Steve, Robyn,  Buck, Harriet, me, and my niece Elena

“You can’t go to a tack shop and buy your way out of poor horsemanship!”

This is one of my favorite quotes from Buck Brannaman. I just returned from Buck’s clinic this past weekend in Shelbyville, Tennessee. I always try to see Buck when he is close to our area. We have been friends for many years since Lee and I first hosted his clinics at Wildwood in the early 90’s. Two of my friends, Harriet McFadden and her trainer Robyn Miller rode in the Horsemanship section and Elena Smith  (my niece), Steve Thaemert (our Farm Manager), and I audited.

I enjoy watching great horsemen teach as there are always little nuggets of wisdom one picks up.   Another expression that sums up the way Buck rides and teaches is:  “If you consistently release for the right thing… pretty soon what happened last will happen first.” And that is how horses become light to the aids!


Harriet McFadden watching Buck’s helper Nathan Greiner do ground work with her horse, Skeeter


Robyn Miller with Snort in the Horsemanship class


Buck Brannaman working his horse Big Swede during the Horsemanship class


Picnicking in the trailer – Steve, Robyn,  Harriet, my niece Elena, and me