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Horsemanship Through Life

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A fall during a clinic on horsemanship forces the author to rekindle his passion for working with horses and their owners. By studying the Japanese martial art, aikido, Mark renews his commitment to compassionate communication with horses, using honor, integrity and dignity. This book is a must read for anyone seeking to truly connect to his or her horse.

198 pages, Paperback

First published September 30, 2005

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About the author

Mark Rashid

31 books101 followers
Mark Rashid (pronounced RASH-id) is an internationally acclaimed horse trainer known for his ability to understand the horse’s point of view and solve difficult problems with communication rather than force. He began working with horses at age ten, when he met the “old man,” who taught him to work with horses, not against them, and to listen to what the horse is trying to say. Mark’s clinics center on one-on-one work with horse and rider and are immensely popular with people around the world.

When Mark decided to study the martial art of aikido as a way to improve his horsemanship, he brought the same quiet determination to it that he exhibits in his work with horses. After years of practice, he has earned a second degree black belt in Yoshinkan aikido and now teaches the “way of harmony” in the local dojo.

Mark worked full time on ranches for many years gathering herds, managing stock, and training horses. When time permits, he still enjoys working on ranches near his home in Estes Park, Colorado.

Mark has been a guest on NPR’s The Horse Show and was featured on the Nature series on PBS. He is the author of nine books - Considering the Horse, A Good Horse is Never a Bad Color; Horses Never Lie; Life Lessons from a Ranch Horse; Horsemanship Through Life; Big Horses, Good Dogs, & Straight Fences; A Life With Horses; Whole Heart, Whole Horse; and his latest, a novel, Out of the Wild. He also has a solo music CD Song of the Prairie and enjoys singing and playing guitar with a local band The Elktones.

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5 stars
141 (64%)
4 stars
54 (24%)
3 stars
20 (9%)
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4 (1%)
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Displaying 1 - 15 of 15 reviews
Profile Image for Jen.
206 reviews21 followers
September 10, 2010
This was probably my favorite book by Mark Rashid. I love all of his books... and I have learned a lot about horses and relationships from everything he has written.

This one was a little different... It was less about the old man, and more about Mark's personal journey. He expressed some of his struggles and self doubts, and then the way he found his center and some peace in his life.

My favorite was the verse he wrote:
Never talk when you mean to sit.
Never sit when you mean to stand.
Never stand when you mean to walk.
Never walk when you mean to push.
Never push when you mean to strike.
Never strike when you mean to push.
Never push when you mean to walk.
Never walk when you mean to stand.
Never stand when you mean to sit.
Never sit when you mean to talk.

He talks about what that verse meant to him in his life. And I loved what he had to say.

For me, the verse was all about intention: Do what you mean to do.
And, there is not one solution that works for every situation.
There are times when sitting and listening is the best thing to do, and there are times when talking, or making a stand are the best things.

I like Mark's perspective on horses and on life. And I really enjoyed this book.
353 reviews1 follower
June 2, 2019
There is a lot in this book. Over the years working with horses has done an about face from the "olden" days. Today the thinking is that the person handling the horse has to be rather Zen like. The horse can read any ill intent through smiles and soft words. You cannot lie to a horse. This is one man's journey starting with horses, then onto one of the marshal arts, Aikido, which helped him shape his life with horses and physically and personally.
Profile Image for nlagirl2AW.
20 reviews1 follower
June 25, 2019
Another good book

I really enjoyed this book. I look forward to reading more from Mark. The tenure to Buck is heart warning
17 reviews
January 1, 2020
I loved this book! The insight and application available here is something that will stick with you.
Profile Image for Ellen Broadhurst.
Author 4 books5 followers
March 16, 2017
Similar to his other books; stories about people in his clinics interspersed with personal experiences that link to keep insights about horsemanship. He brings the sport of Aikido into this book, talking about how learning Aikido helped with his riding and thing I like best about Rashid is that he doesn't spout a specific my-way-or-the-highway methodology. The thing I find odd about any of the Natural Horsemanship proponents is that any good, classical dressage trainer could solve most of the problems presented to them with pretty basic dressage training. There's really nothing new in the horse world.
408 reviews3 followers
May 27, 2014
Bei diesem Buch musste ich echt schlucken. Mark Rashid berichtet von seinen Stürzen und Verletzungen die er im Laufe der Jahre erlebte. Sein Körper baute dadurch immer mehr ab und er konnte nicht mehr, so wie er wollte. Sein Weg damit umzugehen war: Aikido. Natürlich nicht sofort, aber auf einem Lehrgang kam er mit Menschen in Kontakt, die diese japanische Kampfkunst ausführten. Kampfkunst und Reitkunst sind anscheinend nicht so weit entfernt und von daher wurde beides irgendwie zusammengetan und was dabei herauskam steht in dieser Lektüre.

Ich fand den Ansatz sehr gut, er kann Menschen mit körperlichen und seelischen Einschränkungen helfen wieder Kraft zu schöpfen und Tierhaltern einen neuen Ansatz zum Umgang mit ihrem Tier aufzeigen.

Auch Geschichten mit dem alten Mann sind wieder vorhanden und es zeigt sich wieder deutlich, dass er Mark mit seinen kurzen Anweisungen des Öfteren ratlos zurückließ. Dennoch ist es immer wieder wundervoll zu lesen was genau diese Art mit Mark gemacht hat.

Ein Buch, welches ich nur für Leser empfehle, welche die anderen Werke von Mark Rashid kennen und für Menschen, die körperliche und seelische Probleme haben – es gibt immer einen Weg Von mir gibt es 5 Sterne, weil ich durch die niedergeschriebenen Geschichten wieder viel über den menschlichen Geist gelernt habe.
Profile Image for Mary Sindlinger.
28 reviews3 followers
June 22, 2010
If there was one book that I could give to everyone it would be this one. Yes I know you are thinking but I don't care about horses. But it is more than that, it is an inspiring story about a man who is trying live life better and it is portrayed though his dealings with horses. Rashid is an inspiration for me and i admire him greatly.
Profile Image for Amanda.
597 reviews6 followers
October 15, 2013
I truly shocked myself with this one with not being completely in love with it. I think it's because a large portion of the book focused on Rashid's experience with aikido and how it relates to horsemanship. It strays away from his usual story telling format but it's definitely still worth the read.
Profile Image for C.J. Darlington.
Author 14 books365 followers
January 27, 2015
I love Mark Rashid's books, and this one is no exception. This time he intersperses his horse stories with his experiences with the martial art aikido and how it applies so well to his horsemanship. Interesting reading.
4 reviews
July 9, 2009
Excellent book with great life lessons, very enjoyable even for those who do not own horses.
Profile Image for Victoria.
57 reviews15 followers
October 11, 2013
Good book. Wisdom for life and in working with horses.

Favorite quotes:

"keep a leg on each side and your mind in the middle".
Profile Image for Stephanie.
136 reviews4 followers
November 15, 2017
Certified member of the Mark Rashid fanclub, just making my way though all of his many valuable reflections.
Displaying 1 - 15 of 15 reviews

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