I'm not a big fan of Mark Rashid. First, I don't think he's much of a writer. Second, he changes the name of all the people in his books. This makes me think that maybe he hasn't done some of the things he says or they didn't happen like he said they did. Finally, I've been in some of the same situations and sometimes what he says happens just doesn't ring true to me. I wouldn't go so far as to say he's a phony but I think there are better horsemen to learn from than him.
He is not a writer. If I remember correctly, someone talked him into penning his lifelong observations and the results were books written in anecdotal form rather than academic. Many times not even giving the answer to a problem but, leaving the reader to figure it out for themselves.
It's that humorous/anecdotal form of writing that makes his books so enjoyable. He has something to teach with every sentence but the reader often has to think<--THINK to "get" what he's saying. "Think", what a concept:)))
I like Mark Rashid because his principles are almost a mirror image of how my granddad taught me.
If I were going to pay money to see anyone these days, it would be Mark Rashid -- it also doesn't hurt that he looks like the movie actor, Sam Elliott:))
Lol - yes, you can read his books like novels - the message is in there though and I find, because it is not being sold to you as a "do this, do that" way like Roberts or Parelli, it does make you think and look at your own horse in a way to find what works for you and them.
If you need an instruction manual to make things work - stick to cars!