Curly Horse

Curly Horse photo
Typical Curly Horse, with curly mane, curved eyelashes, and curls inside the ears.
Photograph by Penella22. Some rights reserved.


Other Names
Bashkir Curly Horse

The Curly horses are an easily recognizable breed of horses because, as their name says, they have curly hair. These horses are also commonly referred to as the American Bashkir Curlies, North America Bashkir Curlies or just Bashkir Curlies. These horses have curly hair because their breed carries a unique gene that leads to formation of curly hair.

The height of the Curly horses can range anywhere from 14 to 16 hands. Though there are certain horses of this breed that can weigh up to 1200 lbs, the average weight of these horses is between 800-1000 lbs. The hair of the body of these horses are fine and can have varying degrees of curliness. The hair can be in the form of ringlets which are several inches long or marcel wave which are soft but deep waves in the body coat or crushed velvet which is a dense pile of soft curls in the body coat. The horses of this breed have a split mane and the hair is wavy. The tail hair is also in the form of ringlets or waves.

The Curly horses have a short but strong back. These horses have a good and strong bone structure. Their hooves are very hard and almost round in shape. The most notable feature of this breed is that their curly coat sheds during the summer season. Though in certain horses there is partial shedding of hair, some horses shed their hair, including the tail and mane hair, completely.

The Curly horses are renowned the world over for their calm and friendly nature. These intelligent creatures also have a pleasant temperament. They are easily trainable and possess endless amounts of energy. They are reliable and easy to work with. These tough animals love the company of humans.

14 - 16 hands

Though the most common coat color is chestnut, there are also other colors like grey, black and bay. Colors like roan, buckskin, cremello and grulla are diluted due to pinto patterns and appaloosa markings.

Suitable for
The Curlies are mainly used for dressage and as show horses. They are known to excel in show rings. Due to their reliable nature, they are used as pleasure mounts and also for training purposes. In addition to this, the Curlies are also used as trail horses and ranch horses.

The origin of the Curly horse and the actual breed name is shrouded in mystery. The earliest documentation of this breed dates back to 161AD. While the Charles Darwin school of thought states that these horses were found in South America, the Sioux Indians are said to have used them as horses for their doctors and tribal chiefs. The development of this breed also has different thought forms. The first documentation of this horse was by a rancher called John Damele in the 1900s in Eureka, Nevada. He and his wife are credited with the development of this breed.

There are four different registries in existence in different parts of the world today in order to protect, preserve and register the horses of this breed.