"Gypsy gold does not chink and glitter. It gleams in the sun and neighs in the dark."

~ Saying of the Gladdagh Gypsies of Galway

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Reading a Horse: Gypsy

One of my most favorite 'horse people' are Linda Tellington Jones. I love her 'TTouch Methods' and use them frequently with my horses. Linda wrote a book called Getting in TTouch Understand and Influence Your Horses Personality. It is my bible! I.LOVE.THIS.BOOK.

It was especially helpful when the horse rescue I worked with was active as we'd bring in new horses frequently. New horses we knew nothing about. All I had to do was 'read their face' and I had a pretty good idea what we were in for. Swirls were my 'do or die' indicator ...as in, figure it our fast, or else! LOL More on swirls later.

So, this is Gypsy. You all know her by now :) Sweet, Simple, Easy Going, Loves Kids, Former Lesson Horse, Unbelievably tolerant....
Let's 'decode' her face!

Reading the Head
The Profile: Gyspy is a 'roman nose' profile. According to Linda, roman nose horses are often bold, very tough and resilient and seldom seem to get hurt. They are ideal for polo ponies and school horses.

The Jowl: Gypsy is a 'large, round jowl', which means she is intelligent and cooperative.

The Eyes: Though it is hard to see in my bad examples for pictures [regarding the eye] Gypsy has the Large, Soft Round Eye, which indicates a horse who is willing and usually trusts people. (I can also say, Apollo does not have this eye! But we'll save that for his profile!) In addition, which is also hard to tell from this photo, Gypsy has what Linda calls a 'Supraorbital deep depression (an indentation above the eye) - actually all 3 of my horses do [the mini donkey does not, which I am guessing has something to do with how her genetics make up her face] - this, according to Linda, is indicative of a stressful life or a past severe illness. Makes sense knowing [as little of] my horses backgrounds prior to their rescues, as I do.

There is much more in Linda's book to read on your horses face. The ears, the mouth, the chin....
One other part of this book though that fascinated me was, the swirls, the equine equivalent to our fingerprints. Linda makes note that swirls must not be read on their own and need to take into account all the other contributing factor [such as those I noted above]. Generally, a horse has one facial swirl. However, some have two, and very rarely, some have 3! For those with 2 or even three swirls, the least I can say is, these horses would not be for beginners! Gypsy has one swirl, about smack dab between her eyes,which generally means an uncomplicated horse.

There is so much more to learn from this book. Truly I couldn't recommend it enough if you have horses or are involved with horses. It is truly fascinating. Can you tell I could just go on and on!

For those who know my Gypsy girl, then you know that these readings into her face [a horse never lies!] are pretty accurate!


Susan said...

I love horses, but don't own any, however, my niece does and is an avid rider. I am going to order this book for her. Thank you for the lesson in reading horses.<3

suzanne said...

Hi there Allison

Thank you for Brogan's Birthday wishes and a BIG birthday wish for your little ones 1st birthday....It came around so fast that I missed it! I saw how he spent his day and I hope he spends his next year happy and healthy..Its my sisters birthday coming up in May..What a perfect birthday book gift. She is passionate about horses and has also often brought in horses that have had awful lives..my hat off to both of you for being so caring to these magestic animals.

Love to you