The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America



Film explores the spiritual practice of gentleness

In The Horse Whisperer, one of our favorite films, Robert Redford plays a patient, centered and calm healer who can work wonders with horses. Buck is a memorable documentary about the life and work of Buck Brannaman (below), the real-life horse whisperer who served as an adviser to Redford's movie. He is a very busy man who spends nine months on the road teaching four-day seminars on "colt starting" (an alternative method from traditional horse-breaking) and other gentle techniques for training horses.

movie stillHe recommends large doses of love and empathy to initiate them into a new stage in their lives. Once the animal trusts that you aren't trying to be dominant, it calms down and the glorious dance begins. Buck says most of his time is spent helping horses with people problems.

Buck is a gifted spiritual teacher who serves as a bridge between those who attend his clinics and the horses they love. His gentleness, healing touch and respect for these beautiful creatures shines through each scene in this amazing documentary. He models for us a compassionate ethic for relating to all animals (IFC).


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February issue


Embracing diversity