Wednesday, 8 April 2015

The Psychology of People and Horses

We all have our unique personalities, quirks and patterns of behavior that knit together to make us a one of kind. Anyone who has spent a reasonable amount of time around horses has discovered each horse's personality can be just as distinctive.

When we begin the search for a horse, I am sure we all have a pretty similar list: Sound, sane, conformation suitable to our preferred discipline, etc.

And handsome of course

But what makes that one special horse and you "click"?

I have been noticing an interesting trend around the barns I have ridden at. Many of the horse/human relationships seem to have something in each other! Is it just coincidence or something deeper?

Artist: Doug Grundy
 If you are lucky enough to have that heart horse, have you noticed any similarities between you and your horse's personality?

These possible "coincidences" got me thinking. Miss Tea is definitely a horse I click with and have a very good relationship with. She feels like part of the family and I know she is here to stay. So what is it that holds my heart while other horses have been easy to say goodbye to?

After going over my personality and hers, it didn't take long to see we are a lot a like...

1. Pretty easy going, but I really have a deep seeded bossiness. If you ask for my opinion, watch out because I will have all sorts of thoughts and ideas for you!
2. Anxious. I was born slightly on edge. I am jumpy. I worry. This will be a life-long struggle. :(
3. I like to attack a problem methodically in small steps and avoid looking at the big picture so I don't get overwhelmed (see anxious above!).
4. I am nice. For real. Not a people pleaser but kind and I worry about other people's feelings.
Obviously so much more to me, but these are the top four you might pick up if you met me.

Now for Miss Tea:
1. Lead mare in any herd she is put in with. Always.
2. Spooky. Always has that look in her eye saying "You want me to do what?!" even if it is just stepping over a pole she just walked over yesterday, 20 times.
3. Needs to not be over challenged or will seriously melt down. She will do pretty much anything for me, but I have to take it slowly, in small pieces and build up to what I am wanting.
4. She is nice. For real. <3 <3  Ask her farrier--she says she is one of the most gentle, cuddly horses she ever met.

Has anyone else noticed similarities? I'd love to hear it!

Love this horse.


  1. so i actually didn't really like my leased mare AT ALL when i started with her. we fought all the time and pretty much had zero respect for each other... but the price was right so.. i kept with it lol. things are much better now and i actually suspect our earlier issues were in part bc of some similar personality traits (the need for control included haha). it's interesting to think about!

  2. Nice post tthanks for sharing