When you’ve worked with and ridden horses long enough, you can usually easily summon at least one metallic-tasting memory of an instance when you were completely and utterly afraid—afraid of getting kicked, bitten, thrown, hurt…afraid of losing control…afraid of not knowing what to do…afraid of where you were in that moment and where you’d be in the next.
I’ve had horses in my life for most of my years, and there are two sharply clear memories that rise to the surface instantly when I think about being scared. In both instances, I was on horseback—once when I was about five years old, and the other later…I was maybe ten. The horses I was on in both scenarios ran away with me, and both times I was frightened enough to throw myself from the saddle in a rough-and-tumble form of an emergency dismount that left me bruised and battered, but alive. (The helmet helped, too.)
And then there was the “afterward”…the fear I battled when I faced those horses again, and when urged by my instructor, I put my foot in the stirrup and swung back up.
Maybe I was lucky because the only times I remember being afraid of a horse I was young enough to conquer fear before it metamorphosed into something large, ugly, and all-consuming. Maybe I was lucky because I had people with me who could support me as I conquered the awful challenge of being suddenly scared of what I’d always loved. Maybe I was lucky because the horses I was afraid of weren’t actually dangerous, or poorly trained, or unmanageable runaways.
Not everyone is so lucky.
“Fear is a big thing,” says Buck Brannaman in the new seven-disc instructional DVD series 7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN. “It just owns some people…it can be overwhelming.”
Watch Buck talk about fear in this short video:
“Fear is about despair. It’s about looking into the darkness and not seeing,” he says. “The more things about the horse that become predictable, it’s like you’re slowly turning on the light.”
When you think about that, about that darkness by which you can feel overwhelmed when you work with and ride horses but don’t have the tools you need to understand them and help them to understand you, then the idea of having a light to plug in and turn on is an instant and unbelievable relief.
People around the world have come to discover that Buck Brannaman’s form of horsemanship is the source of this light, and the 7 CLINICS DVD SERIES helps share his methods and philosophies with those who might never have the chance to see him teach in person.
“It is possible to get to the point where you can say, ‘I am absolutely not afraid of any horse, anywhere,’” says Buck.
There’s no reason we can’t all get started right now.