DVDs: Buck Brannaman 7 Clinics / quote

That set of DVDs has been edited and published by Cindy Meehl, Director of the great movie Buck. She had hundreds of hours of footage and picked the best parts to show more about Buck Brannaman horsemanship and philosophy.

Each DVD is cut in several chapters and introduced with thoughts and interviews of Buck Brannaman: On Groundwork, What I learnt from Ray, On Release, On Fear, Getting to the Feet, On Gimmicks, Buck’s Approach

We can divide these DVDs in three sets: Groundwork, Lessons on Horseback, Problem Solving & Words of Wisdom.



Some people will do groundwork and it’s no more than just teaching a horse tricks, and that does not have any relationship with what you might do when you’re on his back.

7 Clinics, Buck Brannaman

The first part of that series is covered by two DVDs dealing with a good amount of groundwork exercises of course, but also ideas and philosophy behind the drills. We learn some real basics such as how to position yourself when haltering your horse, how to help a horse to leave the tongue under the bit, how to use a flag, etc.

Buck Brannaman 7 Clinics: buck about groundwork

In between these practical tips, Buck Brannaman infuses principles of his horsemanship inherited from Ray Hunt and Tom & Bill Dorrance before him: why a horse should respect you without feeling fear, how balance relates to self confidence, how “you got all the time in the world” when dealing with horses and so much more.

DVD 1 – Groundwork
  • Hooking on
    – The Dance
    Teaching to lead
    – Hook on a colt
  • Circles/Leading by
    Full circle
  • Bridling Tips
    – Proper haltering
    – Noseband, wrinkles, etc.
    – Tongue over the bit
    – On devices
  • Saddling Tips
    Saddle Up
DVD 2 – Groundwork
  • Backing/Backing Circles
    Backing Up
    – Backing With Life
    – Backing Circles
    Proper Backing
    – Backing at a Distance
    – On Firming Up
  • Flags
    – Whips
    – Flagging with Feel
    Over Desensitizing
    – The Whole Horse
    – From Ground to Saddle – Hind & Front
  • Half Circles
    Half Circles

Lessons on Horseback

You try to put yourself in the horse’s situation [and] eventually have your idea become his.

7 Clinics, Buck Brannaman

Buck Brannaman 7 Clinics: Buck on riding horses
That second part is the densest of all, covered by three DVDs. As for groundwork, the videos show a lot of technical information dealing with body position, timing and balance; it gives a lot of exercises (such as the full circle, the serpentines, etc.), and ultimately a lot of tips on how we should feel our horses, what goal should we reach and more…

DVD 3 – Lessons On Horseback
  • Riding Form
    Positions 1, 2, 3
    – Athletic Stance
    – Leg Position
    – Good Form
    – On Stopping
    – Backing Position
    – Transition From Stop to Walk
    – Form & Dismounting
    – Stretching
  • Release / Soft Feel / Collection
    – 20 Lbs of Pressure
    – Building Softness
    Soft Feel / Collection
    – Mistaken Release
    – Reward & Timing
    – Release for Lightness
    – Release Practice
    – Let Them Soak
    – Keeping Centered
    – Finish Light
    – Lungeing with Sidelines
    – Old Faithful
    – Loose Rein
    – Don’t Miss It
    – Trouble’s Coming
    – The Goal
    – How Many Times?
    – Be Consistent
    – Accuracy on a Loose Rein
    Engaging the Hind
  • Teaching the Leg
    – First Step
    – Guiding the Horse
    – Breaking it Down
    – Two feet moving means to back up…
    – Less is More
    – Half Turns
  • Serpentines
    – Short Serpentine
    – Short & Long Serpentines
    – Advice on Serpentines
    – Guiding With Legs
DVD 4 – Lessons On Horseback
  • Getting the Life Up
    First Ride (colts)
    – Constant Kicking
    – What’s too much?
    – Jumping Out
    – Asking for Life
    – Head Position & Life
    – A Good Walk
    – Life at the Walk
    – Dial it Up
  • Transitions
    Smooth Walk to Trot
    – The Canter
  • Stopping
    Stopping with your Seat
    – Prepare
    – Softening the Hard Spot
    – Using the Hind
    – Precise Stopping
    One Rein Stop
    – Stopping & Safety
  • Backing / Backing Circles
    – Backing
    – Timing Release
    – Don’t Pull
    – No Leg Pressure
    – Reward the Try
    – Backing with Life
    – Backing Circles
    – Backing/Backing Circles Tips
    – Thoughts on Backing
    – Backing Half Circles
    – Backing Legs Only
DVD 5 – Lessons On Horseback
  • The Feel
    Working From Fence
    – Approaching Fence
    – Colts From the Fence
    Offer a Feel
    – Building Confidence
    – Rein to Foot
    – The Reaching Foot
    – Operating on a Feel
    – The Gate
    – Beyond Mechanical
  • Turning on Haunches
    – Hind and Front
  • Jumping
    – Flagging/Backing Jumpers
    – Jumper Coaching
  • Exercises
    – Back & Across
    – 90° Turn/Backing
    – The Rectangle

Problem Solving & Words of Wisdom

[Good riding] is like being at the foot of a high mountain… it’s okay, because you will start to enjoy climbing!

7 Clinics, Buck Brannaman

Buck Brannaman 7 Clinics: Buck horseback riding with feel

DVD 6 – Problem Solving
  • – Backing Resistant Horse
    – The Touchy Horse
    – Troubled Spots
    – Biters
    – Pushy Head
    – Getting Shots
    – Stirrup Biting
    – Sensitive Below Chin
    – Tarp
    – Striking Mustang
    – Crabby Horses
    – Fidgety Horses
    – Rushing the Gate
    – It’s Lunch When I Say
    – Unhaltering
    – Chase the Trouble
DVD 7 – Words of Wisdom
  • – Gladiator
    – English & Western
    – Let the Horse Think
    – Bribery
    – Precision Turns
    – Turning with Energy
    – Position of Balance
    – Getting centered
    – Halter vs Bit
    – Saddle Pads/Blankets
    – Lunge Lines
    – Keep organized
    – Shortening Reins
    – Mounting Wisdom
    – Riding Outdoors
    – Young Horses/Fear
    – Go With Them
    – Stallions
    – Start Early
    – Be Particular
    – Quit’Em Right
    – One Step at a Time

As I already explained in this web site, I am strongly inspired by Buck Brannaman’s work which is in my opinion the most practical way to apply the beautiful principles and philosophy once shared by men such as Ray Hunt and Tom Dorrance. Naturally, I can not help but advise this set of DVDs, it is a great resource to us all who want to improve our relationship with horses.

My only negative critic about 7 Clinics is that there is no clear program to follow, I think it would have been appreciated to have an alternative presentation showing different stages from Colt classes, to Horsemanship 1 and more, from halter work to snaffle bit to hackamore to two-reins to bridle… Having said that, I have viewed the discs half a dozen times and every time a new info caught my attention, a new gold piece of advice to learn, practice and soak. The mountain is really high, but damn I love climbing!!!

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