“You know she is bi-polar right?” That was one of the first things my barn owner said about Colby when she first stepped off the trailer. I looked at my barn owner with a confused look…I didn’t think she knew my mother-in-law, so I had no idea what she was talking about.
“Ummmmm, what are you talking about?”
“Colby. She is bi-polar.” – as I continue to look blankly – “Because of her double whorl.” At this point, she might as well have been speaking Greek to me.
After I finally figured out what she meant when she was saying whorl – yes I am that un-horse – I took a closer look at Colby’s face. Sure enough, she has a centered double whorl about an inch above her eyes. According to certain legends, that explains a lot about her personality actually: How she is the daughter of the devil reincarnated one day, then a lap dog the next…IF that sort of thing were true.
However, I am not one to believe in any sort of mumbo-jumbo like that and didn’t think twice about it….until, a friend of mine, Gabby Ledger posted this picture of one of her 2 year olds on Facebook with the following comment:
“Fizzy has 4 forehead whorls including a double VERTICAL one! Vets have never seen it, farrier has seen it once and the horse killed a guy (ran him over). So far Fizzy has jumped the gator, jumps stuff in the arena for the hell of it, and loaded herself on my trailer (without her mom) at 2 weeks old. She is a freak, lol!!”
Okay – so, now I think this whole “What does your whorl say about you” thing has some substance. Naturally, the absolute best place to find truthful, factual information is on the triple W.
Wow!! It is amazing all the stuff I was able to find out about Whorls. Wikipedia should absolutely be able to be used as a source for everyone who has to write factual papers/essays etc. at school. Check it out:
“A hair whorl is a patch of hair growing in the opposite direction of the rest of the hair. Hair whorls can occur on animals with hairy coats and are often found on horses and cows. Locations where whorls are found in equines include the stomach area, the face, stifle areas, and sometimes on the hocks. Hair whorls in horses are also known as crowns, swirls, trichoglyphs, or cowlicks and can be either clockwise or counterclockwise in direction of growth. One study has found that horses can be shown to have left- or right-footed lateral motion from the direction of growth (clockwise or counterclockwise) of their cowlicks.” Okay, that is pretty cool.
Upon some more ‘research’, it appears as though different cultures and breeds have different beliefs about the meaning of whorls, with the theories being based on location and direction of the whorl. The theories that hair whorls could describe various physical and personality characteristics in horses have been around for thousands of years. There is little scientific verification for any of these theories and the field is largely considered pseudoscience – but really, who cares about the scientific verification – if I can blame my horse’s devil worshiping to pseudoscience, I am going to do it.
What a Whorl Says about Your Horse
Trainer Linda Tellington-Jones believes whorls can indicate a horse’s temperament and defines them like this:
->A whorl positioned above the eyes is the most common and indicates a horse with an uncomplicated nature.
->Horses with whorls below the eyes usually have above average intelligence and like to make a nuisance of themselves by opening gates etc.
->Whorls positioned on the left of the face indicate a complicated but trustworthy horse, while horses with whorls on the right can be uncooperative.
->Horses with one long whorl line (also called a ‘feather mark’ and is the equivalent of a human hair part) are people-friendly and Linda says that a horse with this type or whorl who isn’t friendly should be investigated as it’s likely they are in pain or being abused.
->Horses with two adjoining whorls can be emotional and difficult to handle and do not make good mounts for inexperienced riders.
->Three whorls on the forehead is extremely rare and can indicate an unpredictable horse or, if a stallion, dangerous to handle.
Hummm – Not sure where Colby and Fizzy would fit in. Here are a couple other whorls:
So kids, what do we think?? Where do our five Whorls fit in? Where does YOUR horse fit in? Can you prove your theory?