In school, many of us never want to read books. They are a hassle and take time away from the activities we would rather be doing.
Once you get out of school and into the real world, you realize books are a tool to help you advance in life. They allow you to learn new skills and, most importantly, get a glimpse into the life and insight of high achievers.
Chances are, you will never meet many of the people you look up to.
Reading their books, or books other authors wrote about their journey, is a great way to connect (in a way) and condense years upon years of lessons and experience into a couple of hundred pages.
I had been reading books for years; but, once I started my horsemanship journey, I began to add horse-related books to my reading list.
Is Buck Brannaman the Real "Horse Whisperer"?
Once you dive into horsemanship, it will take you only a short time to come across the name Buck Brannaman.
Many consider him the original "horse whisperer." Not only because of his horsemanship abilities; but, directly related to his work on the Robert Redford film "The Horse Whisperer."
The term "whisperer" refers to the natural horsemanship tactics horse trainers like Buck Brannaman employ (as opposed to the old-school ride 'em til you break them mentality).
What is "The Faraway Horses" about?
In this book, Buck chronicles his life's journey from growing up in an abusive household and becoming a child roping star and celebrity to learning how to train horses and putting on clinics worldwide.
Buck is a skilled horseman; but, he wasn't just born that way. He was born with an innate ability to connect with horses; but, much of that ability is also his capacity to empathize with the horse.
In his words, most of the time, he doesn't help people with horse problems; he helps horses with people problems.
I'm just trying to get people to understand horses. You have to be consistent and logical, use your brain, and not be emotional and not lose your temper.
Given his rough upbringing, those experiences translated into his approach to horses.
In addition, he was coming of age in an era where horsemanship clinics were becoming popular, and a couple of the "OG's" of natural horsemanship was coming onto the scene.
Ray Hunt and Tom Dorrance.
At a young age, Buck hooked on to Ray and Tom and soaked up all their knowledge about horses like a sponge.
Since then, he has continued to be a mouthpiece for the lessons he learned from them and the first-hand knowledge he has learned throughout his life on his horseman's journey.
His years of boots-on-the-ground experience have turned Buck into what many consider one of the world's leading practitioners.
Why is the book called "The Faraway Horses"?
Buck spends most of his year traveling around the horse world and teaching in-person horsemanship clinics.
As you can imagine, the time away can take its toll on family life; luckily for Buck, his whole family is on board with the way of life and his life's mission.
When his daughter was young, and he'd be leaving to spend time on the road, she'd say he was going to help the "faraway horses."
What are other books by Buck Brannaman?
Another book I read (actually listened to on Audible) by Buck is called Believe.
This book is a gathering of stories of people he has worked with and the impact horses and the lessons they learned working with Buck had on them.
I love to read a physical book; but, sometimes, listening to an audiobook is a great way to get some additional "reading" in.
I would listen while driving or taking my dog for a walk.
I have a feeling "Believe" is one of those books; every time you read it, you will pull out new golden nuggets of information you might have missed the last time.
I plan on listening to it again.
What horsemanship books should you read next?
My main suggestion would be to keep a "wish list" of books.
Whenever you see a horse trainer or other horse-related expert and you like their approach, see if they have a book out.
If they do, add it to your wish list.
Over time, that list will continue to grow, and you will always have material to read.
Here are a few of the books that I first read when starting on my horseman's journey:
You can't go wrong reading any of these next.
After growing up working on his family's farm in the Midwest, life brought him to Missoula, MT. There, he connected with a mustang named Dart and was called to a lifelong journey of learning about horses and horsemanship. It is his hope to share the knowledge, experiences, and resources he has come across along the way.
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