June 2016 – Mid Month Update

June 2016 – Mid Month Update

Holistic Horsekeeping
How to have a healthy happy horse

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In This Issue:
1. The Best Horse Temperament for a Fearful Rider
2. Five Element Resources

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1. The Best Horse Temperament for a Fearful Rider
Madalyn on horseFear can be an issue at some point for almost any rider. Fear can be acute like getting right back on after being bucked off or it can build up over time with multiple bad experiences. In my case, I had always been a very brave rider but a difficult mule tested my confidence and trust. After finding a new home for the mule that was not a good match for me I set out to find a new horse I could trust. I wanted a horse with some energy but not so much that I would become afraid. Generally the best horse for a fearful rider is an older Fire or Earth horse.

I wanted a horse that was small and willing to please. I did not mind if my new horse was not fully trained but I did not want to start a colt. I was blessed to find a 16 year old TB/QH mare who had some under saddle work but was not big enough for her owner to train for the dressage ring. I road Cerise in a clinic with Linda Hoover and found the little mare to be just what I was looking for. Cerise had plenty of energy but she was polite and looked to me to be the leader. Cerise fit the bill as an older Fire horse who had had really good handling.

My second choice would have been an Earth horse. The Earth horse tends to have less energy and just wants to get along. Even a young Earth horse without a lot of training can be gentle enough for a beginner or fearful rider. The Earth horse needs encouragement to move out and will likely drop back to a trot or walk without any objection if the rider gets nervous.

One of the best ways to regain confidence and overcome fear is to focus on ground work. Ground work exercises help the rider develop a good relationship with a horse and they help the horse learn to be responsive and relaxed around the person. TTEAM is a great system which includes many ground work exercises. Finding a good coach is important, especially for the fearful rider. A good coach will encourage a rider to overcome fear by setting up success. Riding with someone who is on a dependable mount is another way to build confidence.

The Fire and Earth horses are not the only types of temperament that can be dependable but I would start looking there. It is very important that the horse you look at has had consistent handling so it is well grounded and calm. Any temperament type can make a good horse especially with some age and good training. The best horse for a fearful rider is the one that the rider feels safe with. Find out more about each of the horse temperament types and their special needs at http://horsetemperament.com/.

2. Five Element Resources
Finding out your horse’s temperament type can really pay off in understanding what his nutritional, emotional and physical needs are. You’ll find lots of articles, ebooks, audios, the Horse Harmony book and the horse temperament website at www.horsetemperament.com to help you. Understanding your horse’s needs leads to a happier, healthier horse.

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