Earth Horse: The Dependable Lesson Horse
Earth horses love two things: respect and food. They are solid citizens who want to be appreciated for the good work they do, and food treats often
go a long way toward keeping them happy. They make perfect school horses and work well with children. They develop bad habits when their daily
routine is upset.
The Earth horse is a wonderful horse to have. He is willing, friendly and trustworthy. He often is labeled as lazy but this does not have to be. When an Earth horse is fed the foods that are right for him he can stay fit and energetic while still maintaining his wonderful disposition.
The Essence of the Earth Horse
The Earth horse temperament is solid and dependable, which makes him the perfect horse for the beginner or child. The Earth horse can be a solid
mount for any rider who values a steady partner. The Earth horse may not be the flashiest of performers but he can often win on consistency.
The young Earth horse temperament is born with a willingness to get along and give all he has. The earth horse will often seem to train himself especially if he is treated with kindness. Earth horses are easy keepers but they love food. A simple diet and moderate work load is best for the Earth horse. Treats will go a long way in assuring their cooperation and excitement about the partnership. With clear boundaries, the Earth horse will respect you and not mug you for food. Over working the Earth horse will destroy his natural good attitude.
The Earth horse has a tendency to retain too much water in his system. This excess dampness can cause him to be dull and slow. Too much fat and rich food can lead to excess dampness and the health challenges that are related. Stocking up in the legs is a common sign of dampness in the Earth horse. Internal signs of excess dampness include frequent head colds with thick nasal discharge and susceptibility to parasites. Too little moisture and you will see a dry coat and brittle hooves.
The Earth horse is honest and solid and when his giving nature is honored he will be a willing, long term partner. Born wanting the get along, the Earth horse is a great backyard, family horse. He needs are simple, a basic low carb, low fat diet and enough good quality forage to support his weight. Treats will make the Earth horse look forward to working for you and if you set boundaries he will not get pushy. Watch for signs of dampness and make adjustments in feeding practices that are appropriate to his temperament. Take care of your Earth horse and he will take care of you.
When Exposed to Stress the Earth Horse Shows Worry
The Earth horse may not show clear signs of worry but clues include a grumpy attitude in a normally willing horse. If worry in the Earth horse is not addressed it
can manifest as the aggravating habit of cribbing. Under saddle the stressed Earth horse temperament may work and perform but show no enthusiasm. The Earth
element can become Imbalanced when there is exposure to extreme or prolonged damp or rainy conditions.
Lack of ambition
Tendency to gain weight
Swelling of udder or sheath
Swelling of lower legs
Tendency to have worms
Prone to fungal infections
Swollen lymph nodes
Initial stiffness that lessens with warm up
Earth Balancing Formula: Sweet & Energized
The Earth Horse Formula is based on the unique needs of this temperament type. It contains:
Drying herbs to offset the tendency of the Earth horse to build up fluids
in his tissues.
Specific amino acids and minerals are included to help the build strong
muscles and to improve endurance.
Digestive enzymes are provided to support proper breakdown of foods.
Additional amino acids are used to support the mood of the Earth horse
to help him be more ambitious and less inclined to worry.
This formula is specifically designed to maintain balance in the Earth horse but it can also be used in other temperament types experiencing imbalance in the Earth element due to exposure to extreme or prolonged damp or rainy conditions.
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 an Earth horse
Feeding horses according to their Five Element type is a new, but valuable, concept. In addition to a low starch feed and quality grass hay, the 3 top supplements
for an Earth horse temperament are digestive enzymes, chia seeds and AFA(Aph. flos-aquae) blue green algae. Lets look at the reasons these products work so
well for the Earth horse.
Digestive Enzymes - According to Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM) the organs associated with the Earth element are the Spleen and Stomach. The pancreas is also considered to be associated with the Earth element. These organs will be the weak link for the Earth horse that is not in optimum health. In the same vein, extra support for these organs will help the Earth horse stay healthy. In TCM, the Spleen helps the Stomach with digestion. The Spleen, Stomach and Pancreas are responsible the initial breakdown of food.
