What do you do if your kid asks for a horse for Christmas?
Supposing you say, “Yes,” how do you go about picking one?
How do you choose a good horse for kids? How do you find a horse who is kind, gentle, loving, and willing to please? Just as important, how do you stay away from horses who buck, kick, bite, and have other horrible vices?
These are all important questions to ask when you shopping for a horse for kids. My answer is simple:
To find a good horse for kids, choose one with the right horse personality type.
There are certain horses with personality types custom-made for kids, and other types that should definitely be avoided. When it comes to the safety and fun of your little ones, you definitely want to go with horse personality types that make good children’s horses. Luckily, that’s not difficult. There’s even an online test to help you do just that.
Five-Element Horse Personality Types
If you have been around horses for any length of time, then you know that has a distinct personality, just like humans. Some are mischievous while others are competitive. Some spend their lives trying to please while others only want to win at all costs. Certain horses are tough as nails, others are as soft as marshmallows. It all depends on their personality type.
The Five-Element horse personality typing system I developed predicts a horse’s behavior and health challenges, as well as the best career and management style for the horse. The system is based on the five elements of Traditional Chinese Medicine: Water, Fire, Wood, Metal and Earth. There are five straight types (based on each of the five elements), as well as six combination types.
The Best Horse Personality Types for Kids
So which horse personality type should you choose as a good horse for kids? Based on my experience, the best children’s horse is a horse that has one of the following three personality types:
#1: The Earth Horse Personality Type
The Earth horse is generally sweet, gentle, and has a sweet tooth. His motto is, “Let’s be a team!” The Earth horse loves children, and makes a reliable lesson horse. Fond of routine, once an Earth horse learns his job he can be depended on to do it well. He is perhaps a bit on the sluggish side (he likes to stop and graze), but other than that makes an excellent children’s horse. He is usually too lazy to bother with bucking or running, and as long as he is well-fed and has a steady routine, he makes a great kid’s horse.
#2: The Shao Yin (Fire/Water) Horse Personality Type
The Shao Yin horse is highly intelligent, fun-loving, and can make an excellent horse for kids. When trained, the Shao Yin horse is a wonderful caretaker for beginner riders and children alike. This kind of horse loves to figure things out. He is also gentle, affectionate, and kind. Shao Yin horses don’t do well under pressure, which makes them perfect horses for low-key events like playdays or gymkhanas. Because they love attention and are very sociable, these horses enjoy hours of grooming, grazing, and “quality time” with kids.
#3: The Yang Ming (Metal/Earth) Horse Personality Type
The Yang Ming horse is a loyal horse who tries his best to please. Once this type of horse has learned his job, he will never forget it. He will perform flawlessly in a number of disciplines, being highly versatile as well as reliable. His only demand is that he be treated fairly. While not as affectionate as the Earth or Shao Yin types, the Yang Ming horse works hard and is a good caretaker. His steady disposition and reliability make him an excellent children’s horse.
Two Other Possible Horse Personality Types for Kids
While Earth, Shao Yin, and Yang Ming horses are my top picks as horse personality types suitable for kids, there are two other types that can also be good children’s horses when well-trained: Metal and Tai Yin horses. If your child is older, more experienced, or wants to be competitive in rodeo or on the show circuit, either of these two horse personality types may work well.
The Metal Horse Personality Type
The Metal horse is extremely hard-working, can stand up to a rigorous training schedule, and, once trained, never forgets his job. Early in his career, the Metal horse must understand his job or he may be prone to bucking, making him a poor choice for children. However, the well-trained and experienced Metal horse can make a good children’s horse. He will do his job well and without complaint. He isn’t the “best friend” type of horse, but is a suitable horse for the kid who wants to do Little Britches rodeo and be competitive in the show ring.
The Tai Yin (Earth/Metal) Horse
The Tai Yin horse can also make a good horse for kids as long as he gets along with the child. This kind of horse is often a “one-person” horse, and does not get along well with everyone. However, if this horse likes your child, he will try his heart out. Although the Tai Yin horse is not highly affectionate he will often demonstrate caring through hard work and fierce loyalty. This kind of horse will do almost anything for a person he likes, and thus makes a good kid’s horse for any child he likes.
Test a Horse’s Personality Before Buying
Now that you know which horse personality types are suitable as children’s horses, how do you know what kind of personality a horse has? Suppose you are considering several horses to buy for your child. How do you know which to choose? Simple. Just test the personality of each horse you are considering.
Visit the Horse Harmony Test website to test each horse’s personality. This online horse personality test will tell you the personality type of each horse. You can then read a short summary of each horse at Horse Harmony.
If you don’t know the horse well enough to type him, ask his current owner to test the horse for you. You might be surprised. The seemingly gentle horse with a gleam in his eye may look like the perfect children’s horse, yet the Horse Harmony Test may reveal the horse to be a Jue Yin, a tricky horse not at all suitable as a horse for kids.
The test is no-cost, so it can’t hurt to type any horses you are considering for your child. For that matter, if you already own horses, it may be interesting for you to test them as well. You can also test your own personality on the same site, just for kicks!
Horse Personality Typing Resources
To recap, here are all the places you can learn more about horse personality typing to help you find the perfect children’s horse:
Have fun typing prospective or current horses, yourself, your kids, and learning lots about all kinds of personality types … and good luck finding the best horse for kids!