“You hear a lot of talk about mentoring these days. It doesn’t have to be just talk. If we get to troubled kids early enough, we can impress things upon them not by being mean and threatening, but by providing discipline and guidance.
The same thing is true for troubled horses. If you extend the parameters too far because of sympathy, the horse won’t have any boundaries, and you will end up spoiling him.”
—Buck Brannaman, The Faraway Horses
Have you ever watched or read The Horse Whisperer? Did you ever wonder where the inspiration behind this touching story came from? Here’s your answer: the real-live horse whisperer, Buck Brannaman who has gained the respect of such renowned horsemen as George Morris.
If you don’t know any of those names, it doesn’t matter at all. Please read on.
In his autobiography of sorts, The Faraway Horses, Brannaman establishes that the way to communicate, get along with, and establish good relationships with both humans and animals is a balance of love and respect, and, when necessary, discipline. I recommend this book to horsey people and non-horsey people alike because of the level it goes to understand mankind through horses, and vice versa.
Personally, I’ve always been intrigued by the honest way horses and other creatures behave and how they can reflect how humans react to conflict, fear, change, and abuse. Brannaman doesn’t shy away from this. He explores emotional trauma within himself and other people and applies the principles when dealing with those other people and broken horses.
In this book, he tells stories of his childhood, family experiences, his time as a famous “Idaho Cowboy,” and a little on his assistance with the movie The Horse Whisperer, but he always comes back to the importance of valuing others and communicating with them in a way that shows love and respect no matter who they are.
Brannaman has committed his life to helping horse owners with their horses, and along with that comes healing and restoration to both the owners and horses. His book The Faraway Horses will take you deep into the psychology of both horses and people and the healing they’ve found through Brannaman’s methods. Pick up a copy today, or do what I did and listen to the audio version. It’s well worth the short six hours of audio.
Bethany Swoboda is a freelance editor for Wordbender Books. She has always loved reading, reading, reading, and enjoys helping authors polish and develop their manuscripts. Some of her many hobbies are horseback riding, bouldering, helping work her family’s farm, playing piano, crocheting, and volunteering at her church. She has a BA in creative writing and a minor in professional writing from Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri.