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Storyville: Buck – the Real Horse Whisperer

Storyville: Buck – the Real Horse Whisperer

Mon Jun 3, 10-11.25pm, BBC4

By Derek Adams
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Some say ‘a horse is the mirror of your soul’; after this wholesome doc, you may be open to persuasion. Buck Brannaman looks every bit the modern cowboy in his suede chaps, wide-brimmed hat and checked shirt. One of America’s most respected horse trainers, he was an inspiration for Nicholas Evans’s novel ‘The Horse Whisperer’ and a consultant on Robert Redford’s 1998 film. Yet behind a calm, zen-like surface lurk memories of a troubled early childhood.

Cindy Meehl’s soothing film shadows Brannaman as he offers advice to befuddled horse owners. ‘A lot of the time, rather than helping people with horse problems, I’m helping horses with people problems,’ he suggests, while gaining the respect of another upstart colt. Brannaman is mesmerising to watch: he’s never ruffled and always calm, even when dealing with a violent, ‘psycho’ stud. If you have even a passing interest in horses, you may find yourself smitten with this meditative doc.
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