Thursday, March 10, 2011

Whorl-Away: New References

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A couple weeks ago I posted a hair chart. You can find a higher resolution version in An Atlas of Animal Anatomy (so cheap and so worth the purchase). But--after years of working with this chart--its shortcomings are starting to bug me.

So I’m supplementing this chart with the following references. All of these photos are uploaded at gigantic resolutions, so click on the small pics below for links to the full-size images.

Breezy

I think this mare is rabicano. She’s new to the barn and is shedding out her winter coat. Spring brings it own surprises. The great thing about a color like rabicano is the interspersed pattern of hairs makes the direction of hair growth super easy to see:

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Edith

While Breezy has a pretty standard pattern on her flank, Edith has a very unique pattern.

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Peppy

If Peppy were a model, you may think someone got a little dremel happy and nicked him on his neck.

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I’ve heard various explanations for these indentations from “horse dimples” to in utero injuries to foal-hood scars. The bedouins call them “prophet’s thumb marks”:
“Prophet Mohammed tested his horses by depriving them of water for several days. He then released them near a waterhole but before they reached it, he sounded his trumpet to summon them. Only five mares responded and returned to him, and these were kept for breeding. He pressed him thumb into their necks, leaving an indentation which they passed onto their offspring.” It has been said that if you ever have a horse that has the marking, they are blessed, and if that person’s thumb fits exactly in the indentation then you are the horse’s true owner.
I’ve seen these on a horse’s butt, too. I’m not sure if that has any spiritual significance, but it was on an Arabian.

Peppy also has a freeze brand on his left hind:

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And a very long linear whorl on his neck:

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Scarlett

Most horses have one whorl on their forehead. These whorls either spin clockwise or counter-clockwise. Scarlett has one of each:

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My vet insists this is a sign that a horse is smart--but deeply troubled. I think he’s still not over the time Scarlett tried to kick him in the head.

She also has a whorl up here at the top of her neck:

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Which causes her mane to do this:

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This maybe something to keep in mind if you are painting a hair-by-hair style paint job on a mold with a floppy mane.

Personally, I have a bad habit of painting legs hairs all in a vaguely downward direction. Since I mostly paint dark-headed roans, I haven’t gotten a lot of practice drawing the hair pattern on the leg. However, you can see below that the hair on Scarlett’s legs go in various directions as they move down her legs:

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There are several more photos in my photobucket account. Feel free to poke around.

My 3-D Hair Chart

I’ve decided to retire Terrang from his short suffering life of being dropped off of balconies, and dremeled, and used as a test subject for various scientific experiments. In retirement, Terrang will serve as a three dimensional hair chart I plan to work from in the future. Here is a shot in progress:

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It was hard to do this in one sitting after my horse got bored and tried to eat my hair. She does not “get” this plastic pony obsession of mine and why it has to involve her so often.

3 comments:

Last Alliance Studios said...

Oooh, thanks for these! I've been working on a sabino etchie recently and these will really help. :D

Great idea for the 3D hair chart too - poor Terrang, at least he'll have a reasonably trouble free retirement now! lol

Carol said...

Wow, great reference photos, thanks for sharing! I've been doing something a little similar to your Terrang by making my own blown-up line drawing hair charts from various angles. I'd love to see some photos of undersides, that's a really mysterious area hair-growth-wise ;-)

Two Fishies said...

I'll try to add some belly photos on Monday. It was windy the other day Scarlett wasn't feeling very cooperative. Not the best time to crawl under a horse! ;)