Halloween Tips for Keeping the “Scared” Out of Riding and Working with Horses



When you work with or ride horses for long enough, there’s bound to be at least one moment where you find yourself with your heart pounding, your stomach in knots, and all-out fear pulsing through your body.

Scary incidents are an unfortunate byproduct of working with such large, powerful animals. Sometimes, a frightening scenario plays out because of human error. A person (often out of ignorance) may startle a horse or push him too hard or too fast. Horses are our athletic partners, and rider decisions made in training and competition can cause dangerous scenarios to unfold. Sometimes, the horse’s instinct for flight or fight is the source of danger. It does not matter how much you love your horse or how much you think he loves you—the fact remains that horses are hardwired for survival, and they possess teeth, hooves, speed, and size to make that possible.

The good thing is that we can educate ourselves to limit the number of scary incidents and keep riding and working with horses safe. The more we know about the horse and his instincts, the more we respect his power and teach him to respect our presence, the better we are at our chosen discipline, and the more secure our seat, the safer we will be. And, when we feel safe (not scared!) we can have more fun doing what we love to do.

Here’s what Buck Brannaman says about fear and how we can defeat it with knowledge in 7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN:



Riding in Real Life: The Runaway

When I was ten years old I went on a hack with my riding instructor. She was on a green training project and I was on an older OTTB mare. I’d ridden since I was five and was a confident kid. I’d also ridden the mare before in lessons.

We crossed the main road and headed up a fairly steep ascent. I don’t really remember how far we had traveled when the mare I was on decided she’d just had enough. She spun, and I stuck on, but then she was off, galloping downhill on a gravel road, faster than I’d ever gone in my life. Sitting here, typing this now, I can feel my heart racing at the memory of it…of how I couldn’t stop her…how I pulled back with all my strength and seesawed the reins, but the mare just pulled back harder and ran faster.

At the time, the only answer I had to the situation was to get off. At the time, hitting the ground hard seemed less scary than plummeting downhill toward a busy road on an out-of-control horse. I’d learned the emergency dismount when I’d started riding and managed some skewed form of it, flinging myself out of the saddle and then rolling, as I remembered being taught, away from my horse’s flying hooves.

I had a helmet on (thankfully). I didn’t break anything (thankfully). I was sprained and bruised and shaken, but other than that I was okay. The mare, too, survived her skidding, sliding navigation across the road and back to the barn, where we found her with lathered chest and heaving sides, reins dangerously looped loose up near her ears.

The tool I had needed when my horse ran away with me, but didn’t have yet, was the “pulley rein” or “one-rein stop.” I needed to know how to redirect my horse’s energy. Sergeant Rick Pelicano, author of BOMBPROOF YOUR HORSE and BETTER THAN BOMBPROOF describes it this way:


The Pulley Rein

1  Hold one rein tightly, braced on the neck and grabbing mane if you can.

2  Pull the other rein straight up and toward you.

3  Lean back, push your legs forward, and sit deep in the saddle.

Training Tip: Clinton Anderson has a great One-Rein Stop exercise to help train your horse to immediately stop and soften at any gait when you pick up one rein. Check out CLINTON ANDERSON’S DOWNUNDER HORSEMANSHIP.


But what about my instructor? What could she have done in my runaway scenario? Caroline Robbins, Publisher at Trafalgar Square Books, says that some of her scariest experiences riding were out on the trail with others, watching as a horse bolted and took off, and not knowing what to do or how to help.

Sean Patrick, author of THE MODERN HORSEMAN’S COUNTDOWN TO BROKE and one of this year’s Road to the Horse Wild Card Contestants, began his career as a high-country guide in the rugged mountains of British Columbia. I asked him about his experiences in groups and what onlookers should do when a fellow rider is in trouble.


Sean says:

1  Avoid reacting yourself. When a horse is pulling a tree out of the ground, jumping sideways or bolting off, remain still and quiet. When a handler rushes toward a reacting horse or yells, “Whoa!” the result is rarely helpful. A runaway does not need another horse to run behind it as well. The fleeing reaction might continue.

