When we are unable to communicate with other beings we look for ways to “read” them. One of the ways we, as human beings, try to figure out just “who we are dealing with” is by their physical presentation which includes the way they look, their body shape and stance and their expressions which are partially dependent on their facial characteristics. Throw in the ability to communicate and we use these same indicators to either validate what we think we already know, to better understand them, or to give us more information or understanding of who they are and how they are in the world and with other beings.
There are several physical indicators that have been formulated and studied to try and characterize a horse’s intellect, personality, and possible idiosyncrasies. One methodology is by looking at the pattern and location of swirls in the hair of horses. A swirl (or whorl) is a pattern of hair growth that is usually in the shape of a pinwheel , though can have a linear pattern and usually on the head, but may also be on the neck or body and then are known as trichoglyphs or sometimes cowlicks. This paper will examine a few of the facial indicators and the swirls of seven horses and compare them to look for correlations or contradictions with each other as well as impressions of their personality. The facial characteristics used in this paper include the profile of the head, the muzzle shape, the shape of the nostrils, the mouth, and the jowls.
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