Home of the Hypoallergenic Curly Sporthorse

About the American Bashkir Curly

The American Bashkir Curly Horse is a unique and somewhat rare breed. It is recognized by it's curly coat as the name implies. Interestingly the Curly horse is hypoallergenic. The curly hair of the American Bashkir Curly Horse is hollow fibered and closely resembles mohair. People who are allergic to straight haired breeds usually will not have a reaction to curlies. There are many people which enjoy Curly horses who had previously thought horse ownership is not possible due to their allergies.

It was originally believed that the Russian Bashkir horse was also curly coated and the ancestor of our American Curly. Hence the name - American Bashkir Curly. We now know that the Russian Bashkir is unrelated to the American Curly Horse. We maintain the name, American Bashkir Curly Horse for public recognition only. Curly horses were found by the Damele family of Nevada in the wild herds inhabiting their ranch in the late 1800's. In the 1930's these Curlies were used to breed with other horses because of their small number and many curly foals were produced. An Arabian stallion - Nevada Red, a Morgan stallion - Ruby Red King, and a Curly stallion - Copper D, were bred to Curly Horse mares. Many Curly horses of today can be traced back to the Damele Curlies. Today many breeders prefer to breed Curly to Curly when possible although there are some outcrosses as well. Research has shown that the Crow and Lakota Sioux had been capturing Curly Horses in the plains of South Dakota in the early 1800's. Curly horses were also found at the Fort Berthold Reservation in North Dakota and the Standing Rock Reservation in South Dakota.

Most Curly horses during the winter are covered from head to tail in curls. The curls come in various forms, from crushed velvet looking, to marcelle waves, to tight ringlets, to micro curls. During the summer, the coat is usually too short for the curls to show, and the curls are seen only in the mane and tail, plus the inside of ears and fetlocks. The wide variation in coat, mane, and tail textures in Curly horses means that their apperance can vary greatly. On occasion they may have little or no visible curl at all (these are called "minimals" or "straits.") At other times they may have such extensive curling that even their eyelashes are curled, but with scant mane and tail hair (these are called "extremes.") While Curly Horses in general are known for being calm and sensible, the extreme Curly Horses are so kind, sweet, loving, and calm, they are amazing to be around. The extreme Curly is also homozygous for curly even when outcrossed to other breeds. The Curly Horse is also notable for it's other features. First and foremost is their dog like dispoition and love for humans. They are extremely intelligent, non spooky, sensible, and willing mounts, as well as having a very curious nature. They make excellent companions for any age rider. Their unique physical characteristics include: hard hooves that don't need shoes, shorter backs, easy keepers, heartiness, surefootedness, and very good bone substance.

Curly Horses are versatile horses. In recent years Curlies are being used more and more as competition sport horses. Due to their higher step, long stride, bold movement, and proud head carriage, Curly Horses succeed best at such events as Dressage, Jumping, Eventing, and English Pleasure. They have also done well in Endurance, Competitive trail, and Reining. 

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 some years ago to preserve outcrossed horses with curly coats.