2  When in the saddle, the sound of thundering hooves can initiate a startle reflex with your own mount. When you feel this anxiety building, it might be best to simply take one rein and turn your horse to face the opposite direction. A well-trained mount will be able to stand quietly, but a more-novice horse may feel influenced by the other horse’s fear.

3  When a group is together in a pasture, and one rider is having great trouble, there is very little to do except keep yourself safe. This way the runaway horse is more likely to relax, slow down, and come back to the group. If a fall happens, at least you will be in control and able to come to the rider’s aid. When in such situations, I’ve learned to sit quietly and respond after it’s over.


Horses can bring us joy, peace, companionship with other people and other creatures, and they can bring us closer to the land that surrounds us. As long as we keep learning and strive to better understand the horse and react in more appropriate ways to his own reactions, as long as we seek instruction from others with more experience so we are prepared to handle whatever happens in the saddle, then we are on our way to keeping the “scared” out of riding and working with horses, and the joy in it.

Stay safe. Have fun. Happy Halloween

–Rebecca Didier, Senior Editor


All the books and DVDs mentioned in this post are available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is always FREE.


Great Photos of Horses and TSB Authors–Happy Friday!

The Trafalgar Square Farm horses, enjoying the fields this past summer--we already miss those long days of sunshine and late evening rides!

The Trafalgar Square Farm horses, enjoying the fields this past summer–we already miss those long days of sunshine and late evening rides!


Sometimes, it feels good to just remember why we love horses. On this Friday, enjoy a few photos that capture why we all work so hard to have horses in our life and do right by them.


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–The TSB Staff


Nine Nuggets of Horse Wisdom from Tom Dorrance and What They Can Mean to You and Your Horse

Television and radio personality Rick Lamb discusses the teachings of Tom Dorrance and what they mean to him in his book HUMAN TO HORSEMAN.

Television and radio personality Rick Lamb discusses the teachings of Tom Dorrance and what they mean to him in his book HUMAN TO HORSEMAN.

“It was shortly after I started my radio show that I began hearing the name Tom Dorrance,” writes television and radio personality Rick Lamb in his book HUMAN TO HORSEMAN. “It was always spoken with reverence…Some people spoke of knowing him personally, others of be­ing at clinics with him, and others still of the principles he espoused.”

The world lost Tom Dorrance in 2003, but renowned horseman Buck Brannaman has helped keep the lessons Tom shared alive, teaching an approach to training and riding horses that he learned from spending years following and learning from Tom, and Ray Hunt, as well. We now benefit from the wisdom Buck shares on the road, and as you’ll see below, much of Buck’s philosophy mirrors Tom’s own message.

“There are a group of observations and suggestions attributed to Tom Dorrance that, even on first reading, were immensely valuable to me,” says Rick Lamb. “What he did was give us things to think about that help on the journey.”

Here are Nine Nuggets of Horse Wisdom attributed to Tom Dorrance that, thanks in part to Buck Brannaman and other horsemen who learned from Tom and continue to share his teachings, are now an important part of every rider and trainer’s evolution—whatever their discipline, whatever their sport, whatever their age or geographic location.

After all, wherever he is and whatever it is he may be doing while there, a horse is still a horse.

Included are Rick Lamb’s comments and astute explanations of what he feels these lessons mean and how they can help us on our journey to become better horsemen. (You can read more about the famous trainers and clinicians with whom Rick has worked in his book HUMAN TO HORSEMAN.)


1  Observe, remember, and compare.

“To me, Tom is saying you have to be mentally engaged when work­ing with horses,” says Rick. “You need to be focused on what’s going on and apply mental energy as well as physical energy to the process. Every experience you have will add to your understanding, but you need to think about it.”


2  Make the wrong things difficult and the right things easy. Let your idea become the horse’s idea.

This is Tom’s straightforward way of describing the secret to all animal training, what behaviorists call Operant Conditioning,” explains Rick. “De­sirable behaviors (right things) are rewarded (made easy) and un­desirable behaviors (wrong things) are punished (made difficult). Regardless of the words you use, you are setting up a situation and allowing the horse to choose his own outcome. A horse learns very quickly to choose things that give him the best outcome, which is what you wanted all along.”


