as ranch foreman to expand his teaching.
His unique and effective way of working with horses and humans might have
stayed mostly on the ranch if it weren’t for an ironic gift: getting fired as ranch
foreman. “The ranch was sold, and the new owners decided my approach didn’t
mesh with their vision for the ranch as a retreat center,” he says. That opened the
door for Rashid to begin teaching full-time around the country.
It was a connection at a clinic near Los Angeles that set him on another new
pathway of writing screenplays. By this time, Rashid had written several nonfiction books, all based on a storytelling approach to teaching horsemanship.
He’d been toying with writing a novel, so when a student at the clinic suggested
he write a screenplay, he knew he wanted to give it a try. It seemed a natural fit to
combine storytelling and horsemanship in a different medium, and as a student of
life, he welcomed the opportunity to continue to learn and grow.
As a writer, Rashid knew it was good to write about the world he knew, so he
set his screenplay at a guest ranch. The screenplay focused on the successful work
he had done with Mustangs over the years, and included a cowboy as one of the
main characters. The result was Out of the Wild, which Rashid later published as
his first novel.
/ Martial Arts Student and Teacher /
Rashid started practicing Aikido a few years after he began teaching full time. He
found the tenets of the Japanese martial art that involves staying centered, using
the breath, and redirecting energy blended with the way he already approached
working with horses. He began sharing these ideas in his teaching, and they settled deeply into his way of seeing the world.
Aikido is about circular energy, going with what is presented, and flowing like
water. Water doesn’t resist anything, but its power in that softness is formidable.
It’s this life approach that has brought Rashid to where he is now: living his
passions and helping people and horses around the world, and continuing to
show up every day as an eager student of life.
For more information, visit www.markrashid.com.
KARA L. STEWART has had the life-changing good fortune of being a student of Mark Rashid since
the early 1990s. She resides in California with her Arabian, Eddie.
and effective horsemanship that
Rashid cherished in his teacher.
Rashid endeavors to carry on and
honor Pruitt’s legacy, and share this
life-affirming philosophy with all who
might share his path at some point.
/ Middle Chapters /
Rashid’s path as world-renowned
horsemanship teacher began to
unfold a long time ago in the
mountain town of Estes Park, Colo.
Rashid was the foreman for Wind
River Ranch, a guest ranch tucked up
against the rocky hills with a panoramic view.
He kept the ranch running
smoothly, but also offered something
unique: a horsemanship program
for guests that helped them learn to
work with the horse from a place of
softness and consideration, not just
getting on a horse for a nose-to-tail
During the occasional downtime at
the ranch, he did some outside work
with other people’s horses. One session pivoted the trajectory of his life’s
work, although of course he couldn’t
know that at the time.
“Someone asked me to come look
at a horse that they were going to sell
because it had so many issues,” says
Rashid. He went to work with the
horse and resolved all the behavior
problems in a couple of hours. The
owner decided to keep his horse,
thanked Rashid for his help—and
then asked him if he’d like to write
a book. It turns out this man was an
editor at a local publishing company,
and he’s the reason Rashid started
/ Write What You Know /
Rashid’s first book, Considering the
Horse, came out in 1993. Word
started to spread about this soft-spoken horseman from Colorado who
had a gift for helping horses, but
Rashid had no plans to leave his job