Sunday, October 18, 2009

Considering the Horse

"Before we can expect our horses to offer the best of themselves, we must first find the way to give the best of ourselves to them." Mark Rashid

Today is a big day, a very big day. I am on my way to Santa Fe to meet Mark Rashid, a horseman I have wanted to ride with since the day I read the first page of his first book. By the time I learned about the clinic he was holding, the rider slots were full, so I am going to sit on the sidelines and soak up every ounce of knowledge he offers up. Oh, and take pictures, of course.

Mark doesn't have a show on RFD-TV; he doesn't have an online club to join; he doesn't have a line of tack or equine accessories that carry his name. But I think he has more wisdom about horses and getting along with them than all the other modern-day horsemen out there. He's a born storyteller and has written a pile of books - they're not "how-to" books, just stories about the horses he's met, the mistakes he's made, and the lessons he's learned.

I've learned more about horses from Mark's books than from all the other sources I have tapped, and there have been many. I expect I'll come home tonight bursting with knowledge and insights to help me be a better horseman.

Look out, Hank and Lyle, you may not recognize me.


  1. Have a great day .. it sounds like it's going to be really interesting. Even though I don't have a horse, I'm going to check into his books. Looking forward to your comments/pictures in the coming days!

  2. Learn lots, Carson! Wish I was going too. Sometimes being sidelined is the best place to be.
    Talk to us when you return.
    Best always, Sandra

  3. I'm so jealous. He's one of the few horsemen I truly admire and trust. I've read all his books too and learned much from them. Have a great time.

  4. Oh, I love, love, love Mark's books. His were almost the first I read when I got my first horse (a yearling, long story there) six years ago.

    I'm jealous you're getting to see him! Soak it all in!

  5. You will love it!!
    He is so gracious and patient in person it's hard to believe. Hope you brought a book or two for him to sign.
    I rode with him in July in Wisconsin. He's amazing and a
    really good teacher.

  6. What a wonderful post! So very nice to hear about a true horseperson who doesn't have to be 'popular' on tv, or have a bunch of nonsense gimmicks to sell.Thanks from one horseperson to another. By the way. love your blog!

  7. I tried to leave a comment a little earlier - but I may have messed it up - if this is a duplicate than just ignore it.

    Have a wonderful time, and tell us all about it when you get back! As you know, I'm a great fan of Mark's (just audited another one of his clinics in July) and have had the great opportunity to ride with him on a number of occasions, including two week-longs in Colorado. Can't wait to hear what you learn -every clinic is different!

  8. Looking forward to some inlightenment! I wish I had known about it.

  9. Good for you! Can't wait to hear all about it... and yes, I'm sure that Hank and Lyle are going to love you all the more for doing this.

  10. Have a great time and be sure to take good notes so you can report back to us! Oh, and I love the unique perspective on your photos.

  11. Very cool photos for your post is the one you just posted of Mark and his pup...cute!

    I'm definitely more into trainers that want to help the horse and rider than the one's that want me to by their halters and sticks.

  12. OOOO...oooooooo...where do I start with his books. Any order to read them?

  13. Sandy, I would read them in the order he wrote them - he grows as a writer and as a person, and it's interesting to watch that happen. The order is:
    Considering the Horse (not sure of the date - I loaned out the book, but I know it's the first)
    A Good Horse is Never a Bad Color (1996)
    Horses Never Lie (2000)
    Life Lessons from a Ranch Horse (2003)
    Horsemanship Through Life (2005)
    Big Horses, Good Dogs, Straight Fences (2006)
    Whole Heart, Whole Horse (2009)

    There's also "In the Company of Horses - A Year on the Road with Horseman Mark Rashid," (2007) written by one of his apprentices, Kathleen Lindley. I really learned a lot from this one, too.

  14. I'm going to be attending a clinic with one of Mark's former assistant/student/writer and have been cruising old posts on his clinics here.

    Anywho, I wanted to mention that Carmon at star's rest is going to have Mark at her place in New Mexico in August. They are still finalizing the date.

    Just in case you'd be interested...