Unprotected Partnership

I saw a movie a few weeks ago that taught me more about relating than any course or book I’ve ever spent time with. It’s called “Buck” and it’s about a horse trainer named Buck Brannaman, who calls himself a natural horse trainer.


By watching Buck train a horse and train people, I learned about where I fall short in relating to others. To watch him with a horse is to see a master of owning his space, connecting without fear and leaving the luxury of one’s own reactions at the door for the sake of relating to another being. These horses tame themselves by choice. Buck creates a magnetic space that attracts their partnership, their union. It’s as if the horses see access to their own greatness through Buck and then as the horse’s owners follow Buck’s path, through human beings.

The striking thing for me was to see how Buck accepted the animal fully without making the story of where they had been important. He saw through it right to the center of the horse and all he saw was goodness and exhibited the patience required for the horse to follow suit and surrender it’s own story about life. To feel safe to connect with Buck and create unprotected partnership. He wasn’t trying to fix anything. He was an invitation for the horse to let go and remained that way, steadfastly.

I try to support people’s greatness, but I never understood the responsibility to own my reactions in such a deep way. To drop being right, to stand for the power and possibility of relating first, as access to the most impactful relationship possible with another human being.

Our fear sends others into theirs. Our righteousness about our fear (anger, disappointment, etc.) keeps us separate, in a place where we cannot possibly help or support others effectively. Truth is, we can barely get along without prioritizing relating in an on purpose way.

Since seeing the film, I have taken it on with my family, friends, clients, waitresses, strangers and found it to be energy providing and the source of miraculous possibility. Please support the film. It’s available on Netflix and showing the next two months on Showtime. There’s a lesson for every viewer.

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