For anyone unfamiliar with Buck Brannaman, just check out this trailer for the documentary “Buck”:
And then, the first chance you get, watch the entire movie. It’s so thoughtful and sweet. My husband introduced me to “Buck” a few weeks ago thinking I’d dig it since I’m so interested in horse people. I more than dug it, I’m now obsessed with this guy. Good thing when I embarked on this Twenty 4 Twenty project I didn’t have my complete list of recipients, because I seem to constantly be discovering new heroes.
Perhaps I too am a tortured soul but I relate to so much of what Buck says, his philosophy, and like him and all the scores of people who feel an intimate connection with animals, I’ve had an easier time connecting with four-legged creatures than the bipedal sort. As an adult, I’ve learned how to better treat myself and others but I cannot stress enough how much Mr. Brannaman’s words ring true when he calls your horse a mirror of yourself. I think this can translate to just about any domestic animal. As humans we tend to project everything onto other people (which is why one ought to be wary of folks spending so much time preaching about to evils of homosexuality, of sex positivity, etc- we take the things we fear and hate in ourselves and cast them onto someone else. Understanding this has made me a much more laid back person). Not just our friends/family/coworkers, we project these things onto our pets.
Have a hyperactive nervous dog? Next time you walk them, check your shoulders and body language are you tightened up, anticipating a transgression? I know I was, when we first got our dog. It took me months to relax. I was also a very nervous person in general, terrified of my own thoughts and feelings. When that transgression happens do you correct it by whacking the pup on the head and yelling? Is that how you were disciplined by your parents and other authority figures? Ia that how you treat yourself? Do yourself and your animal a favor and take a long look within. You deserve it. Everyone deserves to be treated with compassion, so start by practicing on yourself!
I’ve been holding onto this old cowboy charm for years and years, and finally the time to use it arrived. I incorporated it into a lapel pin with miscellaneous pheasant and chicken feathers, thinking he could stick it in one of his hats. Or not. In my letter to him, I suggested passing it along to someone he cares about if it doesn’t fit into his wardrobe. The point was to create something with my hands to express how touched I am by his story. That’s been the main lesson of this project, is learning not to expect anything in return, not even a thank you. I already have my reward and it’s knowing these people exist.
Thank you Buck! Keep spreading the good word!
For a more in-depth interview with Buck, check out this video:
“Gospel of Buck”! Swoon.