3  Be as gentle as possible and as firm as necessary.

“It is in this, perhaps the most defining of Tom’s ideas, that the con­cept of justice is seen,” says Rick. “An analogy that comes to mind is what it takes to boil water. At sea level, water boils at 212 degrees Fahren­heit. That is the minimum amount of heat that it takes to get the job done. Water will also boil at 213 or 214 or 215, but that is more heat than necessary. Water will not boil at 211 or 210. That doesn’t get the job done. Justice where a horse is concerned is the commit­ment to using the least amount of heat (pressure) necessary to get the job done.

“This is also probably the most misunderstood principle in natu­ral horsemanship because many people only see the gentle part,” Rick continues. “It feels good to be gentle to a horse, but closing your eyes to the necessity of being assertive and strong at times is foolish and naïve. The horse is more comfortable—in human terms, happier—with a competent leader in charge.”


4  The slower you do it the quicker you’ll find it.

“This means a couple of related things to me,” says Rick. “One, practicing any­thing slowly is the way to master it. Speed comes naturally. Two, when things aren’t going well, you may be going too fast for the horse, he can’t process it that quickly, or the quality of your presen­tation is suffering because you are racing through it. Slowing down allows you to be better and the horse to keep up with what you’re asking him to do.”


5  Feel what the horse is feeling and operate from where the horse is.

“This is nothing more or less than empathy, imagining what another creature, man or beast, must be feeling at a given moment,” Rick explains. “Putting yourself in the horse’s place is not only the moral high ground, it also helps you see solutions you wouldn’t otherwise see. Can you really know what it’s like to be a horse? Not really. But as a hu­man, you have the ability to think in the abstract, to imagine what it might be like and that gets you close enough.”


6  Do less to get more.

“This is perhaps the most counter-intuitive of Tom’s prescriptions, yet I’ve seen it proven over and over again,” admits Rick. “The horse’s survival instinct is strong, and it is so near the surface in many horses, that it interferes with them learning. Backing off, turning down the pressure, doing less in whatever form it takes, allows the horse’s preoccupation with his own survival to lessen and his thinking to increase. Just as with the slowing-down suggestion, doing less may also improve the quality and accuracy of your performance, as well.”


7  Take the time it takes.

“Just as the horse is preoccupied with survival, the human is preoc­cupied with time,” says Rick. “When you are worried about the amount of time a task takes, your body telegraphs it loudly and clearly to the horse. Rather than speeding up the process, worrying about time inevi­tably slows it down because it worries the horse, too. Conversely, letting things unfold at their own rate usually makes them go faster because the horse does not become worried about his safety.”


8  The horse has a need for self-preservation in mind, body, and spirit.

“This goes to the essential nature of the horse, the nature that the horseman tries to use instead of fight,” Rick explains. “But it speaks to more than physical self-preservation; Tom invites us to think of the horse as a complex creature whose mind and spirit must be preserved and protected just as his body is.”


9  The horse is never wrong.

“This last point is wonderfully rich. If you accept this premise—that the horse is never wrong—then you must ask yourself about the real na­ture of your journey from human to horseman,” says Rick. ” The horse doesn’t need changing, so it can’t be about training horses. The journey from human to horseman can only be about one thing: changing ourselves. It is a course in self-improvement for human be­ings. At the individual level, it makes humans more effective with horses and with people. At the macro level, it has implications for all mankind. By molding a new, more fully realized human being, we improve the lot of our species and our planet.”


HUMAN TO HORSEMAN is available from the TSB online bookstore where it is ON SALE NOW!



BUCK the award-winning documentary and 7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN are also available.


7 Clinics with Buck Brannaman Screening at the 1st Annual Equus Film Festival–Plus, WHEN I GET THAT PONY RODE Wins Best Music Video!

Equus Film Fest

7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN and WHEN I GET THAT PONY RODE are at the 1st Annual Equus Film Festival!


TSB congratulates Cindy Meehl, Director of the award-winning documentary BUCK and award-winning instructional series 7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN, along with singer/songwriter Templeton Thompson, for winning Best Music Video for “When I Get That Pony Rode” at the 1st Annual Equus Film Festival, going on now through this weekend (August 15-18, 2013).

