From Endurance to Dressage
I love this book. I bought it last year, but since both of my boys, especially Sydney, have changed so much over the last few months, I decided to pull it back out and re-check their personality types.
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:
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)
The thing that rang most true about this personality type is that "they like life to be predictable, not exciting." No offense to the accountants out there. The author says, "they are also honest and straightforward and expect you to be as well." Boy is that the truth! She also goes on to add, "Work with their Friendly, keep them on your side, keep them safe. Keep away from their negative side, which can be sulky and passively resistant. They want to be your good solid worker - honor them and they will be."
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)
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: