Is your Horse a Rock Star?

Review by Cyndi Van Dyck

A horse is a horse is a horse. Or is it? Many people are realizing that horses have a personality of their own, and that not one specific training method works for every horse. If you are one of those people, then “Is Your Horse a Rock Star?” could be a valuable addition to your learning/training resources. Author Dessa Hockley uses years of experience to help show you sixteen different horse personalities, and explains each personality in a simple (and most times, humorous) way, as well as what training methods work best for each personality.

There are eight personality traits: Dominant (D) or Submissive (S); Energetic (E) or Lazy (L); Curious (C) or Afraid (A); and Friendly (F) or Aloof (A). Once you find out the stronger traits of these four groups, Dessa combines them into the sixteen personality types. Sometimes we know our horses well enough to know which of the eight personality traits they possess, but what if you’re not sure which trait is the stronger one? At the back of the book, there is a quiz consisting of fifty-four questions to help you fine-tune the eight traits. If you’d rather not take the time to answer all those questions, you can also visit her website and do the quiz online at

Once you find the right combination of traits (DLCF - Dominant, Lazy, Curious and Friendly - for example), you find the appropriate personality description, and the fun begins! Dessa has given each personality a name (DLCF is “The Reluctant Rock Star”), and chances are, once you’ve read the description, you will often be amazed at how well it describes your horse!

Dessa provides information on a variety of training methods, from “Natural Horsemanship” to clicker training, as well as different equipment to use. She doesn’t promote one particular type of training, so you really feel the freedom to explore the types of training that appeal to you, as well as to your horse. She also provides a section on training “dos” and “don’ts” for each personality, which is another helpful addition to the book.

I feel that this book would be very helpful to novices, experienced horse people, and all those in between. Even if you planned to purchase a horse, you could use this book to find the best horse for you, and what you’d like to do with the horse (compete, trail ride, etc). If the seller of the horse knew the horse well enough, and was willing to take the quiz at the end of the book (hopefully answering honestly!), you would have a better idea of whether or not the horse would be right for you.

Whether you have one horse, or many, this is a great book to have, to give you a better idea of where your horse is coming from, and how best to develop a great relationship with it. My mare is an SLAF...”The Wall Flower”, and I love her to death. Happy reading!