Metal Horse: The Hard-Working Ranch Horse
Metal horses enjoy order and control, and can stand up to some of the toughest working conditions. They do their jobs perfectly but otherwise
desire very little interaction. They can be found in all disciplines and are often found in working-horse situations like ranching.
The Metal horse is strong and durable. He is not warm and fuzzy so does not make the best kid or family horse. The Metal horse is best where consistent performance is required. He learns best when exercises are broken into individual segments. He likes routine and thinks in patterns.
The Essence of the Metal Horse
Metal is the material we turn to when we need a structure to be strong. Metal is cold and rigid. We do not generally build our houses out of metal because
we want a warmer feel to where we live. Metal buildings are used for warehouses because they provide maximum protection for the contents within
without regard for comfort. Metal is durable and tools and machines built with it can withstand hard use.
The Metal horse is strong and durable. You don't get a warm, fuzzy feeling around a Metal horse. The Metal horse is all about getting a job done and done well. Just as metal is rigid so is the Metal horse. The Metal horse approaches life with a set routine and he does not like to deviate from it. He is the perfect horse for a job that needs to be done the same way day in and day out. The Metal horse is strong and athletic but not necessarily fast and agile. He does well with ranch work and showing that rewards consistency over brilliance.
Metal is not flexible but by combining multiple pieces one can use metal to create mechanisms that functions through movement. Examples would be metal hinges, the moving parts of an engine or the cogs inside a wind up watch. The timing of the movement of each metal component must be perfect because if one parts freezes the entire unit loses function. Metal is used to provide structure and to hold a pattern without bending. You can mold the exterior of a structure, such as different car bodies, but the frame stays the same.
The Metal horse learns best when things are presented to him one step at a time. He is not a big picture thinker. If he does not understand any aspect of a lesson or the timing of the information is confusing he will not be able to learn. When the Metal horse does not understand he responds by becoming rigid and bracing through his body.
He presents a cold, hard demeanor that could be read as defiance but in reality is simply his self preservation pattern. When you see this behavior in the Metal horse you know you have failed in your presentation of information to him somewhere along the line. You must go back to the place where the cogs got jammed and present the information in a new way until it is understood. The Metal horse thinks in patterns and once he gets a lesson he will never forget.
Metal requires very little care but it does have a couple of weaknesses. The biggest threat to the integrity of metal is rust. Rust will change the structure of metal by eating away at the exposed surfaces. Rust will cause friction between moving metal parts. The best protection against rust is oil. Oil will protect the exposed surfaces of metal and keeps metal parts moving without friction. Another threat to metal is bending forces. Metal is not meant to bend. If a metal part sustains repeated bending force it will eventual fatigue and break. This concept shows up when you lose your wire cutters and have to open the bale by grabbing where the wire is twisted and rapidly bending it back and forth. Pretty quickly the wire will break.
A healthy Metal horse will maintain with a minimum of care and a simple diet. Interestingly, the Metal horse does require more fat in his diet than other temperament types. Rice bran or flax seed works well for a working Metal horse who is not overweight. For a Metal horse that tends to be heavy the chai seeds will provide the needed fatty acids without causing weight gain. After many years of hard, repetitive work you can see the joints of the Metal horse showing signs of fatigue. To slow down this process extra antioxidants in the diet can be helpful initially and then specific joint support products and the horse ages.
When Exposed to Stress the Metal Horse Shows Resistance.
The Metal horse shows resistance by holding his breath. When the stressed Metal horse does not breathe well he struggles to learn and objects to any change in his routine.
Under saddle the stressed Metal horse temperament may buck when pushed to perform. The Metal Element can become Imbalanced when there is exposure to exposure
to extreme or prolonged dry conditions (hot or cold).
Resistance to learning new things
Braced and stiff body
Hair loss, especially around face
Metal Balancing Formula: Flexible & Resilient
The Metal Horse Formula is based on the unique needs of this temperament type. It contains:
Moisturizing herbs to offset the tendency of the Metal horse to have tight,
dry connective tissues.
Specific vitamins and herbs are included to help the Metal horse build strong
Digestive support herbs are provided to enhance proper breakdown of foods.
Additional amino acids are used to support the mood of the Metal horse to
help him be more flexible and open minded when learning.
This formula is specifically designed to maintain balance in the Metal horse but it can also be used in other temperament types experiencing imbalance in the Metal element due to exposure to extreme or prolonged dry conditions (hot or cold).
For all the Balancing Formulas, an 8 day course, given once a month is the suggested protocol for maintaining balance. However longer courses of ½ a dose a day may be needed for the horse in training or under stress (physical or emotional). One bag will last 4 month if given the first 8 days of every month.
Stress is going to be a part of our horse’s lives so it is important to recognize it. Often stress behavior is mistaken for bad behavior and the horse is punished which creates more stress. A better option is to offer specialized nutritional support to mitigate the stress emotions. If the negative stress emotions are lessened then they are less likely to lead to behavior or physical health issues in the horse. In other words, if we can’t make the stress go away we can help the horse have less of a negative reaction to it.
Reducing stress emotions is an important part of the principle behind the Five Element balancing formulas. These formulas are very carefully designed to provide each horse temperament with the nutrients specifically needed by his type when under stress. Providing these extra nutrients will decrease the occurrence of stress emotions.
