Book review: For the love of the horse by Mark Rashid.

I first heard of this book from fellow blogger Mary Lynne Carpenter in a review of this book on her blog “The Backyard Horse Blog.”

I am glad I decided to get the book as I found it very interestng and there were some of the topics covered that were important to me and Biasini.

First of all he was working with a new cllnic horse and Rashid had this to say:”I wouldn’t necessarily ignore things that bothered him or behavior he offered up that I wasn’t looking for but by the same token I wouldn’t put that much energy into those things either……Instead I mostly just redirected things I didn’t want as a way to turn them into the things I did. … I wanted him to see I could be depended on to help and guide him when he was troubled, instead of putting more pressure on him by trying to train the trouble out of him.”

I agree absolutely with this approach. When I first got Biasini there were lots of things he would spook at. Coach Belinda used to tell me that it did not work well to kick him on and make him go past whatever had upset him. So I would bring him back to a walk and just walk in circles past the scary object and finally stop and let him sniff it and then offer him a treat. If he did not eat it it would mean he was still too nervous to eat and so we would walk some more. When he was able to accept the treat and eat it that meant he had got over his fear.

Over the years I have had Biasini this has worked well as now he trusts me and knows I will not put him in any danger. Now we have very few spooks.

The other issue that Mark Rashid talked about in the book was the connection with the horse. These words stuck in my head,:” I came to understand while training certainly plays a role , true connection goes much deeper.Specifically , before we can expect to connect with our horse, we should at least make the effort to be connected to ourselves”.

Ah….. how many of us are connected to ourselves? That is a challenge. For Mark Rashid being connected is being centered and grounded. Fortunately for us horses are very good at connecting. We humans are not so good at connecting so Rashid points our that we need to allow our horses to connect with us. Here Rashid gives us the ultimate result of this connecting.

Many riders from all over the world have told me how they were just thinking about doing something and suddenly their horses just did it without being asked. I believe this is the result of the riders having allowed , perhaps unwittingly, their horses to connect to them and their horses , in turn responding to the rider’s intent” Mark Rashid.

For me this is my ultimate goal as a rider. To be able to think something and for my horse to just respond with what I was thinking of. I can remember in lessons Coach Belinda would say: “Just think passage” to get Biasini’s trot more expressive and more cadenced.

Overall I did enjoy this book. very much. I think Mark Rashid is a calm person and that comes across in his writing and the pages of this book. What a good thing to be for working with horses. I would recommend this book for anyone who has horses no matter what your riding discipline is.






6 responses to “Book review: For the love of the horse by Mark Rashid.”

  1. Deborah Avatar

    In learning how to ride, Trish said it’s all about understanding your horse, trusting your horse. “They’ll do anything for the trusting rider. Just because you may be an equestrian, it does not make you a true horseman or horsewoman. A true horseman and horsewoman understands their horse through and through. Whether you ride one horse, two, three, or more, each one has a different personality. It is understanding each one as an individual.” We compete with multiple horses. What works for one, does not necessarily work for the other. It is for us to understand, not the horse. Mark Rashid is asking anyone who rides, from the pleasure rider to professional to just understand your horse.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen Avatar

      Yes I agree! Thanks for this thoughtful comment.


  2. The Backyard Horse Blog Avatar

    Sounds like you enjoyed the book as much as I did, Anne! I was excited to see your review!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Diana Avatar

    What a great review and thank you for sharing. I will look to purchase this book as it sounds like a great read and like you shared my beliefs and calm training ideas or methods with horses ring true to his and yours. 😊🐴❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen Avatar

      I think you will enjoy reading it.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. J.W.S. Avatar

    Tis love indeed. Thanks for the reference….hoping it’s in audio book format.

    Liked by 1 person

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