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Bashkir Curly

Breed Description:

The Curly has been said to be the sacred horse of the Indians, called Buffalo Ponies, owned by Chiefs and Medicine Men. Red Cloud depicted Curly horses at the battle of Little Bighorn of 1876 in drawings he made. Curly horses were found at the Standing Rock Reservation in South Dakota. They have also been found at the Fort Berthold Reservation in North Dakota and at Rock Springs, Wyoming.  
The Damele's are the most well know for their breeding of Curly horses in Nevada. Giovanni (John) Damele, an Italian immigrant, settled near Eureka, Nevada with his family and started ranching. They spotted Curly horses in the mustang herds of Nevada as early as the late 1800's. 
These Curlies were used to breed with other horses with many Curly foals being produced.  The first Curly stallion used by the Damele's was Copper D. The Curlies were bred to the Arabian stallion, Nevada Red and a Morgan stallion, Ruby Red King. 
Other breeds used for breeding to Curlies were, Appaloosa, Saddlebred, Quarter horse and Draft. The Damele's continued to breed Curly horses for many years. Most of the Curly horses of today trace back to the Damele Curlies. The Damele's and other breeders bred Curlies to a variety of other breeds because their numbers were very limited. In the 1960's they were bred to the Missouri Foxtrotter and today there are some foxtrotting Curlies. There are approximately 2000 living registered Curly horses. 
The winter coat of the Curly horse has curls which varies in form from tight ringlets to a wavy type. The hair is soft and is hypoallergenic. Most people allergic to horses are not allergic to the Curlies. The curly hair has been tested and has been found to resemble mohair. The hair can be spun into yarn. 
The mane and tail of the Curly is also curly, wavy or in dreadlocks. In the summer the curly coat sheds out to a smoother or slightly wavy hair coat. Some Curlies also shed their mane and tail hair, while others shed a partial amount and some retain the full mane and tail. 
The Curly horse is quiet hardy and has the ability to withstand colder temperatures better than many other breeds. They possess strong round hooves. Their cannon bone is round rather than flat. They do not seem to be plagued by diseases that affect other equine breeds. 

The Gait:

Most Curlies seem to have a floating walk and trot which make them smooth to ride. However, a minority (10-15%) of all Curlies have an extra gait in addition to walk, trot and gallop. These gaited Curlies can roughly be separated into three groups.  

The first group is the foxtrotting Curly which is the most common of gaited Curlies. They result from crossing Curly horses with Missouri Fox Trotters. Almost all foxtrotting Curlies descend from the stallion, Walker's Prince T. 

A second group is Curlies performing a four beat lateral gait, usually a running walk or stepping pace. The gait has probably come from the Spanish horse influence or in some cases crossing with Tennessee Walkers and other gaited breeds.

A third group is recessive Curlies cropping up in gaited breeds. A recessive Curly is a curly horse which has two straight haired parents. The recessive curly gene is probably not related to the more common dominant curly gene. Recessive Curlies crops up most frequently among Missouri Fox Trotters, but it has also been known to happen in the Tennessee Walking Horse and Paso Fino breeds as well as other gaited breeds. 

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