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Horse Matching-The Metal Horse (Part 4 of 5)

AUSTIN, Texas, —In the last installments of our Five-Element Series, you’ve learned about Water and Wood elements and how those “types” relate to horse behavior and health. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the elements—Water, Fire, Wood, Metal and Earth—represent a specific personality type. Now, it’s time to relate the Metal element to your horses. Knowing your horse’s type can help you make dietary and lifestyle choices for your horse that will support his overall needs. Keep in mind—if you are looking for a horse, Five Element typing will aid you in selecting a horse that best matches your dreams and riding goals.

Here, we’ll discuss the Metal element—how Metal horses often behave and how you may best work with this type. Then we’ll share a story about a Metal horse and share tips to help in problem situations.

About Metal Horses

Metal horses enjoy order and control. They can stand up to some of the toughest working conditions without mental or physical distress. They do their jobs perfectly, but otherwise desire very little interaction. They can be found in all disciplines, but are common in working-horse situations, such as ranching.

Metal foals are aloof and do not seek contact with people. Metal foals are not easily stressed and will tend to play roughly with other foals. Metal horses excel in activities requiring physical toughness.

Working with your Metal Horse

The Metal horse is all business. When he’s working, he’s a perfectionist and tries to do everything just right. When he’s not working, he wants to be left alone. A Metal horse’s perfect day of relaxation is to hang out in the pasture with the freedom to do whatever he chooses. He may enjoy the company of other horses but may not interact with them. His motto is, “don’t bug me.” If you give the Metal horse enough alone time, he’ll be happy to perform for you.

Case in Point:

Ramona is a Westphalian mare show jumper. She likes her job and is quite well-mannered, but not necessarily affectionate. Ramona is somewhat difficult to ride because she has a rough four-beat canter that makes it hard to find the distances to the jumps. She is careful and fast over the jumps if the rider is able to stay out of her way and let her do her job. At one point Ramona was diagnosed with Equine Protozoal Myelitis (EPM) and treated. After a brief recovery period she then went back to the trainer and won $22,000 during the show year.

Dr. Ward’s Response:

Ramona’s personality fits the Metal horse perfectly, and the Metal horse does not always have the smoothest gaits. These horses are strong but not naturally supple. I wonder if some focus on bending and flexing would help Ramona loosen up a bit. Regular bodywork might also help her connective tissues relax. Many Metal horses have strong, naturally-tight muscles, which helps them hold up to hard work, but the lack of flexibility can make for a rough ride. It is a testament to Ramona’s willingness to work, a characteristic of Metal horses, and natural talent that she was able to perform at all with a neurological condition like EPM.

--Madalyn Ward, DVM

About Dr. Ward

Madalyn Ward, DVM, owns Bear Creek Veterinary Clinic in Austin, Texas. She is certified in Veterinary Homeopathy and Equine Osteopathy. Memberships include American Veterinary Medical Association, American Association of Equine Practitioners, American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association, Texas Veterinary Medical Association and the Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy. She has authored several books and publishes the monthly newsletter, “Holistic Horsekeeping”. Her new book, entitled Horse Harmony, Understanding Horse Types and Temperaments ... Are You and Your Horse a Good Match? Is now available! To learn more about Horse Harmony or order your copy visit http://www.holistichorsekeeping.com.

Visit http://www.holistichorsekeeping.com to sign up for the newsletter and for more information.


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