I AM A BEGINNER WITH HORSES, AND I HAVE HEARD THAT CURLY HORSES ARE A GOOD CHOICE FOR ME. IS THIS TRUE?
First of all, Curly Horses are horses and act like other horses do. So if you are not very familiar with horses, it is a good idea to have a skilled friend or trainer around to help you. As a beginner, you might want to look for an older, experienced and trained Curly Companion instead of a foal or youngster.
However, it is true that Curlies often have a calm temperament and a gentle disposition. Usually they are very curious, people-oriented and often comparably easy to handle, which can make them a real good choice for beginners for sure!
I HAVE HEARD THAT CURLY HORSES ARE HYPO-ALLERGENIC: WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
Hypo-allergenic means that, in this case, the horse is less likely to cause a person who is allergic to horses to have an allergic response. That does not mean that the person will not have an "allergy attack", but that often the symptoms are less severe if they are present at all. So if you visit a Curly Horse, and you are allergic to horses, be sure to take you medicine with you!
We do not know exactly why this is so, and studies are on going. We think it may be because the Curly Horse's hair is different than a regular horses, or that the proteins in their skin are different.
I RECENTLY HEARD ABOUT CURLY HORSES. HOW CAN THEY BE DESCRIBED?
The ABCR Breed Standard describes an American Bashkir Curly as being on average 14 to 16 hands and weighing 800 to 1250 lbs. The head is of medium size with a well-defined jaw and throat latch. The eyes are wide set with eyelashes that curl up. Ears are short to medium in length with curls inside. The neck is of medium length and deep at the base where it joins the shoulder. The back is noticeably short and deep through the girth. The legs are heavy boned with short cannon bones as compared to the forearm. They have a curly coat in wintertime and generally display a notable gentle disposition.
I WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CURLY HORSE IN GENERAL. DO YOU HAVE SOMETHING I COULD WATCH?
ANSWER: Yes, we have! One of our breeders, Barbara Carroll from Stag Creek Farm, TX, was on TV in The Horse Show with Rick Lamb. So sit back, relax, enjoy watching it and learn more about the Curly Horse! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QpsnNRzW1E
HOW CAN I TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A CURLY HORSE AND A HORSE WITH THE CUSHING SYNDROM?
Cushing’s Disease in horses typically develops as the horse enters its senior years. Equine Cushing’s disease is a result of a number of hormone related problems that derive from changes in the brain.
Unlike the Curly Horse, Horses with Cushing Syndrom have a hard time shedding their coats in spring. Excessive thirst and urination, increased appetite with no weight gain, loss of muscle over the top line as well as chronic laminitis are symptoms for Cushings, too. Another difference is that the 'curls' of a horse with the Cushing Syndrom are seen only in body hair, it's ear hairs, fetlocks, mane, and tail are straight.
The curly coat of a Curly Horse is NO SIGN for a disease at all, but a wanted characteristic of the Curly Horse breed! On the picture here, we are definitely looking at a Curly Horse. Their curls in ears, mane, fetlocks and tail do not shed in spring, but are also visible in summertime
I HAVE HEARD THAT CURLIES DON'T NEED ANY OF THE "NORMAL" CARE OF A HORSE LIKE SHOES, DE-WORMING, GRAIN, VACCINATIONS, ETC. IS THAT TRUE?
Curlies are horses. When we keep horses in a domestic environment we need to do things for them that wild horses may not require. Curlies, like any other, do best when their vaccinations, farrier work, and de-worming is kept up to date for their home area. Many Curly Horses are not shoed because they tend to have naturally round and hard feet; however, depending on where they live and what they do, you may find them with shoes.
Most Curly Horses do get some grain or other feed supplement, again depending on where they live. Each region brings its own vitamin and mineral requirements that the horse cannot get from their hay ration. It is best to speak with a local veterinarian to find what is best for your area; however, many Curlies are "easy keepers" and do not need as much grain as a different breed of horse. Again, check with your veterinarian!
WHERE DID CURLY HORSES ORIGINATE?
There have been many theories on this, some believing that the "curly" part of the horse came from the Bashkir region of Russia, some feeling perhaps from the Lokai horses of Tajikistan. To this date nothing has been accurately proven. What is known is that the earliest documented Curly Horses in North America were with Native Americans in the Winter Count of 1801-2. At this time it was said that the Sioux had stolen Curly horses from the Crow. From then to now, several ranchers/breeders have been responsible for maintaining Curly Horse breeding. Some of the names you will hear are: Damele, Eli Bad Warrior, Berndt, Neidhard, Skjonsberg, and Fredell. There are also Missouri Foxtrotters who, for an unknown reason, carry a dominant Curly gene. The founding sire of that line is *Curly Jim". Additionally, some curly horses carry a recessive gene for curly coats, two of which are Missouri Foxtrotters and Percherons.