Digestive enzymes assist with breaking down food, therefore by adding them to the diet we are helping assist the organs associated with digestion. This is especially important when a horse is not able to eat fresh pasture grass. Fresh foods contain natural food enzymes that help them break down during digestion. Processed foods take more energy from the body to be digested.
Chia Seeds - Earth horses love to eat and given the opportunity they will over consume and get fat. Feeding a quality source of fat can help curb the appetite of an Earth horse. Chai seeds are a great source of fat because they have a desirable ratio of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids and plenty of minerals and proteins. They are a nutrient rich source of fat, unlike vegetable oils which are packed with calories but nutrient poor. Chia seeds supply quality fat needed by the Earth horse but they are needed in smaller quantities than other fat sources so they are less likely to make a horse fatter.
AFA Blue Green Algae - The climate type that is most challenging for the Earth horse is dampness. Muscle soreness, lethargy, stocking up and sheath swelling can all be related to dampness effecting the Earth horse in a negative way. Unlike other fresh water and marine algae, AFA blue green algae has a drying effect in the body. AFA blue green algae is also packed full of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and phytonutrients which are very easy for the Earth horse to digest. Because AFA blue green algae is a whole food even amounts as small as a 1/2 tsp a day can make a difference. AFA algae can be feed by itself or combined with probiotics, digestive enzymes and sprouted grains.
Digestive enzymes, chia seeds and AFA blue green algae - These 3 supplements can make a huge difference in the overall health of your Earth horse.
Training an Earth horse
The Earth horse is the least complicated and easiest to train. He wants to please and he does not get upset over much of anything. The Earth horse
loves to eat so food treats or rewards that include grazing time will keep him happy and wanting to learn. The Earth horse enjoys companionship and
enjoys being groomed and petted. The Earth horse is even tempered and consistant so any unusual behavior should be explored for possible pain issues.
Ulcers can be a problem if the Earth horse is put under too much stress.
An Earth horse's temperament does not like to work hard but he will be willing to work long hours if the work is not strenuous. This type horse can work all day carrying small kids around at a horse show and as long as he gets some treats he will do this willingly week after week, year after year.
The 3 Worst Things to Feed an Earth Horse
One of the advantages of understanding horse temperament is to know what foods are best or worst for each type. Some foods that benefit one type may
be totally wrong for another.
The 3 worst foods for the Earth horse are:
1. Free Choice Hay - Horses do best when they can eat continuously but the Earth horse temperament loves food and he is not inclined to exercise on his on volition. This is not a good combination and if allowed free choice hay the Earth horse will overeat. Some temperament types that are less food driven do great with free choice hay and in those cases it works well to satisfy the need to eat small amounts continuously.
A better option, over free choice hay, is too determine the total amount of food needed per day. This should be around 1.5% of the horse's body weight. Provide this amount of hay in a small hole feeder or net that forces the Earth horse to eat slowly so his food will last longer. Also step up his exercise program. Walking for 30 minutes to 1 hour a day will keep his metabolism functioning at a higher level so he does not gain weight so easily.
2. Poor Quality Fat - The Earth horse temperament does a good job with digesting high calorie foods like fat. He does not do so well with absorbing his proteins, vitamins and minerals. So it is best to avoid foods, such as vegetable oils and some seeds that have empty calories. A much better choice to provide your Earth horse's fat would be chia seeds. Chia seeds are full of good quality fat with lots of protein and minerals but you can feed a small amount so they won't make the Earth horse gain weight. Blue green algae is another great supplement for the Earth horse that provides quality fat and plenty of protein, vitamins and minerals.
3. Extra Salt or Electrolytes - Adding salt or electrolytes to the food of an Earth horse is rarely needed unless the horse is working extremely hard and losing lots of electrolytes in his sweat. The Earth horse already has a tendency to hold extra fluid in his tissues and extra salt can make this worse. This extra fluid can cause conditions such as stocking up in the legs or sheath area in a gelding. The extra tissue fluid can make the Earth horse even more sluggish. A better choice for the Earth horse is to provide free choice loose salt that the horse can access easily. Providing a TBS or 2 a day of kelp in a separate bucket is a great way to get salt into your horse along with other beneficial minerals.