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. This may seem complicated but with a little thought it does make sense. Let’s look at an example.
Say your horse has a dull hair coat. Knowing about horse temperament type can save you lots of time and money by helping you determine what is causing the dull coat. If your horse is a Metal type, your horse is probably suffering from simple skin dryness and you need more quality fat, such as chia seeds, in his diet. If your horse is a Wood type then he may have a liver blood deficiency and need more green foods such as blue green algae. If your Earth horse has a dry coat is could easily be a parasite infection as this type is more prone to worms. Deworming the Metal horse or Wood horse might not only be a waste of time and money but could also be an extra toxic insult to the horse. I am not saying you would not check every horse with a dull coat for worms but knowing your horse’s temperament would keep you open to other possibilities.
You can use the creation cycle to provide additional support. Using the same example of the dull hair coat, that would be a deficiency condition so in addition to supporting the weak element you could also support the Mother element. Earth is the Mother of Metal so look at horse supplements that support Earth. Sweet flavored foods, such as papaya are good for the Earth element. Earth can also benefit from digestive enzymes.
If your Wood horse has a dull hair coat you can also support the Water element since it is the Mother of Wood. Alfalfa hay and kelp are good horse supplements for the Water element and both would contribute to building healthy blood.
In the case of an Earth horse with parasites, in addition to appropriate chemical deworming and Earth horse support, you could also give a horse supplements for the the Fire element. Prebiotics, such as Ration Plus or PrePro are of excellent benefit to the Fire horse and both would also improve overall digestion to help lessen the opportunity for parasites to thrive.
In summary, we have looked at three different approaches to dealing with a dull hair coat based on Five Element horse temperament typing.
Dull coat in a Metal horse:
- Increase quality fat in the diet to combat dryness
- Add sweet foods such as papaya to support Earth
- Add digestive support in the form of enzymes to support Earth
Dull coat in a Wood horse:
- Add green foods to build blood
- Add alfalfa and or kelp to support Water
Dull coat in an Earth horse:
- Deworm with appropriate chemical dewormer
- Support Earth with papaya and digestive enzymes
- Give prebiotics to support Fire
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.
Next month we will talk about the 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.
For more information about feeding based on horse temperament type check out The Feeding Guide.
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