have done.
The horse is a mirror to your soul... and sometimes you might not like what you see in the mirror.
I often tell people that I truly want the horse to be my feet and legs.
I want to be an extension of the horse and him to be an extension of me. That's what I'm always working toward when I'm on a horse.
I've often told people who ask if there is a God: Get around enough people with horses and see what happens. See how they survive in spite of all the things they do, and you'll become a believer!