Friday, March 21, 2014

The Eyes Have It

J and I were intrigued by a recent article in Western Horseman called, "Look Him in the Eye."  It described temperament based on eye shape.  So of course we had to go out and look at everyone's eyes. 

In the article from left to right, the open book, the work horse, the flight risk, and the herd leader.  To tell you the truth, I can't really tell much difference between the open book and the herd leader.  

(Paraphrased from the article)
The open book - The perfect horse for the inexperienced rider has an "Elsie the Cow" type of eye, round, open and kind with no wrinkles.   This horse is receptive to what is going on, doesn't show much fear, and accepts any challenge the rider puts forth.  He wants to please.

The work horse - Has more wrinkles around the eye and its shape is more oval than the round open look of the open book horse.  They are intelligent not overconfident but not overly worried either.  This horse is a little more concerned about things it is unsure of, but willing to follow the rider.

The Flight risk  - Worried with talent, his eye is very expressive and always has the startled look.  It is wrinkled on top and bottom, showing his worry.   He is timid and worried.  If you buy a horse that is borderline flight mode, you have to be a seasoned highly confidant rider to keep it together.

The herd leader - The shape of his eye - not round but more shuttered and there is not an overabundance of tissue above the eye and the few wrinkles are due to age not worry.   This is not a horse for beginners.  Each stride, he tests the rider for authority.

Otoelene, Pep, Brother, Hank, Wrangler, Jessica, Thumper, Little Girl.

The best I can tell is I have 4 open books and 4 flight risks.  I know I only have 7 horses but V said she thought Thumper's eye had been shaped like the flight risk so I went back and looked at some pictures and sure enough, there it was.  And yes, this does sort of fit everyone's personalities.  Although Jessica is a little different.  She wants to be the leader but she has no followers.  She has a very strong personality.

A very interesting write up worth reading if you get Western Horseman.


Keren: Fabulous farmlife said...

Fascinating article - thanks. Pinned it. I reckon I definitely have a flight risk, and the other tends to towards the herd leader.
~ Keren from Fabulous-farmliving.blogspot

Kalin said...

This is so cool!! I'm definitely using this for a post idea, how neat!

Crystal said...

interesting! I will have to go back and find that article, without looking I think I probly have a herd leader, 2 flight risks, a work horse and 2 open books, but I am gonna take eye pics as soon as it warms up again.

50+ Horses said...

I have always been intrigued by trying to identify your horse's personality by their eye and do believe there's surely something to it.

But I have had a hard time using this process to judge the Appaloosa's I've owned. They LOOKED like they were flight risks but both of them were (are) solid as a rock.

Regardless, using the eye chart is a fun thing to do with horses one encounters.

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