In the Five Element horse temperament typing I focus a lot on picking the right match for a particular person or event. The horse typing test is designed to help people know what horse will be best for them or what kind of horse they already have. What I have not done so much is talk about the emotional needs of each horse temperament.
It can be a challenge to see through the personality traits your horse is exhibiting to see what his temperament needs are. For example, my horse, Remi, is a Metal/Earth or Yang Ming horse temperament but he has been acting spooky lately like I might expect a Water horse temperament to act. I have been treating him like a Water horse and working to build his trust. I have not been making much progress.
It seems the more I try to address his fear issues the worse he gets. I finally realized he was not afraid but worried and in true Metal form he was holding all his worry internally. I normally think of sadness as the emotion of Metal but Maciocia in The Foundations of Chinese Medicine lists sadness and worry and states ” Prolonged sadness disperses Qi and prolonged worry knots Qi”. So I realized that I am dealing with knotted or blocked Qi in Remi and approaching it in the wrong way.
Water horse temperaments are intellectual and enjoy learning to cope with new obstacles if they have the emotional support from someone they trust. The Metal horse temperament on the other hand thrives on routine and does not enjoy learning new things. He wants to master a task and be left alone to do it.
I have been trying to expose Remi to many new tasks and experiences to show him he can trust me. I have come to realize that even though Remi was showing a Water horse type personality my approach was not a fit at all for his underlying Metal/Earth temperament. So, for now at least, I am not trying to build trust or teach Remi new things but focus on what he knows well which is trail riding and barrel racing. He also loves to swim. I plan to take him to the lake and do some trail riding and then go for a swim. This will be his life until he is ready to physically hold up to barrel racing training.
As much as I want to take him to ranch horse versatility clinics and team sortings he is not ready for this kind of variety and even though he has ended up having good experiences he still worries about what I will come up with next. Remi is such a fantastic horse and better trained than any horse I have ever had. I am willing to give up my desires for him to be happy and relaxed in our relationship.
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Introduction to the Horse Harmony Personality Types and Temperament System