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My sweetwater recipe

http://www.karenchaton.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Bo_sweetwater2.mp4

Ever since I posted about this on my FB wall, I’ve gotten more requests for the recipe and have had a huge amount of positive feedback at every single ride I’ve been to.  This stuff may not work for everyone, but since so many have given me such positive feedback I thought I’d post it in my blog as it can be a big benefit for your horse.

This honestly is not

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Is that your horse in the mirror?

This is a photo of Chief looking at himself in the mirror at the Nugget in Reno one year while at the AERC convention. I remember the first morning that we led Chief in and he saw another horse – oh man, it looked just like him!!!! And not only that, but when he snorted and curled up his neck — the other horse did too! It was like they were twins. The walls

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My horse is a whorl-wind :)

Whorls positioned on the left of the face indicate a complicated but trustworthy horse, while horses with whorls on the right can be uncooperative. Chief is a lefty!

This post is just for fun.  My horse Chief has a ton of whorls (also called swirls) on his body.  If anybody out there has an interesting whorl on their horse, I’d love to see it.  Send me a link or email me.  Let me know if your horses whorls and their personality traits fit.

From early on people pointed out to me the whorls on Chief’s forehead and said that it indicated that he would be a complicated horse.  Lots of people noticed that he had two whorls.  Some seemed to think that this was a bad thing.  So I know that others out there pay attention to this sort of thing.  I’ve been aware of the whorls mainly because when I clip Chief, it takes a few extra passes at different directions to get the fur clipped evenly.

So I have a “complicated horse?”  Chief?  Complicated?  Hmmmm…..

I took a few photos of Chief’s “whorls”.  I’m not entirely sure what kind of whorl it is he actually has on his forehead.  It almost fits into descriptions of a couple of different things.  Click on the smaller photos to enlarge.

Chief's forehead whorls - close up

Horses with two adjoining whorls can be emotional and difficult to handle and do not make good mounts for inexperienced riders.

The forehead whorl is just above Chief’s eyes on the left side of his forehead and goes counter-clockwise.  It almost looks like a feather type one going higher up, where it gets to the top near the forelock and kind of waves and spins around up there.  I’m not sure that counts as a whorl though.  It does look as if he has two adjoining whorls.  It is harder now to see them both than when he was younger.

My other horses all have one simple whorl in the middle of their forehead.  Easy!

I always did kind of think that the way the hair on Chief’s forehead swished back and forth in a kind of an S pattern that it must be making him think that he was Superman.  I’m still trying to communicate to him at times that he’s not.  He really thinks he can fly! (and down the trail he can…but I don’t let him go as fast as his Superman powers would have him believe he can go!)  Okay, so maybe complicated would fit him.  Sometimes.

According to this article on “Facial Whorls and Horse Handedness” at thehorse.com – this makes Chief a lefty.  That’s cool, we’re both lefty’s!

“If trainers were able to identify if horses were left- or right-handed from the outset, then employing specialized individual training programs with these horses might contribute to a well-balanced athlete.” –Dr. Jack Murphy

Here is another article pointing to research that indicates that facial whorls can determine if a horse is right or left hoofed.  Click here to read more on how facial whorls can reveal a horses personality.  Certain types of whorls on bulls can mean increased fertility, and some cows have better temperament with certain whorls as well.  And here is a nice page showing several photos of horses facial whorls, with a lot more info.

Conclusions
The findings of the present study suggest that assessing the direction of facial hair whorl  rotation may be a useful indicator of lateralised motor behaviour trends in the horse. This may assist enlightened trainers to design individual specific training programmes for young
horses. Whorl and hair pattern manifestations have been linked to early foetal brain development in humans and further study of facial hair whorl rotation and placement may provide useful insight into both behavioural and neurobiological development in the horse.

There is a lot of information online about horse facial whorls.  Linda Tellington-Jones also has a book which covers this topic quite well.  I added a link to it in my book list (left hand column).  The book is called “Getting in TTouch – Understand and influence your horse’s personality”.  In it, Linda does say that horses with double swirls can be a great horse, and that generally horses with this pattern are not ideal for inexperienced riders.

Whorl on Chief's jugular

The whorl of the Sultan was found on the windpipe and meant love and prosperity.

