This series, 10 hours of viewing spread over seven DVDs, has been gleaned from 300 hours of footage of Buck Brannaman shot at his natural horsemanship clinics for the feature documentary “Buck.” While the movie was intended for a general audience, the clinic series is aimed at horsemen who are as interested in his techniques as they are in the famous clinician himself.
An attempt has been made to edit the raw footage into a coherent progressive presentation, but since the material was shot at clinics and edited down, the focus is not always clear, with Brannaman’s comments at times disjointed. Often there’s a ring full of horses milling around so that it’s not always easy to zero in on the instructor.
Thus, the series may not be the best place to start as an introduction to Brannaman’s techniques. For those who’ve attended a Brannaman clinic or who’re already been introduced to natural horsemanship methods, however, this will be a wonderful review. While some of the footage is frustrating for the uninitiated, there are also some fine moments of real insight.
Among the topics that the series addresses are leading, halter work, backing, working in circles and half-circles, moving off the leg, transitions and overall feel, plus problem solving such as crowding, biting, rushing and anxiety.
Although the series is offered as a set, it is also priced separately in three units from $50 to $60 at some outlets in case a viewer would like to get a taste of the presentation without paying for the entire set up front.
Bottom Line: A review of Buck Brannaman clinics that can be enjoyed in your armchair without having to travel or sit outside all day.
Best suited for: Natural horsemanship devotees.
You’ll be disappointed if: You want a step-by-step introduction to natural horsemanship techniques that you can put to use right away without further instruction in a live setting.
7 Clinics with Buck Brannaman. A set of 7 DVDs. Directed by Cindy Meehl. 2012. Cedar Creek Productions. $145. Available at www.horsebooksetc.com, 800-952-5813.
Margaret Freeman, Associate Editor