Horse temperament typing can sometimes be like those picture puzzles
that just look like geometric patterns, but in reality hide an image of a
sandy beach with palm trees. With these picture puzzles, once you get
the “Aha!” and see the hidden picture, you wonder how you missed
seeing it for so long.
Horse temperament typing is much the same. I can spend just a few
minutes chatting with a client about the temperament type of her
horse, and she will get that “Aha!” moment. Thereafter, she’ll wonder
why she ever had trouble typing her horse. Once you know your horse’s
type, it seems so simple! But how can you get to that “Aha!” moment
about your horse’s type?
The Essence of Each Temperament Type
One of the best ways I have found to help people find their horse’s
temperament type is to condense each type down to its essence-fewer
words and a shorter path to understanding. The essence of each type
can be boiled down to a word and a motto. Here are the words and
mottos for the five pure temperament types:
>> Motto: What’s my job?
>> Motto: Can I trust you?
>> Motto: I will win!
>> Motto: Look at me!
>> Motto: Let’s be a team
What About Your Horse?
Now I want you to do two simple exercises that will help you identify
your horse’s essence.
The first exercise is quick and easy. Think about your horse and just
jot down the first word that comes to mind. Then do the same for a
short motto or phrase that best fits your horse 95% of the time.
The second exercise is a thinking one. This time carefully think about
the word and phrase that best describes your horse’s response to life.
Now compare the results of these exercises. Which set best matches
your horse’s behavior and response to life the majority of the time?
If the results of the quick and easy test are the best match, then you
are probably over-thinking the answers when you try to type your
horse. I find this happens with quite a few of my clients when they
consider their horse’s behavior.
The point of these exercises is that they help you find the essence of
who your horse really is and how he behaves MOST OF THE TIME. To do
this you have to look past the one time back in 1992 when he spooked
and ran away with you. If he does not run away with you on a regular
basis, then running away is not his usual response. If your horse
kicked the vet one time when he had a painful injury but has never
kicked again then kicking is not his usual response.
Does your horse do his job well as a good team player (Earth) or is he
unhappy unless he’s winning (Wood)? Is your horse all about the job
(Metal), or is he willing to do anything just to have quality time
(Fire) with you?
Each Five Element type has an essence. Life experience, training,
management, environment can influence this essence but will never
change it. For example, a dominant, competitive Wood horse can be
trained to show respect for his handler, but could easily revert to
pushy behavior in the hands of an amateur. Another example would be
the flighty Water horse who has always been protected from scary
experiences by his owner and behaves well until one day he is
presented with a frightening experience.
Help for Those Still Confused!
Still confused? Don’t worry … we have some professional resources
for you. Simply sign up for a consult with one of our certified
typologists. Larry or Kim will help you discover your horse’s true
Consider it an early holiday gift for your horse … one that will
keep on giving to both of you for the rest of your lives!