Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Personality tests

I've been watching this meme spread for a couple weeks, and I guess it's time to take part. This time, the quiz says my horse is a DECA - Macho Man.

"If you have a serious job to do, this is the horse for it. You will have to get out of the way and allow them some freedom in how they do it. Sit down, shut up and hold on! It is initially hard to get them to accept that you do know what you are talking about, so training in the beginning can be challenging. Use psychology and variety and start them into their career at a very early age."

Sounds perfect for endurance, yeah? The problem is that I don't really think these things are accurate for self-administering humans, much less for what we're projecting onto our horses. I usually think stuff like this is self-fulfilling. "oh, I took a quiz that said she's dominant so I have to be more dominant and not let her push me around" leads to fighting with the horse which leads to thinking she's contesting my authority which reinforces the original decision.

Over on Aarene's blog, Evensong commented:
"Having studied psychology and being familiar with M-B and similar "inventories", I see such questionnaires as simply "jumping off points" for discussion. They are merely snapshots of one moment in time, from one person's perspective. I tend to take the "results" with a grain of salt."

That's a really good way of looking at it. (I'm so lucky to have such smart blog friends!)

Some of the quiz questions are things I haven't witnessed in months or years. For instance, Dixie eats alone now. She's too bitchy for me to take the chance of her hurting someone else's horse at feeding time. Still, every time I've fed her with others, she eats first and she eats from the haypile of her choice.

But other things, I'm just guessing. One of the questions (IIRC) was "does your horse like to go new places?" That's a question I feel we can only guess about. I really think almost all horses only want to go to new SAFE places with GRASS or other horses.

If we're lucky, our horses feel safe with us, so they're comfortable going where we ask. Or maybe the horse doesn't feel threatened and is curious about the new place. But the answer to the question is ALWAYS dependent upon circumstances.

Back to my horse: I have never understood that critter. I don't know if I ever will. I do feel like I get more moments of insight when I put aside my preconceptions about what she'll do and just observe.

I hope this stupid program doesn't eat this post like it ate the last one :(

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


  1. I agree that the "test" is really more for fun than anything else--it didn't reveal any hidden truths to me...except the word friendly which I normally wouldn't apply to my horse.

    In looking at the questions asked, "friendliness" is gauged by the horse coming to you in the pasture and liking to be groomed. There was no consideration of whether the horse is happy in groups, or asks strangers to pet them, which to me indicates a level of friendliness. My horse comes to me in the field because I'm the one who feeds her and she's very food-motivated!

  2. Fizz is also a Macho Man. Tonka is a Wall Flower.

  3. right - that test read like my horoscope. i took it twice for baasha and both times the results were talking about someone else's horse. *sigh*

    your results were cool for dixie though: )

  4. So? ......I read this and did the test a while ago.........What can I say? The test was "inconclusive!"

  5. The test worked pretty well for my horses - but I think all things like this have to be taken with a grain of salt. At least it's more nuanced than the right brain/left brain introvert/extrovert stuff, which seems way oversimplified to me. One of the things that I found most interesting about the book was the idea that she points out that you need to adapt yourself to your horse - and in fact she suggests that with a dominant horse you may need to dial down your dominance (if you're naturally a dominant person), to avoid conflicts, and with a horse needing leadership you may need to step up even if that's not your natural tendency. The on-line test doesn't have some of these nuances.


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