Speaking “Horse” with Mark Rashid

Anyone who believes that horses don’t “speak” hasn’t been around them enough – or just hasn’t been paying attention.  Most horse people learn to experience and sense their horse’s mood with time. We can even understand our particular horse’s “language”.  Still, most of us are amazed at how much left there is to learn about our horses.  Mark Rashid is a master when it comes to “talking horse”.

Mark Rashid, an internationally acclaimed horse trainer and prolific author, takes some of the guesswork out of understanding what your horse is trying to say.  In short, he translates “horse language” into “human language”; more specifically, he teaches people to listen to what their particular horse is trying to convey.

Mark was born and raised in Wisconsin, where, as a young boy, he met “the old man” – a featured character in many of his books.  This man taught Mark so much about horses, and this sparked the light that is still present in him today; the light that directs him toward becoming an ever more enlightened horseman.

Mark Rashid Clinic in Arroyo Grande


Arroyo Grande will be one of the stops on Mark’s overflowing clinic calendar this year.  He will be returning to the Central Coast on October 15th, 16th and 17th 2016.  Anita Parra, clinic host, has this to say about Mark, “Not only is he a quiet, humble and respectful person and horseman, Mark is also an outstanding and patient teacher.  He only works one-on-one in clinics as he feels this is the best way for people to learn.  For this reason, clinics are limited to just eight horse and rider combinations, though spectators can greatly benefit from his very interactive approach, which involves everyone in discussions and activities.” 

Jocelyn Smeltzer has experienced first-hand what Mark has to offer.  “I know there are many different horse trainers and clinicians out there.  I’ve been to audit or train with a lot of them, but the reason I come back to Mark Rashid year after year is because he looks at things from the horse’s perspective and then communicates it to the rider so that we can better serve our horse.  He is a horse translator who speaks fluent “horse” and “human”.  I am so grateful for the skills he has taught me, but the one who is most grateful is my horse.”

In Demand Around the Globe


Mark is not only in demand in America, he also travels world-wide, where he has trained horses of many different breeds and riders from a variety of equestrian fields.  He has helped Grand Prix Dressage riders, eventers, jumpers and endurance riders, as well as professional reiners, cutting horses and just general cowboys.  Mark embraces draft and harness horses, stallions, abused horses, or any horse or mule that has behavioral issues.  He is a popular contributor to “Western Horseman” and “Western Horse” magazines, and he has demonstrated at many major events, including Equitana, USA.  His clinics sell-out worldwide.

“Working and riding with Mark Rashid has bought me a greater understanding of myself and what I bring to my horsemanship – understanding attitude, awareness and acceptance, while working with my horses. What a joy! The rewards for myself and my horses have been life changing!” exclaims Tina Handerhan, a clinic participant.

Why Such a Fan?

Anita first hosted Mark Rashid back in 1998, and since he has returned about 15 times. She tells us why she is such a fan.  “Mark has such a great story telling style, and most, if not all, of his books are about his experience with horses.  Reading his books is a learning experience about horses, not to mention a great insight into who Mark is.  To be honest, before I met him I had read most of the books that he had published up to that point. My thought was that this guy is just too good to be true.  Well, he is, believe it or not, even better than the impression he leaves you with in his books.”

Experience Mark Rashid Yourself


So how can you experience Mark Rashid’s interactive and unique approach to horsemanship first hand? You can join the clinic at Anita Parra’s beautiful facility, located at 8102 Oyster Rock Place in Arroyo Grande the weekend of October 15-17, 2016. Unfortunately, the clinic spots are all sold out, but auditors are very welcome. The cost to audit is $30/day. Auditors can register at the door. Please bring your own chairs, food and drink, since there are no nearby restaurants. Anita is located in Ranchita Estates approximately 30 minutes outside of Arroyo Grande, just past Lopez Lake. You can contact her for more information: anitaparradvm@gmail.com  : 805-474-8112.



More from Sharon Jantzen
The “V” Stays at the New Varian Equestrian Center
“We fell in love with Sheila’s story,” relates Caprice. “We’re keeping the...
Read More

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.