“It was AMAZING to see our video in the Arcada Theater, on the BIG screen,” says Templeton. “That’s a first for me, and I could definitely get used to it! None of this would have happened if not for our dear friend the incredibly talented Director, Cindy Meehl.”

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After debuting online on CMT.com on February 19, 2013, “When I Get That Pony Rode” became one of the most requested videos on that site, on its second day hitting #1 over many other major country artists. The video, along with 7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN, is an official selection of the Equus Film Festival, and Templeton traveled to St. Charles, Illinois, where the film festival is running in conjunction with the Festival of the Horse and Drum,  to perform—as well as see her song on the “big screen”!

If you haven’t seen “When I Get That Pony Rode,” check it out here:

Speaking of the big screen, if you are planning to check out the Festival of the Horse and Drum, or if you’re just in the St. Charles area, you can attend a one-hour screening of 7 CLINICS on Sunday, August 18, at 2:30 pm. Tickets to event are available at the Arcada Theater–only $6.00 for an all-day pass to see all the horsey film selections!

If you haven’t been there, the Arcada Theater is worth a visit! Built in 1926 by local millionaire and Chicago Tribune cartoonist Lester J. Norris, it became known as one of the outstanding Vaudeville houses of its day. Many legendary stars have graced the stage, including George Burns and Gracie Allen, Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy, Olivia DeHavilland, the John Phillip Sousa Band, Cornelia Otis Skinner, Vincent Price, Jeanette McDonald, Walter Slezak and Maria Von Trapp, to name a few. In 2005, the Arcada was fully renovated and now plays hosts to festivals and entertainers, including today’s hottest stars.


It's a thrill to have 7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN and WHEN I GET THAT PONY RODE on the big screen at the historic Arcada Theater!

It’s a thrill to have 7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN and WHEN I GET THAT PONY RODE on the big screen at the historic Arcada Theater!


7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN is available from the TSB online bookstore.


10 Great Quotes from Top Riders, Trainers, and Horsemen

great quotes image

Sometimes we make a real change in our habits, our lifestyle, the way we think or act, just because we heard someone say something or read a few lines somewhere that stuck with us. Whether four words or twenty-four, whether plain-spoken or clever, the best lessons from the best teachers fall like rain in monsoon season—at predictable times, sometimes pleasantly and gently, while others in a soaking deluge.

The horse world is filled with great teachers—those who are wordsmiths and those who cut to the chase; those who nurture and those who suffer no fools—and perhaps our most important lesson is that we can learn something from all of them.

Here are 10 great quotes from some of the amazingly talented, motivated, and successful riders, trainers, and equine experts who TSB is lucky to call their authors—a little something to do on a rainy day.

1  PHILLIP DUTTON, 12-Time USEA Leading Rider of the Year and 5-Time Olympian with Two Gold Medals

“The general thought now is, or should be, that there is always another day! The rider should understand that sometimes, more training for your horse is necessary, and retiring [pulling up/changing a lesson] before more damage is done is a much better course of action than pushing your and your horse’s limits.”


2  LINDA TELLINGTON-JONES, Founder of the Tellington Method Approach to Training and Communicating

“I feel strongly that the tenets of classical riding are imperative and pure, and there is no moving forward without conscientious attention paid to all that has been learned and proven in horsemanship’s past. However, move forward we must, with the intent of achieving something better in the decades ahead and a common goal of alleviating the prevalence of pain, anxiety, and depression in the wonderful, talented sport horses with whom we are so lucky to pursue our dreams.”


3  BUCK BRANNAMAN, Renowned Horseman and Clinician

“Working horses is a little like being married. Sometimes you need to adjust and change your plan.”


4  DOUGLAS PUTERBAUGH, Dressage Trainer and Clinician

“Centered riders understand the harmonious relationship between knowledge and achievement. They’re active participants in their own education, reading the writings of the masters, observing other riders, and seizing opportunities to train with someone good.”


