April 2020 – Mid Month Update

Holistic Horsekeeping
How to have a healthy happy horse

In This Issue:
1. Horse Temperament – Which Temperaments Run Hot or Cold?
2. Horse Harmony Resources

1. Horse Temperament – Which Temperaments Run Hot or Cold?

The autonomic nervous system (ANS) is the part of the nervous system that automatically controls all that happens in the body that is not under conscious control. The ANS is made up of the “hot”, sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and the “cold”, parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS). The SNS is the fight or flight system and the PSNS is the rest and digest system.

The balanced horse can switch back and forth between the SNS and the PSNS as needed based on the circumstances. For example, a balanced race horse can remain quite in the saddling area then bring up his energy for a competitive race then relax and eat a nice dinner and get a good night’s sleep. On the other hand, an out of balance race horse could act out when being saddled, buck and fight before loading in the gate, run a poor race and refuse dinner and fret through the night. Which horse is more likely to have a successful career?

Horses stuck in the SNS tend to be:

  • Nervous
  • Unpredictable
  • Sensitive to heat
  • Picky eaters
  • Hard Keepers
  • Easily startled
  • Sensitive to touch or noise

Horse stuck in the PSNS tend to be:

  • Lazy
  • Stubborn
  • Sensitive to cold
  • Constantly hungry
  • Easy keepers
  • Dull
  • Constantly sleepy

Different horse temperaments have a tendency to go more towards the SNS or PSNS when out of balance. Fire, Hot Woods, and Water horses tend to go more towards the SNS and Earth, Cold Wood and Metal horses go more towards the PSNS.

Horses that run to the hot, SNS benefit from strenuous exercise that clears Fight or Flight hormones from their system. These horses also do well with high calcium diets such as beet pulp or alfalfa in addition to grass hay or pasture. Rice bran can provide extra calories for hard working horses. WellPride fish oil is a great source of essential fatty acids. Kelp is a great source of trace minerals. A pre/probiotic/ wheat sprout and algae blend provides great gut support. Herbal supports includes Relax Blend, RelaxHer Blend, SweetMarePlus, and the Fire, and Water balance formulas.

Horses that run to the cold, PSNS benefit from slower, steady exercise that is fun and engaging. These horse do best when they can have time outside of the confines of the arena. High fiber, low carb diets such and grass hay and pellets should make up the majority of the feed. Quality fat, such as flax or chia seeds, will provide needed fatty acids without adding extra calories. Blue green algae is a great source of trace minerals. A pre/probiotic/ wheat sprout and algae blend provides great gut support. Herbal support includes AniMotion to fight stiffness, dandelion leaves to help clear toxins and the Earth, Wood or Metal balance formulas.

Knowing your horses temperament type can help you manage him in a way that keeps him balanced.

2. Horse Harmony Resources

horse temperament types

Have you read Horse Harmony: Understanding Types and Temperaments and Horse Harmony: A Feeding Guide? If you are new to the temperament typing system developed by Madalyn Ward, DVM, then this is an excellent place to start. You can find both in paperback and digital Kindle formats on the books page on Holistic Horsekeeping. You can see a preview of Horse Harmony HERE to see what it’s all about. Then surf over to https://horsetemperament.com/ and you’ll find plenty of other temperament typing resources including help in typing your horse from one of our specially trained temperament consultants, an overview of each type, an online class on temperament typing, balancing formulas by type and more.

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