Individual personality or HORSENALITY
How would you describe your personality to someone?
Are you outgoing, adventurous, reserved or quiet?
Personality is define as 'those characteristics of a person that account for consistent patterns of feeling, thinking and behaving.'
We all have an individual and unique personality that is our own. It is important to understand that there is no one in the universe that has our exact coded personality. There may be someone with similar interests to us but they may have qualities that we don't have. Extroverts and introverts are two groups of a personality. Introverts share traits such as, worrying more about what is on the inside then out, enjoying their alone time (this is their best thinking time), good leaders if the team are ready to be pushed to their potential, last to raise their hand to answer a question, other people ask you your opinion and also prefer to stay out of conflict or issues with others. Extroverts, however, are outgoing, confident, concerned about external things rather than internal, loves to socialise, friendly and approachable and loves to learn new things.
If you are unsure about what personality type you are then go to google and do one of the many tests on there are to see what you are!
Do you know your horse's horsenality?
Studies have been conducted to try and determine a horse's personality. Trying to put characteristics into groups can be difficult but one study grouped horse's personality traits into these sub-groups
A great way of determining which horsenality your horse has is finding out if they are an introvert or an extrovert. Or if they work from the left side of the brain or the right side of the brain. Parelli has put together a great key to work out what your horse's horsenality is. I will put the link at the bottom of the page to get a better look at the chart. One experience that I can recall to help you understand why it is important to know your horse's personality is a story about a mare I used to own. Traveling was a massive issue for Arizona, we did what every horse owner knows and put her on the right side of the float because she was the bigger horse however on every bend she would kick out and even fall over when traveling. This was becoming a serious problem so we sought out help from a natural horsemanship guru and he advised us that she was a left brain introvert. Once we established this and removed the divider from the float she naturally put herself on the left side of the float to travel. From that day on she never moved a foot while traveling on the left side.
I'm sure you can start to find traits in your own horse that fits into any of these groups. Being able to recognise a personality can improve the bond between you and your horse. We spend a lot of our time with our horses so we need to take their personalities into consideration and understand what they require from us, which can build trust and companionship. Remember, you are one with the horse! If people understood more about the personality of the horse they may be able to prevent problems from occurring. Buying a horse from a sales yard is one example where serious problems can occur. Inexperience with the horse and not knowing their background before the sales makes it extremely difficult to know if your personality is going to connect with the horses' and for a connection to build.
Researching the breed before purchasing can also help with understanding personality traits of the horse. Research has found that it is common for certain breeds to poses certain characteristics. Thoroughbreds for example are known to be energetic and athletic which requires confidence to handle their energy. Quarter horses may be more suitable for less experienced riders due to their adaptability, gentle and well balanced breed traits. Even though breeds are known for particular traits it is still important to know the horse's particular history to cater to their individual needs.
I believe that having a greater understanding of the horse and its personality can help the rider, horse connection and a great relationship can be formed.
Parelli Horsenality Chart: http://www.horsechannel.com/images/horse-exclusives/horsenalitychart.pdf
The Thoroughbred, 2017, Website: http://www.drsfostersmith.com/pic/article.cfm?articleid=1872
A. Llyod, ect ,Horse Personalty: Variation between breeds, 2008. Website: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0168159107002699
P. Graf, Importance of personality traits in horses to breeders and riders, 2013, Journal of Veterinary Behaviours, Website:http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1558787813001317