What’s in Your Horses’ Swirl?

Swirls come in all shapes and sizes. The most popular being the middle swirl, the one located somewhere between the eyes. Horses who have centrally located swirls, right between the eyes are generally well behaved, level headed horses.

Swirls come in all shapes and sizes. The most popular being the middle swirl, the one located somewhere between the eyes. Horses who have centrally located swirls, right between the eyes are generally well behaved, level headed horses.

There is a lot we can learn about a horse’s character just by looking at his face. Usually the first thing I will notice about a horse is his eyes or his ears. Sometimes I will go as far as not buying a horse who has a small beady eye. Ears will also tell you a lot, big ears, small ears, floppy ears, pointy ears. But perhaps the most legendary sign of character is in the swirl. Being an English rider I didn’t used to pay too much attention to swirls, but the true cowboys will swear up and down on what a swirl is all about.

Swirls come in all shapes and sizes. The most popular being the middle swirl, the one located somewhere between the eyes. Horses who have centrally located swirls, right between the eyes are generally well behaved, level headed horses. Now the higher the swirl, generally the hotter the horse. The lower the swirl the more imaginative they tend to be, these are the escape artists and trouble makers. Sometimes you will even find a deep profound swirl. These horses tend to be people lovers, they will bond easily with people and generally make outstanding riding horses.

There will also be horses that have double swirls. From my experience I have never met a double swirl that I don’t like. Although they tend to be a bit more emotional and quirky, once trusted they will give you their all. Horses with 3 swirls are very unusual and are often complex individuals.

Also don’t forget to check out under the forelock! There is much to be told under there. They say in general the more swirls the more emotional, complicated, fussy the horse. It is almost like they are being pulled in 100 directions and don’t know which way to go. Typically you will also find swirls else where on the body. One of my top 2 years olds have a deep set forehead swirl and then deep swirls at his flanks. This horse is a performer! In the wrong hands I would worry that someone might mistaken him for dangerous, because if left to his own devise….watch out! But he has what we think, is the making for a top performance horse- hot, but sensible, playful, but respectful.

I read that “streamfeathers”, which are swirls on the horse’s chest are likely to be good swimmers. Then there is “Saint Peters Sticks” are swirls on the jugular groove on the neck and they should be on the same place on both sides of the neck. It was considered to be lucky to own a horse with three swirls-they were marks from St.Peters fingertips! The Icelandics also believe in a swirl, calling three swirls in a row under the mane “Flying Feathers.” It was believed that these horses where faster and tougher.

There is something to be said about each swirl. So what is the nature of YOUR horse’s swirls?

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