ĎHorse Whispererís latest entry falls short

Editorís note: Author Buck Brannaman appeared at a recent signing at Changing Hands Book Store. Prior to the event, we passed a copy of the book along to columnist Carolyn Harris for a review. Her opinions follow.


By Carolyn Harris

Believe, a Horsemanís Journey, by the horse whisperer, Buck Brannaman, is a book I was looking forward to reading. I own horses. I have read Horse Whisperer the book and seen the movie starring Robert Redford, both of which I found to be a good story, if not somewhat implausible.

So, naturally, I was looking forward to learning more about the real horse trainer, Brannaman, on whom the movie and book were based.

Wrong. Believe was a big disappointment, sorry to say. If you donít own horses, it would be of no interest or use to you.

If you do, you will find many horse-training procedures and terms alluded to but not explained or described until you are halfway into the book.

The first 27 pages contain a lot of psycho-babble about overcoming fear and how horses and humans react to the same stimuli. It is somewhat interesting but pointless.

I expected lots of training hints, suggestions and ďhow toís.Ē 

Instead, this book is a compilation of stories told by Brannamanís clients. Believe spends a lot of time relaying the clients' personal problems and how the understanding of horses resulted in their solutions.

When Brannaman does get around to explaining the various horse-training methods, he leaves too many questions. 

A horse person would have to attend his clinics to really get what he is talking about. The book also leaves the reader wondering why his clients have to return time after time to learn the simplest lessons of horsemanship.

Iím sure Buck Brannaman is a nice fellow and a man who really knows how to communicate with horses and his clients.

The problem is that Believe doesnít communicate these techniques to the reader. It is geared to convincing the reader how great Brannaman is, and it is a big advertisement for his clinics.

I expected to see a clinic sign-up application on the last page.