Once you have determined the correct horse temperament you may ask, “What good does this do me?” Well for one thing it could help you chose the best horse supplements so you don’t waste money on products that are not a fit for your horse. Let’s look at some additional Five Element theory to see how this could work.
One aspect of Five Element Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) involves the creation and controlling cycles. The creation cycle is Fire – Earth – Metal – Water – Wood. Another name for this is the mother/child cycle. This means the Fire element supports the Earth element, Earth supports the Metal element, Metal supports Water and Water supports Wood like a parent supports a child.
Using this Five Element approach, if one element was weak you would support it and the Mother so it would provide more support for the weak element. If an element was in excess you would want to support the child element and also the controlling element.
Five Element Control Cycle
Last month we looked at the symptom of a dull hair coat and used the creation cycle to develop a supplement plan. This month we are going to look at another approach using the five element control cycle. The control cycle is more about balance between the elements. When out of balance one element can affect another element. If an element is deficient it can be “insulted” by a related element and if it is in excess it can “over control” a related element. The control cycle is Fire controls Metal, Earth controls Water, Metal controls Wood, Water controls Fire and Wood controls Earth.
A dull hair coat would be considered a deficiency condition meaning there is not enough of something. An excess condition means there is too much of something. The creation cycle is great for deficiency conditions where an element needs more support. With an excess condition, the control cycle works better to decrease the energy in an element that is in an excess state. Let’s use the condition of stocking up in the legs which would be an excess of fluid.
Example of Excess Condition
In an Earth horse temperament, stocking up would be a sign of excess Dampness. Foods such as wheat, soy, oils and fats, kelp and the chlorella and spirulina forms of micro algae are all foods that increase dampness in the body. It may be wise to cut back on these foods and increase drying foods such as alfalfa hay, carrots, beet pulp and AFA micro algae. Chia seed is a very good source of quality fat which will not create excess dampness. You can also support the controlling element which is Wood by adding some sour food such as Citrus C/Q or hawthorne extract.
The Wood horse temperament can stock up when he has excess toxins in his body. Stocking up from excess toxins can often be differentiated from excess dampness by the behavior of the horse. The Earth horse with excess dampness will often act dull while excess toxins in a Wood horse temperament will often cause him to be irritable. First, simplify the diet as much as possible. Stop all unnecessary supplements and avoid dewormers drugs and fly sprays. Milk thistle and dandelion root are wonderful herbs to help in clearing toxins. Metal is the element that controls Wood so it can be supported with an enzyme product containing the pungent herbs, ginger and fennel.
Stocking up in the Fire horse temperament can be as excess of Heat. In this case the legs will not only be swollen but also quite warm. This is inflammation and more cooling foods are needed such as alfalfa, micro algae, AFA, chlorella or spirulina. Warming foods and spices such as corn, garlic, sunflower seeds, coconut oil, cinnamon, ginger and fennel should be decreased in the diet. Water is the element that controls Fire. The mineral rich foods such as alfalfa and micro algae support the Water element as well as having a cooling effect. Foods such as watermelon, wheat germ and barley support the Water element by supporting Kidney Yin. Kidney Yin helps to keep the body cool and moist. Herbs that support Kidney Yin include marshmallow root and aloe vera.
In summary, we have looked at three different approaches to dealing with a stocking up based on Five Element horse temperament typing.
Stocking up in the Earth horse:
- Feed less wheat and soy to decrease dampness
- Feed less fat and oils except chia seeds
- Avoid chlorella and spirulina micro algae
- Feed more drying foods such as alfalfa, carrots, beet pulp and AFA micro algae
- Support the Wood element with sour food such as Citrus C/Q or hawthorn tincture
Stocking up in the Wood horse:
- Simplify the diet and avoid toxins
- Feed milk thistle and dandelion root to help clear toxins
- Support the Metal element with pungent herbs
Stocking up in the Fire horse:
- Feed more cooling foods such as alfalfa and micro algae
- Cut back warming foods such as corn, garlic, sunflower seeds, coconut oil, ginger, cinnamon and fennel
- Support the Water element with Kidney Yin building foods such as watermelon, wheat germ, barley marshmallow root and aloe vera
Horse temperament typing is of great value when choosing horse supplements. It saves time, money and unneeded drugs. Your horse will get well faster and stay healthier when he gets the correct products to meet his needs.
For more information about feeding based on horse temperament type check out The Feeding Guide.
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