The Curly Gaits - Formerly Willowgait Equine Ranch
About the Curly

Curlies, also called Bashkir Curlies, American Bashkir Curlies, and North American Curly Horses, come in all sizes, colours and body types but all carry a gene for a unique curly coat of hair.  The hair is generally soft and is hypoallergenic. Most people allergic to horses are not allergic to the Curly.


The coat is the Curly's main "claim to fame."  The Curly horse does have a unique curly coat.  It is most obvious in winter, when its longer coat shows thick dense curls similar to sheep fleece.  In summer, the Curly horse sheds its thick curly body coat for a smoother, sleeker summer coat, which may or may not show evidence of curl.  Its mane and forelock, the hair inside its ears, and often its fetlocks will typically remain conspicuously curly year round.  Some Curlies do not display a curly coat at any time of year but still possess the hypoallergenic properties and all the other outstanding qualities of a Curly Horse.  


One of the best traits of the Curly is their personality.  Curlies love people, are intelligent, quick to learn, willing partners with a quiet temperament.  They have tough hooves and exceptional endurance.  The origin of the Curly Horse is controversial and unproven.  It is highly debated in the Curly community but research is still in progress.  Disagreements of the Curly horse’s history result in confusion of what the breed is, and what it should be called.  ABCR members prefer “American Bashkir Curly” while CSI & ICHO members refer to the curly as the “North American Curly”.

Click here for an account of the History of the Curly Horse in North America

found this poem on a web site a few years ago.  It is so reflective of our new Farm name "The Little Curly Gaits" and I loved it so much, I thought I would share it with you! 

The Curly ~ A Heavenly Gift
 When the spirit of the horse was created, The Maker set aside one horse spirit to be different from all the other horses. This one was told, You will have the body of the horse but I will clothe you with the coat of the lamb, to match your gentle willing spirit. And as the lamb seeks his Sheppard, you shall seek out man as a loving loyal companion to him. You will not posses the fear of things as other horses, but I give you heart of the lion so you will be brave & steadfast. I give you hooves of granite, bone of tempered steel and the strength of oxen. But to mask these qualities of strength, you will carry your gentle loving heart in a coat of curls. In the heat of summer you may lose your beautiful mane & tail and some will find you ugly and try to kill you. Yet you must seek the human out & those that see with their heart rather than only their eyes will recognize you for who you are & love you & celebrate the great gifts I have given you. The allergy afflicted will seek you out & rejoice in your special gift. Although the noblest of horses, you will not be the mount of kings or queens, but the mount of the common people. You see, I send all my special ones as humble sheep to live on the earth.