Horse Types & Temperaments

Horse Types & Temperaments

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This course is designed to provide a basic understanding of the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Five Element Theory and how to view a horse within this context. With this information horse owners can better understand their horse’s personality and learn how best to work with him or her in training situations and with health issues. Diet and exercise are key pieces to the complete care of horses and therefore suggestions for nutrition and exercise are offered within the framework of each of the Five Elements.

According to TCM, food has its own energy ranging from warming to neutral to cooling. By understanding the Five Elements and the associated organ systems we can address health issues with appropriate food and herbs.

This material is presented by Madalyn Ward, DVM who has developed her Five Element Typing system to help individual horse owners better understand how to assess and care for their own horse. Dr. Ward, a pioneering voice in the field of holistic horse care for over two decades, breaks new ground with the Horse Harmony equine personality typing system. Her cutting edge casework now extends to helping horse enthusiasts find their perfect equine match or better understand their current equine partner. Dr. Ward graduated from Texas A&M’s School of Veterinary Medicine and maintains a holistic equine practice in Fischer, Texas.

The first unit provides a basic overview of the Five Element types and how these types might present in a horse. Subsequent units provide more details to better gauge which element your horse may be. In addition to helping determine your horse’s type, this course provides valuable nutritional suggestions to deal with health issues and to help your horse gain optimal health. Understanding how to feed each of the element types is often a key to resolving chronic health concerns. The last two units provide a basic test for typing your horse, as well as several sample case studies illustrating horses from each element.

Does Five Element Typing Put the Horse "In a Box"?

Is there validity in being able to understand, manage, feed, and train a horse based on Five Element temperament typing? Or does it put the horse “in a box” by pigeonholing him as a particular type?

The answer is, when correctly understood, temperament-typing a horse actually gives the horse the freedom to be who he truly is, thus increasing his freedom rather than limiting his expression.

Temperament typing allows a person to look at a horse and predict the factors that will allow him, or her, to be successful in a chosen discipline. Typing also allows a person to see when a horse is simply not a match for a selected discipline. It is especially valuable in tailoring a nutritional and exercise program to the true needs of the horse, based on his constitution and energetic way of being.