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Whorl-ology 101

Have you ever wondered what the whorl pattern on your horse's forehead means?

February 07, 2020

A swirl, or whorl, is a distinctive pattern in the lay of hair on the horse. Though they can be found anywhere on the horse’s body, it is believed that there is a meaning behind the whorl on a horse’s head. No whorl is alike, they are a permanent form of identification for horses because a whorl at birth does not change in location or direction during a horse’s lifetime.

Though it may just be an old cowboy myth, it is believed that the location, size, direction, and number of whorls on your horse’s head may be able to determine their personality…

  • A whorl located between the eyes indicates an easy going, uncomplicated horse.
  • If the whorl is set to the left as you face the horse, the horse will be a bit more complicated, but still trustworthy.
  • If it’s set to the right, the horse will probably be less cooperative.
  • Whorls higher on the forehead indicate intelligence and a more reactive nature.
  • A single whorl several inches below the eyes indicate intelligent and imaginative horses that like to amuse themselves. They are the “houdinis” of the barn, the clowns, the entertainers, and they can be quite a nuisance as they open stall doors, turn on water faucets, and escape cross ties.
  • Long whorls, especially those that extend below the eye indicate a friendly and agreeable nature.
  • Multiple whorls can indicate multiple personalities. High and tight side by side whorls can indicate a horse that is super focused and talented, but challenging and difficult in the wrong hands. Two whorls on top of each other can mean extreme personality swings and unpredictability.
  • Whorls that form a “Z pattern” can signal a horse that is dangerous and violent.
  • The direction that the whorl turns can tell you if the horse is right or left “handed” (or hoofed) . If the whorl flows counterclockwise it is left “handed”. If the whorl flows clockwise it is right “handed”.

(WideOpenPets & Swirlolgy101 .)

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