5  CLINTON ANDERSON, Internationally Recognized Horseman and Clinician

“Horsemanship should be fun. By learning how to control your horse in any situation, your confidence will greatly increase. When you’re confident, you can relax and enjoy your partnership.”


6  DENNY EMERSON, USEA Hall of Fame Inductee and “One of the 50 Most Influential Horseman of the 20th Century”

“The only thing that each of us can guarantee is that we are prepared to take advantage of opportunities if they happen to come our way. Even when opportunity doesn’t drop out of the sky into our lap, we still need to be ready. In other words, the preparedness part is up to us.”


7  KERRY THOMAS, Pioneering Researcher in Equine Athletic Psychology and Founder of the Thomas Herding Technique

“As equine caretakers, it is our responsibility to understand how the domestic environment affects the horse on all levels—physical and mental. As a social animal, the horse depends on daily interaction for mental growth. Striking a balance between the physical environment and the emotional requirement of the horse to survive within that environment is essential.”


8 PAUL BELASIK, Rider, Trainer, Author, and Proponent of Classical Equestrian Ideals

“You can watch wild horses for a whole day and nothing astounding may happen. They graze, they drink, they seem to meander without obvious direction. It is all subtlety….When we do it right, there won’t be much drama. You learn to increase your attention and you train your mind to let more information to you….You learn to have more patience, you learn to watch, and you learn to let it come to you. To train horses well you have to learn to observe subtleties.”


9  SEAN PATRICK, Horseman and Clinician

“Never assume a horse remembers anything from one day to the next. Check his responses and use previous lessons as warm-up exercises before trying to advance to something new.”


10 FREDERIC PIGNON and MAGALI DELGADO, Renowned Trainers and the Original Stars of Cavalia

“We all make mistakes and by doing so we discover something about our limitations, but if someone or some horse suffers from these mistakes, then we must do our utmost not to repeat them. May every rider strive for a better connection with his or her horse by observation, closer understanding, and patient groundwork. It matters not what discipline is pursued, only that there be a perfectly balanced union between the two—man and horse—so the two become one.”


All these books and DVDs, and many more, are available from the TSB online bookstore.



7 Clinics Telly Graphic

TSB is thrilled to announce that 7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN, seven-disc DVD series based on instructional footage from the hit documentary BUCK, has won two Telly Awards!

2013 People’s Telly Bronze Award: Non-Broadcast Productions – Non-Broadcast Production

2013 Bronze Award: Non-Broadcast Productions – How-To/Instructional

The Telly Awards is the premier award honoring the finest film and video productions, groundbreaking web commercials, videos and films, and outstanding local, regional, and cable TV commercials and programs. The 34th Annual Telly Awards (2013) received over 12,000 entries from all 50 states and 5 continents.

“The biggest challenge in creating the feature film BUCK was taking 300 hours of footage and cutting it down to 88 minutes,” says filmmaker Cindy Meehl. “We had so many wonderful interviews with amazing people…so much of Buck on the subject of life as well as horses…it was extremely hard to lose great scenes and stick to our story arc.”

So a year after BUCK won the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival and enjoyed wide release nationwide to critical acclaim, Cindy went back into the vaults, sifting through hours of unused footage from all the Buck Brannaman clinics filmed in different parts of the country over a period of four years, searching for the gems that didn’t make the final cut.

The result was 7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN, a DVD series that viewers say is “like having Buck teaching you in person, right in your living room.” Viewers travel to several Buck Brannaman clinics to learn important groundwork and riding techniques, including: hooking on, leading, halter work, bridling, saddling, backing up, working in circles and half-circles, using the flag, firming up, good riding form and position, finding the release and a soft feel, attaining collection, moving off the leg, riding serpentines, “getting the life up” (finding animation), perfecting the stop, turn-on-the-haunches, transitions, jumping, and finding the feel.

In addition, Buck provides ways to solve problems, including crowding, biting, striking, fidgeting, rushing, anxiousness and sensitivity, and bad attitudes. The series ends with Buck’s best advice, tips, and ideas about working with, riding, and training horses, as he best tells it—forthright, honest, and with the integrity the world has come to expect of one of the finest horsemen of our time.

