Horses can display traits that qualify them as social, aloof, fearful, and challenging. Further, as well as noting specific temperament traits that match your equine the best, you also need to notice how “loudly” or “quietly” (“aggressively” or “passively”) your horse displays its personality.
Understanding your horse’s personality, coupled with knowledge about your own temperament and skill level, gives us the best chance for success in our daily rides. We want to be paired with a horse whose natural behavior patterns allow us to stay within our own natural comfort zones as much as possible, right?
It can be argued that temperament is just as crucial as gaits, breeding, and conformation when assessing the horse you already own or one you are thinking of buying. Studying a horse’s personality type can help you understand its behavior patterns and comfort level, enabling you to organize a good training program. But, of course, the study of equine personalities is done “in addition to” and not “instead of” the other riding and training issues we all gamely struggle with regularly. It’s just one more tool that can lead us toward a better understanding and handling of our equine friends.
Most equestrians recognize that horses have unique personality traits. Much like people, these characteristics shape their behavior and how they handle situations. It can take some time for your horse’s true personality to shine, but stay patient! In time, their quirks and subtle traits will become very obvious.
Most horses end up falling into a few categories, but one type usually stands out the most. Depending on your needs, some personality traits may be more to your liking. Novice or timid riders benefit from an easy-going horse, while skilled riders usually prefer a sensitive type. Your horse may fall into one of these categories, or he may be a mix of a few. Once you identify your horse’s personality traits, it will be easier to train them.