Science is beginning to prove that whorls really are connected deeply to temperament.
Which we have known all along.
Between finding the genes behind the whorls and temperament, and clinical studies showing strong similarities between reactions of animals with matching whorl types they have covered correlation and causation.
We can be sure that whorls are related to temperament.
The question is how?
Knowing whorls and temperament are related is science.
Figuring out exactly what the whorls mean is art. There are the old stories that have been passed down. These are filled with superstition and the results of bad training combined with a lack of veterinary care. They give us plenty of whorls that are bad luck. Ones that show a rider will die in the saddle or a horse who will bring ruin. The descriptions of the whorls that cause these things are loose and open to interpretation. If people hold to them many good horses will be bypassed.
Because everyone rides and trains horses differently, and has their own preferences for temperament types, some whorls get labeled good or bad without a closer look at what it is we’re calling bad.
Then there is the effect that whorls across the body have on movement, which in turn affects behavior.
Whorls an a horse’s body show how the horse will move and what their conformation is like. When whorls aren’t balanced, not matched from side to side, the horse wont bend equally. When the major whorls are not matched it can lead to imbalance all the way through the body. When a horse doesn’t feel secure in their movement it can lead to behavior that feels resistant, spooky, or even bucking and bolting.
The complication and interaction of whorls all across a horse’s body, affecting movement and how the horse feels, can lead us to think that the whorls on the head mislead us.
The other thing that needs taken into account is the shape of the horse’s features. Head shape, ears, chin, all of it combines with the whorls to give us an in depth and very nuanced picture of what the horse will be like.
Figuring out the similarities between temperament and whorls takes looking at many different horses and finding the thing that connects them. With all of the extras to sort through that can be difficult!