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HomeAnimalsThese Mysterious Curly-Haired Horses Are Real

These Mysterious Curly-Haired Horses Are Real

Most people would describe a horse by its smooth, silky coat and long, flowing mane.

They’re probably not going to inform you that when the weather cools, the horse’s entire body, including the insides of his ears, may grow bouncy curls.

Until they meet a North American curly horse.

Photo: THERESE WHITE

This aged horse was born with a coat like the luxurious hair of a Labradoodle. These horses’ coats, like the pup’s, can vary considerably, and they’re also hypoallergenic.

“The coat is curly just in the winter,” Betsy Lirakis, who leads a therapeutic riding program that uses only curly horses, told The Dodo, “shedding out lovely and sleek for summer.” Some members of the breed have long, smooth curls, while others have tight, woolly curls.

Photo: THERESE WHITE

“Some have silky Marcel Wave coats, while others are born with plain smooth coats that seem like any other breed of horse,” Lirakis explained. “However, the’smooth’ coated curlies remain allergy-free.”

Photo: THERESE WHITE

It’s unclear how these horses got their unusual appearance.

Curly horses have been seen in Chinese art since 161 A.D. A photograph of a curly-coated Bashkir horse from Russia circulated in the 1800s, and evidence of these rare creatures has also been unearthed in Europe. It is unknown whether these horses were forerunners of the American curly horse.

There is evidence that these horses roamed freely in the Northern Plains more than 200 years ago and were cherished by the Crow and Sioux people.

But these horses aren’t only good-looking; they also have winning personalities.

These clever horses, according to Lirakis, are rapid learners and can work effectively with humans of different levels of expertise.

“The North American curly horse is generally easy to care for and maintain. It was described as “tough, forceful, and athletic” by Lirakis. “A gentle and calm creature, the curly.”

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