Every horse owner thinks their horses are special, but do they have the Prophets’ Thumbprint? When I bought Bailey I wondered what that indent dimple on the side of her right neck was. The suggested science behind the mark is that the horse, as a foal in the womb, presses up against the muscles with their hooves and it causes this mark.
A widespread belief tells of how any horse that has a groove in its neck is to be treasured and treated with great respect as it believed to come from a line of horses that belonged to the Prophet Mohammed. If you can place your thumb gently into the groove on the neck, which is known as the ‘Prophet’s Thumb Print’, then the horse is allegedly connected to one of the five brood mares that Mohammed owned, and therefore sacred.
The legend is told thus: “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 they are the horse’s true owner.
Both of my horses have the dimple indent. Bailey’s is in the perfect position, perfect thumb fit to me. She is as loyal and faithful as they come. I joke about Cheyenne because she too has a Prophets Thumbprint, just a little farther down her shoulder, as she is just a little less loyal, but still my very special horse.
The five mares of Mohammed
by Ilil Arbel, Ph.D.
“The hot desert wind blew against the tent, driving the dust inside. Fatima walked softly in, carrying an earthenware jug full of cold water, and handed it to the Prophet. “Please, stop tormenting yourself, Mohammed,” she said, “drink some water!”
“I will drink when the test is over, and the horses can drink, too. I cannot drink knowing they are thirsty,” said the Prophet to his daughter.
“I do not understand this test, nor do I like it,” said Fatima angrily. “Depriving the horses from drinking for three full days is cruel. I cannot believe you would do it, a man who loves animals better than himself!”
“I must. Allah commanded me — would you have me disobey God? The spread of Islam depends greatly on the loyalty and strength of our horses. The best of these horses, said Allah, will be honored till the end of time… But it is the evening of the third day now, so let us go to the horses and conduct the test.”
He took a horn that hung at the tent’s entrance, and walked toward an enclosure where about a hundred horses were confined, a little distance from the water hole of the oasis. The horses looked reproachfully at their beloved master as he quickly opened the gate. Tormented by thirst, the horses galloped to the water hole, but before they could reach it, Mohammed raised the horn to his lips and sounded the call for war.
The horses ignored it. They were so thirsty that perhaps they couldn’t even hear it, and went on galloping toward the water. But not all of them. Five mares stopped. Without hesitation, they turned around and returned to Mohammed, ready to do whatever was required of them.
The Prophet stroked their silky manes, tears in his eyes. He led them to the water and envisioned the glorious future as they drank. He knew that these mares would foal the finest of Arab horses, the only horses of pure blood, the horses that would help bring Islam to every corner of the Earth.”
The five mares were kept for breeding and it is said that the prophet pressed his thumb in their necks marking them with his thumbprint. A horse with the prophet’s thumbprint is said to come from the bloodline of horses that belonged to the prophet Mohammed, it is said that a horse with the prophet’s thumbprint should be treasured and treated with great respect, and are thought to be lucky.