Thursday, December 11, 2008


Thursday December 11 2008

We've been watching some Pat Parelli DVDs that Steph got. This series starts out talking about the "Horsenalities" - the personalities of horses, and how you can categorize them to help you with their training.

We've watched a series of the Clinton Anderson DVDs too. Like them, hate them, love them or be annoyed by them, all of these natural horsemanship trainers have good things you can learn from.

Parelli's approach is to divide the personalities into groups: Extrovert or Introvert, Right-Brained or Left-Brained. You can use these to decipher horses' behavior and work with them accordingly. For example, a left-brained introvert (who is lazy) would need more stimulation in training than a right-brained extrovert (who is a chicken and might try to bolt in fear).

Each category has good points and bad points to it - say, a Left-Brained extrovert can be charismatic, smart, playful (good) and at the same time naughty and willful (not so good); and you want to work on damping down the bad points, while encouraging the good points.

Any time I hear just the word "Personality," I think Jose. He's a complete Extrovert. And he just doesn't seem to have ANY of the bad qualities that go with that. For me, he's the perfect horse. He has enough go, he has enough whoa. He comes up to you, he's polite, he's respectful of your space, he's light. Even when you have treats in your pocket, he'll ask politely for them - whereas somebody like Finneas, or Stormy, who think with their stomachs first, will try to take them by flattery or force. Jose's curious about things - I swear he enjoys looking at scenery when we're out riding. He likes to sniff poo piles to figure out who left them. He likes to go check new things out.

He's smart - once he left the herd and came and stood by the fence, looking at the house till Steph came out to see what he wanted - he led her back toward the herd and the closed gate to the upper acres - she swears he was fetching her to open the gate.

He enjoys being around other horses and other people, but he can be by himself without losing his brain or being disagreeable. He plays, and encourages others (even Stormy!) to play with him. If nobody plays with him, he'll romp around by himself.

He's just the best horse. In fact, Jose's personality ranks right up at the top of any being I want and like to be around, horse or human.

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