Avoiding burnout in different horse temperaments

I was watching one of my hens last night right before bedtime. I heard her making that sound they make when they are annoyed but I could not see any cats or lurking fox around bothering her. As a matter of fact she was all by herself stomping around outside the pen.

This is the hen that has taken over raising my first batch of 4 chicks. They are all teenagers now and I guess between trying to keep up with them and the endless hot weather, this hen was simply overwhelmed. When I did head count later that night the hen was not in the coop.

I had seen her just 1 hour before and there was no sign of feathers so I hoped she had not been eaten. Sure enough next morning she was outside waiting. I think she was so done with her chick raising that she decided to risk her life and spend the night in a tree all by herself.

We do this sometimes with our horses. We keep asking more and more until they rebel or get sour on working at all. Different horse temperaments will get to this point of burnout faster that others.

A Fire horse temperament will continue to work as long as he understands what he is being asked to do and gets praise for doing it well. This type will need some days of lighter work to avoid physical breakdown. Burnout can happen quickly in a Fire horse temperament if he gets confused and is punished for not understanding or can’t do the task due to pain.

A Earth horse temperament does not like to work hard but he will be willing to work long hours if the work is not strenuous. This type horse can work all day carrying small kids around at a horse show and as long as he gets some treats he will do this willingly week after week, year after year.

A Metal horse temperament will work hard for long hours and he can handle pain well. The Metal horse does not like too much variety and will get mentally stressed if his routine is disrupted. It is best to give the Metal horse a month or so off at a time so he can totally unwind and then he will be physically and mentally ready to get back to work.

A Water horse temperament will burn out quickly if he is asked to do events that cause fear or pain. Arthritic pain can cause the Water horse to resist work and become difficult to handle. Lightening the work and letting joints recover will keep this type horse working longer.

A Wood horse temperament loves to work and will only get sour if the work is boring. He can hold up to hard mental and physical challenges. This type does not like time off but they may do well with a change in activity from their regular job.

Don’t overlook early signs of burnout or your horse may end up wanting to sleep in a tree all by himself:). Madalyn

2 thoughts on “Avoiding burnout in different horse temperaments

  1. Madalyn Ward, DVM Post author

    I remember now reading about your hen and her chicks. Mine is back in the coop now in a much better mood. I will have to work on my chicken typing:). Madalyn

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