Symmetry in Swirls

See his swirl? High center just off to the left.

One thing that Tellington-Jones doesn’t mention in her books is the importance of symmetry in a horses swirls. Not so much that the one, or two, swirls in the middle of the forehead be exactly placed, but that those on the rest of the body match from side to side. I have found mismatched markings to be a sign of imbalance.

I worked with an Arab years ago on whom the fans at his flanks were completely uneven. On his right side the marking went nearly to his spine, the other side was no taller then my hand. This otherwise beautiful chestnut, I think his name was Wing Nut, was so one sided as to be nearly unrideable.

The same goes for the swirls on the chest. They should be of the same basic height and length.

Facial swirls that are off set can be of significance also. A recently gelded Morgan came in one time with a single whorl high and to the right as you faced him. It sat clear up and above his left eye. Usually a high swirl will mean a quieter horse but this horse had been insane as a stud and still crazy as a gelding. The Parelli’s have a theory on horsenality, that horses are right or left brained, like people right or left handed. Right brained equals reactive while left brain is a thinker. I believe that the direction a swirl is off set on the fore head shows if a horse is right or left brained.

Are you with me still? Not sure I am. I believe the this poor former stud was so right brained, extrovert to be exact, shown by the mark waaay to the right as we look at him that he just couldn’t handle normal confined life, especially training. Maybe if some very knowledgeable person owned him and had years, since birth preferably, to work with him very slowly he might have made a riding horse. With thirty days to work with him there was no way he was going to be started hardly.

Now my little Nevil is the opposite. His swirl is set slightly to the left, as you face him, and slightly high just above eye level. He is definitely left brained. Left brained extrovert I would say. He thinks hard about every thing, very curios, loves to play.

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