Some whorls come with very specific ‘meanings’. The S shaped feathering is one of those.

When a horse has feathering on their forehead that twists and turns, sometimes in the shape of an S, others are just squiggly, it is said that horse will be accident prone.

While it does often hold true I think it’s important to look at what ‘accident prone’ actually means. It should be fairly obvious that the whorl doesn’t cause the horse to get hurt. Whorls are signs of what is going on inside the horse, not portents of things to come. What we need to look for is what behavioral tendencies come with the whorl that may cause the horse to behave in such a way as to get themselves injured more often than is usual.

Unfortunately I don’t know what those are. What sort of traits would cause a horse to do things resulting in injury? Feathering coming up from a whorl show left brain traits. These include being confident, curious, friendly, calm, fearless. That doesn’t mean that horses who are left brain will always display all of these traits, they are examples of the sort of behavior we can expect to see, not a list of what we will see.

Could playfulness be the cause of the accidents we often see with an S shaped whorl? Being overly confident could mean not worrying about results as they play their way through life. Curiosity could easily lead to injury. Is the S shape of the whorl a sign that one of these traits is more strongly developed than when the feathering is in a straight line?

Unfortunately there are more questions than answers when it comes to this whorl type. The important take away is that whorls show behavioral tendencies. They do not show what a horse is destined to experience in life. We need to look for underlying causes instead of superstition.

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