I had the privilege to exhibit Louie at the recent LOPE benefit horse show. Louie is a 4 year old ex racehorse looking for a new career after bowing a tendon. After working with Louie for a few hours I typed him as a Yang Ming(Metal/Earth) horse temperament.
Yang Ming traits in Louie:
Long back confirmation
Friendly, trusting nature
Learns best with clear, repetitive instruction
Tendency to flat, sensitive soles on hooves
Willingness to work even if sore
Louie and I had never met each other but he willingly went with me and did not try to push or drag me around. Louie had just had his feet trimmed and he was obviously footsore but he never hesitated to go where I asked him even over hard ground. He was very happy to have hoof boots put on and stood patiently while I did this.
I knew I did not have the time to teach Louie many new tasks so I focused on teaching him one thing that would help him the most. My main goal was to get Louie to flex through his poll so he would be able to do the in hand exercises in his trail classes. I spent the 3 hours we had together repeatedly asking Louie to lower his head and flex through his jaw each direction. Louie was happy to circle around me but he did not bend much through his ribs. As Louie began to relax through his jaw his body relaxed and he was able to bend.
In a few hours time, Louie accomplished stopping straight without shifting his hindquarters, walking and backing through an L, walking onto and stopping on a bridge, trotting through a chute and side passing without actually practicing these tasks. Louie also learned to go slower through obstacles and to stay focused on the person leading him to slow down or speed up. As his confidence improved, Louie stopped yelling for his pasture mate and totally relaxed.
As a Yang Ming horse temperament, Louie will be able to go into almost any career. His willing nature and relaxed attitude would make him a wonderful hunter or trail horse. Louie showed no inclination to take advantage so he would be fine for a beginning or intermediate rider. His tendon injury should not be an issue for normal riding and some chia seeds would be helpful for him to grow a tougher hoof.
Louie is a prefect example of how knowing a horse temperament can help you with management and training. Pushing Louie to learn many new tasks in a short time would have stressed him but teaching him one skill that helped him do each new task worked out well for him. Madalyn
Louie will be listed on the LOPE site by the end of the week.