Check out this sneak peek from the DVD series:


7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN is available from the TSB online bookstore.


International Horse Agility Club Founder Vanessa Bee Flies All the Way from England to See Buck Brannaman in Colorado–And Tells Us About It!

Vanessa Bee, founder of the International Horse Agility Club, spent the weekend at the Buck Brannaman clinic in Colorado.

Vanessa Bee, founder of the International Horse Agility Club, spent the weekend at the Buck Brannaman clinic in Colorado.

Vanessa Bee, founder of the International Horse Agility Club and author of THE HORSE AGILITY HANDBOOK and HORSE AGILITY: THE DVD, is in the United States beginning her North American clinic tour (see our previous post for dates and locations). Part of her reason for making the cross-Atlantic trek was to see Buck Brannaman teach, in person!

“I absolutely love the 7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN DVDs and have watched them over and over,” said Vanessa when she announced her tour in February. “They are completely addictive. I am so impressed, but I do have questions…and there’s only one way to find the answers—ask the man himself! So I’m flying over from the UK to watch him work in Colorado…that’s how good I think this man is!”

Vanessa was kind enough to share some of her observations from the time she spent this past weekend at the Buck Brannaman clinic in Hayden, Colorado—it is always so interesting to hear one trainer’s observations of another! Check it out:

“We flew from England to Denver and drove over the mountains in blizzard conditions to get here, but I knew it was worth it. I had already watched the excellent 7 Clinics DVDs many times and of course had a few questions. I was hoping that by watching everything in real time I would be able to see the techniques and changes in the horse more clearly.

“Fortunately, I brought my binoculars. I know some people thought this was a bit strange, but I’m an eccentric English woman so can get away with most things! Those binoculars made all the difference—I could really see the man work, when he quit as the horse got the answer—MAGIC!

“The first day was split into two parts: The morning was Colt Starting and the afternoon was Horsemanship 1. The colts were all shapes and sizes with handlers of varying ability, so Buck had his work cut out keeping everyone moving forward. First he made sure everyone could move their horse’s feet and retain a safety bubble that the horse would respect. He gave a nice demonstration of teaching a horse where the boundary was and commented that you have to learn how much to do that says STOP!

“You have to mean it but not by being mean to the horse.

“I had my first question answered on when to use the flag and how the horse knows when it means something to him and when he has to ignore it. It’s all in the hand position, which transmits the intention of the handler. I invested in my own BB Flag, and somehow I have to get it into my suitcase for the journey home!

“At the end of the session Buck gave everyone homework: They had to practice flexion, backing up, picking the rider up from the fence, lowering the head, and putting the bridle on. And they had to practice because, as he said, he would know in the morning if they hadn’t!

“It was going to be interesting to see if all the colt starters had done their homework, and they did look pretty good as they lead their horses into the arena. Buck was warming up his horse first thing. He talked about how he was looking for ’weightlessness’ as he was working. It was quiet and precise, the way he worked. Disengaging the hind end, moving the front over, backing up just seeking the moment when there was no weight and he instantly quit.

“I used my binoculars zoomed in on every move. I don’t know how anyone could see the finer details and understand when the quit was valid without being close up. That’s why the 7 Clinics DVDs are so good. I shall certainly be studying these in even more depth on my return home.

We're lucky to have Vanessa Bee reporting back from this fabulous Buck clinic experience!

We’re lucky to have Vanessa Bee reporting back from this fabulous Buck clinic experience!

“Buck is direct, I like that. He made a few choice comments, including: ‘If I could get my students to spend less time on ’Wastebook’ and more time with horses they’d have a stable full of bridle horses.’

“I’ve watched a lot of horse clinics and horsemen and I can tell you that Buck is the only person I’ve seen whose feet are the horse’s feet. He just moves those feet like they were their own. It’s smooth and you never feel a wince or a jar as you watch him work. His timing is fantastic.

“He was very honest and direct and I really enjoyed his style of teaching. Buck said, ‘Everything I do with a horse is incremental that’s why I’m successful with them.’ In other words, he tries never to overwhelm the horse and give him too much to think about.