We are ready to take orders for these balancing formulas. If you don’t know your horse’s type we have expert typologists to help you. We are excited to offer Five Element balancing formulas and are very much look forward to hearing from you on how they are working for your horse. So far the feedback has been quite positive.
Top 3 Supplements for the Metal Horse Temperament
The Metal horse temperament is generally an easy keeper who assimilates nutrients well. The organs associated with the Metal Element are the lung and large
intestine so so the 3 top supplements for the Metal horse temperament will give these organ systems support. Metal horses need additional quality fat in the diet,
as well as extra electrolytes and pungent herbs.
Quality Fat - The beneficial bacteria in the large intestine thrive on a high fat diet. The challenge with feeding fat to a Metal horse is weight gain. Rice bran is a good fat and carbohydrate source for a hard working Metal horse but a pleasure horse won’t need the extra calories. Chia seeds are perfect for the Metal horse in that they give the quality fat needed by the good bacteria and they provide extra protein and minerals but no carbohydrates. You only need 1/4 to 1/2 cup of nutrient dense chia seeds a day so this small amount does not increase weight gain. Expect to see your Metal horse’s hooves and coat improve, as well, with the nice ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acids in the chia seeds. Chia seeds also provide a lubricating action in the large intestine so they help prevent impaction colic.
Electrolytes - Dryness is the climate condition that most affects the Metal horse temperament. A Metal horse will greatly benefit from extra electrolytes during hot, dry weather. Not only do electrolytes replace salts lost during sweating but they encourage more water consumption which prevents impaction colic. You can use commercial electrolyte products but I prefer kelp. Kelp can be added to the feed ration at the rate of 1 to 2 tbsp a day or slightly more can be put out free choice during dry conditions. Kelp should not be fed in large amounts on a continual basis as it is high in iodine and excess iodine can be harmful. Kelp also increases dampness in the body and too much during humid weather can contribute to stocking up or increased tendency to infections.
Pungent herbs - The flavor associated with the Metal element is pungent. Herbs such as garlic, fennel, turmeric and ginger are all beneficial in small amounts. I like a digestive enzyme product that has pungent herbs included to stimulate digestion in the Metal horse. Garlic, in addition to being a very pungent herb, has the added benefit of providing the trace mineral, sulphur. Sulphur helps the hooves and connective tissue to be strong. Garlic is also a good immune support product and it helps repel insects. I like to feed a Metal horse Garlic plus C as needed during hard work, for lung and immune support or when insects are very active.
The Metal horse will do best on grass hay as the majority of his diet with some alfalfa and/or rice bran added based on his work load and as needed to maintain his weight. Chia seeds, electrolytes and pungent herbs are 3 important supplements to also consider to keep your Metal horse healthy and balanced.
Training the Metal Temperament Horse
The Metal horse comes across as a slow learner but in reality is just a slow processor of information. He can learn when the information is presented in an
organized way and broken down into small amounts of information at a time. Once the Metal horse has focused adequately to learn a simple task he can then
add a new task and retain the previous lesson. The Metal horse may be slower to learn but his memory is the best of all the horse temperament types.
The Metal horse is the least physically flexible and this may cause him to come across as resistant to moving forward. He will tend to balk when he feels any pressure on his face. You will need lots of leg but resist the temptation to reach for a crop until you are sure your Metal horse understands what you are asking. Ask for enough forward steps off you leg until you are sure your horse understood he did the right action then stop and let him process the new information. Repeat the same cue several times until your Metal horse personality moves off your leg every time. Only when you are sure your horse understands the leg cue do you ask for him to get soft to your hands as you ask him to step off.
Suppling exercises are critical for the Metal horse. Spend lots of time doing circles and lateral work. Make sure your Metal horse can bend his neck easily and flex through his ribs bot standing still and when moving forward. Once you have your Metal horse focused on learning, moving forward easily and supple to your aids he will be able to do anything you ask.
Problem Feeds for Metal Temperament Horse
The organs associated with the Metal element are the Lungs and Large Intestine. There are 2 problem foods for the Metal horse.
These include feeds that can become dusty or moldy and high sugar/starch feeds, such as grain and lush pasture.
Moldy hay should never be knowingly fed to any horse but will be especially damaging the a Metal horse. Mold spores or dust in hay or feed can irritate the lungs settling up inflammatory airway disease. Round bales are especially prone to harbor dust and mold spores. If you feed round bales to a Metal horse put the bale under cover to minimize mold around the edges from exposure to the elements. Make sure that all hay is properly cured so there is no dust or mold inside the bale. Steaming hay immediately before feeding will make dusty hay safe for a Metal horse.
High starch grains can cause problems in the large intestine when all the starch is not fully digested in the small intestine. Starch that makes its way to the large intestine will disrupt the balance of fiber digesting bacteria. The starch digesting bacteria will over grow the fiber digesting bacteria which will cause problems with fiber digestion and lead to ulceration of the lining of the colon. Lush pasture or stressed grass can also be high in sugar/starch and cause similar problems to high grain diets. A hard working Metal horse can handle some sugar/starch if it is fed in small amounts at a time. Grazing muzzles can slow down consumption of high sugar/starch pasture and slow feed hay nets can be used to limit intake of high sugar/starch hay.