Horse Temperament: Punkin’s potty mouth

As a Jue Yin(Wood/Fire) horse temperament, Punkin lacks in social graces. This is not his fault and he never intends to insult but the Jue Yin type does not naturally take into account the needs of others. This tendency to insult without intention got me and Punkin into trouble a few weeks ago.

I have learned though 30 years of experience with my Jue Yin mule, Tess, that this temperament type must be educated about how to get along with others. The good news is, they really want to get along. Both Tess and Punkin initially had the same attitude about being caught. They did not see how it worked out for them. Once they realized that being caught meant being able to go do something fun you could not beat them off with a stick.

Both Tess and Punkin had similar issues with personal space in that they did not recognize this basic need of others. Punkin is still working on this understanding. He knows he is not supposed to step on you but he still wants to touch with his nose. It is a security issue for him but still very annoying.

On the issue of social graces and appropriate language around females, Punkin has huge room for improvement. Punkin lives with 2 geldings and these boys all get along great but I have noticed that my Fire mare, Cerise, is not at all impressed with him. Cerise can be very temperamental( I am trying to be polite) so I did not think much of her dislike for Punkin but when my friend’s mare had the same reaction I began to see a pattern.

Labor day weekend I hauled over to a friends with Punkin and his pasture mate, Cooper, to ride with a group. He was being so good but again I noticed the mares in the group giving him the look that says stay way back. Punkin never backed his ears or made any studly like advances but something was happening on an energetic level. I kept Punkin away from the mares but when we stopped along the trail to watch some deer one of the mares took the opportunity to fly backwards and kick at Punkin. Instead to getting Punkin she nailed me in the shin.

Here is how I imagine the conversation happened with my gelding, Remi, when I came limping down to the pasture with Cooper and Punkin.

Remi, looking angrily at Cooper and Punkin – Well, what the #@*& happened?

Cooper, answering truthfully – I was not involved.

Punkin, answering truthfully in his view – It was not my fault.

Remi, glaring at Punkin – Tell me exactly what wasn’t your fault.

Punkin – All I did was tell that mare, Vera, that she has a nice ass. It was a compliment. I don’t know what she got so upset about.

Remi, rolling his eyes – Son, you have so much to learn about mares.

In Punkin’s mind he did not mean to do anything wrong and I could tell he was worried on the way back to the barn. He still called after Vera when she went back to her stall. I will eventually put him in the pasture with Cerise and let her educate him. Cerise does not wear shoes and she is not a mean horse. I trust she won’t hurt him. In the meantime, I continue to educate Punkin about personal space with people.

The Jue Yin horse temperament types tends to be very tight in his own body and this may be partly a protective mechanism from being constantly corrected by others for inappropriate behavior. I notice an immediate brace when I correct Punkin for nudging me with his nose. I have learned to follow all correcting with lots of petting and reassuring. My goal is to help Punkin with the life skills he needs to get along. Tess has come so far in this regard and she is so much more content in life.

I love working with both Tess and Punkin. The Jue Yin temperament has such athletic ability and a great sense of humor. The Fire aspect of their temperament so wants to please and have fun and the Wood aspect has a tendency to be pushy and willful so they often need correction but they can get hurt feelings. Correct then pet is a a great motto for helping the Jue Yin learn to get along. Madalyn

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