Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Horse Temperament typing: Do you know your horse’s love language?

Guest Post by Madalyn Ward, DVM

Reading The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman was a real eye opener for me.

The five love languages of people are:

Words of Affirmation
Quality Time
Receiving Gifts
Acts of Service
Physical Touch

This book explained how good intentions do not replace giving a person what they want in relationships. This certainly helped explain to me why I am still single.

It also got me thinking about what the love language of a certain horse temperament, based on Five Element typing , would be.

Here is what I came up with:

Fire – Quality Time. The Fire horse temperament is all about relationship so spend lots of time grooming and hanging out with him.

Earth – Food. The Earth horse temperament is all about food so extra grazing time after a ride and the occasional treat will go a long way.

Metal – Respect. The Metal horse temperament wants to be respected and will not work for someone he does not respect.

Water – Safety. The Water horse temperament has to feel safe. An example of helping the Water horse to feel safe would be working at home with lots of obstacles and set up “scary” events to teach him to respond rather than react. Building his trust in you in his home area will prepare him for new environments.

Wood – A challenging job. The Wood horse temperament loves competing so give him lots of variety and difficulty in his work so he does not get bored.

So, good intentions are not the same as getting to know your horse’s love language and building a solid relationship. Madalyn

For more information about Five Element Horse Temperaments check out Horse Harmony

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Horse Body Language: Develop the Try in You and Your Horse

Guest Post by Jeannie Choate

When we talk about the try in a horse, we are looking for a response to a request we have made. A change in the horse, where he is looking, where his ears are pointed can be a response to an idea.

We are asking the horse to let an idea we have become his idea. You have to ask, not make the horse. The horse learns by searching for the answer and when he has a thought or movement in the direction we want we have to recognize that change with a release. We need to break down our big picture and look for a subtle response and build on that “TRY

1. As a student of the buckaroo way do you read to find answers and then do what you have read? This is recognizing the try in yourself. When you and your horse have an area where you don’t seem to communicate, then you need to stop and think about that situation and try to figure out what is going on or maybe what is not going on.

2. Do you watch good horse and rider partners and then go and practice to learn what you have seen?

3. Do you give your horse the chance to learn what you want him to do?

4. Are you consistent with how you handle your horse every day, every moment you are around him, so he knows what he can expect from you and is comfortable around you?

Students of the buckaroo way know signs of a horse try can be very very subtle. Paying attention to this small detail every second you are around your horse, until you don’t have to think about it, will pay big dividends for your horse and rider relationship.

You will know you are developing the horse and rider partnership you seek when you are in the saddle and ready to head to the right and you notice the horse has his right ear tipped back at you, he is feeling of you and knows which way you are asking him to go before you ask.

As Ray Hunt would say “Practice does not make perfect, Perfect practice makes perfect”.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Horse Temperament: Tai Yin horses

Guest post by Brenda Edmondson

Looking for a good, solid performer? I found one several years ago and didn’t realize what I had at the time.

Two Bits is my barrel racing horse, and his horse temperament is a Tai Yin. He is a consistent hard worker, easy keeper, likes order and will do anything for a cookie.

When I first got him he seemed dull and not overly ambitious. He would always perform but more out of duty than desire. This was before I took the time to get to know him.

I contemplated selling him a couple of years ago, because as a barrel racing horse his career was going nowhere. Another horse I own started me down the natural horsemanship path, and in the process I discovered who Two Bits really is.

While not true for all horses of this type, Two Bits is pretty much a one person horse. I occasionally put other people on him for a trail ride, but he is never really happy about it.

Respect is huge for him; if he feels he’s not getting it he will shut down and become stiff, depressed and out of balance. He lived in that state for many years.

Food is high on his priority list. He is the one in the pasture with his head down eating while the others are looking around, trying to find the source of some disturbance.

Getting to know him, appreciate and respect him for who he is has made a huge difference in our relationship. He likes me now, and I like him too, even when getting him out of 1st gear is tough.

He is not a horse you can pull out of the pasture, take to a barrel race and expect to win. He will get in the trailer, but that’s about it for effort. But when I have put in the training time he can find another gear that I never see at home.

He is who he is, and to ask him to act and perform like my other horses just didn’t work. He strained a tendon a couple of months ago, but he is doing fine now, thanks to a good nutrition program and a daily rehab program.

He is 14 now, and as a Tai Yin is prone to arthritis in his knees and hocks. He is calm and relaxed at home but barrel racing and travel stress him. I support these health challenges with Cosequin for joint support, Xango juice for the antioxidants, xanthones and anti-inflammatory properties, Eleviv for the stress and Simplexity Essentials for vitamin, mineral and amino acid needs.

Natural horsemanship has given me a true partner, and when he comes up to me in the pasture and bumps me with his nose, he’s just saying thanks.

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