Monday, December 27, 2010

Give It a Whorl

A few weeks ago, I noticed that Daltrey has a double whorl on his forehead, in addition to having seemingly endless cowlicks all over his body. I had heard that there was a pseudoscience whereby the temperament of a horse is determined by these whorls and swirls. Curious, I did a little digging, and here — solely for your entertainment — is what I found.
  • According to Chris Irwin, studies were done that showed hair whorls develop before any other body hair and are directly linked to the development of brain matter. 
  • Typically, the whorl(s) on a horse's face will be located more or less between the eyes. If it is above above that, the horse is more aware; if lower, then close minded. 
  • The more geometric and symmetrical the whorl, the greater the horse's ability to focus. Muddled or elongated whorls indicate a horse that has difficulty focusing. 
  • If the whorl is off center to the left (as you look at your horse), it means he is complicated but trustworthy. If it's offset to the right, he is likely to be less cooperative.
  • A double whorl indicates two personalities. If side-by-side, the personalities will be similar, but if they are stacked, the personalities will be contradictory and likely unpredictable.
  • Horses with whorls where the hair grows clockwise tend to favor going to the right; counterclockwise, to the left.
So, what do I have?
Here's Baby D, with his 2 slightly muddled, more or less side-by-side whorls, both centered, slightly above his eyes, running counterclockwise. Hmmm.

You should have seen this one coming: at eye level, denoting average intelligence, symmetrical, running counterclockwise and slightly off center to the right, indicating a less cooperative nature.

And of course, Mr. Perfect: perfectly symmetrical, right where it should be, running clockwise.

It was an interesting way to pass the time on a day when it was too muddy to ride.

What do whorls say about your ponies?

18 comments:

Kate said...

I don't believe any of those "head shape determines temperament" or "whorls determine temperament" theories. I do think the whorls are very interesting. Dawn, since she's bay with no markings, has whorls that are her identifying characteristics, and Pie has a "galaxy" - a full circle, on the right side of his neck.

fernvalley01 said...

interesting , but I don't find it to always be acurate. Daltrey ,is so young , he might fit the profile now but...
Who knows

AareneX said...

Fiddle is a girl
who has a little curl
right in the middle of her forehead
and when she is good
she is *very very good*...

and when she isn't good
she's a H*ll B*tch on WHEELS!

Paint Girl said...

I have never looked into the whorl things on my horses before. Would be interesting though!

City girl turned Country Girl said...

I started reading into the whorl info some time ago and I think it's very interesting! And honestly with most all of my horses it has proved accurate!

Leah Fry said...

That guy Chris Irwin mentioned taking whorls into consideration when he buys a horse. It's interesting, but it's like phrenology (studies the bumps on peoples' heads) or any other pseudoscience: mostly hooey, I say.

Dreaming said...

I am here and my guys are there...I hate to admit that I can't even recall their whorls - bad, bad mom!

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

Funny, I have looked at whorls for over 20 years, as I remember reading an article that said almost the exact same thing when I was a teenager.

The only horses I distinctly remember after all this time is one little sorrel mare that my mom had that had multiple whorls on her head and she was a screwball. She ended up in a bucking string. Another was my dun mare, who's whorl was high and centered. She was a very intelligent, alert and responsive mare. Her son, Moon has a centered but low whorl and we all know that Moon is like-LOL. I would say he is intelligent (like his mother), but he certainly has a tendency to be close-minded.

I think it is just it's a fun thing to look at. If it matches, it can be memorable, if it doesn't...oh well. ;-)

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Interesting, but mostly just for fun, I suspect.

I had to go back and look at some older photos of Apache and of Baby Doll, too.


On both Apache and Baby Doll, the whorls are located between, but above their eyes.

Apache's whorl is smack dab in the center and mostly symetrical and slightly elongatated. Looks to be growing clockwise.

While Baby Doll' whorl located even higher above the eyes mostly hidden underneath the forelock, is very wide and symetrical. Impossible to even see if the hair grows clockwise, or not.

Now let's see if we can read the lines on their hooves and tell their future :D

~Lisa

Breathe said...

I've found some accuracy with the face reading stuff, but it's like horrorscopes (misspelling on purpose), most of it can be so broadly interpreted it's tough to rely on.

Then again we all hear about a "kind eye." It would be interesting to run a herd you don't know through one of the books and see how they are. Like you said, a good activity for rainy days.

Rising Rainbow said...

Dare has three whorls and someone once told me she should be crazy but that's the last thing she is. She does want to be dominant and can reek a little havoc on those who allow that but to me she is such a sweet girl.

morningbrayfarm said...

I wonder if any "research" has been done for donkeys? :)

Denali's Mom said...

Now you have me digging for a picture of Denali's head so I can see her whorl. I know she has one that seems perfect between her eyes.

Also, I spent half my vacation in St. Marys. How old were you when you lived there?

Desert Rose said...

I have a book in PDX about just this...next time I am there I will send you the info. I believe a lot of this...seems to be the case more than not the case!!!

morningbrayfarm said...

LOVE your new header!

Tammy said...

Will have to go out and check out our whorls! I know they have them but can't remember who's is where... or how many! LOL!

Stephanie said...

Huh, I think I have heard that before but can't remember for sure. Interesting regardless of right or wrong. Like palm reading.

Stefano Marcelli said...

Hi. I'm crossing your blog on horse hair whorls as I am a MD doing some researches in the field of acupuncture. An acupuncture point exists midway between the eyebrows, and it is said having therapeutic activity on the mind and brain (sleep, memory, intelligence, palsy et cetera) http://tinyurl.com/4pkeaf4. The link to "Chris Irwin" in your blog is broken, but I have found and interesting paper on wikipedia about horse (and cow and maybe other mammals) hair whorls http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hair_whorl_%28horse%29, linked with specific temperaments or lateral handling. Best regards, Stefano from Italy

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