Saturday, October 27, 2012

Buck Brannaman, Continued.

The following are excerpts from my notes and content and quotes might be inaccurate.  I am doing my best to repeat what I wrote down in my notebook from the Buck Brannaman clinic I attended.

I have learned a lot from Cooler Horsemanship.  Much of what Buck said in his clinic I have heard from James Cooler, but auditing the Buck clinic for four days really allowed things to sink in.  One thing I have been working on a lot lately is riding from my seat and I loved watching the following:

"Walk, trot, canter with a loose reign, then one can collect".

There are three seat positions, actually four.

Position one:  On pelvis for a moment (and obviously used for jumping) when asking a horse to go faster, but then it is immediately into position two.

Position two:  Athletic stance - straight up, on balls of feet.

Position three:  Feet forward, deep pockets.

Position four:  Your butt hits the ground.

Class Exercise:   Ride with your seat while walking on a loose reign.

Talk about out of sync... some horses took off and others never changed pace.  Some riders didn't loosen their reigns even though they thought they had.  A few did a nice job.  The worst offenders seemed to be a dressage and an english rider.  And Buck did not go easy on them, but he was honest.

Buck encouraged some to use their legs to get their horses going.

"It is impossible to have a horse light to the hand that is dull to the leg.  My leg is pushing on an air bubble, especially the lower leg.  (and my leg is saying) "I have every intent to kick you if you don't listen to this good deal."   Buck went on to say that legs were only used for transitions, not for maintenance of impulsion.

"Riding is supposed to be discreet.  If my horse starts to slow, I might kick a fart out of her."

(a side note:  I tried this on Oberon.  He slowed, I followed through and gave him a BIG kick with both legs.  He really jumped forward!  Since then, all I have had to do is pull both feet out from his sides and he speeds up. I have not had to wollup him again since!)

Of course, no Buck clinic is complete without a few quotes from Ray Hunt "See how little you can do to get them to trot".

And so, as the class went 'round and 'round the ring, Buck kept offering advice.

"Try to make it invisible.  Slow walk to fast walk ... liven up YOUR body.

I believe the horse above was Buck's "green" horse - which I found amusing as most people's horses never behave
and listen as nicely as this gelding.

Fascinating and my notebook is full of advice:

Lateral flexing - Buck looks for a soft feel, pole slightly higher than the withers, ears level, with head turned; it doesn't have to be all the way back to the riders foot.

Longitudinal flexing - he is looking for the proper elevation of the head.  The head WAY down (like the western pleasure show people like - he called it the "new fad" - holds the rib cage and spine down... spurs do NOT lift a horses back.

So how does one raise withers without getting the horse dull to our hands and legs?

Well, Buck said the pole must elevate to the proper position, the withers must rise so the horses hips can engage.

And there are exercises for this.  I will highlight them in my next posts.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Buck Brannaman "Redirect Energy"

Buck Brannaman is a legend in the horse world for some.  After auditing a clinic I must say, on horseback he is "poetry-in-motion".  He makes everything appear elegant and simple... which of course, when I went to apply what I learned back at my "home" arena with my horse, it wasn't easy at all.  It takes a lot of patience and practice.

HERE is a great article that sums up Buck fairly well.

The four day clinic I attended was held at Sullivan Farm Hanoverians , a top notch private farm that has been hosting Buck every other fall for many years.   I think there were about 15 - 20 riders in the Horsemanship 1 class.

So much information is at hand at a clinic like this, so I had a notebook handy and wrote down bits and pieces of what registered with me.  My next few posts will be about things that made me pause and think.   My first "pause & think" moment is below.

Buck is a patient man, but there is no room for "non-listeners".  That goes for his students AND his horses.  He said:

"My horse needs to be quiet enough not to draw my attention".   He expects accurate movement, no milling around.   If one is tuned out by their horse, he said to change subjects.

"You want your horse always aware of you.  Be aware of your horse!  Fidgeting?  Direct that!  Think of it as a gift.  Do something with that energy; redirect it or it will be a negative."

"Don't let your horse check out.  A horse wants peace.  Trade movement for peace."

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Pick-up Line

My iPhoto improved with Kim Klaussen's "Oh My" Texture

The Pick-up Line

A Gelding's Boast

Back in the day
when I ran with the colts,
I was an "Outlaw",
untamed vigor,
no cowboy could tame...

A Mare's Thoughts

"They're all the same..."

by Margaret Bednar, October 12, 2012

This is linked with Kim Klaussen's "Texture Tuesday" & IGWRT's "Music with Marian" subject"  Outlaw/Crazy.    I don't think this is exactly what the prompt was looking for, but it is what I could do with the time I have available today.

This is a photo of the new stables my horse, Oberon, is boarding.  I sold my horse, Sebastian, to my manager trainer and they are now at a different barn as well.  I am really excited, though, as I may be trail riding with Sebastian & James this weekend.

If you are a Buck Brannaman fan, check back here in a few days as I have a few photos and a rundown of the clinic I attended a couple of weeks ago.

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Horse Whisperer - Buck Brannaman

I have been at a clinic watching the real "Horse Whisperer" this weekend.  The last day is today, Monday, October 1st.  As many of you know, his name is Buck Brannaman.

"Everything you do with a horse is a dance".  Buck

A Cowboy is a craft, a profession.  It is a craft... it's not just putting on a hat and going to some night club to sing karaoke.

I will be back in a few days with photos and some of my notes... and maybe a few good ol' Buck quotes.  :)