February 2019 – Mid Month Update

Holistic Horsekeeping
How to have a healthy happy horse.


  1. Horse Temperament: 11 Quirks for 11 Types
  2. Share the Knowledge


1. Horse Temperament: 11 Quirks for 11 Types

Some horses are so easy to type. Others, not so much. If you are having a challenge with figuring out who your horse is then you may want to look at his individual behavior quirks or unique traits. These traits seem to be hard wired in the horse’s nervous system and show up through multiple layers of personality shaped by his life experience.

We list 11 quirks below, one associated with each horse temperament type. Scan through the list and see if any of these quirks ring a bell. This will help you determine your horse’s temperament type, especially if you are straddling the fence between two types!

Fire: Often rolls the tongue or flaps the lips, especially when younger or under stress

Earth: Often gives a contented sigh and carries an air of calm and peace

Water: Has the keen look of the eagle and is one of the most regal-looking types

Metal: Thrilled to do his job as soon as he learns it. Does a trademark grimace with his mouth when he can’t figure out his job.

Wood: Loves to break things. If every gate, post, and horse toy on your place is busted or bent, your horse is a Wood!

Shao Yang (Fire/Wood): Dislikes being touched, especially on the feet or toward the hind end

Jue Yin (Wood/Fire): Causes trouble in a playful way … loves to mess with you!

Tai Yang (Water/Fire): Exuberant and loves to move … the happier he is, the faster he moves, ears pricked and exuberant! Why walk when you can trot? Why trot when you can canter?

Shao Yin (Fire/Water): The most affectionate type, likely to nudge you, loving, innocent

Yang Ming (Metal/Earth): Willing to please, not very spontaneous (will usually give lots of warning before bucking or shying or causing trouble)

Tai Yin (Earth/Metal): Very dedicated to one-person to the point of happily doing just about anything for the person they love, even if the task is difficult. Will perform for others, but not eagerly.

Don’t feel bad if you can’t readily type your horse. It is not as easy as it looks because horses develop personalities that can disguise their underlying temperament. Looking at quirkinesses can sometimes help you see through the layers. Our temperament consultants can help you find out who your horse really is.

We are excited to see more people using and talking about the temperament typing system. We are wanting to have a special page on our website to document people’s stories. If you have a good story you would like to share please send us a picture of your horse and a short description of his type. We will also post these pictures on our FaceBook page. Thanks in advance for participating. Your story will help many others. You can send your store and picture to info@holistichorsekeeping.com

2. Share the Knowledge

Are you looking to improve your knowledge of equine nutrition or using homeopathy with horses? Or do you know someone who could benefit from this type of knowledge? If so, check out the Mentoring Program offered by Madalyn Ward, DVM. This is an intense one-on-one program that focuses on what you want and need to supplement the skills and knowledge you already have about holistic horse care. Don’t have the time right now to commit to a program like this? You can still benefit from Dr. Ward’s expertise by getting a consult. And if more in depth knowledge of horse temperament typing is more to your liking, we have an online course.

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