Personality vs. Temperament

When I developed the Five Element Typing system I focused more on personality because I wanted this system to help people have better relationships with their horses. Unfortunately, it is not that simple. Like people, horse’s personalities can be very straight forward or very complicated. The underlying temperament, which is actually what the Five Element system is about, often gets covered up with stuff from life experience. When horses change from one owner to another the history of the horse does not always come along. My goal in helping people understand the Five Element system is to help them look past the horse’s personality and read the underlying temperament. For instance, my horse, Remi, has bucked off several people in his life and this might lead you to believe he was a Wood horse and was challenging his riders. Nothing could be further from the truth. The reason I got him, despite his history, was because he was always very polite when I worked on him. Even a well trained, respectful, Wood horse is rarely polite. They may behave but they are still looking for a way to put one over on you. I felt that although Remi had a difficult personality his underlying temperament was one that would be a match for me if I could gain his trust. This has worked out and he is now a good gentle riding horse. Madalyn

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