A Very Different Kind of Mustang Personality

Sammie Joe - A Lovely Mare With A Will To Work!

Sammie Joe - A Lovely Mustang Mare With the Desire and the Will to Work!

Yesterday we met Fred, whose nickname is short for Frederika because she’s such a stompin’, chompin’, truckin’, buckin’ little tomboy of a Mustang mare. Fred is a great example of the Jue Yin personality type, which in the Traditional Chinese Medicine, Five-Element way of classifying constitutions, is the combination of Fire and Wood. Very unpredictable, that one (see yesterday’s post)!

Today meet Sammie Joe (stands  for Samantha Josephine), S.J. for short. Sammie Joe is another of my friend Stephanie’s Mustangs and came to her a couple of years ago as a 3-year-old. She had been adopted out but was considered a miserable failure by her adoptive family, so was back at the prison in the BLM Adopt-A-Mustang program once again.

Stephanie was not looking for a grown horse, but when she saw one of the program’s inmates riding Sammie Joe, and how refined and lovely she was, she couldn’t pass her up. This would be a new experiment — not only adopting a Mustang who was not a baby, but one who was already saddle-trained to boot! Pretty exciting! Yes, indeed……

Sammie Joe turned out to be a Shao Yang in the five-element typing model: another combination of fire and wood, gulp, only this time the fire comes before the wood:  fire/wood. Gheez, what difference could that make, you ask? Here are a few of Dr. Madalyn Ward’s descriptive comments of the Shao Yang in her book, Horse Harmony — Understanding Horse Types and Temperaments:

The competitiveness of Wood combined with the high self-esteem of Fire makes this horse almost unbeatable in the ring or on the track. He is very athletic, coordinated, and agile, with lots of stamina. He is job-oriented, but has a mind of his own and thinks he knows everything. The Shao Yang horse is not for beginners!  ……….and if you want to trail ride you’d better have some mountains to climb!

Obviously, if Sammie Joe’s first adoptive family wasn’t skilled in horsemanship, and failed to read this horse right, the match was doomed to fail. Not so with Stephanie! Although, as with Fred, Steph definitely had her work cut out for her.

For starters, due to her earlier experiences, S.J. didn’t really trust anyone so was hard to catch for months. Her tension level also made her prone to ulcers and hard to put weight on. To make things even worse, Stephanie discovered that Sammie Joe’s tongue had been mangled badly, probably by a cruel bit, so this just made the eating and weight problems even more complicated.

Unlike Fred, whose escape route was to buck — as many times in a row as she could — Sammie Joe’s was to flee. She just ran away.

Sammie Joe . . . heading for town!!!

Sammie Joe . . . heading for town!!!

She actually jumped the fence or pulled away from her ties more than once and just headed out. One day she ran seven miles to and through the nearby farming town before someone caught her!

But long story short, patience has really paid off with this horse. The Shao Yang is a great horse for all kinds of competition and work and, unlike her Jue Yin counterpart (Fred again), loves focusing and having a job. Under Stephanie’s respectful, patient, and caring tutelage, Sammie Joe excels at not only cutting and reining, but also ponying and starting colts, and now is winning in her classes at show jumping! She’s not big — just about 14 hands. But she is steady and consistent and a definite keeper as far as Stephanie is concerned!

Sammie Joe now -- ulcers, digestive and behavior problems solved!

Sammie Joe now -- ulcers, digestive and behavior problems solved! Doesn't even look like the same horse.

What a great success story. Go Stephanie and Sammie Joe!!!


Tomorrow we will look at a “horse of a different color,” literally. Yes, another one of Stephanie’s Mustangs, and yet again another very different personality type!


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