The Horse Whisperer
In 1976, a native New Yorker made his way to Colorado. He loved horses, and had spent the better part of his young life with the majestic animals. Now, 35 years later, Tony Brunetti is the cowboy he always wanted to be.
Two Become One
After years of working with horses on other people’s property, Tony’s youngest son joined a small group of partners to purchase a boarding facility named TBR Ranch in Fort Lupton. The facility offers a variety of boarding services, but has recently been home to the family’s latest endeavor: training horses for the Extreme Mustang Makeover. The event gives top trainers just 100 days to transform a wild horse into a show-quality animal. When Tony wants to show someone how he sees his horses, he’ll grab the person by the collar and pull sharply. “It’s rude,” he says, imitating the riders who opt to steer their horses by brute force. His preferred method, one now widely accepted among the world’s best trainers, uses a system of pressure, timing, and release designed to build a bond of trust between the horse and its rider. “I want to make my idea the horse’s idea,” he says, contrasting his curt collar tug by putting his arm around the person, politely turning them without more than a small, gentle gesture.