“Buck told us that Ray Hunt was always saying to him: ‘Do less sooner, then you won’t need to do more later.’

“I and my binoculars are beginning to see that now.”

Thanks, Vanessa, for making it feel like we were at the clinic with you!

Click image to order!

Click image to order!

You can order the 7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN DVD SERIES, plus Vanessa Bee’s HORSE AGILITY HANDBOOK and HORSE AGILITY DVD at the TSB online bookstore.



Check Out the Buck Brannaman Cover Feature in the May 2013 Issue of Western Horseman Magazine!

WH May Issue

TSB is thrilled to have Buck Brannaman, renowned horseman and 2013 Western Horseman Award winner, featured on the cover of the May 2013 issue of Western Horseman magazine! Be sure to pick up a copy of the May issue wherever quality equestrian or Western lifestyle magazines are sold, and check it out.

Inside, the feature article about Buck tells how he has positively influenced the horse world for more than 30 years, traveling almost constantly to give hands-on clinics, sharing his stories and insights in his books, and offering instruction in his DVDs. Everything Buck does is intended to promote a kinder, gentler way of working with horses.

Buck’s influence reached mainstream audiences through the award-winning 2011 documentary BUCK, which was directed by Cindy Meehl, who most recently released the instructional follow-up series to BUCK, seven DVDs entitled 7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN, in conjunction with Trafalgar Square Books. (Cindy also directed the hit music video for Templeton Thompson’s song “When I Get That Pony Rode,” and recently signed on to a new film project called UNBRANDED.)

“At my clinics, I get everything from the backyard horse owner, to really good ranch cowboys, to Olympic show jumpers,” Buck says in May’s Western Horseman article. “My clinics are neutral ground, and that’s cool because then people are in an environment where they will learn something.”

Viewers can join Buck on “neutral ground” anytime with the 7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN DVD series. The seven instructional DVDs feature over 10 hours of clinic footage filmed during the making of BUCK. They allow you to watch Buck work with riders and horses from all different backgrounds and of all different abilities; listen to their questions; see them try, fail, try again, and do better. Best of all, you can turn to Buck’s wisdom whenever you need it, and as many times as necessary, to become a better partner to your horse.

“The tone of 7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN is undoubtedly one of learning and communicating with the horse,” says Western Horseman Assistant Editor Kate Bradley. “Followers of Brannaman’s style of horsemanship will recognize his methods and have the opportunity to watch him work with problem horses first-hand. Those new to Brannaman’s style, or who have seen his work only in the documentary BUCK, will be able to understand how he thinks about the horse…Brannaman’s message from the documentary rings true in the seven-disc package: Do better by the horse in order to do better in life.”


Templeton Thompson Is Back on the GAC Daily Countdown! Tune in and Vote March 20 & 21 at Noon and 6 PM


As Cindy Meehl, director of the award-winning documentary BUCK, was putting the final touches on the follow-up release to the film—the bestselling 7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN instructional DVD series—we absolutely loved the addition of music from Nashville singer/songwriter Templeton Thompson and her husband Sam Gay. Their moody, bluesy guitar and vocals, mixed with lyrics that hit home for the horse-lover, gave the 7 CLINICS DVDs (which were created from much of the unused footage shot while filming the documentary BUCK) a certain “feel,” evoking both dirt and dust and wide open grasslands, inspiring a sense of both hard work and hope, and the unbelievable partnerships that can be the result.

Cindy and Templeton then teamed up to create a music video for “When I Get That Pony Rode”—one of the songs featured in the 7 CLINICS DVDs. This was a pretty special first-time experience, for both of them.

“Getting to make the video was a dream come true for me,” says Templeton. “I’ve only ever been a ‘fly on the wall’ on a music video set like that…but I’m plannin’ on doin’ MORE of THAT! I like it A LOT and I’m dreamin’ BIG!!”

“It was so much fun working with Templeton and her horses (who double as the ‘difficult horse’ in the video),” adds Cindy. “The only problem was when we were trying to make them look wild and troubled, they only wanted to hook on to her and love their mom!”

