Curly horses were found by the Damele family of Nevada in the wild herds inhabiting their ranch. Research has shown that the Curly horses were not limited to Nevada. The Crow and Lakota Sioux had been capturing Curly horses in the plains of South Dakota. These horses have a curly coat and gentle disposition.
The curly hair of the American Bashkir Curly Horse is not typical horsehair, but closely resembles mohair. It is also hypoallergenic. People who are allergic to straight haired breeds usually will not have a reaction to curlies. The ABC Registry has received many letters from grateful new horse owners who, before learning of the curlies, thought they would never be able to own a horse. The American Bashkir Curly Registry was started in 1971 with 21 horses. The ABC Registry requires DNA testing to register any foal, and registers only ABC registered curly to ABC registered curly.
Curly Sporthorse International is a newer registry founded in 2003 dedicated to training, recognition, improvement, and promotion of Curly Sport Horses. CSI is the first and only Curly Registry to offer Sport Horse Breed Stock Inspections, patterned after Warmblood Approvals.
The International Curly Horse Organization was founded several years ago to preserve outcrossed horses with curly coats.
American Bashkir Curly horses are low maintenance. They generally require little grain if kept on good pasture or hay. They also fair well living outdoors. They have hard feet that do not require shoes under normal circumstances. Professional trainers who have worked with curlies will testify to their intelligence and ease in handling. They are laid back and easy to handle making them a number one choice for beginners.
Curly horses are versatile horses. They are ridden in English, Western and Endurance Classes. They perform in the Dressage and jump arenas. They drive, contest and make excellent Trail horses.