Saturday, May 14, 2016

The People Pleaser

Karen at Bakersfield Dressage posted about how reliable and steady Speedy has become, and how he'd become a "Goddess" personality type, according to the book, "Is Your Horse a Rock Star?"

I poked around the book's website, and took the quiz for Penn. It spit out SEAF (Submissive Energetic Afraid Friendly) aka the People Pleaser.

The People Pleaser
Saved from the book's website.

Some quotes from the People Pleaser chapter, with my own comments after:
Easy to love! They are touchy, cuddly, expressive, cute, loveable, and smart. They try so hard but worry so much.
Do you know how much cuddling Penn likes? I do. He cuddles everyone and anyone, and is happy to cuddle for much longer than you are. Penn was at his current barn for like a week before I had a bunch of the kids telling me he's their favorite.
Some riders will think that they can lunge or exercise this horse to get him to quiet down. As the speed increases, the internal chatter increases until nothing is making any sense and you both feel frustrated and upset. That is why the canter can take a long time to develop in this personality. The wind in their ears is whispering many things. But as they learn to allow you to control them, you can start to slow it all down and make it work for them.
Penn's weakest gait is canter. It gets into turbo mode and super quick. Although, his trot gets into turbo mode too, but it's easier to manage. We spent a lot of time just slowing it all down. I also have had better results when I keep everything quiet from the start- working him does NOT help his tenseness. If he comes out tense, change the plan because it's only going to get worse. I do find him EXTREMELY frustrating sometimes.
The People Pleaser horse is not actually looking for a serious job. He is happy being your companion at work or otherwise as long as you are appreciating him for his part. They do not like to be left on their own, so the job must be one that you can help them with. They are not your once a-week pleasure horses as they need a lot of riding, but trail riding will appeal to them as it is relatively low stress.
Penn LOVES to be ridden. Mikey enjoyed working and riding, but Penn's love for it makes it look like Mikey hated it. I'm pretty sure I could do anything with Penn, and he'd be all "Okey-dokey Mom!" He absolutely needs to be ridden almost every day (or every day if everything is low key). He comes out so overzealous after a long rest that he's incredibly tense.
The People Pleaser does not care too much what you do, just as long as you care.
Absolutely, 100% Penn. He really just wants to be loved. If you scold him, he ends up so wounded and depressed looking. He gets upset if another horse gets scolded near him! Imagine if he was a human- I think he'd be starring in some sappy musical about love (and I'm quite sure I would go watch it).

Basically, People Pleaser horses need routine, daily loving and attention, a quiet relaxed confident rider, and quiet training that doesn't overwhelm them. Interesting things to keep in mind as his training progresses.

Adorable and cuddly, right from the beginning.

I repeated the test for Mikey- he came out as a SECF, aka the Goddess. This one quote stood out to me:
Your challenge will be to not get stuck exclusively in one sport. This horse will encourage you to broaden your horizons and go play in new fields.
I changed Mikey's career so many times and that horse just lapped it up.

I think in time, Penn might be able to be a Goddess. The main difference between the two, I think, is confidence in themselves. Mikey had so much life experience that by the end, he was brave and curious and independent. New places didn't phase him at all- he definitely didn't start out that way! Penn has so little life experience that I think he's constantly looking for reassurance, "Is this right? Am I ok?" A pat on the neck goes a long way for both horses.

Goofy and lovable with a dash of  independence.

What personality is your horse?


  1. I didn't do the test but the people pleaser sounds just like Stinker. The mildest no gets him spiraling down a dark path.

  2. I feel like this is TC! I think he's not as submissive as some of them, but it still makes sense since the chapter said the less submissive ones release their anxiety through motion (vs internalizing, he doesn't internalize lol). And he always needs to be in control, taking him out of his normal environment makes him nutty. And definitely slow to mature... Interesting!

  3. This is very interesting! I did the test and got the Goddess for Katai which makes sense. I guess I didn't realize how much she likes to be praised and pampered but once I thought about it she really does and always goes to her happy place when I'm telling her what a good job she's doing.

  4. I LOVE this book. The author is one smart lady. I have another post coming this week about Izzy's personality, the Wild Card. The book has quite a bit more info than the website. If you want to know more about Penn's personality type, you should just get the book. It's totally worth it.