You might have heard of the idea before; that hair whorls on horses indicate certain personalities. It’s an idea that dates back as far as equine domestication itself does. Swirlology, Whorlology or Whorl Theory all suggest that you can gain insight into the kind of horse you’re looking at based on the patterns in their hair.
Is it even worth considering?
There is a lot of anecdotal evidence out there that suggests whorls are significant – if you speak to people who take note of whorls, they’re likely to say they do matter. But his could be tradition or bias; people who talk about whorls are just more likely to think they’re significant.
Is there a biological basis for the idea?
Yes, there is. It isn’t very clearly understood, but the embryonic tissue that ends up becoming facial skin (and therefore changes whorl patterns) is the same tissue that ends up in the brain. So it isn’t inconceivable that the two things could be correlated.
Is there scientific evidence for whorl theory?
Proper evidence eventually came about when researchers observed 1,500 cattle being moved from fields. As one observer recorded the position of their facial whorls, another recorded their behaviour and ranked levels of aggression or agitation.
They found that whorl positioning did have an effect on the behaviour of the cattle; if the whorl was above the eyes, the cow was more likely to become agitated. They also found different correlations between hair patterns and certain behaviours in guinea pigs, rats, foxes and humans.
The same pattern found in cows was found in horses; whorls that were above the eyes of the horse meant the horse was easier to agitate and harder to work with.
The researchers stressed that, although they had found significant results, they couldn’t predict detailed aspects of horse personality. Instead, high whorl positions indicated that a horse was more likely to be frightened and could therefore be more difficult to work with. They stressed the importance of using this information when training. Horses with high whorls should never be reprimanded for being difficult, because it’s often an indication that they are uncomfortable.
The positioning of a whorl does not define a horse’s personality. It is one influence amongst many, many others and can often be drowned-out. Think of it as a single voice in a symphony; although it makes a difference, it’s usually difficult to see the effect it’s having.
To see out horse arenas, download our brochure.
5 Things That Affect Your Office’s First Impression
When people come to visit your office, there are a lot of things that you want to convey. The way your office is built and constructed says an enormous amount about your company and the relationship you are setting up with your guest.
If you’re looking to make an extension or build a new office, remember about the smaller things. They make a much larger contribution to the overall impression that you might realise.
The materials –
There are certain materials that are synonymous with the ugliness of offices. Don’t use brown concrete. The moment people see it, they’re going to want to turn around and run.
Find a material that sets you apart from other offices. A great option, for staying within a budget but creating an interesting building, is steel. Steel is customisable, great to design with, and looks great when coloured (it comes in colours other than beige, too!).
The location of the entry –
This has a big impact on how guests feel, though they don’t often realise it. People have different associations with entry locations. A door that is not immediately visible can make a guest feel they’re entering the wrong door, or that they are doing something that needs to be hidden.
A door in the centre of the building can convey a sense of confidence, especially if the design of the building emphasises it.
One of our clients chose to have their entrance on the corner of their building, a decision which makes the building unique and interesting.
We often don’t think about windows unless they’re out of place. It’s important to remember that guests will usually try to look into the building when the approach it. A wide, clear window that looks into the reception area is great. clearly visible to the guest can make them feel uncomfortable.
A lot of offices want their buildings to impress. Size seems to convey success and power.
For small businesses it’s often more practical to keep the office small. But for those who want to experiment and build something a little more impressive, steel is affordable enough to give you options when making decision on the size of your building.
Another thing most people aren’t aware of is how the building fits with the space it’s in. Most of the time, your guest won’t notice. It only really seems to make a difference if you get it very wrong, or very right.
Download a brochure with detailed photos of our projects at the top of our website, or get a quote by clicking the button below.
Can thoroughbreds do dressage?
Almost any kind of horse can perform well in dressage if they have natural ability, good training and a skilled rider. However, some kinds of horses will bring different challenges for dressage riders to overcome.
Can thoroughbreds do dressage?
Simple answer: Yes, look for a relaxed thoroughbred.
Long answer: OTTB (Of the track thoroughbred) horses are often considered unsuited to dressage. There are biases against them because of the experiences these horses have in racing.
Some of them can be too tense for dressage, but assuming that all OTTB horses aren’t appropriate can cause you to overlook some very, very excellent dressage horses for potentially very low prices comparatively.
Resale needs to be a consideration; people looking to buy eventing horses are sometimes put off knowing they are thoroughbred. However, if you dedicate yourself to the horse and perform well in your dressage career, your horse’s performance will speak for itself.
Can standardbreds do dressage?
Simple answer: Yes, their spring and energy can be a positive.
Long answer: Standardbreds are often used in harness racing and are taught to have long trots. This is the opposite of what we want in dressage; a nice, collected canter. So the biggest challenge with an off the track standardbred will be getting it to relax into a canter.
On the other hand, standardbreds have a lot of spring and energy, which results in excellent stepping.
It is uncommon to see standardbreds in dressage, so you’re likely to meet the same aversion when reselling as you would with a thoroughbred.
Can Clydesdales do dressage?
Simple answer: Clydesdales can do lower level dressage, but struggle to compete at top levels.
Long answer: Clydesdales are able to perform at lower level dressage and will benefit from it just like any other horse.
However, Clydesdales have been bred to be strong and thick, for their pulling power. This prevents them from the agility and detail that is required of horses competing in higher levels of dressage.
If you’re aiming to go to the top, you should avoid riding a Clydesdale, but if dressage is a passionate hobby, they will do fine. They may even outperform other horses in the earlier stages because of their steadiness, and may be more forgiving for less experienced riders.
What is the optimal dressage horse?
Simple answer: Andalusian, Warmblood, Hanoverian, Lusitano, Oldenburg, Westphalian.
Long answer: The breeds above were the most popular horses used in dressage at the 2008 Olympics.
They are chosen because of their naturally good conformation and their ability to learn and adapt to the tasks that dressage require of a horse.