After a lifetime of horse-allergies and nearly 10 years of research on the Bashkir Curly breed, the time was finally right to buy my first horse. By providence, a gangly curly gelding was for sale within a few hours of me and I cautiously decided to visit. First only gingerly patting his neck to test for a reaction, eventually, I got bolder. By the end of an hour, I had my arms wrapped around the big grey gelding’s neck with my face buried in a horse’s mane for the first time in my life. My eyes were wet as I wrote out the check and promised the seller he’d have a wonderful new home.
Together we started with a dressage trainer. What a trainer’s nightmare we must have been: an absolute beginner unable to ride anything other than my broke-only-to-trails horse! But the stubborn, out of shape trail horse who drug his hooves at a trot and only cantered on one lead soon blossomed and two years later we earned the breed registry’s National Championship for Performance horses- what would become the first of many championships at Noblewood Farm.
I am a businesswoman by trade and apply my goal-focused approach to breeding. I breed for nothing less than horses capable of winning at performance events in open & recognized competition and coming out of the ring with the steady mind of a companion horse.
The Bashkir Curly Horse
Bashkir Curlies are an athletic, versatile, and level headed breed of horse. Curlies come in all sizes and colors. Coat types vary from non-expressed curl to extreme curls. The winter coat of the average curly is tightly curled in the winter and in the springtime sheds out to a wavy summer coat somewhat resembling crushed velvet in appearance. Bashkir Curlies are the only hypo-allergenic horse breed; Most people allergic to horses can handle curly horses without suffering any allergic reaction.
The origin of the Bashkir Curly is a mystery, but curly horses were documented in Asian artwork as early as 161 AD. Charles Darwin documented curly horses in South America in the early 1800’s and the early Sioux Indians regarded curly horses as sacred mounts for chiefs and medicine men. Native American artwork shows Curlies carrying warriors in the Battle of Little Bighorn.
After being slaughtered nearly to extinction because of their unusual appearance in the first part of the 20th century, the Bashkir Curly registry opened in 1971 with only 21 horses. Today there are just over 4,000 Bashkir Curlies in the world, primarily in North America, with horses now being being exported around the world. The Bashkir Curly has a characteristic long stride & bold movement. They have have tough hooves and exceptional endurance. Curlies have split manes and are not braided or clipped when shown.
The Answer to Horse Allergies?
The rumors are true! For the vast majority of people with allergies to “regular” horses, Bashkir Curlies elicit no reaction at all. People who have hives from patting a typical horse can often hug and groom a curly without having any reaction or requiring any pre-medicating.
Why? Bashkir Curlies lack a protein in the shaft of their fur that is apparently responsible for allergic reactions. Their hair shaft also has a different structure under the microscope- responsible for the curling of the hair. Curlies smell different and sweat different than typical horses.
Bashkir Curlies come in several different coat types. Some allergy suffers find all curlies to be hypoallergenic, while others find only extreme or moderate curlies hypoallergenic. If you would like to test your allergies in a safe environment, Noblewood Farm is happy to send hair samples along with instructions for testing.
The Bashkir Curly as a Sporthorse
Though eye catching and unusual in the show ring, Bashkir Curlies have the movement, endurance, and heart to excel in competition. At Noblewood Farm we focus on cultivating and improving the Curly Sporthorse using only curly-to-curly, Bashkir Curly bloodlines- not out crossing. All of our Curly Sporthorses are registered with the blood registry, the American Bashkir Curly Registry. Bashkir Curly Sport horses have the uniqueness to catch the judges eye and the carriage and movement to keep it.
Several Bashkir Curlies have made a name for themselves at upper levels of dressage and jumping , but countless others have proved the reliable mount and patient teacher for the weekend competitor. Because of the Bashkir Curly’s position as a rare breed, and the only breed a person with allergies can be around, curlies often find themselves belonging to raw beginners who are unable to take lessons on school horses in normal stables. It is to their credit that these calm, forgiving horses can carry these rider from raw beginner to achieving the once-believed-impossible dream of showing.
Noblewood Farm understands first hand the difficulties with purchasing a hypoallergenic horse as a inexperienced horse person and is glad to help you find a facility or trainer that can work around your allergies.