March 2018 – Mid Month Update

March 2018 – Mid Month Update

Holistic Horsekeeping
How to have a healthy happy horse.


In This Issue:
1. Attitude vs Geography – Does Your Horse Respect You?
2. Find Your Own Horse Harmony


1. Attitude vs Geography – Does Your Horse Respect You?
Madalyn on horseHorses are very detail oriented. They notice every nuance of movement and this is a big part of how they communicate. A flick of an ear from a lead mare is ignored at the cost of a nip or kick to reinforce the message. Some horse temperament types are extremely sensitive to slight movements and others are slower to react so you need to match their energy. You want your horse to have a good attitude as well as change his geography so you have to ask in a way that is fitting to him.

Take, for example, a sensitive Fire horse that startles easily when a quick movement is made towards him. This horse is not spooky but he is simply trying to stay out of trouble. To him a quick movement towards him means he needs to move away. On the other hand, a less sensitive Wood horse may ignore quick movements as he does not consider them enough of a signal to move. If you want the Wood horse to move you will have to raise your energy to a level that gets his attention.

Simply getting a horse to move is not enough. You want the horse to move with a good attitude. When you consider the temperament type of the horse you can adjust your energy to be more fitting to the horse you are working with. You don’t want a sensitive Fire or Water horse to move away with tension or fear and you don’t want to pick at a Wood, Earth or Metal horse and create dullness.

For a sensitive horse you want to keep your energy deliberate and steady to be respectful of his needs. It is important to condition your horse to some quick movements so he learns to trust that not every quick movement means he needs to move. Your horse will learn to trust and respect you when you honor his natural sensitivity and help him learn to be less reactive.

For the less sensitive horse the opposite applies. You need to bring your energy up when you ask him to move. You make an initial movement with your hand or lead rope to ask the horse to move but if no response is offered you must increase the pressure with quick, hard motion to get the horse’s attention. Once the horse has responded, you can ask again with lower energy but be ready to do what is needed to get the response. With time your horse will gain respect and respond to your lighter signals.

Movement is more than geography. The sensitive horse that tightens and overreacts when asked to move is not moving with a good attitude. You want this horse to be light, and relaxed. The less sensitive horse that moves but backs his ears or drags his feet is showing contempt. It is important to continue to move this horse until he becomes light and respectful. If you want your horse to be a good partner then you need to speak his language and be the person he needs you to be.

2. Find Your Own Horse Harmony
If you haven’t discovered temperament typing and discovering your horse’s 5 element type, there’s no time like the present. You can dive into the subject a little or a lot. Here are some of the resources to help you.
Horse Harmony book
Horse Harmony: A Feeding Guide book 
Online Course
Horse Harmony Consultants
Horse Temperament website

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