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Breeds of the world: The Bashkir Curly

Bashkir Curlies are known for their distinctive coat - Labelled for reuse

Bashkir Curlies are known for their distinctive coat.

 

By Equestrian Life

The Bashkir Curly - also known as the Curly, American Bashkir Curly or North American Curly Horse - is an unusual breed that features a very curly coat. They come in all shapes, sizes and colours, but carry a gene for the unique curly coat of hair.

The degree or ‘curliness’ varies from horse to horse, with some exhibiting curly hair inside their ears, on their fetlocks and through their mane a tail, while others feature a completely curly coat from head to toe - including curly eyelashes. The curly hairs are more apparent during winter, with summer coats often exhibiting a slight wave instead. In some cases, Bashkir Curlies with ‘extreme’ curls can shed their winter coat and appear almost bald in summer.

 

Bashkir Curly - Photo American Bashkir Curly Horse Registry

A palomino Bashkir Curly.

© American Bashkir Curly Horse Registry



It is also possible for some Curlies to have a smooth coat, as the trait can be carried heterozygously. These are referred to as ‘Smooth Coat Curlies’.

Curlies are thought to be the only hypoallergenic horse breed; those who are allergic to horses can handle this breed without suffering any allergic reaction. Research indicates a protein is missing from the hair of Curlies that may be what causes allergic reactions to horses in allergy suffers, however the study was never officially published. Members of the Curly community are working towards funding more research on the topic.

 

A galloping Bashkir Curly - labelled for reuse

A galloping Bashkir Curly.



While the origins of the breed are debated, many believe the horses became a known breed in North America.

Calm, intelligent and friendly, the breed is renowned for being highly trainable.

 

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