By Cathy Clendenin
Did you know that there was a breed of horse named “The Curly Horse?” I recently just purchased a medium sized pony who is registered with the North American Curly Horse Registry. I had never heard of this breed so I had to do some reading to find out what made them unique.
A Curly is a breed of horse. Curlies, also called Bashkir Curlies, American Bashkir Curlies, and North American Curly Horses, come in all sizes, colors, and body types but all carry a gene for a unique curly coat of hair. The winter coat of the Curly horse has curls in the form of tight ringlets to a marcel type wave. The hair is generally soft and is hypoallergenic. Most people allergic to horses are not allergic to the Curly. The curly hair has been tested and has been found to resemble mohair. The hair can be spun into yarn. The mane & tail is also curly, wavy or in dredlocks. In the summer the curly coat sheds out to a smoother or slightly wavy hair coat. Some Curlies also shed their mane and tail hair, while others shed a partial amount and some retain the mane & tail.
~~ The Curly horse is quite hardy and has the ability to withstand colder temperatures than many other breeds. They posess strong round hooves. The bone thickness is also greater in the Curly than other breeds of horses. Their cannon bone is round rather than flat. They do not seem to be plagued by diseases that affect other equine breeds.
~~ The eyes of the Curly are spaced wide apart so they have good rear vision. The eyes have a sleepy look to them and are hooded. The nostrils are cresent shaped, not flaring. They have a small teacup mouth.
~~ One of the best traits of the Curly is their personality. They love people. They are intelligent, quick to learn, willing partners. They have a quiet temperment and do not spook & run, but rather face their fear to get a good look at it. They are curious little clowns at times.
~~ The athletic ability of the Curly has taken him to the dressage ring, endurance rides, cow pony work, driving, Western peasure, ideal family horse & hunter of buffalo by the Indians. Curlies seem to excel at many tasks. They have plenty of energy and endurance. They have great movement and style.
We have been very happy with our new pony with her curly hair. I do have to say it grows out in a very peculiar pattern. Needless to say, I have purchased a pair of clippers as I believe I’ll be using them often. Fortunately, she is an easy clipper. I would certainly recommend them based on the gentleness of the one we purchased.