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Horses Never Lie: The Heart of Passive Leadership

4.48  ·  Rating details ·  1,119 ratings  ·  74 reviews
In his third book, Horses Never Lie, Mark Rashid breaks new ground with the idea that you don't have to be dominant to be a leader to your horse. He challenges the longstanding belief that an owner must be the alpha leader to work effectively with horses. Building on the primary concept of his previous books -- looking at the world from the horse's point of view -- Mark Ra ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published May 1st 2000 by Spring Creek Press
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Average rating 4.48  · 
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 ·  1,119 ratings  ·  74 reviews

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Sarah B
May 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This has to be the best nonfiction horse book I've ever read! I just connected so much with what the author wrote in this book, which is something I didn't expect. I knew horses like calm silent people but I never knew that it might be connected to a passive leadership. I mean I never saw myself as a leader..yet often when I'm at the ranch I have a bunch of horses coming up to me, not just the one I'm working with. They often follow me and I never really knew why. Well this book tries to explain ...more
Jul 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’ve never had a quiet mind. Since the day I was born, my brain has been over-analyzing, over-thinking, over-stimulated, over-worked (mostly as a consequence of my own silly choices). And in that constant racing, it’s been easy to forget the importance of being still.

I find that I need books like this (and folks like Mark Rashid) to remind me to hush occasionally, and to simply be present in the moment. This is an especially important reminder when working with horses; often the quieter you are,
Kelsie Donaldson
Aug 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was recommended to me by a friend of my Grandma's who has trained horses before, and I totally see why it struck such a chord with him. Rashid offers a fantastic alternative to the alpha-type, constant punishment method of training that so many people deem necessary. Plus, he's actually a great writer, and the stories he incorporates throughout the book perfectly demonstrate the main point he's making: training a horse should be a partnership built on trust, not fear.

As I get back into
Feb 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Anything written by Mark Rashid was recommended by the author of a book I recently read and quite enjoyed, so I ordered this particular book from Amazon.

Mr. Rashid is a renowned horse trainer who has years of experience working with both horses and people. He also just happens to be a very talented writer.

In a nutshell, the author makes a case for passive leadership, a phrase he has coined, and one which involves leadership that is less about control, power, and domination and more about buildin
Mar 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horse
Horses Never Lie is a great book by Mark Rashid. Of late, I have been pulling books from my horse book case to read and review. I like the way Mark compares alpha and passive leaders in horses comparing to the way humans categorize behavior to the way we think.

If you raise horses from birth in a comfortable environment, it really works like raising children. Owner’s behavior in dealing with a horse to keep the trust does not always have to show who is dominant, but who is friend.

When I was an e
Feb 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horses
This book is amazing! It sheds light on how horses think; how different things make them feel; herd behavior and gentle training. Mostly it shows how to have a beautiful relationship with any horse without you inflicting anything on them. It never puts any other trainer down. On the contrary it encourages the reader in building a quiet trustworthy character for a stronger relationship with horses and other people too. Mark has a nice writing style which is easy to read. He shares a lot of experi ...more
Jesse Freedom
This book was probably the best horse training book I've read. It doesn't just say to train a horse with trust and not dominance, like some books, but it actually teaches how to do that.
Mar 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology, education
This book ranks among those that change my life and the way I approach people, problem and my relationship with my children - so to say that it is an important book is an understatement. I'm not sure it would be of interest or use to those who've never approached a horse and have no interest in them whatsoever, but I believe it would strike a cord in most of us who are moved by stories of men and women whose main concern is the welfare, happiness and growth of those around them, whether humans o ...more
Jul 18, 2010 rated it liked it
I read this book in one day. It is interesting and the author has a great way of telling his stories. I would have liked just a bit more practical advice but I guess there are an overabundance of how-to books. As much as I love horses and working with them, there were a few times that I had to say, "really?"...
Sep 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ashley N.
Part thesis, part story-time, Mark Rashid has a wonderful voice in this book that captures a quiet way of training and connecting with horses. This is my first exposure to his work and philosophies, but I was immediately drawn to it. Rashid makes it clear that his book is not meant to to be read as a "how-to-guide," but rather, he hopes it offers a different perspective to its readers. Throughout the book, he tells several stories, both personal and of clients he has worked with, and how each "p ...more
Pam Moore
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I got my first horse 1 year ago without any knowledge about horses or training or anything about them. it was just destiny and I love it!. (I was looking for a dog and got a huge 1200 pound horse). So learning about everything I can from horsemanship, videos, classes, etc but lately I noticed that after some many clinics my point of view are changing to be more focus in techniques and inside of me my voice say... I do not feel it right. the expression of my horse when we do these techniques is n ...more
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
5 Stars for sure! One of, if not the best books on horses that I've ever read. I've always done well ground training horses. I've have had great relationships with the horses in my life, including raising and training two colts that had never been handled much by people and those colts turned out to be wonderful, sweet, gentle and willing partners, so I feel like I understand the way a horses mind works and how to work WITH them and not against them. But this book taught me SO MUCH MORE! Mark Ra ...more
Stephani Hren
Feb 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is my third Mark Rashid book in a row, and I'm still loving them. I will say that a lot of the ideas and themes that he covers in his first book are still present in each subsequent book (which reflects his values as a horseman). I've been taking notes as I read and find that I've got less and less notes as I go because I'm becoming familiar with the key ideas that make up the core of Rashid's way with horses. And yet, none of the stories he puts in his books have felt repetitive and I have ...more
Caroline Johnson
Very insightful and tastefully written. I enjoyed all the wisdom tucked inside each story. The message he hopes to convey about being a leader for a horse is modeled in the way he leads us to that model. I enjoyed reading sections of this, then taking a break to ponder and even try his suggestions, make adjustments to my way of thinking, and then come back for more. I have enjoyed his blogs and social media presence for a few years, now I will enjoy his books too, and hope to find time to see hi ...more
Jul 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Must read for every person who handles horses

