Cali in

Cali invites you to call with questions about
your horse, her process and how she may help you.




I’m sure you could come up with dozens of questions to ask yourself about your horse. Pair up with a couple of friends and compare notes about your respective horses and their personalities, and you will get more ideas for things to look for!



How many of us consider what the horses want when deciding their lifestyle? Since they’re a major part of the equation, it’s worth boosting our awareness and taking the time to know before deciding their fate. Having the freedom to be the decision makers in this world also carries the responsibility of executing those decisions with fairness and sensitivity. On the purely practical side, if you’ve chosen a horse who isn’t happy with his job, you won’t have any fun either!


Just like different races of people, different breeds of horses carry common traits that “flavor” the animal, but it doesn’t stop there. As there are countless personality types in humans, there are many personalities in horses. Add individual life experiences and... presto.....you have the individual horse. Unfortunately, it is difficult to “know who he is” when buying, because most people haven’t observed their horse closely enough to pass the information on to another person.

So we do the best we can as buyers, usually going on a “feeling”

and evaluation of the horse’s performance as it relates to our needs. We take him home and hope for the best as we anticipate him working to our expectations. We eventually “discover” things about him as surprises - pleasant or not! If the surprises are pleasant, we keep him, if they’re not, we are in a position to decide if we are going to work through the “problems” or sell him and try another horse. So the "beat goes on"!


Hypothetically, let’s try a new game. Get to know your horse so well, see the world through his eyes as often as we see him through ours,  that we are prepared to pass on the information to another person. The rewards of this knowledge are priceless, whether you keep him or not. Maybe, just maybe, if we all took the horses’ personality tendencies into consideration, we would eventually have happy horse owners and contented horses experiencing their partnerships as good matches.


Rate your horse's feelings from "can't stand it" to just tolerate it" to "love it" for the following.  Arena work, horse shows, parades, cow work, trail riding, slow work, fast work, endurance work, riding in open country, riding in trees and shadows, or any job you want him to do.  Is he basically patient or impatient?  Does he need a job to keep him happy?  Can he go out once a month, once a week, or is he an "eight day" horse who needs attention & work every day?  Does he love a closed barn or an open stall?  Would he really only like to live in an open stall?  Would he really only like to live in an open field?  Given his choice, where would he hang out?  Is he happy with one buddy who doesn't interact much, or does he need to play a lot with another horse or you?  Is he dominant or submissive? 


We have it within our power to do something good for the potential owner, and provide a smooth transition for our horses, if we just consider everyone involved and take the time to do it with a little conscience and heart.

Does he like to run for the sheer joy of it when the mood strikes him, or is he happy with a smaller space most of the time?

Would some pasture toys or stall toys make a difference for him? Is he picky about his food and water?

 Picky about his food and water containers? Does he generally trust people, or does it take time for him to learn about each person who picks up his lead rope or reins?

 Does he like to travel to new places or is he intimidated with each new trail setting or show grounds? Does he like to play in the bath water or would he simply like to get it over with? Do flies drive him insane or does he just flick them off nonchalantly?  Does he chow down like there’s no tomorrow or does he nibble in between other more important distractions? Do noises upset him or intrigue him? Get the idea?

I'm sure you could come up with dozens of questions to ask yourself about your horse. Pair up with a couple of friends and compare notes about your respective horses and their personalities, and you will get more ideas for things to look for. If you are lucky enough to have your horse at home, spend time just watching him or her as often as you can. All this information will help the next person provide a comfortable new home. 


 None of us really wants to squash a potential sale (especially when we need to sell our horse) but a lot of harm can be done if we don’t disclose the negatives when we are showing him. There is no such thing as the horse who is perfect for everyone, so telling about his “weak” points will give the person the option of choosing the traits he or she can handle. Without the “whole truth”, the horse can be put into a situation of expectations he cannot meet, causing distress at the very least. You can imagine the worst from there. If someone is injured, or your former equine friend is now in a deplorable situation, the sale money is worthless if your lack of disclosure was the cause.


 In any case, remember the transition will be slightly challenging for some horses, and downright traumatic for others even in the best of conditions.

Give them time to adjust and attention to help them feel welcome. Remember how you would feel being transferred to a foreign country without warning, without family or friends, and being expected to show up for work Monday morning in a new job with a strange culture and different rules. How much easier it would be if the boss knew who you really were; knew beforehand you were suited to the work and living conditions; and slowly acclimated you to the program with kindness and good humor.