Nature vs Nurture

The environment we grow in strongly affects the way we grow. There is no doubt about that.
Who we are affects the way we react to that environment.
It’s a constant give and take.  Now lets take that to horses.
No matter what the environment there are some character traits that will stay with a horse no matter what. A sensitive reactive horse is going to be sensitive and reactive no matter the environment. That can be channeled so the sensitivity is supported and treasured so the horse can express their feelings as devotion and enthusiasm. The reactivity can be used to advantage instead of punished and driven into learned helplessness.
The way the character is handled does not change the character.
A bold, confident horse, sure of their ideas and opinions in life can be a blessing. Fearing nothing they will carry their rider through any challenge. Or, in a different environment, they will be the bane of a timid rider, running them over and insisting on their own way of doing things. These are the ways environment can affect the temperament, but they don’t change the temperament.
The base we are working from is there, unchanging, no matter what factors affect it throughout a life time. Different temperaments will show different responses and a different way of reacting to life in general.
What we see when looking at whorls is what that temperament base is. What foundation we are working with. Not how they have been brought along through life.
That is why whorls have so much to share. By looking at the foundation of the horse’s temperament we can see how to best proceed with them to bring out the traits we would like to see most. Yes, all horses need patience and understanding. Some horses need repetition, others constant new exciting experiences. Some people have a type they know they click with, others could miss out on a great horse if they follow the old superstitions about whorls.
As in all things, the whole picture needs to be taken into account, never just a small piece of it.

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