Buck, the documentary premiered at the Las Vegas Film Festival in 2011 before I got sick.
While Story commented she must be the only horse blogger to have seen the film, I had read several posts about it. If I recall correctly I also had information about it showing up on my Facebook page when the buzz about it first hit. Between those sources I was definitely intrigued.
The movie did not play anywhere near here that I know of so for me to get the opportunity to view it required waiting for it to become available on DVD. As sick as I was, every time Dave would ask me if he could get me anything from the store, Buck was the only thing that came to me. My normal response is "not that I can think of" but the desire for this flick was ingrained enough that Dave now had it on his radar as well.
I can't really tell you when Dave actually located it. All I recall about that time was being riddled with pain and being so sick I didn't know what day it was and I was still sleeping most of the time. Watching the film was only a temporary diversion. As much as I had impressions swirling in my head, I just was not in a place where I could actually get those thoughts together in any discernible way.
While I am still riddled with pain, I am much stronger than I was then. I am now able to focus and organize my thoughts without feeling like my brain is turning to mush. I think this change affected how I viewed the movie this last weekend as well.
I had not expected the many layers of this work but then I don't know how anyone could without knowing something about the man and his story first. From everything I read, I had expected another piece on horse training and Buck was a whole lot more than that.
There are so many layers to this documentary I wouldn't presume to say I even get them all. It is definitely not a training video but I imagine there are people who don't get there are useful training tips woven between those layers. Gleaning whatever morsels there were was part of my motivation for watching it over and over but I had other motivations too.
Personally I was struck by the similarities in our stories. While timelines vary and experience levels with horses too, the motivation for his receptiveness when confronted with a better way and conclusions drawn along the journey were uncanny to me. I think part of my rewatching was to verify I was not projecting something that was not there.
Let me say I am used to encountering childhood victims of abuse who are horse people too. They tend to talk the talk of compassion for horses but normally their unresolved issues interfere with their ability to walk that walk. Because of that I have begun to realize that horses will mirror the issues of their owners and trainers too.
It has taken me a while to realize that my ability to read people complete with their issues gives me a method to identify trainers, and potential buyers too, who might utilize training methods not in tune with what is truly good for the horse. It is a tool I have yet to test but the movie reinforces maybe I should start.
While I have known for many years blaming horses for training issues and attributing human mechanisms to explain their behaviors is inappropriate, it has taken me much longer to realize that people who do such things are more likely to engage in abusive behaviors. One more tool I have not used.
Once the dishonest behaviors of Tommy Garland were exposed and the rose colored glasses came off, it was much easier to see the man was more interested in self promotion than he was in what is right for the horse. Then contemplating a comment Buck made in the documentary about parroting Ray Hunt and not having an original idea of his own when he first began giving clinics made me realize that Garland brought nothing new to the table. With all his celebrity the ideas he renamed as CPR for the horse are nothing more than regurgitated horse whisper 101.
I don't point this out to continue my rant about the man but instead to express I see that recognition as yet another tool. Those "horse whisperer" types I have seen who are genuine in their concern for the horse all have their unique twist to the basic Tom Dorrance, Ray Hunt teachings.
Some of them have built that into big money and others have supported themselves more modestly so money alone isn't a measure of sincerity, nor is it a measure of competence. It seems to me the variations these people have learned along their journey might be a key to the true value of their worth to the horses. The honest man will not willing harm the horse. The dishonest one doesn't really care about the horse in the first place so he has not made the effort to evolve his methods into something genuine.
What do you think?
To be continued......
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