Horse Temperament: What characteristics do you value most?

How rare is it to find the perfect horse temperament who is willing to please, confidant, smart, strong and athletic. Much of the time at least one of these ideal characteristics is missing in any given horse and a person has to decide what is most important to him.

For instance, you might have a horse temperament such as the Earth horse that is willing to please and confidant in scary places but not much of an athlete. You might have a Water horse temperament that is smart and athletic but lacks confidence. A Fire horse temperament might be smart, and athletic but not strong. You get my point.

Different people have different priorities as far as what characteristics are most important. For the mother of a young child, the fact that a horse wants to please and is confidant in strange surroundings might be more important than how high the horse could jump but for a trainer or professional horseman raw talent might outweigh a willing attitude.

Every horse temperament has good and bad characteristics and my intention in determining the Five Element type is not to make any horse wrong but to point out potential strengths and weaknesses. I understand if you are getting along perfectly with your horse and he has no health challenges or emotional issues then typing may not seem important.

It is for the people having health or relationship issues with their horse or those looking to find a new horse that the Five Element temperament typing system is designed to help. Once a person understands that a behavior is natural for that type it is easier to set the horse up for success rather than failure. Knowing what behaviors to expect can be a huge help in selecting a horse that is the best match for a rider or occupation.

Sometimes knowing a horse temperament can help you realize that you and that horse will never be a good match and it is time to let that horse be with someone else who can better bring out his talents. On our horse swap page we list horses looking for better matches. We have several Wood horses listed as these horses are often too headstrong and powerful for someone wanting a pleasure mount. These athletic, powerful individuals are waiting for the right person to channel their energy into positive work or competition.

We intend to build the horse swap page into a large network of listings so horses and owners all over the country can find each other. These horses will all be typed to better match them with their perfect person and occupation. Several listed horses that had been looking for new homes are already sold or placed. It seems the action of typing a horse and realizing who the horse really is allows the energy around the horse to become more positive. Placing a horse in the perfect home can be as rewarding as finding your perfect horse. Madalyn

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

We also have some Five Element Audios of actual case histories and discussion of each horse temperament type. Real life cases are a great way to gain understanding of Five Element typing.

7 thoughts on “Horse Temperament: What characteristics do you value most?

  1. Petra Christensen - Parelli 1Star Junior Instructo

    Madalyn, I really enjoyed your post. I love your idea of a “Horse Swap Page”. We tend to choose horses by looks and color but it is so much more important to know whether our personality and horsenality match.
    Thank you for a great read!

    Petra Christensen
    Parelli Central Team
    Parelli 1Star Junior Instructor

  2. Rachel Steen

    I like to think of the Element typing as a way to understand the foundation you have to build upon.

    To carry the house foundation analogy further, typing allows you to understand the GROUND upon which you wish to build. If you have sandy soil, you might need to build pier and beam. If you have a fire horse, you’d better take the time to teach them to relax and channel their energy appropriately.

    All Individuals can be worked with to give them the support they need to have a rock solid future. The typing is the BEGINNING.

  3. Petra Christensen - Parelli 1Star Instructor

    Yes, Madalyn, I agree. That would be wonderful! Would save a lot of horse owners a lot of heartache who bought a horse that doesn’t have the right Horsenality for their personality, and would provide horses with a home they fit right in! Thank you for your holistic view of Horsemanship!

  4. Madalyn Ward, DVM Post author

    I don’t know about you but I am seeing a shift in horse owners. It seems more people are looking for partnerships with their horses. It is sure easier to be in partnership with a horse that is a good match to start with. Madalyn

  5. Madalyn Ward, DVM Post author

    You are so right. I had never thought of it this way. The different types do have different needs in building the foundation. If you miss it on the foundation you are just teaching tricks with your training rather than building a strong relationship that will allow you to advance with true partnership. Sounds like a whole new blog post. Thanks. Madalyn

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