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Horses like Predictability too

AUSTIN, Texas – “What is my job?” That is the primary question a Metal Horse asks. In her book, “Horse Harmony, Understanding Horse Types and Temperaments,” Dr. Madalyn Ward D.V.M. provides the tools to help you (help your horse), and strengthen your relationship with them.

Dr. Ward uses Traditional Chinese Medicine as her resource, and has developed 11 basic horse types and temperaments. The Five-Element Personality approach is based upon the idea that humans and animals have a ‘constitutional type,’ these are Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood. She describes the personality as well as the best training, job, diet and management method for each.

For example, the Metal Horse enjoys order, control and predictability, and can stand up to some of the toughest working conditions. They do their jobs perfectly but otherwise desire very little interaction. However, a Metal Horse that has a sudden change in routine can act out, develop behavioral issues and respond to a new job description unfavorably. But have no fear! With a little work and patience you can bring your horse back into balance, and Dr. Ward can tell you how.

In a recent case study Tess, a Holsteiner broodmare-turned-show horse, developed behavioral problems, becoming unresponsive and frustrated at new tasks. Using the Five-Element Personality approach her trainer, Laura Graves of Oakhaven Farms in Central Texas, realized that Tess was a Metal horse. Tess enjoyed her job as a broodmare and became confused when her tasks were changed to that of a show horse. Her new lifestyle was not predictable, and she acted unfavorably. Laura came up with a plan to balance Tess out, including chiropractic adjustments and teeth floats to solve Tess’ head-tossing and spooking, issues presenting new lessons in smaller chunks with more repetition and clearer instruction and spending more time with Tess in the barn to form a better bond. For Laura, her patience has paid off. Knowing Tess’ personality type has allowed Laura to understand and work with Tess in far greater harmony.

Dr. Ward has dedicated much of her attention toward the healing work of the relationship between horse and owner to find the proper match. She feels as though many daily stressors between horse and owner would be eliminated if everyone did their research. Dr. Ward encourages equestrians to look into personality types before making a purchase.

Dr. Ward’s hard work and dedication has not gone unnoticed. “Horse Harmony, Understanding Horse Types and Temperaments” has been recognized as a finalist in the Animal/Pet category for the 2008 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

Dr. Ward is the owner of Bear Creek Veterinary Clinic in Austin, Texas. She is the author of several books and the publisher of the monthly newsletter, “Holistic Horsekeeping.” For more information on her book, “Horse Harmony, Understanding Horse Types and Temperaments,” visit http://www.horseharmony.com.


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