I do know He is coming back on a horse, 
so I don't think He minds if we raise good horses. 
                                                                   -John L Moore

Me and Saya at the Triple Crown Cow Horse
NRCHA Perry, GA 2004

Me and Saya, NRCHA (cow horse)
Sarasota, FL 2004

Me and Saya, NRCHA (cow horse)
Sarasota, FL 2004

Chris & "Grumpy" NRHA Reining
Murfreesboro, TN 2009

Chris & "Spook" NRHA Derby
Oklahoma City, OK 2009

Chris & "Dillon", NRHA
Ocala, FL 2003

Chris and Belle, NRHA Futurity
Oklahoma, OK 2005

Chris TNRHA Futurity
Murfreesboro, TN  2011

Chris & Grumpy Cromed Out Mercedes Derby
Indiana 2009


Horses have whorls/cowlicks on their foreheads. Most horses also have cowlicks on their neck and hips.  Whorls are like fingerprints in people.  Each is unique and never changes.  Many breed's require documentation of these "fingerprints" in order to register a horse with their association.

Some believe the shape and location of forehead whorls can lend a hand in knowing the temperament and trainability of a horse. 

These are a few I can think of:
  • Right between and above the eyes is ideal.
  • Whorls below the eyes mean a horse is very smart and can be a tricksters, learning to open gates, escaping their stall, etc.
  • Whorls left of the face can mean a horse is sensitive but can be trusted.
  • Horses with a whole to the right aren't very cooperative.
  • Long whorl line are usually horses that love people.
  • Two whorls together equal a moody horse who is hard to handle and thus aren't good for newbie/beginner riders.
  • Three whorls on the forehead are the least desirable.  Horses with three are often mean horses and can be "crazy" acting.
Many people will tell horse owners/breeders/trainers to walk through their barns.  The best horses in their barn will have center whorls on the forehead which are slightly above the eyes.

Above center  - toward right eye

Center - toward left eye

Center above eyes

Center- above eyes


Slightly above eye toward left eye

Longer whorl toward right eye

War Horses

Horses are born with individual markings and cowlicks/hair whorls. These unique markings are like thumbprints on people. 

The most interesting marking is a shoulder indentation on some horses. Indentations on horses often look like a scar from an injury or illness.  Indentations can appear on any part of a horse.  Even though there are some indentations caused by injury or illness, most horses with an indentation are born with it.

Many stories exist about why horses are born with what some call "God's Thumbprint" or "Prophet's Thumbprint".  Those tales are easy to find by searching Google.  They are also better know tales than that which is my favorite.

About 20 years ago a veterinarin and I were talking about shoulder indentations.  The horse I owned at the time had a large one on the lower part of her neck.  The veterinarin told me about a Native American legend of neck wounds, warriors, and horses.

Some Native American tribes had a belief that a horse with an indentation in their neck, along the bottom, near vital aorta and veins was the mark of a horse with a brave spirit and heart.  Only the bravest and best warriors earned the right to ride those horses because those warriors led the battle.

The horse with a neck indentation was believed to have died in a previous battle in a previous life.  The indentation was the mark and scar of the deadly blow from a spear or arrow.  As a result of the death in battle the horse was exceptionally brave, would never shy in battle, and could not die in battle which in return would help lead the tribe to victory.  The horses with the marks could only be bred to the chiefs band of mares.

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