Curly Horses Information 
There are two registries representing the Curly horse in America. 
The American Bashkir Curly Registry and the American Curly Horse Association. 
Curly horses in America were known to the Native Americans. The Curly has been said to be sacred horses to the Indians, called Buffalo Ponies & owned by Chiefs & 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 & 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 and many Curly foals were produced.  The first Curly stallion used by the Damele`s was Copper D. The Curlies were bred to the Arabian stallion Nevada Red & a Morgan stallion Ruby Red King. 
Other breeds used for breeding to Curlies were, Appaloosa, Saddlebred, Quarter horse & 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. 
Today there is also much less out crossing and many breeders prefer to breed Curly to Curly. There is also a group of breeders working to preserve the preserve the original type Curlies. 
The winter coat of the Curly horse has curls which varies in form from tight ringlets to a marcel type wave. The hair is soft and is hypoallergenic. Most people allergic to horses are not allergic to the Curly. 
The curly hair has been tested and has been found to resemble mohair. The hair can be spun into yarn. 
The mane & 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 mane & tail. 
The Curly horse is quiet hardy and has the ability to withstand colder temperatures than many other breeds. They posses strong round hooves. The Curly has substantial bone when compared other breeds of horses. Their cannon bone is round rather than flat. They do not seem to be plagued by diseases that affect other equine breeds. 
The eyes of the Curly are spaced wide apart so they have good rear vision. The eyes have a sleepy look to them and are hooded. The nostrils are crescent shaped, not flaring. They have a small teacup mouth. 
The Conformation: 

               The Curly horses come in all sizes, from miniature to draft. 

               The horse should be somewhat rectangular and well proportioned. The head must be clean 
               cut and expressive, the neck supple and well set, so that the horse carries itself 
               well balanced when ridden. 

               The shoulder should be comparatively long and well angled, the back flexible, and the croup 
               sloping, wide and well muscled. 

               All colors and markings are found, some of which include chestnut, bay, black, palomino, 
               buckskin, gray, Appaloosa patterns and pinto. 

One of the best traits of the Curly is their personality. They are renowned for their wonderful dispositions. Almost without fail, the horses are incredibly easy to handle. It is almost unknown for a Curly to bite or kick people They love people. They are intelligent, quick to learn, willing partners. They have a quiet temperament and do not spook & run, but rather face their fear to get a good look at it. They are curious little clowns at times. 

They can be used successfully in almost any equine discipline .The athletic ability of the Curly has taken him to the dressage ring, endurance trails, team penning,  long distance driving, hacking, riding club events, gymkhana, western riding and showing. Curlies excel at many tasks. 
They have great movement, endurance & style. 


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 Foxtrotters. Almost all foxtrotting Curlies descend from the stallion
Walker's Prince T. 

The second smaller 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 or other gaited breeds.

The 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 Foxtrotters, but has also happened among Tennessee Walkers and Paso Fino to name a few of the "other breeds."