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Horses Never Lie: The Heart of Passive Leadership Hardcover – July 6, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


"At $16.00 I think this paperback book might save you a lot of money on quirts, bits, and spurs." -- Horse Previews Magazine, June, 2000 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Mark Rashid is an internationally-acclaimed horse trainer known for his ability to assess situations from a horse’s point of view. He has committed himself to finding quiet but effective ways to resolve even the most difficult problems with horses and gives dozens of clinics each year, as well as private lessons. His clinic format of one-on-one work with horse and rider is immensely popular and has gained him legions of fans around the world. Rashid is the author of Considering the Horse; Whole Heart, Whole Horse; Horses Never Lie; and Life Lessons from a Ranch Horse. His books have been translated into several languages.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing; Second Edition edition (July 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616082410
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616082413
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 8.4 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (183 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #483,950 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Trainer and clinician Mark Rashid has been a guest on NPR's The Horse Show and was featured on the PBS Nature series. He is the author of seven books, including A Good Horse is Never a Bad Color and Life Lessons from a Ranch Horse.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

313 of 315 people found the following review helpful By "barngirl" on September 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
"Horses Never Lie" was my first foray into Mark Rashid territory, and I admit it was with some trepidation. I was mildly skeptical of the glowing reviews, wondering if "clinic-junkies" wrote them all. I couldn't have been more off-base, and am sorry it took me so long to read this book!
Many readers may already be familiar with the Tom Dorrance / Ray Hunt schools of thought. Mark, however, takes what are essentially the same general, but amorphous, concepts and makes them understandable for the masses and adds to them. He effectively presents the ideal of "quiet, consistent" behavior around the horse to deepen the horse-human bond. "Quiet consistency" is an elusive concept, deceptively simple to understand in the abstract, but rather difficult to employ in practical terms. He contrasts the passive leader (one who is quietly consistent, dependable) with the dominant "alpha horse" theory, showing how one attracts (truly earns) respect, while the other commands (demands) it. Mark effectively presents his ideas by relating his own frustrations as an inexperienced horseman. These examples - painfully recognizable to the reader! - illustrate how he transformed his own way of thinking, guided by the mentor of sorts he describes as "the old man." Mark also describes his experiences of more recent years, when he employs his "new" ideas in several types of situations but always with the same results.
Mark brilliantly proves his main point in the very way he has written this book. The leader who is more likely to be followed is the one that sets the example, quietly and consistently, and lets the followers voluntarily choose.
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98 of 98 people found the following review helpful By Laura Haggarty on February 15, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book. As he is with horses, Rashid is very subtle and doesn't try to cram his way of thinking down our throats, but uses stories to lead by example. The root of his theory here is "passive leadership", which can be a somewhat misleading term if you don't understand his meaning. It doesn't mean to be passive and let your horse dominate you, but to become a leader to your horses, through demonstrating behavior that they can trust.
It's all about trust. Rashid looks into the minds and hearts of horses and reminds us how they look at the world. Horses are herd animals, and always behave as such. Humans, coming from a predator background, are not as consistant and predictable in our behavior as our horses would have us be. Rashid gives us methods to modify our behavior in order to gain the trust of our horses. In doing so, we learn to work with them, rather than force them, to achieve our goals.
The book is written in a laid back style, there are no formal exercises to work through, it's more a philosophical treatise than a practical manual. But it gets you thinking about how you can change the way you relate to your horse, and in doing so, create a better relationship with them, which will lead to increased happiness for both of you. All in all this is a wonderful book for the serious horseman or horsewoman, and begs to be kept and re-read again and again. Don't hesitate, buy it!
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74 of 74 people found the following review helpful By George on April 9, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As much as "Considering the Horse" opened our eyes to a gentle, understanding method of interacting with our horses (I shouldn't use the word "training!") "Horses Never Lie" exposes us to a new philosophy of what we should be for our equine partners - kind, understanding, supportive. Mark effectively debunks the "Be the Alpha Horse" theory, and offers an approach that the horse understands, that helps the horse WANT to be with you. He becomes your friend, not a subservient being that should obey. It has opened my eyes - again! If you're at all interested in Natural Horsemanship, buy this book - TODAY!
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48 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Deidre Schmidt-Brady on January 5, 2002
Format: Paperback
Rashid's easy-reading style is both entertaining and informative. His book is full of personal stories (actual true horse stories) which makes it "fun" as well as informative reading. He contrasts numerous training "styles" (good and bad)rather than step-by-step techniques, but carefully lays out the difference between "aggressive dominance" and "passive leadership". His book "Considering the Horse" goes well with this one, and I purchased both. Rashid's writing style keeps the pages turning...I find myself absorbed in his books. They only recently arrived and I have read nearly through both!
Like his other book, "Considering the Horse", this book, "Horses Never Lie" is worth reading. I would recommend this book for all who wish to become better horse handlers, and also for those who just love horses and want a wonderful and informative book to read on a rainy day. It is thought provoking. Even if you only have an "over-the-fence" relationship with horses, your equine-relationships will still greatly benefit from the information in this book. Rashid's love of horses is evident...and his discriptive writing style is most enjoyable.
Rashid's training techniques are not exacting in their implemetation-one must absorb the general flow of information and concepts, then put the stories to memory and use the techniques described in any given situation, essentially with a general bent toward the kind of relationship you (hopefully) desire with a horse. This book doesn't explain the exact methods one might need to know to turn out a high-schooled horse. It isn't a training manual, but more of a mind-emotion altering challenge, and I believe horses are the more blessed for his training ideas...
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