The book is readily available at Amazon for about $12.00. If you haven't bought it yet, I recommend it as it's worth $12 in entertainment alone.
If you haven't heard of the book, here is how it works. According to the author, Dessa Hockley, there are eight equine personality traits:
- Dominant or Submissive: How much control do they need in their world?
- Energetic or Lazy: How much effort do they put in? How do they express themselves? How much energy do they carry?
- Curious or Afraid: How do they approach life and learning?
- Friendly or Aloof: How are they motivated? How do they fit in socially?
There are four chapters in the book designed to help you decide where your horse falls in the personality spectrum. If you get stuck, there is also a 54 question quiz in the back that will help you. After reading each chapter, I was able to determine that Sydney is Dominant, Lazy, Afraid, and Friendly - DLAF. Speedy G is Dominant, Energetic, Curious, and Friendly - DECF.
Once you have your four letters, the rest of the book is made up of chapters (16) that give a detailed description of each personality. There are also training tips for that personality and a discussion about which careers might best suit a horse of that personality type.
The author does point out that each of the personality types can be expressed mildly or more strongly. This range will influence the other three traits. For example, a mildly dominant horse (both of mine) who is also energetic or afraid is much easier to deal with than a horse with a strong dominant personality. Deciding how strongly or mildly your horse expresses his personality traits can help you figure out to which of the 16 personality profiles he belongs.
Okay, enough explanation. Here are my boys.
Sydney, The Accountant (DLAF)
Another thing that really rings true for Sydney is this: "These horses are not outgoing in their friendly attitude. So if something is amiss in the relationship or if they feel afraid too many times, they will shut down their Friendly; they will appear tuned out and disinterested." This is EXACTLY how Sydney was when I first bought him. He wasn't mean, but there was no love bug in him.
While he cuddles and snuggles me now, it has only been in the past few weeks that he has shown any interest in my trainer at all. Each time I have a gigantic AHA!, he gets more and more loving and friendly. That Friendly is now starting to show itself more publicly. I think he is finally starting to feel as though his little world is becoming orderly and consistent. He appreciates that I am now following "the rules" and have "my books in order."
The author also states, "They are happy to work in the back room as long as you appreciate them. […] This horse can be your steady, reliable partner." That's exactly what I am aiming for!
I'll share Speedy G's "horoscope" tomorrow!
Leave me your horse's four letters in a comment, and I'll give you his personality type. :0)