Horse Temperament: Who is that horse, really?

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could have an engagement process to determine a horse temperament before you made a purchase? I mean, people have the option of getting to know each other and learn each others patterns before jumping into a long term relationship but alas a person in search of a new horse must make a decision on that horse often with a minimum of information.

I bought a horse one time only to find that horse was no way a match for me. This horse was a sweet gelding but he had a habit of bolting, even with some very experienced trainers. Of course he did not exhibit this behavior until after I purchased him. I decided to take him to a week long clinic with a very good cowboy trainer. After explaining the problem, my trainer decided that he should ride the horse for me to see if he could figure out what was going on.

For the first five days of the clinic my horse was a perfect gentleman. My trainer rode him out on trails, worked cattle, roped and rode my horse through all kinds of obstacles without a bobble. On the 6th day, however, I happened to look over just in time to see a flurry of activity as my horse attempted to bolt. My trainer caught him in mid take off and bent him one direction and then the other direction so fast that it looked like a small tornado was occurring. Just a fast as it started, my horse stopped and dropped his head and licked and chewed. My horse was then relaxed again for the rest of the day.

Later in the day, my trainer sat me down and asked me how I felt about what had happened. I told him honestly that I would never have been able to do what he had done and asked did he think he could teach my horse not to bolt any more. My trainer told me that in his opinion he felt this horse would always have that spot in him because it was part of his horse temperament. He explained how he could put lots of good into my horse to cover up that bolting behavior but at anytime, anywhere it might come back, maybe not for a week of maybe not for 10 years but it would always be a possibility.

I had to face the fact that this horse temperament would never be a match for me, no matter how much training the horse got or how much better I got with my horsemanship. I paid my trainer for his work and gave him the horse. He still has the horse and uses him daily on his ranch. Letting that horse go was probably one of the best decisions I ever made and I have often thought how much different this story would have been if I had understood horse temperament typing before I bought him.

Actually, this horse was not the first one I had given away. I bought this horse to replace my mule that had also been a bad match for me. Slow learner that I am, I finally started thinking about how I could avoid buying more bad matches and thus the Five Element horse temperament typing system began to take shape. I had had brief exposure to the Five Element typing system through my acupuncture training and it seemed a good place to start.

Ten years later, I am excited to say the Five Element horse temperament typing system is proving to be a very valuable tool to help you find the right horse match or get along better with the horse you have. TheĀ  Horse Harmony Book is a place to start understanding a horse and the Horse Harmony Test website helps you ask the right questions but now we have a Level 1 online certification process to give you the skills to get deep into who that horse really is. The online course covers basic traits, behavior patterns, management and feeding programs for the five basic horse temperament types. It goes in depth and gives you some case histories and videos to learn from.

Who is the online Level 1 Horse Temperament Typing system for:
Someone who wants to find the best possible horse match
Someone who wants to understand their own horse or horses better
Someone who wants to add value to the horse service they already offer, such as training, body work or buying and selling horses
Someone who boards horses for the public and wants to give the best individual care possible for each horse

Horse temperament typing does not replace good horsemanship or label any horse as good or bad. The Five Element typing system is a tool to help each horse and person have an improved opportunity for a relationship based on harmony, understanding and mutual respect. Madalyn

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4 thoughts on “Horse Temperament: Who is that horse, really?

  1. Christina

    I have a horse that I’m looking to buy but she’s too far away for me to do an e-val on her. Do you have a certified horse-person in OK who could go check her out for me?

  2. Garth

    Howdie Stephanie
    This article was so interesting, Choosing the right horse is the most difficult desision a rider can make. Of all the horse’s I’ve ever owned I think now looking back, that only 2 were the right horse for me. I’m sorry to say thats not a record of success for me or the horse’s. Fortunately I have the right horse now both in temperment and physical atributes and he’s young so I think we’ll both expire about the same time barring any unforseen crissis. But it’s not from knowlege that he came to me but just by chance.
    I have another horse with arthritice that I’d like to talk with you about.

    Your friend Garth

  3. Madalyn Ward, DVM Post author

    I am so glad you have found a good horse match. I, like you, have some bad matches under my belt and feel blessed I have not been hurt and have been able to find good homes those these horses where they could be appreciated. Madalyn

  4. Madalyn Ward, DVM Post author

    Larry Hannon is in north Texas so I am not sure how far into OK this horse is. You can reach Larry at 940 261 0996. If it is too far to travel, you may want to have the owner fill out the test and get one of our horse typologists to do an evaluation based on the test and some video. My goal with the online course is to get more interested in moving to the Level 2 so they can type horses professionally for people like yourself. Madalyn

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