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Sunday, January 22, 2017

A Legacy of Legends

Posted Monday, February 27, 2012, at 11:47 AM


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Below is a friend of mine, Charlene.  We met in Fort Worth Texas a few years ago, and have been in close touch since.  Obviously, she's a bit horse crazy like me, and wouldn't have missed this event for anything.  She also photographed our wedding and was near by for support.  She's coming to visit this year!

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This whole weekend was full of clinics.  The first morning clinic was done by Buck Brannaman and his daughter Reata.  The colt in the photos before, was only handled enough to get it to the event.  I'm not saying it's a "wild' colt, .... it's bred to be gentle.  But it's not been handled, haltered, and certainly not ridden.  "Breaking" horses is a term still used these days.  And Breaking is still done, by those who haven't ...for whatever reason, learned a 'better way"  For those of us that take what we do seriously, and care for how it 'really' turns out.  This is how we do it.  Each clinic is an hour long.  There are no requirements as to what has to be done in that hour.  Ray Hunt was adamant about not pushing the horse to a point that was going to trouble him.  Reata is 15 years old, and I'm sure Buck didn't want to push either to a troubling point.  Don't get me wrong at all.  Reata is a better hand with a horse than most people have an eye for.  She has grown up watching, learning from the best of the best

Here, she is getting the colt ready to be haltered.

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Here, the colt is haltered, and she's letting him feel a foreign "thing'" on his body.  This step is soooo important! 

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When everything is done with the horse in mind, this is how easy it can be.  This colt has already learned to trust her, and to be touched by 'other things',  so the saddle is really no big deal.

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Dad, (Buck) moves the colt around a bit, just to see how things are.  But anyone should be able to see that this colt is not wild eyed and fearful.  Keep in mind, that this is in a huge arena, and several hundred people are in his view.  To him, this is very strange.

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There are several points to this.  Once astride a horse, we are 'above' them.  Like a mountain lion would be ... per se.  So, their instinct could be, to get away.  Sometimes, the best way of having them view us from above, might be this.  I also love that they learn to come 'round and be in position to be mounted.  And more learning to trust is obviously happening here.

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I have a 17 hand gelding that will come up along anything that I indicate I want him to, for me to get on him from.  For those of you that don't know, 17 hands is ridiculously tall.  I'm not exactly short, unless you put me next to a 17 hand tall horse.  I can do it, (it's not pretty)  (and honestly, I CAN'T do it early some mornings, thanks to my age I guess) But sometimes, even an inch or two helps.  Barring anything to climb on from, we have also taught him to stretch out.  As I said, every inch helps!

Back to Reata.  See how this looks just nice and normal?  Well, to this colt, everything is new, so he really doesn't have any expectations of 'normal'.  So, he's just going with the flow, and learning immense trust.  It's just amazing

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But, they have to learn to be mounted from the ground.... cuz, really, that happens a lot!

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This colt's first ride is just fine.  Remember, this was all in an hour's time.  Does this horse look Broke?

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Broke is meant in several definitions.   Physically, and mentally.  This horse's spirit is intact, and obviously, nothing too physical happened.  I don't believe he even broke a sweat.

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Megan Campbell is Peter Campbell's niece.  This was the next hour, and another colt that is unhandled also.

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Do you see any stress here?  I think not

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Wade and Martin Black are from Bruneau, Idaho.  They've been starting colts for years, sometimes together, sometimes not.  Martin travels all around the world, literally, helping others.  Wade lives locally, and has a gift of combining Jesus in his trainings.  He has 'Training for the Cross" 

Both are a pleasure to watch. 

Wade & Martin Black (4)

Another method of showing a colt, it's OK if I'm 'above' you

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Round Pens are often a tool of Torture.  They do have their place, but with confidence like Wade's, why not head right out into a huge arena.  Why not??!!!

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Waving arms around is something a lot of people never do, cuz it spooks their horse.  So, why not do it from the beginning, when everything is new, and so, nothing is new?

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If everything and nothing is new, why not drop your rope and starting swinging?  Years do not have to go by, before a horse can be roped off of.  This is pretty cool.  Remember, this is the 1st hour of the first time this colt has been handled ... let alone rode.

Wade & Martin Black (140)

no big deal, right?  Does this colt look Broke?

Wade & Martin Black (169)


I know, boring compared to political stuff, and all the jabs going on, but sitting on a Sunday night, this is what I prefer to think on. 

Reward the good behavior, ... make the bad behavior uncomfortable enough that it is undesirable, be compassionate, be firm. 

hmmmmmmmmmmmmm.... seems like it would work on lots of circumstances, doesn't it? 



Showing most recent comments first
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Thanks Buckshot ... I felt it was time for myself to look at something positive! I love a lot of the blogs, but some of the comments make me ....... well we won't go there.

Suffice it to say, many have declined IMHO


-- Posted by jessiemiller on Mon, Feb 27, 2012, at 8:39 PM

Thanks Warren, I appreciate that you appreciate getting away from the doom and gloom. I read it and I have to admit I want to comment alot more than I do, but then I decide, this is where I belong.

Do you remember the names of the Blacks that you met in Owyhee County?

Thanks Bonnie!

-- Posted by jessiemiller on Mon, Feb 27, 2012, at 2:13 PM

Great Blog Jessie

-- Posted by KH Gal on Mon, Feb 27, 2012, at 1:45 PM

Great story, great pictures, welcome change from the election, economy, and so on.

I made the aquaintance of a couple of Owyhee county ranchers named Black in the 60's, 70's and even 80's. Some great people to have on your side.

That little yellow trail 90 I had let me know who was boss when I tried to remind it I was above it.

Interesting comparison that. :-)

-- Posted by wh67 on Mon, Feb 27, 2012, at 1:45 PM

Just realized I forgot to say where we ride. Wellllllllll.... I personally don't ride much around town. I give lessons in my back field, to all who care to venture...heheheh.... We ride Sundays in an indoor arena, which is nice, cuz no weather stops us. (that's for lessons too)

Then also, we ranch, so we ride 'the range' so to speak, which is still lots of fun, though sometimes, I wonder hwo cold/hot/tired/exhausted/grumpy I can get!

Maybe some time, we can get together!

-- Posted by jessiemiller on Mon, Feb 27, 2012, at 12:15 PM

KT, feel free to email me at

I will be happy to talk with you about clinics and such.

And I'm NOT sure of the laws on riding in the streets here. Actually, I kind of didn't think there were any specifically written ...but naturally, I'm likely wrong!

Thanks for the comment!

-- Posted by jessiemiller on Mon, Feb 27, 2012, at 12:08 PM

Great blog Jessie!!! These are the same methods that I used on my horse (he was super spooky!) and they worked great! Do you know of any clinics that are going to be in the area anytime soon? My wife was wanting to do one of the Clinton Anderson clinics, but I think we have to go to Texas for that. Also, where do you ride around here? The only place that we have found so far, because we don't have a trailor yet, is in residentail neighborhoods. I don't think they care for the poop on the streets too much :)

Last question, what are the Idaho laws on riding a horse down the street? Will we get in trouble for that?

-- Posted by KentuckyTransplant on Mon, Feb 27, 2012, at 11:57 AM

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Jessie Miller
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I am interested in this Community, County, and the beautiful state of Idaho. Most of my photos will be in Idaho, but from time to time, they will be my vacations aay from Idaho. You'll see lots of my Children and Grand children, along with others in my family. Of course there will be horses and horse related things, and things I photo'd horseback.
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