American Bashkir Curly Registry

The exact origin of the Bashkir Curly Horse is one of the greatest mysteries of the horse world.

Horses with curly coats are most certainly an ancient breed. They have been depicted in art and statuary in early China as far back as 161 AD. There has been evidence of their presence in South America and Europe. A photo of a curly coated Bashkir horse from Russia was printed in the 1938 March issue of the Nature magazine entitled “The Evolution of the Horses”. The horse’s picture was later drawn by John Hix and featured in a cartoon called “Strange as it Seems”. The clipping had been saved in a scrapbook by the Damele (Duh-mel’ly) family (early day curly horse breeders in Nevada). This information was one of the factors that helped in determining the name of this unique breed, the American Bashkir Curly Horse.

It is still a mystery how the Curlies came to the US. Many theories have been advanced on the subject, but no factual proof has yet been found. But there is evidence that Curlies have been in North America since the early 1800’s. Many Indian pictographs illustrating the “Winter Counts” have noted that in the winter of 1801-1802 the Sioux had stolen some curly horses from the Crow. This incident placed the tribes at the Standing Rock/Cheyenne River Reservation at the mouth of the Grand River. A significant location of the Curlies today has been traced to Indian Reservations in North and South Dakota. Many Curlies then and now have been acquired from the wild horses that roam the lands of the United States. They have been domesticated, bred and raised by ranchers throughout the United States and Canada.

Link: American Bashkir Curly Registry

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