reading swirls/whorls?

for those of you who have heard of reading swirls, i was just wondering what you thought. i was watching this video that someone at my barn recommended, and i find it freakishly true. it basically talks about if the swirl is symmetric, the horse can focus better, more splayed out means no focus. then it said if it was above the eyes, the horse was open minded, below is closed. i thought it was weird to hear, because as the friend at the barn was talking about it we were checking out our horses and what we found was quite true. my horse's swirl was very symmetric, until you got to the top where it splayed. then his was sort of above the eyes. then the video went on to say watch what you ask for, because everyone will say i want a horse with the symmetric swirl that's way high up, but he said those are the ones who will untie your leads, open gates, etc. then i thought to when i was just at the barn. my horse untied him self, picked up my coat and threw it when i left him, and hid my wrist brace. he can figure anything out faster than i can and he's incredibly smart. i found this a little weird haha. but what are some other things you've heard about swirls? what do you think about this? all opinions/comments/anything welcome!


pony girl- that book looks really interesting! i already have a christmas list (so many horse things i need!) and i added it on there :)

Update 2:

meagan- i totally understand what you're talking about, and i'm just now learning about this. i dont know enough about the "science" of it or the statistics to take it too seriously. i just thought it was strange it fit my horse, im not saying it would fit all. my horse is by no means a "rocket scientist of horses" like the video said, he's just insanely clever. he has a crazy amount of blonde moments, but he's very clever for a horse. he knows which car is mine (out of many) and will walk over too it for more food even when there's none in there to smell, he knows to lift up to get something off a hook instead of yanking, and he hides stuff and gives me the "i didnt do anything" look. i definitely understand your fortune cookie analogy though, and im sure a lot fall for it.

sorry that was longer than i expected haha :/

4 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Linda Tellington-Jones' grandfather was a trainer for a Russian Czar or something, and he studied whorls and such, and he passed it on to Linda. She wrote a book that shows swirls, shapes of eyes, shapes and set of ears, chin, nostrils, and such. While training and experience can affect the horses for good or ill, the basic characteristics are there.

    I took the book and went down the barn isle with the barn owner. Of the 55 horses in the barn, the characteristics described in the book were about 90% right on! So amazing!

    It's a great book; I highly recommend it. "Getting in TTouch with Your Horse."

    One of the things that is in the book is a comment that horses with a long swirl that runs down the underside of the neck, the longer it is, the harder that horse will "try." I had a friend with a 14 hh pinto pony that at 13 was retired from a successful eventing career to dressage. His new owner started "playing" with how far she could get him. They ended up at Intermediare I, one level below Olympic level! He didn't perform the movements with great style, but he was very correct, and scored respectively. At age 20, she retired him, but she had just taken him as far as he was willing to work. He had a swirl under his neck that started at his throatlatch and ended all the way down under his girth! He certainly had a lot of "try!"

    add--I bought one of my horses off a still picture due to the shape of his ears, eyes and chin. He has been true to those things, and I love him for that. Unfortunately, the photo didn't show his triple forehead swirls. The more swirls they have, the more likely they are to have Panic Attacks or periods of near hysteria. Most of the time this guy is very laid back, but once and a while, he just loses it, and the only way to get him back is to yell really loud and sort of shock him back to himself.

    freaky. I LOVE this book. There is a video too, but it is not nearly as informative or useful.

    Megan- I agree it is not foolproof, and it is not to be used as a total information thing, but when you read this book, and look at the pictures, and read the case histories and see how things change as the horse's situation changes, it is amazing. I also thought it was hooey until I looked at the horses in the barn where I boarded. Many of them I did not know, but the owner was impressed by what I told him about each horse just by the set of ears, eyes, nostrils, chin. It is hard to believe. Linda is very clear that environment and history will often over shadow the physical signs, but sometimes these physical signs can help predict how a horse will respond to a situation. Her examples for characteristics of horses that make great lesson horses is so right on!

  • 1 decade ago

    I don't know exactly what I think of it, but I do know that it is VERY easy to fall into stuff like this.

    Like a fortune cookie for an example. People open theirs up, and say "Oh my gosh.... its actually true!! That really IS happening!". It may say "A friend will help you in a time of need". Or "Things seem tough for you right now, don't stop trying". They are generally generic enough to make it you think "You know what? Things are tough for me right now. This fortune is right!". You actually end up LOOKING for reasons for the fortune to be right. "Actually, my friend helped me out the other day when I was forgot about the big test..." See? You begin searching for a way a friend has helped you out... just to prove the fortune.

    That's the type of thing I end up seeing happen with this. You look at the whorl on your horse, read about what it could mean, and then search for ways your horse fits the criteria.

    Not saying that you are wrong, its just an example of hasty generalization that I think has potential of occurring here. I still am unsure of my opinion on this. I am just pointing out a possibility.


    Hmmm. Well thats just a theory I was throwing out there, but I think I would like to look into it some more, too !! Sounds interesting, I think I will give it a chance.

  • amz m
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    I've heard that about swirls. My horse has a swirl on his forehead the same as the grey in the vid (King Dee). He is the dopiest, dummy of a horse who can be extremely uncooperative, completely unfocused and does not take any notice of his surroundings (opposite of what he said). He's that unfocused that you can't keep doing something more than twice (like a jump) or he gets the shits and rears. He stands in his stable half asleep all the time.

    My horses swirls are completely even. He has a forehead even swirl, a swirl on each side symmetrically on top of his poll, behind his ears near his bridle path (one goes one way, other goes the other way). 2 swirls symmetrically either side of his mane, half way down his mane (one goes one way, other goes the other way). 2 swirls symmetrically under his jaw (one goes one way, other goes the other way). 2 swirls symmetrically on his body on the bit of skin where his hip begins (one goes one way, one goes the other way) and 2 swirls symmetrically just infront of his of his doodle (you find things having to doodle wash a gelding ok). His swirls are completely symmetrical and completely even on his body.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I've never heard of cowlicks having to do with anything. Except when I read the book King Of The Wind in the 4th grade and the cowlick on the horses chest meant it was evil.

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