I had a great time at Equine Affaire in Columbus, Ohio. I went to present on the Five Element typing and had a good crowd at both sessions. I spent all day Friday talking with excited horse owners and sold all the Horse Harmony books I had brought. It seems there is real interest out there for understanding horses better.
By far the most common challenge people had was being matched with horses that needed more work or leadership than the person was able to offer. Often these horses are Wood or Wood/Fire crosses. Wood and Wood/Fire horse temperament combinations are what many breeders are offering because this is what is successful in the show ring when ridden by a professional. These high powered performance horses are athletic and talented but often way too strong willed for an amateur to handle.
The challenge is that many people have spent large sums of money to buy what they think is their dream horse only to find it a nightmare when they try to ride and handle it themselves. These horses then become difficult to market to a new owner because very few people have the skills to work with them or can afford a trainer full time. I feel I was able to offer people some good tips on how to work with these horses to keep themselves safe and the horses under control.
On the other hand many people were well matched with their horses and were looking for advice on better management and training programs. My demo horses were both good. The first one was a Yang Ming(Metal/Earth) horse temperament named Cowboy who was used for many events including hunter classes and dressage. Another horse came over with him initially but this horse could not handle the crowd and they had to take her back to the barn. I think she was a Water horse temperament from her behavior.
Cowboy got a bit nervous when his friend left but luckily my jacket pocket was full of horse treats and after a couple he decided everything was going to be fine. A young woman was handling Cowboy and even when he was worried he was very careful not to harm her unlike the other horse who was stepping all over her young handler before she was taken back to the barn.
My second demo horse was a sweet Earth horse temperament named Panache who was used for trail riding and driving. Both Cowboy and Panache were well suited for their owners and occupations. I hope an understanding of horse temperaments will encourage breeders to produce more Earth and Earth/Metal crosses for amateurs to enjoy. This will take a shift in consciousness in the industry to either raising the level of horsemanship of all horse owners to handle more strong willed, competitive types or breeding horses that can be handled and shown by those with less experience.
In addition to getting to talk with lots of wonderful horse owners I also had the privilege of spending time with Stacey Small and her staff at the Equilite booth. I have always loved the Equilite herbal products and now they have added flower essences. The Equilite products work really well with the horse typing and it was wonderful to share Stacey’s understanding of her products and my thoughts on the horse types. Together I feel we were able to really help many people find the perfect program for their horses.
Overall, it was a super weekend and I sure thank Coagi Long and all the people at Equine Affaire for inviting me and offering such a good learning environment for horse owners. Madalyn