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Because of Horses

Sep 6, 2019

Mark Rashid is an internationally acclaimed trainer, clinician, and prolific author, renowned for taking the guesswork out of communicating with our horses. His ability to understand the horse’s point of view and solve difficult problems with communication rather than force is unmatched.


Mark began working with horses at age 10, 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. This figure is featured in many of his books, credited for teaching Mark a great deal about horses and laying the foundation for him to becoming a more enlightened horseman. Over 50 years later, Mark is recognized around the world for his horse-centric training philosophies, defined by quiet determination and working with, not against, the horse.

A former ranch hand with experience gathering herds and managing stock, Mark now devotes most of his time to teaching and working one-on-one at clinics to improve horse and rider partnerships. Mark’s ability to understand the horse’s point of view allows him to solve many issues without the use of force.

Mark’s approach to training has been heavily influenced by his study of Yoshinkan Aikido, a Japanese martial art. Aikido, which translates to “the way of harmony,” is founded on the concept of bringing even the most difficult or dangerous situation to a harmonious conclusion. Mark, who has earned a second degree blackbelt, uses the core principles of Aikido in his daily horsemanship, looking for quiet ways to blend with a horse’s energy in order to help the horse understand what is being asked of them.

Mark teaches aikido for horsemen through his Aibado workshops, offered around the world. Based in Estes Park, Colorado, when he is not on the road Mark enjoys spending time with his family and playing music. A prolific author, he has written 14 books, including one novel, and has released two music CDs.


Tune in to this week’s episode to hear all of Mark’s insights on becoming a better horseman, what his experiences with horses have taught him, how he has shifted the paradigm of the “problem horse” through his teachings, how to continually improve your relationship with your horse, and why demonstration can often be a much more powerful teacher than words.


Topics of Discussion:

[:25] About today’s guest, Mark Rashid.

[:54] How did the “old man” (a figure noted in many of Mark’s books) guide Mark in developing his own training program in the early days? And how has Mark’s approach evolved over the years?

[4:50] Why demonstration can be a more powerful teacher than using words.

[10:50] Mark speaks about his work with rehabilitation work and training mustangs.

[20:08] Mark explains the concept of being a “passive leader” and how to apply the best qualities of being a passive leader in working with our horses. He also provides some fantastic examples.

[28:45] Mark speaks about how his experiences with horses have taught him a great deal about people, how martial arts improved his horsemanship, and how to truly connect with horses.

[37:16] Mark speaks more about the martial arts, aikido, and how it improved his horsemanship.

[43:08] How Mark shifts the paradigm of the “problem horse” in his book, Finding the Missed Path: The Art of Restarting Horses.

[55:00] Mark highlights some things all horse owners seem to be doing universally that we should improve upon.

[59:35] How can we improve our relationships with our horses? Are there guideposts to help us along? And how do we know when we need to correct certain behavior?

[1:03:00] About next week’s episode of Because of Horses!

[1:04:35] Where to find Mark Rashid online and learn about his upcoming clinics!


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Mentioned in this Episode:

The Hampton Classic

Mark Rashid

EquestFile(Use coupon code: BOH10 to receive a 10% discount for two months off your subscription)

Dr. Steve Peters

Morihei Ueshiba (Founder of Aikido)

Finding the Missed Path: The Art of Restarting Horses, by Mark Rashid

‘Considering the Horse, Mark Rashid’ Facebook Page


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