#TBT: What Kind of Mind Reader Is Your Horse?

Ever felt like your horse was telepathic?

They say that horses are the window to your soul… or maybe I just said that. Yeah, I definitely just said that, and though I’m frequently accused of anthropomorphizing the nonhuman members of my family, I think anyone who has spent a significant amount of time around horses will agree that they have the uncanny ability to read our minds better than any psychic could. While telepathy seems to be a common trait that all horses possess, they frequently differ in their responses to our internal thoughts and feelings.

Most horses can be described as one of the following major types:

Stoics: These horses know how you are feeling, but they couldn’t care less. They knows their job and are going to do it regardless of whether or not you’re on the verge of a mental breakdown. These horses may have draft in their bloodlines and tend to have more reserved and less “in your pocket” personality. Don’t think that just because these horses don’t react to your emotions, they don’t know what you’re thinking. Internally, they are more than likely screaming “pull yourself together, kid,” but are just too polite to say anything.

Types of horses common to this category: Quarter horses, draft/draft crosses, Friesians, Gypsies, geldings

Ideal occupations: Lesson horse, confidence builder, paper weight

Photo by Jean Johnson

Mirrors: If you’re ever having trouble sorting through your own emotions and your health insurance doesn’t cover therapy sessions, just go for a spin on one of these horses. If you’re feeling confident, he will be confident. If you are nervous, he will be equally nervous. If you are distraught and unsure of what you’re going to do with your life (should I break up with Steve and run away and join the circus!?), this horse will be equally frustrated and confused. These horses are wonderful teachers and will force you to gain control of your inner monologue if you ever plan on riding them successfully.

Types of horses common to this category: Mustangs, Arabs, Morgans, Standardbreds, Welsh ponies/cobs, Appaloosas

Ideal occupations: Single-rider/handler horse, Zen Master

Photo by Judy Rumsey

Magnifiers: If you haven’t mastered the Mirror yet, you should steer clear of the Magnifier. If you’re feeling even slightly insecure, these horses will be convinced the world is ending. While these horses can typically be incredibly difficult to ride, their sensitivity can often make them excellent high-performance horses for a rider with the skill to handle them. A magnifier in the hands of a rider with a bit of mojo will think it can conquer the world.

Types of horses common to this category: Thoroughbreds, Saddlebreds, Hackneys, high-performance warmbloods, mares (especially the chestnut ones), stallions

Ideal occcupations: High-performance mount, explosive device, catapult

Photo by Jessica Yankey Mohr

Nurturers: Did you have a terrible day and just need to hack out to get away from it all? Did you injure yourself and need a horse to endure your be-crutched flailing when don’t think you can possibly stay away from barn any longer? Or maybe you just had your heart broken and you need to have a good cry while face-deep in a bushy mane. We’ve all been there, and those of us lucky enough to come across a true nurturer know just how special they are. These horses could have any personality under normal circumstances, but the second they sense you are hurting, they are 100% committed to taking care of you.

Types of horses common to this category: Any type of horse can fall into this category

Ideal occupations: Teddy bear, best friend

Photo by Biz Stamm

Regardless of what category your horse falls in to, your life is surely better as a result of their presence. What category does your horse fall under? Let us know in the comments, and go riding!

Biz Stamm is a part-time seed scientist and full-time trainer/riding instructor at Stamm Sport Horse LLC specializing in starting young horses for sport horse disciplines. She brings the analytical mind she developed while working in a lab to her riding and teaching, emphasizing a thorough understanding of how the horse’s body works. She currently owns two horses: the Kalvin Cycle (Kalvin), a 10-year-old half-Arabian gelding, and DB’s Alpha Helix (Helix), a 5-year-old Kiger mustang gelding. While she is currently pursuing competitive goals, her main goal is to enjoy her horses, and for her horses to enjoy her.

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