Is Your Horse an Idiot or Simply a Misunderstood Temperament Type?

“This horse is an idiot!”

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard this statement about a horse only to find that when I handled the horse he gave me no trouble. To this unexpected good behavior, the owner usually says, “He must really like you!”

Well, I don’t think horses particularly like me better than any other person, but because I understand horse temperament typing, I have learned how to appreciate all horses, no matter what temperament. I treat them according to their temperament, and they return the favor with good behavior.

When I work on a horse, I try not to have unrealistic expectations. For instance, I don’t expect the competitive Wood horse to act like milk-toast, or look for the sensitive Fire horse to tolerate high levels of pain. Owners or trainers with unrealistic expectations cause many horses to be inappropriately handled and labeled.

Horse Behavior With and Without Temperament Tying
If you don’t know a horse’s Five-Element temperament type, you won’t know how to approach him to get the best performance or behavior from him. But once you know his type, you can treat him in a way that causes him to respond positively. It can make a world of difference!

Here are some examples of descriptions of the same horse without and with an appreciation of horse temperament typing:

“This horse is a lazy dink!” versus “This is a nice, gentle Earth horse temperament who would be perfect for a beginner.”

“This horse is crazy …” versus “This is an expressive Water horse temperament with lots of brilliance and animation in the show ring.”

“This horse is a witch!” versus “This is a sensitive Fire horse temperament mare who loves to perform but can’t handle being in pain.”

“This horse is stupid …” versus “I love this Metal horse temperament. He always performs perfectly once he learns a task.”

“This horse has a terrible attitude!” versus “This Wood horse temperament hates to be bored but loves to learn new things and take on challenging obstacles.”

Do you see how one horse could easily be misunderstood by one person and yet be perfect for another? It all depends on whether you know his temperament type.

Five-Element Temperament Type Resources
Want to know more about the Five-Element temperament typing system? Want to type you or your horse at no cost? Check out these resources below:

Horse Harmony Test website

Horse Personality Type Information

Horse Personality Type Book

Horse Personality Type Ebooks

Horse Personality Type Educational Audios

Horse Personality Case Studies


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About Madalyn Ward, DVM

This blog provides information based on my unique take on horse health and well being. The articles are based on experience of treating and working with horses for over 40 years. In most cases the articles are focused on an holistic approach to health and management. When conventional medicine offers good research or therapy, I share this information as well. Madalyn Ward, DVM

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