Horse Temperament: Skeletons in the closet

My Yang Ming(Metal/Earth) horse temperament has lots of skeletons in his closet. He has been doing so well recovering from his traumas as an x roping and barrel horse. He has gotten very comfortable here at the farm and can handle trail rides well.

The challenge is taking him to  arenas. In his roping and barrel racing career he has been to many of the arenas in the State of Texas and evidently he has not had good experiences at very many of them. As a Yang Ming horse temperament, Remi is slow to learn but even slower to forget. Once he does learn the lesson stays with him, good or bad.

I can take him to my trainers barn where he lived for a few years and he is great there. He had good memories there but when I took him to a roping arena in Salado he freaked. I had to stay where he could see me at all times and he never really got comfortable. I have learned that as a Yang Ming horse temperament, Remi responds to firm reassurance that I have everything under control. Comforting does not work at all.

Yesterday I took Remi to one of the places he roped and barrel raced often. He has been doing so well lately that I assumed he would be fine. Wrong! As soon as he looked around and saw where he was I could feel him tense up. It did not help that the wind was blowing a gale and the giant garbage truck showed up to rattle the dumpster.

I was kicking myself that I forgot to bring Eleviv to help him cope with the stress but I saddled and headed to the arena. Yang Ming horse temperaments want to please and sure hate to be in trouble but Remi could not keep it together and broke into bucking when I started doing my groundwork. I could tell he was confused and did not know what his job was going to be. Sure wasn’t the trail riding he was getting so good at.

It took about 30 minutes of groundwork and a little tack repair before I felt comfortable getting on but once Remi realized we were just riding around he relaxed and was perfect. Remi ate and drank well right after our ride but the next morning he looked very tired and worn out. I think the stress chemicals released must have really done a number on his system. I gave him 2 extra eleviv and tonight he looks back to normal.

The good news is that every time we expose and deal with one of Remi’s skeletons he gets more solid and trusting. The Yang Ming horse temperament learns slowly, remembers well but  does not hold a grudge. Madalyn

For more information about Five Element Horse Temperaments check out Horse Harmony

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