Saturday, March 21, 2009

Understanding Horse Personalities

Knowing more about your horse’s personality type can help you ride and train better.
By Yvonne Barteau

For many years I have been interested in the personalities of horses, and I know that every equine enthusiast is interested in the temperament of horses to a certain extent. People describe their horses' personalities to me all the time without even realizing it. They say things like, "My horse is very bossy with other horses" or "My horse is afraid of anything new" or "My horse doesn't pay attention to me at all." These kinds of comments and observations are key in defining and understanding the behavior of any horse. Upon further examination, these same observations will lead you toward the most effective way to handle, ride and train your equine partner based on his basic temperament.

My goal in this series of articles is to share insights that may help you better understand your horse, yourself and the other horse people that you interact with regularly. In part two, I'll give you examples of mixed personality types and how to train them. In part three, you'll learn about human personality types from a colleague of mine who specializes in such things. Knowing our own preferences helps us have better relationships with both humans and equines. In part four, I'll give more examples of how to find the best match for your type and how this also works for choosing the right instructor.

Understanding the personality of your horse, coupled with knowledge about your own temperament and skill level, gives us the best chance for success in our daily rides. We want to be paired with a horse whose natural behavior patterns allow us to stay within our own natural comfort zones as much as possible.


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