Mar. 6th, 2017

lantairvlea: (powerpuff crop)
Mark Rashid is an author I've been meaning to read for a while. One of my clients gifted me "Horses Never Lie" last year and that put it a bit higher on the list of things to read.

This was a pretty quick read and it was very easy to read. Mark Rashid has an easy and enjoyable style of writing that allows the pages to move right along. The book is a combination of memoir, training anecdotes, and philosophy.

It made me think a little harder about some of the things I do with my horses and how to better work with them and help them do their jobs (I need to get the body worker out again for example).

It was a book about training horses, but not in the classic sense of do this for that result and you should progress in these steps. No, it was about an overarching philosophy that involves true partnership in which both parties have a say.

As I noted in my review of the Parelli DVDs, some profess the idea of a "partnership" with the horse, but they give the horse all these things to do and all the responsibility for doing them without any real say or feedback in the process. Does your horse really need to circle around you while you stand there completely disengaged in order for the horse to be considered a "partner?" Do you need to repeat the same exercise daily even if your horse has done it perfectly and proven that he understands it? If your horse doesn't give you the "right" answer right away do you really have to escalate the cue or aid? The latter lesson I learned from Cinnamon. If she does something when I give an aid, even if it isn't the right thing, I do not escalate because she gave me a response. I keep the aid the same and stay quietly persiatent until I get the answer I want, otherwise she escalates her negative response.

The book centered around the idea of passive leadership. Passive doesn't mean that the leader doesn't do anything to actively engage with its followers, but passive refers to how the leader came to its position. The passive leader doesn't size up the competition and squash them into the dirt to prove their dominance. The passive leader is chosen by its followers. The passive leader exemplifies traits that the horse finds comforting and trustworthy, the most important of these being fairness and consistency.

In short, it was a great read and I would highly recommend it!


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