Horse temperaments – Forgiving or not!

I had an interesting experience last week. I have been working hard with counting cadence and getting in timing with my horse’s feet. I have been doing pretty well with the trot and lope but the walk was giving the trouble. I could get the rhythm but I kept getting out of timing with the feet and would have to start over with my counting.

So last week I was reading an article in Barrel Horse news and the author was giving the sequence of foot falls at the walk. Guess what, I had the order wrong. I have thought I understood the order of foot falls for so long that it never even occurred to me to check when I kept having trouble.

This got me thinking about how patient my horses are with me. Unfortunately, this is not the first training exercise I have had wrong and my horses have had to suffer through my learning curve. When I look back it is interesting to see how my different horse temperament types have handled my mistakes. To read about Five Element Temperament Typing check out Horse Harmony Book

Fancy, my first horse, was a Wood and she had zero tolerance for me. She took advantage and bucked me off every chance she got.

Myriah, my second horse, was a Tai Yang(Water/Fire) temperament and she pretty much ignored my inept efforts and did her own thing, which was basically to go fast.

Myriah’s son, Frijole, was a Yang Ming(Metal/Earth) temperament and he was a saint. Frijole tried hard to do anything I asked.

Tess, my mule, is a Jue Yin(Wood/Fire) and she would get very annoyed with me. Tess made me earn every advancement of her training. She would buck if she got mad enough but most of the time she simply refused to respond unless my cues were clear and reasonable. With Tess I learned that sometimes she pretended not to understand what I was asking and if I was pretty sure my cue was correct I could get after her and she would immediately respond.

Jake, my second mule, was also a Wood temperament and like my first Wood horse, we were not a match. I did have more skills when I worked with Jake but he tolerated no mistakes and took advantage of my weaknesses.

Cerise, my QH/TB mare, is a straight Fire horse temperament and I have been able to advance my horsemanship on her more that any type. Cerise is anxious to please and never ever threatens to buck or bolt even if she is very aggravated. Cerise and I have worked through many issues involving her lateral and vertical flexion. I have made many mistakes in this process because I have never had a trained horse to feel exactly what I was wanting. Cerise has accepted my lack knowledge and has hung in there with me as I have advanced from one ah ha moment to another.

Remi, my QH, is also a Yang Ming and he is sweet like Frijole but because he came to me with physical and emotional baggage I have to be more careful with him. Remi has always tried hard but he has been quick to get upset if he becomes confused. If pushed past his limit of coping he will buck. The bucking seems to be a thing of the past though now that we have had more time to get to know each other.

I am so grateful for all my horses have taught me and I only hope I can be as accepting of others where they are in their lives. Madalyn

My patient teachers

My patient teachers

2 thoughts on “Horse temperaments – Forgiving or not!

Leave a Reply