Dessa Hockley, who wrote the book,Is Your Horse a Rock Star? Understanding your Horse s Personality,checked in with her horses and found some unique things on their Christmas list. People who work or share their lives with horses, are well aware that like people, each horse has his or her own unique personality.
The four traits listed after each personality type below, are a combination of eight personality traits Dominant or Submissive, Energetic or Lazy, Curious or Afraid, Friendly or Aloof that will help you do a quick assessment of your horse. If you want more information on determining your horse s personality, take the short online quiz at www.horsepersonalities.com. For a more in-depth look, you can order the book from the website or from amazon.com.
TwasthemonthbeforeChristmas, Andthehorsesweretalking Aboutwhattheymightfind Intheirsocksortheirstockings.
So we went out to the herd to find out what each unique personality would like for Christmas. Here is what we found out:
THE ROCK STAR (DECF: dominant, energy, curious, friendly)
I love this season! What s not to love people, parties, presents. I can go to three parties a night and never play out. And, I look good in black tie. OK, the work the next day might suffer a little. I really like music. Do you think I could have an iPod so I can work on my dance moves in my stall at night? I ve heard you saying that my stall always looks like I have been partying all night maybe I should.
THE BOSS (DEAA: dominant, energy, afraid, aloof)
Hum Bug! There is work to be done here, we have no time for all this hullabaloo and that means you. Fine, you can call me the Scrooge of Christmas if you like, but someone has to take care of business.
THE MACHO MAN (DECA: dominant, energy, curious, aloof)
Christmas! Bring it on. I can do the parties and I can do the work. And I can do it bigger and better and longer and later than anyone else. Presents? Don t pander me. I look after me and I can get whatever I want. If you must get me something, how about one of those bitless bridles, it s not that I listen to you anyway.
THE WILD CARD (DEAF: dominant, energy, afraid, friendly)
Hmmm! What would I like for Christmas? How about games? I love playing them. I keep my owner up nights trying to figure out which game we will be playing tomorrow when she comes out to ride. Sometimes I am big and bold and full of confidence and just when she starts to trust that, I am suddenly totally terrified of that little thing in the corner. Then when she gets really frustrated with me, I bring out the cute and cuddly guy that she can t resist and all is forgiven. What fun!
THE RELUCTANT ROCK STAR (DLCF: dominant, lazy, curious, friendly)
I ve got it. I know what I want this year. You know how they have these Santa Claus parades? Well, I want to be in it. No, not just in it, maybe lead it. Oh yeah and I don t mean pulling a cart like some of the other poor equines, I mean riding on the float and all my fans will line the sidewalk and cheer as we pass by. Ahhh & I can see it now.
THE PRIZEFIGHTER (DLCA: dominant, lazy, curious, aloof)
I want some piercings, some dreads, maybe a few tattoos. Oh yeah, I play hard. I need to do all I can to keep up my tough guy persona, because I really do not want anyone to see the real me the sensitive shy guy that tries really hard.
THE ACCOUNTANT (DLAF: dominant, lazy, afraid, friendly)
I would like a calendar this year. It can have lovely pictures of wild horses on it or kittens for that matter, but I would like my owner to put it up in the tack room and write on it what we might be doing in the upcoming year. Some schedule, some routine, some heads up on what s coming. I ve even had to buck them off to get that point across. When will they figure out that I do not like surprises, and I feel really bad when I have to do things like that. So hopefully this year we can start off on a fresh foot with a well organized plan. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
THE SKEPTIC (DLAA: dominant, lazy, afraid, aloof)
Why would I get excited about this Christmas? (said in his usual slow, Eeyore, monotone voice). Nothing ever changes. I ll probably just get a lump of coal in my stocking. When will they start to listen to me and realize I have a lot of good ideas? So much chatter when will they quiet down so they can hear me?
I m so excited. Where can I begin? Well, I d really like a new blanket, not one of those drab canvas things, how about something in a pink and purple plaid. I d like a new bridle and let s have a little bling maybe a rhinestone brow band. I d like to live in a fine stable at night as I really hate when my coat gets long and shaggy. I m not really your pasture horse kind of girl. And of course I ll have to have my girlfriends in with me. I d like a new brush, maybe one of those mohair really expensive ones, because I am worth it.
The Goddess (SECF: Submissive, Energy, Curious, Friendly)
THE WORKER BEE (SECA: submissive, energy, curious, aloof)
I like toys. Fun things that I can play with balls to roll around. I d like a Lickit. I m not much into the social scene with all the parties, the office party will be enough for me. I think I could even figure out electronic toys because I am pretty smart and I have a lot of energy to work at things. I ve been pigeon holed. People think all I ever do is work but I like to be creative and have new, interesting things to figure out.
THE PEOPLE PLEASER (SEAF: submissive, energy, afraid, friendly)
If I could have anything in the world, I think what I would like is a sweet, little girl that would love me and play with me. Someone who wouldn t be bossy or demanding, those kinds of riders make me sooo anxious a little friend that would come out to the barn and braid my hair and brush my coat and sit on me bareback. Wouldn t it be fun if she could be in my stocking with a red ribbon around her neck?
THE PERFECTIONIST (SEAA: submissive, energy, afraid, aloof)
I would like for my owner and I to get one of those 10 DVD training sets for Christmas, one that has that slow progressive step-by- step method, that so many of the other personalities hate. I am not like them at all. I get stressed and confused in training because my rider doesn t stay consistent. This might help us. I like to repeat things until I am doing them really, really well before we move on to new things.
THE STEADY EDDY (SLCF: submissive, lazy, curious, friendly)
I really like my family so we could just have a quiet, stay at home, eat a lot kind of Christmas. Let me repeat eat a lot. Or maybe a beach holiday with food, drinks and lounge chairs. No galloping on the beach for me, thanks. Or how about a new trailer, the kind with living quarters, as I like to go places and see new things, especially looking out my window. We could camp. You could cook. I could eat. Christmas morning,
we can start with a stocking filled to the brim with apples, carrots (not so big on the Christmas oranges or nuts) and your home made cookies full of molasses and oats.
THE WALLFLOWER (SLAF: submissive, lazy, afraid, friendly)
I might like some warm slippers and a teddy bear and a flannelette blanket I need my security blanket wherever I go. I d like to just stay home and cuddle in with my special, close friend. We could watch movies and eat oat snacks. I don t mind watching TV, especially those Spruce Meadows specials. It amazes me the kinds of things those other horses do. Oh my!
THE SOLO ARTIST (SLCA: submissive, lazy, curious, aloof)
Don t even think about getting me a P90X for Christmas or any other kind of fun work out stuff, I like my figure as large as it is. I do like books. A good mystery is fun to solve. And puzzles, especially mensa. By spring I will have found 10 new ways to frustrate my rider. I have a great sense of humour, if I do say so, and I like those Garfield books. I actually see myself as the Garfield of horses. Most other horses are like Odey, always bouncing around trying to please their owners. Really!
THE LONE WOLF (SLAA: submissive, lazy, afraid, aloof)
The holiday season is too much. Could I just be left alone? What part of lone don t you understand? OK, if I have to pick something could we just spend some quiet time together out in the field. I do love it when we are quiet together, without a lot of talking, or touching & let s just BE together this season.