2017/02/20 – Archibald
Archibald Blair Cecil Young b. 1991. Blair after his grandfather Sir Blair Aubyn Stewart-Wilson, Cecil after his father Jonathan Cecil Ian Young, and yours truly 🙂 🙂 🙂 . He was Page of Honour to HM Queen Elizabeth II.
The Horse Whisperer is a 1998 American drama film directed by and starring Robert Redford, based on the 1995 novel The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans. Redford plays the title role, a talented trainer with a remarkable gift for understanding horses, who is hired to help an injured teenager (played by Scarlett Johansson) and her horse back to health following a tragic accident.
Teenager Grace MacLean and her best friend Judith go out early one winter’s morning to ride their horses, Pilgrim and Gulliver. As they ride up an icy slope, Gulliver slips and hits Pilgrim. Both horses fall, dragging the girls onto a road and colliding with a truck. Judith and Gulliver are killed, while Grace and Pilgrim are both severely injured. Grace, left with a partially amputated right leg, is bitter and withdrawn after the accident. Meanwhile, Pilgrim is traumatized and uncontrollable to the extent that it is suggested he be put down. Grace’s mother, Annie, a strong-minded and workaholic magazine editor, refuses to allow Pilgrim to be put down, sensing that somehow Grace’s recovery is linked with Pilgrim’s. Desperate for a way to heal both Grace and Pilgrim, Annie tracks down a “horse whisperer”, Tom Booker, in the remote Montana mountains. Tom agrees to help, but only if Grace also takes part in the process. Grace reluctantly agrees, and she and Annie go to stay at the Booker ranch where Tom lives with his brother and his brother’s family. As Pilgrim and Grace slowly overcome their trauma, Annie and Tom begin to develop a mutual attraction. However, they are both reluctant to act on these feelings – Annie is married and Tom had his heart broken before, when his wife left him because she belonged to the city, not the ranch. Tom also asks Grace to tell him about what happened with her and Pilgrim in order to find out what Pilgrim is thinking. At first, Grace is reluctant, but eventually gathers up her courage, and tearfully tells him about the accident. The status quo between Annie and Tom is broken when Robert MacLean, Grace’s father and Annie’s husband, unexpectedly shows up at the ranch. Annie is increasingly torn by her feelings for Tom and her love for her family. Soon, with Tom’s help, Grace finally takes the last step to heal herself and Pilgrim – riding Pilgrim again. As the MacLeans get ready to leave the Booker ranch, Robert tells Annie that he knew he was in love with her more than she loved him, and that if he could be a better father, husband or lawyer then it didn’t matter, he did it all for the love he had for her. He felt that he didn’t need more, he knows she is not sure how she feels about him, and now he wants her to make a choice, and not to come home until she is sure what she wants and that she loves him. Although Annie wishes she could stay with Tom on the ranch, she also knows that she belongs to the city, just like Tom’s wife. Annie departs, driving away from the ranch, while Tom watches her go from the top of a hill.
Natural horsemanship is a collective term for a variety of horse training techniques which have seen rapid growth in popularity since the 1980s. The techniques vary in their precise tenets but generally share principles of developing a rapport with horses, using methods said to be derived from observation of the natural behavior of free-roaming horses and rejecting abusive training methods. Natural horsemanship practitioners often describe their principles with evangelical zeal, describing the approach as being a radical departure from “traditional” techniques, which are often portrayed as being based in the use of unnecessary force. Users and practitioners tend to relate benefits both in relation to the quasi-scientific narrative of the ethology of horse behavior, viewing the horse as “other”, but also to the idea of an anthropomorphic partnership. High-profile practitioners of natural horsemanship such as Monty Roberts and Pat Parelli market their methods and equipment extensively through books, television appearances, live shows and other media. The natural horsemanship movement is controversial in the mainstream equestrian community, with criticism leveled at practitioners on a number of levels, while natural horsemanship advocates in turn are highly critical of more traditional methods. Natural horsemanship promotors face criticism that their techniques are not “new” and are classical concepts that are simply renamed or repackaged in order to be able to sell products and merchandise.