Buying your dream horse is a huge investment, not only initially but as an ongoing expense. Making the wrong choice can be a very expensive mistake. Not only can the wrong horse cost you money, but buying a horse that is not a match for your skill level or imagined activities could actually put you in danger.
The 5 Questions for Buying Your Dream Horse
How can you avoid costly mistakes when choosing your dream horse? Easy. Ask yourself these 5 questions, based on the Horse Harmony Five Element temperament typing system, to find your perfect equine match. These questions apply to both yourself and your potential dream horse.
- Are you more interested in a relationship with your horse or do you have a more competitive agenda?
- Are you looking to consistently win with your horse or just have fun?
- Are you more aggressive or conservative in your riding style? How much risk can you tolerate?
- Do you relate to horses more from your head or you heart?
- How advanced are your horsemanship skills?
Answering these questions honestly will help you define what you want from a horse, and then you can set out to find your dream horse. Explore these questions in depth to get a clear understanding of what you want in a horse. I’ll discuss each question in more detail below. If you are not sure about your temperament type, take our no-charge online test.
1. Relationship or Agenda?
To find your dream horse you need to know if you are more interested in relationship or agenda. Do you want a horse more as a pet or to compete? Consider how you would react if the horse you bought was unable to do the event for which you purchased him. Would you keep this horse or sell him and buy another?
If you would keep him anyway and change your plan then you are more relationship-oriented. If you would sell the horse and get a more suitable one then you are agenda-focused. If you would keep the first horse as a pet and buy another to compete with then you have a balance of relationship and agenda.
>>> As a rule Fire, Earth, Water and Fire/Water type people are more concerned about having a good relationship with a horse. Their main concern is to enjoy the horse and spend time with it.
>>> Wood, Fire/Wood, Metal and Metal/Earth are more agenda-oriented. They expect the horse to be trained to perform in a certain discipline.
>>> The Wood/Fire, Water/Fire and Earth/Metal people are a combination of relationship and agenda. They want to compete but they consider their horse to be a partner and want him to enjoy what they do together.
2. Win or Have Fun?
To buy your dream horse you want to know if you want to win in competition or have fun with the horse.
>>> Wood and Fire/Wood people definitely want to win. Straight Fire people also enjoy the attention that comes from winning but not if it means putting themselves or their horse under too much stress.
>>> Earth, Earth/Metal, and Fire/Water type people generally want to have fun with a horse.
>>> The Water, Water/Fire, Wood/Fire, Metal and Metal/Earth type people like to compete but aren’t upset if they don’t win every time.
3. Aggressive or Conservative Riding Style?
To find your dream horse you want to know if you are more aggressive or conservative in your riding style. In other words, do you like to take the dare devil approach or are you more cautious?
>>> Wood, Fire/Wood and Metal type people are not bothered by danger in an adventure.
>>> Earth, Earth/Metal, Metal/Earth, Fire/Water and Water type people are not so much into any adventure and sure don’t want any danger. They would much prefer a nice, steady, comfortable routine.
>>> Fire, Water/Fire, and Wood/Fire people love adventure and can handle a touch of danger.
4. Head or Heart?
Buying your dream horse means you want to know if you relate more from your head or you heart.
>>> Wood, Metal, and Earth/Metal people tend to learn by reasoning and thinking things through.
>>> On the other hand, Fire, Fire/Wood, Earth and Fire/Water people work off of emotion. They learn best when they are engaged and enjoying what they are doing and they can’t learn if they are upset.
>>> Water, Water/Fire, Metal/Earth and Wood/Fire people can stay in a thinking mode even with some pressure when the environment is safe but if they feel threatened they will revert to emotion and loose the ability to think clearly.
5. Your Skill Level
Finding your dream horse requires you to be honest about your skill level. Some horse temperament types are more suited to beginners and some to advanced riders. As a rough guideline, the horse temperaments most suited from beginners to more advanced is Earth, Earth/Metal, Metal/Earth, Fire, Fire/Water, Water, Water/Fire, Wood/Fire, Metal, Wood, and Fire/Wood. Of course the level of training and age of the horse can have a large influence but even a well trained, older horse can be unsuitable if his underlying temperament is not a match for the person.
At the End of the Day …
As a general rule the horse temperament types follow pretty closely with the people types, so answer the questions above and look for the horse that best fits your needs. Say you are an agenda oriented, competitive, aggressive, advanced, head centered person–you are likely a Wood, Fire/Wood or Metal type person and any one of these horse temperaments would be a good match for you. That being said, if your goal is to become the best horseman you can be and you have a good mentor to work with, you can learn to relate to any type horse.
To review the important questions to help you buy your dream horse;
Relationship-oriented: Fire, Earth, Water and Fire/Water
Agenda-oriented: Wood, Fire/Wood, Metal and Metal/Earth
Balanced: Wood/Fire, Water/Fire and Earth/Metal
Competitive: Wood and Fire/Wood, Fire if not too stressful
Have fun: Earth, Earth/Metal, and Fire/Water
Balanced: Water, Water/Fire, Wood/Fire, Metal and Metal/Earth
Aggressive/Dare devil: Wood, Fire/Wood and Metal type
Conservative: Earth, Earth/Metal, Metal/Earth, Fire/Water and Water
Balanced/Adventure (OK if not too dangerous): Fire, Water/Fire, and Wood/Fire
Head-centered learner: Wood, Metal, and Earth/Metal
Heart-centered: Fire, Fire/Wood, Earth and Fire/Water
Head-centered if not afraid: Water, Water/Fire, Metal/Earth and Wood/Fire
Horse temperaments ranked from best for beginner to advanced: Earth, Earth/Metal, Metal/Earth, Fire, Fire/Water, Water, Water/Fire, Wood/Fire, Metal, Wood, and Fire/Wood
Sometimes you will find you have some conflict in the type of horse you want versus the kind of person you are. For example, if you are a relationship-oriented, conservative, heart-centered, beginner but you want to win in the show ring you will have to work harder on yourself to be a match for a horse that can meet your needs. On the other hand, if you are an agenda-driven, competitive, aggressive, advanced, and mind-centered person, but you have put in the time on your horsemanship, won in competition, started a few colts, and have the bumps and bruises to show for it, you may want a horse you can relax with and have some fun.
The main thing is to take plenty of time to understand yourself and horse temperaments before you buy your dream horse. When you do this you are much more likely to buy the right horse that you can enjoy for years.
Need A Little Help Typing A Horse You Are Considering Buying?
Meet Kim Bauer and Larry Hannon, certified level 2 horse typologists. Specially trained by Madalyn Ward, DVM in her horse temperament typing technique, Kim or Larry can help you type a horse you are considering buying. Click here to sign up.