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Rare Horse Breed, the American Bashkir Curly

About American Bashkir Curly Horses. What do Bashkir Curly horses look like? How did the American Curly horse originate? What are the places to register a curly horse? How rare are American Bashkir Curly horses? Where can a horse with curly hair be registered? Where I can find an American Curly Horse? Why does my horse have curly fur?

The Bashkir Curly Horse, also known as the Curly Horse, is a rare and very unusual breed of horse. They are often said to be a hypoallergenic horse but this is debated and has not been proven. The hair tends to be similar to the Mohair from a Angora goat. These curly haired horses are so rare there are only around 5,000 curly horses registered.

The origins of the Bashkir Curly horse are also highly debated. The name “Bashkir” refers to the Bashkir region of Russia. The gene responsible for making the hair on these horses to be curly is probably similar to the one seen in Rex cats, suggesting the gene may have been a random occurring mutation, but that it is also dominant. As such curly horse may appear anywhere in the world as the result of a mutation, but the breed known as the Bashkir Curly likely started with a mutation occurring in the American Mustang.

In some areas people tend to be in favor of the name “American Curly” as this horse breed certainly had its roots in the American west with rancher John Damele and his sons. They noted some curly coated wild mustangs and after watching the herds for several years noted that these curly haired horses seemed more hardy after harsh winters. They captured a curly haired mustang stallion whom they named Copper D and started a breeding program. They later introduced an Arabian stallion, named Nevada Red, and a Morgan stallion, named Ruby Red King, whom became important foundation sires of what became known as the American Bashkir Curly horse.

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Registration of Curly Horses

The American Bashkir Curly Registry (ABCR) only accepts registration of foals with two parents registered to this registry. This is considered a “closed book” registry as crossbred horses, or horses of unknown parentage cannot be registered. This registry started in 1974 and is the oldest registry for curly haired horses.

The International Curly Horse Organization (ICHO) accepts all curly haired horses regardless of bloodline. This registry started in 2000 and does not refer to the horses as “Bashkir”.

American Bashkir Curly Horse Breed Appearance

The average height is around 15 hands, but the range is from 13.3 to 16 hands.

Medium sized head, eyelashes should curl up. Ears are short and the hair in the ears does not shed out in the summer. The body hair is soft and fine with ringlets, waves, or more like crushed velvet. The mane is kinked or wavy and tends to be quite fine, and may shed in the summer.

The tail may be wavy or have ringlets and it to may shed partially, or fully, in the summer.

There is often feathers on the fetlocks, often shedding in the summer.

The curly coat is more noticeable in the winter, again with the mane and tail often shedding in the summer as well as many of the more curly hairs.

Bashkir Curly horses can be any color.

Short back, and strong legs, they are often kept barefoot (without horseshoes).

Some registered American Bashkir Curly horses do not have the curly coats, but have two registered parents. These are known as smooth coated curlys. Those with curly coats will be shown to have an asterisk in front of their name in the pedigree and registration books.

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Temperament and Uses of Curly Horses

Curly horses tend to be pretty level headed, but as a newer breed there is still a lot of variety within the breed as a whole. They tend to do well in Western events, and most English events, with the exception of “Park” classes as they tend to lack the showy trotting action.

Note that some horses with laminitis may have curly hair on their body. 

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Comments (2)

Unique beautiful horse with curly hair and without horseshoe, great presentation.

Thank-you for sharing this wonderful information abou the breed

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