The North American Curly Horse or Bashkir Curly, as it is commonly known, is a unique horse with personality, toughness, versatility, and style. They also have been tested and shown to be hypo-allergenic, which is a good quality to have in a horse for those of us who suffer from allergies. Also keep in mind that they are not NON-allergenic and some people may react differently. The curly horse has been used for many different disciplines. Some Curlies have been successful Dressage and Driving horses while others have taken to Western pleasure, gaming, ranch work, trails, and endurance quite naturally. 
                                                             Curly Horse Characteristics
The most obvious trait of most curly horses is their very curly winter coat. The curls may be minimally to extremely expressed. Some curlies shed all or part of their manes and tails in the summer while others keep their manes and tails year round. Other curlies carry a recessive gene and do not have any curls at all. These horses are known as smooth coated curlies. Despite the fact that they don't show any body curls, these horses still carry other desirable curly traits.

Besides curls, most horses have good temperaments, sturdy conformation, and stamina that make them well suited for a wide variety of disciplines. Curly Horse hooves are usually round and hard which is great for trails and rough environments. The bone density of the curly is more so than the average horse.
The cannon bones are usually short and strong; round in shape rather than flat, like most other breeds. One of the more incredible Curly horse characteristics is their personalities. Most are very calm and personable when it comes to people and often enjoy the company of humans more so than that of their herd mates. They are also very intelligent and seem to think through tough or scary situations rather than reacting and fleeing right away. This easy going disposition also makes for a little easier training. Even though this may be the case, remember that they are still horses and each is different. Some may be more challenging than others and must be trained appropriately. Many curlies share similar characteristics with primitive horses and are tough when it comes to harsh environments such as cold winters and tough ground. This does not mean that these horses should be left to fend for themselves. Regular feeding, de-worming, veterinary, and hoof care are still necessary to maintain the health of these unique and rare horses.
                                                                                                   Curly Horse History
There are many theories as to where these unusual horses came from but their true origin remains a mystery. These curly coated horses were prized by a few Western and Plains Native American tribes, and later by Settlers and Ranchers. Their easy going personalities and resistance to cold winters and harsh environments did not go unnoticed and were a very valuable asset to their breeding herds. Early Ranchers caught some curlies from wild horse herds or traded with the Native Americans for them. They crossed them with their own herds of foundation stock, including the foundation horses of some our favorite breeds today. Some Curly Pedigrees include some of the more legendary foundation sires of Morgans, Arabians, and Quarter Horses. There is also a small percentage of curly horses today that are gaited and have Missouri Fox trotters and Tennessee Walkers in their bloodlines. The size of the curly horse may range from draft to miniature and there are a few different Registries and Associations that represent certain types of curly horses. Some are specifically blood registries while others are made up of any horses that have curly traits and/or ancestry, regardless of breed. Others acknowledge certain types of disciplines and body types such as Sport Horses and Western Stock Curly Horses.

To Learn more about the curly horse, here are a few links that may be helpful...