Brief Summary of the 11 Temperament Types
Earth Horse: The Dependable Lesson Horse
Earth horses love two things: respect and food. They are solid citizens who want to be appreciated for the good work they do, and food treats often go a long way toward keeping them happy. They make perfect school horses and work well with children. They develop bad habits when their daily routine is upset.
Fire Horse: The Perfect Show Horse
Fire horses love to be at the center of attention and they want to be adored. They make excellent hunters and dressage horses, as well as good pleasure horses. They need to be told that they are loved. They enjoy grooming and bathing because it makes them beautiful.
Metal Horse: The Hard Working Ranch Horse
Metal horses enjoy order and control, and can stand up to some of the toughest working conditions. They do their jobs perfectly but otherwise desire very little interaction. They can be found in all disciplines and are often found in working-horse situations like ranching.
Water Horse: The Animated Park Horse
Water horses need safety and a trustworthy rider. They can be brilliant show horses but panic easily. They perform well in events that call for animation and excitement, and are motivated by cheering crowds. They need steady riders to help them through scary situations.
Wood Horse: The Ultimate Competitor
Wood horses love physical challenges and must be kept active or they will develop bad habits like kicking and biting. Wood horses make excellent jumpers, barrel racers and cutters so long as they understand the rules of the game. Don’t try to subdue or overpower a Wood horse but instead reason with them.
Shao Yang Horse (Yang Fire/Wood): The Talented but Excitable Racehorse
Shao Yang horses are the supreme competitors. They are agile, coordinated and athletic, but can take aggressiveness to an extreme. Shao Yang horses need handlers with the same level of will and strength. These horses excel at racing, cross country, stadium jumping, reining and cutting, but lack the focus to do dressage, pleasure or hunter classes.
Jue Yin Horse (Yin Wood/Fire): The Trick (and Tricky!) Horse
Jue Yin horses are highly mercurial and work well only when they want to. Working with these horses can be a real exercise in patience and if they are not “in the mood” to work, it’s best to delay training to another day. These horses do best in low pressure activities such as playdays, trail rides, clinics and schooling shows. Desensitizing them with exposure to flags and tarps can make them much safer to handle.
Tai Yang Horse (Yang Water/Fire): The Endurance Trail Horse
Tai Yang horses have the highest energy of all the types and they love to show off. They need supportive riders to help them through scary situations and tend to be suspicious of new people. They excel at jumping and endurance and also do well at competitive driving. They need to be taught to relax and thrive on praise.
Shao Yin Horse (Yin Fire/Water): The Western Pleasure Horse
Shao Yin horses like attention and social interaction as well as figuring things out. They are fairly laid back and make excellent western pleasure and trail horses. They have good presence in the show ring but lack the personality to do speed or endurance events. They seem to be the easiest of all types to train.
Yang Ming Horse (Yang Metal/Earth): Exceptionally Willing and Versatile Performer
Yang Ming horses want to be treated fairly. They will withhold respect and affection until they are sure their riders are fair and respectable. They are athletic enough to go into any discipline and often win based on their consistent performance. They tend to have long and lanky bodies.
Tai Yin Horse (Yin Metal/Earth): The Solid Working Horse
The Tai Yin horse often bonds to a single person and will work very hard for that person. They crave respect and routine. They excel in events that call for consistency rather than flash. They tend to be slower moving and have heavier bodies.