Bashkir Curly Horse
The Bashkir Curly, or Bashkirsky, evolved centuries ago in Bashkiria, around the southern foothills of the Urals. There it is bred as a pack, draft and riding animal and to provide meat, milk and clothing. In a 7 to 8 month lactation period, one mare yields 330-350 imperial gallons. Moreover, the peculiarly thick, curly coat can be spun into cloth.
Two types have developed within the USSR, the Mountain and the Steppe Bashkir Curly. The former has been crossed with Dons and Budonnys, and the latter, a harness type, with both Trotters and Ardennais stallions.
There are 1,100 or so Bashkir Curlys registered in America. It has been claimed that they arrived on the American continent across the land bridge that is now the Bering Strait. However, that takes no account of the fact that the species Equus was extinct on the American continent after the Ice Age, which swept away the land bridge across the Bering Strait, and the horse was not reintroduced until the arrival of the Spanish conquistadores some 10,000 years later.
The hardy Bashkir Curly is kept outdoors and can survive winter temperatures of -22 to -44 degrees, and find food under 3ft of snow. A pair of Bashkir Curlys are said to be able to draw a sleigh 75-85 miles in 24 hours without being fed.
Reference: The Ultimate Horse Book; Elwyn Hartley Edwards; 1991 >
Northwest Curly Association
Canadian Curly Horse Association
Reference picture courtesy of The Curly Place
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