It's Elementary - The Fire Element

Flash and Flare

Imagine a show ring with a full class of participants all entering for a halter class. A charismatic chestnut Arab bursting with star quality prances up to the arena. His coat is glowing, his ears pricked forward, his eyes sparkling as he basks in the radiance of his admiring audience. The horse glides through the class, flowing effortlessly through each step with grace and brilliance. Everyone is riveted. When he receives the winning score, no one is surprised. This horse is a Fire horse. By understanding how to keep the Fire element balanced, we can keep him happy and glowing.

The Socialite

The Fire animal is charismatic and radiant. He may be flashy with his head held high and his tail flying –  full of showy flair – or he can radiate quiet charm that glows with heartfelt affection. The Fire animal’s prime motivation is connection through relationship. He wants to be together with others ALL the time and withers in isolation. He seeks physical and emotional contact and thrives on attention. He loves massage and cuddling and reciprocates with affectionate nuzzles. When balanced, his loving nature feels warm and cuddly. He loves doing fun and exciting activities with his handler; he is a great partner and friend. When out of balance, he is emotionally reactive, seeking attention through dramatic behavior. Imbalances also trigger inappropriate bonding – he bonds quickly to other animals, creating a spectacle every time he is separated from his new friend.

Four on the Floor

Challenges with the Fire animal arise when he is over-stimulated, especially with new situations. The Fire animal is emotionally and physically sensitive. Chaotic surroundings overload his acute senses leaving him nervous, scattered and ungrounded. The key to happiness with this animal is grounding. Even in a fun situation like a trail ride with several friendly horses, the Fire horse can become flighty unless the handler stays settled and gives him calm steady attention. Just before the Fire horse goes off you see a high head carriage, a collapsed back and fast movement – signs of a mind so active that the horse forget he has four feet on the ground. It is your job to recognize these signs, step off to the side, and spend some time re-connecting so he can ground through your presence. Fire dogs get hyper and jumpy- perhaps barking, jumping up, peeing and running around. To calm these animals, you might use touch, healing essences like Rescue Remedy or soothing speech so that they breathe deeply and comes back into their body. Avoiding “diva dramas allows you both to enjoy your time together.  Many Fire animal handlers use a few drops of Rescue Remedy in their animal’s water regularly!

Loving lessons

Fire animals are fun to train; they learn quickly and enjoy variation. But before you begin, make sure your Fire animal is quiet and grounded. A quiet mind improves focus and makes him receptive to your lesson plan. During work the Fire animal needs emotional connection and support. Praise him lavishly when he does even small things well. Watch for signs of over-stimulation. Moving too fast, a high head position, distracted attention or stumbling and loss of coordination are signs that your Fire animal is mentally saturated. It’s time to take a break! Also realize that the Fire animal can be scatter-brained. He may forget things and need review, but keep the lesson varied and interesting so that you keep his attention. These actions enhance his desire to work and make your sessions a success.

Keep it cool

On a physical level the Fire horse may have foreleg issues like navicular or foreleg lameness. He may also experience tension in the neck (from a high head carriage), back (from a collapsed back), shoulder joint, or shoulder muscles, or girth area. Fire dogs are especially prone to shoulder pain. The Fire animal may be sensitive to heat and “wilt in the hot summer months – he may even have a history of heatstroke if asked to exert himself in the warm weather. Fire animals are also prone to a nervous stomach, stress colics, inappetance and even stomach ulcers when under nervous stress. He may also have what CCM would call “heat symptoms which range from high fevers, a history of inflammations, hoof abscesses (especially in the foreleg) and red, irritated rashes like “scratches. All of these symptoms do better when the Fire animal’s mind is calm and cool. Use the Five Element approach to keep him happy including lots of time together, acupressure on the Fire points and more.

The Fire Element at a Glance

Five Element theory separates body functions, emotional characteristics and other aspects of health and well-being into five categories or “Elements. These distinctions help you determine which Element needs healing and support. Below are the Fire Element qualities. For example, a horse who is prone to nervousness and has navicular in his forelegs may be a Fire horse. Fire animals benefit from herbs, acupressure and lifestyle changes that balance the Fire Element.

Emotional Characteristics of the Fire Animal

Emotional strengths: Loving, intimate, joyful, fun, friendly, social

Stressed by: Over-stimulation, chaotic or busy environments, new things, separation from bonded animals or people, being alone or unsupported, excitement

Balanced by: Emotional support; attention; touch and/or massage; quiet surroundings; a calm grounded buddy (human or animal); guidance from an alpha (human or animal); calming essences like Bach’s Rescue Remedy

Vulnerable to: Drama, nervousness, anxiety, overexcitement, distraction, hysteria

Responds to stress with: Flight, moving too much or too fast, high head carriage with dropped back, diminished body awareness, lack of grounding, seeks constant attention

Learning style: Benefits from: emotional connection during lesson – learns best when feeling loved, fun and variation in the lessons, boundaries (physical and emotional), repetition (can be forgetful if scattered or distracted), a calm learning environment

Tips for Success: Stay GROUNDED – lead the animal to emotional calm and balance by your example

Physical Characteristics of the Fire Animal

Favorite sports: Anything with their human and animal friends, trail rides or walks to new places, endurance (many Arab horses excel in endurance and many Arabs exhibit Fire qualities), halter classes, dog breed shows

Common ailments: Behavioral difficulties, tendon injuries in forelegs, shoulder issues, navicular syndrome, fever, inflammation, infection, sarcoids, sweating issues, hoof abscesses esp. in fore feet, hormonal issues, heart conditions, skin rashes, neck tension and weak or sway back, uncoordinated movement and poor body awareness

Tips for Well-being: Lead this horse toward emotional balance and good health will follows naturally, monitor heat in the body and environment, don’t over-exercise in hot weather

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