Having children with severe allergies changes your perspective when you need to rush your 5 year old to the Emergency from an asthma attack from being in an exceptionally clean barn and she didn't even touch anything.


I was 35 then and sold my appendix mare..10 years later...I have purchased (after much research) two young American Bashkir Curly Horses. The thinking was to have some time to let these guys develop and as they grew -my teenage daughters would be on their way to university.


My two and a half year old gelding -Gryphon -is a straight haired Curly horse. You would literally not know his bloodlines consisted of generations of curly horses. In winter he has 3 distinct layers to his coat and although he is not curly -straight haired curlies are still considered to be hypoallergenic. Please be advised that hypoallergenic only means less allergic -it doesn't always mean allergy free. Gryphon is one of the taller curlies out there. He has many characteristcs asociated with his breed. He is very short backed, solid bone and moves more elevated than his half sister. I purchased him from Florence Martin of Floralake Curly Horses -his Sire is Hawk's Midnite Shadow and his dam is Mead's Ebony Spirit. We have started Gryphon under saddle early -the reasoning -he is a very inquisitive horse and needed some mental stimulation. He has been under saddle now since September and is coming along nicely. Generally, he is only ridden 3 times a week and has enjoyed his training -he has walked over poles and tarps and even went for a winters walk outside with a more seasoned mare -he is coming along nicely. We plan to show him in the walk trot division come summer in the Cadora Dressage Shows -due to his size -he would be about 1100 lbs. -we will not be cantering him until into his third year. I can not say enough about his personality -his is very endearing and has a presence that most visitors comment on!


My filly that I have joint ownership with my life-long friend Cindy with is called Marley -after Bob Marley -Curly horses are notorious for their dreadlock style manes. She is out of the same mare and her sire is Mead's Aishihik Twist -she is an extreme mare -with an incredibly long and low stride -my hunter! An extreme curly is the most hypo-allergenic that you can get! The only problem with extemes is that they have little or no tails and can also shed them yearly! The best thing about the mare is that I can outcross her to a warmblood/appendix as is the plan and I will still get a Curly Horse.


Curly Horses are not very well known and haven't necessarily been well integrated into the working show rings -the members of the three associate breed registries (ABC, ICHO and CSI) hope to change this! These horses can provide allergic children the ability to still live out their dreams! Curlies come in all different shapes and sizes -they have amazing stamina and great bone and feet -they are also generally very smooth! -a bonus to us old girls getting back into it! I am happy to answer questions and give help to any people that want to know more about these great horses.


My blog will be a chronicle of these youngsters and tidbits of info that I would like to pass onto others...cheers Norma

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Comment by Norma McDonald on February 8, 2010 at 9:38am
Thank you very much! It is really hard to give up horses when you have allergies and I just want to spread the word that there are alternatives to not being able to participate -Curlies can live outside quite easily -even my incredibly allergic/asthmatic daughter can groom and pet Marley when she is clean and outside of the barn. She had a smile from ear to ear -it was amzing that I could finally let her experience the joy that horses brings to us all!
Comment by Kinni P on February 8, 2010 at 9:16am
Congrats on your new lease on an equestrian life! Curlies are so cute. I'd love to see more of them in the show ring.

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