Just a month ago, the video premiered on CMT.com as part of their Independents Day feature. By the next day, “When I Get That Pony Rode” was the Number One Most Watched Video on CMT.com, over many other major country artists and Templeton was promoted to the CMT.com front page as part of the “CMT Video Spotlight.”

Earlier this month, “When I Get That Pony Rode” premiered on the Great American Country (GAC) Daily Countdown, and again, due to views and requests, Templeton was promoted to GACTV.com front page as part of their “Must See Music Videos” list.

Now, we are so excited to announce that due to incredible number of requests, “When I Get That Pony Rode” is re-airing on the GAC Daily Countdown today and tomorrow (March 20 & 21) at noon and 6:00 p.m. Be sure to tune in and vote—there are many ways to do it!

CALL: 1-855-504-2288
EMAIL: requests@gactv.com
TWEET using #GACDailyCountdown

Just make sure to mention Templeton Thompson and “When I Get That Pony Rode.”

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It’s been a great ride so far…help us keep it going! Haven’t seen the video for “When I Get That Pony Rode” yet? Check it out here, and make sure to tell GAC how much you like it!



And watch for “When I Get That Pony Rode” on TNN (The Nashville Network)! The video will soon be featured on “Country Music Today” (weekdays at 2:00 p.m.) and “Third Shift” (from 2:00 a.m.–7:00 a.m.).


Templeton Thompson’s most recent release SONGS FROM 7 CLINICS, which includes “When I Get That Pony Rode,” is available from the TSB online bookstore. CLICK HERE TO ORDER

7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN, the seven-disc DVD series of Buck’s best teaching moments from clinics around the country, is available in three individually priced sets or as a complete series. CLICK HERE TO ORDER


Check Out the New Equisearch.com Article About Using Buck Brannaman’s Techniques in the Hunter/Jumper World

Ali Cornish and her family share how they use Buck Brannaman's methods to prepare their horses for the hunter/jumper ring.

Ali Cornish and her family share how they use Buck Brannaman’s methods to prepare their horses for the hunter/jumper ring.

Be sure to read and share the article I wrote about Buck Brannaman clinic sponsor Tina Cornish, and her children Ali and Noah, which is now featured on Equisearch.com. In the piece entitled “In Search of a Clear, Clean Round: One Family’s Experience with Buck Brannaman,” the Cornish family shares its experience working with Buck Brannaman as they compete in the hunter/jumper world.

The Cornish family appeared in the hit documentary BUCK and was featured in 7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN. Watch this clip from Disc 5 to hear a little of their story:

It was great talking to Tina, Ali, and Noah about the time they’ve been able to spend absorbing Buck’s methods, and then learning to apply them to the horses they have in training, regardless of the intended discipline. Their primary goal as a family is to make their chosen horse sport depend on good horsemanship for success, rather than tricks and shortcuts and drugs. Buck’s methods are instrumental in enabling them to remain true to this goal, keeping them safe as they restart horses to then go on and win in the hunter/jumper ring. Having just returned from Wellington where we had the opportunity to touch on this subject with some of the leaders in the sport, I think their message is especially pertinent as various committees take a closer look at current rules and regulations and standards, and what needs to change.

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I asked the Cornish family to share their favorite “Buckism,” since every time he opens his mouth, something sage and infinitely useful seems to come out! Here’s what they said:

“Buck is really funny,” said Tina, “so there are too many things he says to pick one favorite quote. But one that works for me is, ‘You need to know what happened, before what happened, happened.’ I feel like it makes you ride proactively and think ahead instead of waiting for it to fall apart, then fixing it. It keeps you sharp.”

“I’m with my mom on that one,” agreed Ali. “That little piece of advice has really helped me a lot since the horses I have had to ride have not been the easiest. It makes it easier for me to help them around the show ring if I pay attention to the details.”

“I like: ‘You would be way better off if you could learn to do things 90 percent mental and 10 percent physical; unfortunately, most people don’t figure that out until they have lost 90 percent of their physical,” added Noah. “I think this quote speaks for itself.”

Be sure to read and share the article on Equisearch.com. CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE

–Rebecca Didier, Senior Editor