Bashkir Curlies have a specific gene that causes them to have a unique coat of curly hair instead of the usual flowing mane. They even have curly fur inside of their ears! They come in many different sizes and colors, but the one thing that stays consistent is their curly coat.
Scientific & Common Names
Genus & Species - Equus ferus caballus
Common Name - Bashkir Curly, Curly Horse, North American Curly Horse, American Bashkir Curly
Bashkir Curlies are known for their calm, intelligent, and friendly temperaments. There are three types of coat that these horses can possess: minimal (curly mane, tail and inner ear), maximal (curly all over their body), or extreme (very tight curls). Bashkir Curlies are considered hypoallergenic, and most people with horse allergies are able to be around them without severe adverse effects.
Due to the nature of the curly gene, some purebred Bashkir Curlies exhibit a "smooth coat" without the usual curl. Breed standard dictates that any straight coated horse must be bred with a curly coated horse.
Curlies are friendly, sturdy, reliable and easily trained. They enjoy the company of people, and are not easily spooked. They are curious and gentle, which can make them a good choice for beginning trainers and riders.
The history of this breed is an enduring mystery. Curly horses have been depicted in ancient Chinese artworks. The Bashkir name comes from an early photograph of the horse originating from the Bashkir region of Russia. The horse was first documented in the United States being used by Native American tribes. It is unknown how the horse traveled across the continents, but it may have traveled over a prehistoric land bridge between Asia and America.
Curlies are versatile horses that can excel in a variety of fields. They do well in show jumping and dressage competitions, but are also used as trail horses, ranch horses, and companion horses. Their hypoallergenic nature allows horse-allergic riders to participate in competitions they otherwise would be excluded from.