Whether a horse’s whorl (the hair that swirls on his forehead) swirls clockwise or counterclockwise can tell you whether he is right- or left-hoofed, according to a November 24 article published in Nature News.
The article makes the point that which direction a horse favors could help trainers produce stock that runs straighter and wins more races. “That is a strong enough link to be a useful tip to trainers,” Murphy told Nature News. “A horse’s handedness or ‘motor laterality’ translates into a tendency to drift in one direction, which can make a big difference to a horse’s competitive chances. The earlier you can spot biases, the easier it is to correct them, by, for example, getting horses to work on their weaker side using longeing.”