This is what I found online:  The belief for what having a whorl to the left on the forehead means: Whorls positioned on the left of the face indicate a complicated but trustworthy horse, while horses with whorls on the right can be uncooperative.

And, since the whorl is just above Chief’s eyes:  A whorl positioned above the eyes is the most common and indicates a horse with an uncomplicated nature. Does this still apply if he has a second one?  Hmmmm…

The whorl of the Sultan was found on the windpipe and meant love and prosperity. Chief has a nice big one, real easy to see – on the jugular of his neck.

Horses with two adjoining whorls can be emotional and difficult to handle and do not make good mounts for inexperienced riders. Well, Chief definitely isn’t a horse that I would let an inexperienced person handle.  He is as sweet, quiet and gentle as can be but you need to understand him…you might even say that he is “complicated”.  He even got away with stuff with Dave Rabe, that he has never even tried with me!  I am the only person who has ridden Chief in rides.  He isn’t the kind of horse that you can lend out.  I wouldn’t call Chief emotional as much as I would say that he is sensitive.

Chief has whorls on both sides of his neck right next to the mane

Whorls between the ears mean the horse is swift while any on the side of the neck are called the "finger of the Prophet"

I read that Bedouin’s believed that it was significant to have hair whorl’s on their horses and used them to determine the value of their horses.  The average Arabian horse has six whorls – one of their horses was said to have had 40 whorls on it’s body.   Whorls between the ears mean the horse is swift while any on the side of the neck are called the “finger of the Prophet”.  Chief has multiple whorls – that’s why I called him a whorl-wind!  LOL  He also has whorls on both sides of his neck and has the mark of the Prophet on his chest.

Chief's Prophet's Thumb Mark

Chief's Prophet's Thumb Mark

The Prophet’s Thumb Mark is a muscular depression commonly seen on the neck, on the breast or on the point of the shoulder.  A widespread belief tells of how any horse that has one of these marks is to be treasured and treated with great respect.  These horses are believed to be descended from one of the five brood mares that Mohamet owned.  Supposedly any horses bearing the mark are blessed, and the person whose thumb exactly fits the hole is the horse’s true owner.

Click below to read the story of how Arabian horses came to get the mark of the Prophet.

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To Have a Horse in Your Life

Karen & Granite Chief, Fort Schellbourne XP 2009. Photo by Steve Bradley

I just came back from having a wonderful ride on Chief and had to share this beautiful piece about horses.  We are all so lucky to have the special relationships that we do with our horses.  I think above all else, Chief and I have a deep trust and respect for each other.  He has been an angel about letting me

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A collection of equestrian related blog posts

It’s great to see so many other horse related blogs out there now.  Here are some posts with links to a few others out there that I check in on.  These are horse related but not endurance ride related.  If anybody has any other interesting horse related blogs to recommend please post them in my comments.  I also have a few blogs listed in the right hand column here.

From The Middle of the

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Rehydrating your horses skin and coat

Have you checked your horses armpits lately?  How about the condition of his/her skin and coat, especially in the areas where the tack goes?  It’s pretty common for horses to get dandruff or scurfing of the skin during different times of year or when they are being worked regularly and are sweating.

If you’re like me, you probably want to keep your horse as comfortable as possible.  I have found that it is relatively

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Horse bits and other musings

Karen & Granite Chief, Grand Canyon XP

Lately I’ve been riding Granite Chief in a Myler Combination Bit.  It works really great on him.  I’m wondering why I hadn’t tried it on him sooner?  I’ve had it for years, and I’m sure that I did try it on him years ago and for some reason decided that it wasn’t going to work for him.  I tried so many things with him.  All of

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Deworming Horses – How to Save Money!

Panacur Liquid Dewormer

I worm the horses on the first of every other month.  Sometimes I do it a few days early, or a few days late depending upon the ride schedule.

Once a year I like to do a 5 day purge on them with fenbendazole.  I have put all of this information together on one page.  Here is the link.

A great way to reduce costs when worming multiple horses is

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Finding a veterinary clinic in an emergency

If you’re traveling with your horses and need to find a vet clinic you can call:  800-411-GOOG from any phone and get connected directly or try Google Maps for your cell phone.  You could also try Windows Live for Mobile.  Some of the newer GPS’s may also help you with this info.  Be sure to set this up in your phone NOW so you won’t forget!  Another useful resource that every traveling (US) endurance

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