To put my feelings on this book into words is more of a feat than I think I can accomplish and do it justice, but let me just say this: if you handle horses, you WILL benefit from reading this book. And those horses will be better off for it. Please, do yourself a favor and read this book! Whether you’ve got years of experience in “natural horsemanship “ or you’re taking hunters to the winner’s circle (or both- hey, it’s happening these days!) you’ll
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, animals
Another great book by Mark Rashid, showing a different way to handle horses than demanding their respect and being the "alpha leader". I always enjoy reading about different approaches to horsemanship, and this book contained a lot of good ideas that I will try and implement. Especially the last chapter about mechanics vs. feel really hit home for me.
Andy Plonka
May 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: src
I haven't ridden say about training horses a horse for decades, but what the author has to say about training horses makes a great deal of sense. Watch and listen to the animal and they will give lots of good hints about how to respond to them. I am into dogs these days, but the same applies to this species. Let your student be your guide.
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: animals, equestrian
Really an excellent introduction to horses, a topic I currently know very little about. I admire the fact that he urges people to consider the horses viewpoint in any situation. Seems like something we should obviously do. I'm going to try to remember this as I continue to take lessons.
Feb 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This might be my favorite of Mark Rashid's books so far. I loved hearing about his learning experiences as a kid who felt the magnetic and irresistible pull toward horses. His stories of figuring out what horses are telling him are wonderful and also so helpful to me as a horse woman.
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Anyone who works with horses or just likes horses will enjoy this book. It also has good application for personal development outside of working with horses.
Nov 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: personal-books
I learned more from this book then I have any trainer or equine friend. I feel like I gained some valuable pieces to the puzzle of the horse from this book.
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My all time favorite horse read...well right after think harmony with horses :)
Apr 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horses
It has been a long-held belief of mine that any book that can change your perspective is a great book.

This is one such book.
Daniel Shahar
May 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Highest Quality!

Amazing book! Well written and mind-opening! Totally going to try this in the ranch I'm working at. Thank you, Mark Rashid.
Diana Kimpton
May 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A highly enjoyable read that way of looking at horses behaviour.
Dec 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’m going to read this again and take notes! So many pearls of knowledge.
Jun 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good read

I am really enjoying reading his book with all the stories he tells. He gives riders lots of information to think about
Lela Roby
Oct 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Life-changing for me.
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read

Probably a good book to train horses, I wouldn’t know because I don’t have one, but just as useful to understand how one should behave in life in general.
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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 cente ...more

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“Once I quit fighting with him and began rewarding his efforts to respond to my cues, he became extremely willing to do what I was asking. The fight and confusion just seemed to melt away,” 2 likes
“After working with that gelding, I made a much bigger effort to look for and find the tries that my horses offered during training or any other time, for that matter. In doing so, I quickly found just how much I had been missing in the simple communication between my horses and myself. For instance, I noticed that my horses often tried to respond to my cues much sooner than I’d ever imagined. Often times they would respond even before I had actually applied the cue, a pretty scary thought in and of itself. The other thing I noticed was that very often the try was so subtle that, had I not been paying attention, I would have missed it altogether. As a result, I was forced to become much more aware of what my horses were doing at all times, not just when I was asking something from them.” 2 likes
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