All horses are beautiful, with distinctive traits that make them special. But this breed has something just a bit more – a distinctive curly coat – that might make them the most unique horse of all. And definitely in the running for cutest! While you may be able to recognize one by its curly coat, how much do you really know about this fascinating breed? Check out these fun facts about the Bashkir Curly.
#1 – An ancient breed, but it's origins are mysterious
Would you be shocked to learn that Native Americans talked of soldiers on curly horses at the Battle of Little Big Horn? And that there are photographs of them? Or that in China, curly horses were depicted at far back as 161 A.D? (Abcregistry.com) So where did the breed come from? No one really knows. The name “Bashkir” comes from a picture of a curly coated horse from Russia, according to the American Bashkir Curly Horse Registry, but not everyone involved in the breed believes that proves their origins. Theories abound, including some believing they have been here since the land bridge connected Russia and Alaska, though there is no evidence to support this.(Abcregistry.com)
#2 – Bashkir or no? The debate rages on
While most horse breeds have one name that’s not debated, the Bashkir Curly has different names depending on who you talk to, due to the mystery surrounding the breed’s origins. The American Bashkir Curly Horse Registry clearly stands by the claim to a Russian heritage whereas the International Curly Horse Organization and its division, the North American Curly Horse Registry do not.
#3 – Wild Stock
Regardless of what country or even continent the Bashkir came from, we do know that all of today’s breeding stock came from wild horses. My first horse was a Bashkir Curly and his pedigree went back to Nevada Wild horses.
#4 – Sacred to the Sioux
The Sioux considered these curly coated horses as sacred. They were reserved as mounts for chiefs and medicine men only. The Crow also used the curly and some of the oldest documentation of the breed is from these two tribes. (ichocurlyhorses.com)
#5 – The only hypoallergenic horse
Love horses but you are allergic? The Curly horse is known for being hypoallergenic! Researchers believe it’s due to a missing protein in the horse's hair. This theory has not been proven, however, and research is ongoing.
#6 – Can shed completely bald in summer
One of the downsides to the curly coat is some of them have an “extreme” coat that sheds out nearly bald in the summer. This is something some owners may find unappealing.