I remember the first time I saw Louie, a grey, barrel-racing quarter horse gelding. He had been running inconsistently, which was not his usual performance. When I approached Louie he tensed up and held his head high and rigid. This posture made it hard to evaluate his soreness so I decided to go ahead and make a few network chiropractic moves and see how he responded.
After just a few moves, Louie’s attitude changed. His head dropped slightly and he took a shallow breath. A few more moves and he had his head low and was licking and chewing. Louie did not look my way or acknowledge my presence but he won his barrel race the next day and went back to his regular consistent performance.
I saw Louie periodically over the next few years and then he was sold. I did not see him for several years. Louie’s owner sold Louie to a professional with the stipulation that he would not be ridden by any kids. Even without any understanding of horse temperament typing she knew Louie was too strong a runner and too tough a horse for even an experienced kid.
Well, as horse trading goes, Louie was resold to a kid. The new owners tracked down the original owner when it was obvious they had bought a horse they could not handle. Louie was bought back by his original owner and she started barrel racing him again. After some tuning to remind Louie he had to respect his rider, he began winning again.
Louie was amazingly tough and handled the challenging rodeo life but he did suffer a serious impaction colic at a barrel race in Abilene, TX. He went from the humid weather in East Texas to the dry climate of Northwest Texas, and did not drink enough water. Unfortunately, Louie had a very high pain tolerance and he did not show outward signs of colic until he was very dehydrated and the impaction was advanced in severity. He had to spend the night at a local veterinary clinic and receive large amounts of pain killers and IV fluids.
If we had known back then that Louie was a classic example of a Metal horse temperament we could have taken some steps to prevent the impaction. The lungs and large intestine are the organs associated with the Metal horse type, and these organs often need extra support. Bran mashes or soaking a pelleted feed with water are good ideas for any horse who is not drinking well, and cutting back on hay when manure decreases in amount or water content are steps to prevent impactions.
Electrolytes added to the food or given in paste form will encourage drinking but should not be used if the horse is already significantly dehydrated. Metal horse temperaments should be watch very carefully for dehydration because they will continue to perform even if they are developing an impaction.
For Metal horses who compete, Equilite’s Bleeder’s Blend is a good maintenance product to give for both lung and large intestine support. The bioflavanoids in Bleeder’s Blend support the lungs and the mullein in the formula is a mucilaginous herb that soothes and moisturizes the large intestine.
Louie recovered and went on the win more races but unfortunately he bowed a tendon in his front leg and scar tissue from this injury caused him chronic pain. He continued to eat and limp around, but when it was obvious it would not be possible for him to heal, his owner had him put down so he would not continue to live in pain. Louie was a typical tough, consistent Metal horse temperament. He gave his all every time, did not ask for much, and knew his job well. If you would like to see some pictures of this great performance horse in action go to: