Horse whorls – What can they tell you about your horse?

What are whorls?

Whorls are where a patch of hair grows in a circular pattern, most often on the horses head and neck. Some people believe that they can indicate the temperament of a horse. This belief has been around for several centuries and is thought to date back to the Bedouin and gypsy people. Whilst this is a common belief and studies have been done on the topic, it needs to be kept in mind that a horses behaviour could be a result of natural temperament or could be due to experiences, both positive and negative.

Whorls on the face

If you divide the horses face in to a grid this will give you some landmarks to compare your horse whorl locations to.

Once you have your landmarks you can identify if your horses whorl is high, low, left, right etc. Below is a guide to what these are thought to mean.

Horses that have double whorls are often thought to be more extreme so, for example, if there is a double whorl up high then it is likely to be a very extroverted and energetic horse.

Direction of the whorl

It is thought that the direction of the whorl can be indicative of the horses stronger side, much like we are right or left handed. Therefore a horse with a clockwise whorl could be more likely to favour the right rein.

Whorls elsewhere

There seems to be less reference to whorls elsewhere on the body but general opinion indicates that the more whorls a horse has, the more complicated they are to handle.

I would love to know what you find on your horses and whether this aligns to their temperament.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Dawn Workman

    Rocky whorl is just of center to the right and slightly higher than center and the whorls to the right. That would make him Right brained Reactive and emotional / Energetic smart and a extravert. preferring right side. this is pretty accurate.

    Regards Dawn and Rocky.

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