So why are some horses “all go and no whoa”? Aside from horses that are taught to go all the time, such as racehorses, every horse is temperamentally pre-disposed to either be speedy or to have sticky feet, especially when under stress.
So back to the question, why are some horses pre-disposed to bolt, run, or otherwise “go”? The answer lies in the horse’s personality type. It turns out that there are two basic types of horses who tend to run instead of getting sticky feet when under stress: Fire horses and Water horses.
Fire Horses and Water Horses
Both of these horse personality types are based on the Five-Element personality typing system. Fire horses are beautiful horses, very refined, love to be in the spotlight, and are quite fastidious and choosy. They tend to “go” instead of “whoa” when they feel physically unable to perform as requested, or when asked to do a task they find distasteful. For instance, it would not be unusual for a Fire horse to bolt when we asked to walk into a herd of smelly cows! Being primped for a Western Pleasure class is more in line with the Fire horse’s image of himself.
The Water horse, on the other hand, tends to run from fear, insecurity, or sheer terror. Water horses are usually very refined and have long willowy bodies. They also tend to show the whites of their eyes often from fear. Water horses are very showy and high energy and love to learn, but only in a safe environment. Anything new can scare a Water horse. Water horses get up and go, with no whoa in sight, when introduced to too many new things at once. Learning small new tasks at home with a trusted rider is what the Water horse prefers.
Want to Know More About Five Element Horse Personalities?
There are five basic horse personality types in this system, as well as six “temperaments,” which are combinations of the five types. You can learn more about each horse personality by visiting the following links: