Volume 16, Issue 21
“Discipline isn’t a dirty word. Far from it. Discipline is the one thing that separates us from chaos and anarchy. Discipline implies timing. It’s the precursor to good behavior, and it never comes from bad behavior. People who associate discipline with punishment are wrong: with discipline, punishment is unnecessary.”
As I look back on the past two weeks that we all just spent with the master himself, Buck Brannaman, I am reminded of just how long the journey to becoming a great horseman is. How long is that you ask? Well to put it into perspective Buck told us that he was still chasing that dream and that it would forever be a lifelong endeavor. I expected no different answer from him and it made me smile, knowing that I am on the right path. The journey down the road to great horsemanship starts with one tiny step forward and an open mind. You must be willing to fail time and time again and learn from your failures, only then will you start to take more steps forward. You must also learn to control your emotions and realize that frustration has no place on the back of a horse. If something isn’t working then you must realize that there is a disconnect between human and horse and that maybe you need to come at it from a different angle to try and connect the lines. It’s never the horses’ fault, only the rider. So we, as riders need to listen more to what the horse is trying to teach us.
Buck worked with us on exactly this. He hammered home how important it was to listen and feel of the horse. He worked with us on allowing the horses feet to become extensions of our own. “His feet are my feet” he’d say as he rode around the arena weaving in and out of other riders with his arms crossed, steering with only his legs.
We would all then set off trying to mimic what he had just shown us and while we were all trying so hard to not use our reins the class looked more like a carnival game of bumper cars than a choreographed dance at first, but everyone remained disciplined in their task and before you knew it the majority of the class had their arms folded and were weaving in and out of one another with big smiles on their faces. As Shayne and Des always tell us, “Trust the process”.
We had an amazing two weeks with some amazing people. Life stories were shared with one another and support given in everyone’s on going journey. It’s amazing to me that people can come from all walks of life to share one common passion. Once you are on that horse it matters not where you came from, it only matters what you do in that moment with your horse.
Here’s to another wonderful year with Buck and we can’t wait for next year and to see Bucks big rig roll on down our McGinnis Meadows driveway once more.