Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Some Things Come into Sharper Focus - and Mark Rashid's New Book

I've been attending clinics with Mark Rashid, either as an auditor or a rider, for more than 10 years now.  And slowly, with his guidance, my horsemanship has been improving.  Horsemanship is a never-ending journey, one where you never are done learning and experimenting and changing how you approach what you do with horses.  Mark says this is true for him too, even though he's assuredly a master.  And I've seen it in action - he tries new things and has new ways of explaining things.  Mark also has no "system" or one-method-fits-all-horses way of going about things, but instead works to give you the tools to take your own journey with horses.

Mark Rashid's new book (actually books as there's also a book of quotations his students have collected) and DVD set just came out, and I've read the book (once - I'm about to start going back through it again it's chock-full of extraordinary stuff) but haven't viewed the DVD yet.  I think it's one of his best books ever.  It's a series of stories that explain how he came to his current views of horses and how to work with them, and a distillation of his philosophy.  Now, I've heard a lot of his thinking over the years but some of the concepts take a while to sink in and are best learned in the context of an actual situation you're facing with a horse.  Many of the concepts can seem almost abstract or even "mystical" in themselves, but when you hear the concept in the context of a real story, you can almost see it in your mind, and for me at least, it becomes concrete.

Several of the stories were total eye-openers for me in the context of what Red and I have been working on.  I knew the concepts already and could have repeated them to you, but reading them again in the context of Mark's stories and distillation of the concepts really changed how I was approaching working with Red.  The story about the mare who pulled back while loading into a trailer . . .

More later about this and the work Red and I have been doing . . .


  1. I always enjoy his books and philosophies so I definitely have to look into getting this new set.

  2. Thanks for the heads up on Marks new books. Gotta get it like right now :)

  3. i loaned my kindle to my new riding friend SS. she can read english (thankfully - not all his books are in german for the kindle) and i knew mark rashid would be something she'd enjoy. she *loves* the books and even wrote quotes on a piece of paper (single spaced) and read them to me at the barn. she said, "i feel like what he writes can be applied to all areas of life" and i said, "he must agree with you because he wrote another book about just that - it's also on the kindle!"

  4. I wish he would do a clinic that I could attend!

  5. I enjoy his books a lot too, and really appreciate his teaching through the stories. It really does help me to understand the concepts when you hear how it's played out in life. And like another commentor mentioned, this philosophy is as much about the best way to live, and the way to be with horses. Life and horsemanship - it's all the same. That's what I loved with Ray, and Buck's like that too. I wish Mark would come to the west coast so I could attend one of his clinics. There's another excellent clinician who occasionally comes to our area, and I highly recommend him, if you ever get the chance to see, is Joe Wolter. He's from Texas, but I think he has a home in Idaho somewhere now, don't quote me on that, but he is an incredible horseman and teacher.

  6. Looking forward to receiving my copy. I may even be back in the saddle by the time it gets here. :D


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