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By Jess Fenton
12th February 2012

Hollywood has long had a love affair with horses, but what about the man behind the creatures? In 1998, Robert Redford brought the book ‘The Horse Whisperer’ to the big screen. Robert’s riding double and on-set horse trainer was Buck, the man featured in the new documentary of the same name. Buck Brannaman spends ten months a year traveling the country, teaching clinics that leave even the most seasoned and arrogant horse experts stunned. Buck’s rapport with these most majestic and revered animals goes far beyond a master and commander relationship. Buck has a violent and painful past, much like the horses he spends his life breaking in order to bring back to the real world from the brink of destruction.

‘Buck’ follows this real-life horse whisperer as he travels from city to city and state to state away from his home, wife and youngest daughter who is fast growing up to be just like her father. Buck’s second family lives with him in the road - they’re the strangers he encounters along the way, the clients he returns to or meets for the first time, and they’re in the horses he treats almost every day. “I’m helping horses with people problems,” he quips. Much like horses and people themselves, no two of Buck’s clinics are the same, keeping people coming back for more.


The film features interviews with Buck, his family, friends, clients, converts and even Robert Redford. They’re supreme admiration for Buck and his gifts flow off the screen, leaving you want to know more and yearning to be in the presence of such a person.

The subtlety and unassuming nature in which Buck works leaves experts stumped and makes horse lovers, or any animal lover for that matter, question everything they thought they knew about not only animals themselves, but also the relationship between man and beast. His methods defy analysis. The empathy that Buck displays towards horses is unparalleled and further cements his teachings, that humans are the key.

With such a fascinating subject, it’s a shame the film doesn’t delve deeper into the man’s profound talent, psyche or the real impact his career has on his family. This is still a touching and engrossing film that will leave horse lovers reaffirmed and non-horse lovers converted.

RELEASE DATE: 16/02/2012
RUN TIME: 1h 28m
CAST: Buck Brannaman
Robert Redford
Scarlett Johansson
DIRECTOR: Cindy Meehl
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