According to superstition large wheat whorls, sometimes called a shredded collar, down the base of the neck are bad luck. Especially when combined with double whorls. The ultimate bad luck whorls.
There is seldom any more description of the whorls than that. A whorl like a wheat sheaf down the base of the neck. Although I think I’ve heard it mentioned that it’s worse when the whorl goes the whole length of the neck.
There are lots of different types of common neck whorls. So how do we know which of these are the dreaded shredded collar? And is it really bad luck?
When horses have big open whorls that go the whole length of the neck or part way it will result in a hose who carries their head in their air and their neck 'upside down'. This results in a horse who is heavy on the forehand, if not ridden properly and carefully to help them balance better.
It is easy to see how this could result in tripping or bucking because of poor carriage and the accompanying discomfort. Hence the 'bad luck'.
When you combine poor training, poor body carriage, and the extra sensitivity of a double whorl then it becomes even easier to see how a horse could be considered bad luck.
Does that mean they are actually bad luck?
Absolutely not.
We have better training methods available to a greater range of people now. There are trainers out there to help. Body workers to alleviate pain. Saddle fitters to help the horse be comfortable. All of these things make it easier for a horse who is set up for difficulty in the human horse world to more easily find a way to work with us.
When the whorls are small or the hair grows to the center instead of outwards the meanings are completely different. Opposite even.
Want to learn more about what the other types of neck whorls mean? Get your copy of Understanding Horse Whorls here:

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