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Home > Horses > Bashkir Curly Horse: Info, Pictures, Temperament & Traits 

Bashkir Curly Horse: Info, Pictures, Temperament & Traits 

Bashkir curly horse trotting in the grass

The Bashkir Curly Horse is a rare horse breed with a long and debatable history. Bashkir Curly Horses are known for their hardworking temperament and hypoallergenic coat. They are considered a dynamic horse breed that excels in various activities like farm work and sports.
Bashkir Curly Horses can make great pets or working horses for beginner and experienced horse keepers alike.

Breed Overview

Care Level Easy
Temperature Cold winters, and short, hot summers
Temperament Easy-going, athletic, hardworking, and reliable
Colors Standard bay, grey, roan, chestnut, dun, piebald, and black
Lifespan 20–30 years
Weight 800–1,250 lbs (stallions), 800-1,200 lbs (mares)
Height 14–16 hands (stallions), 13.3–15 hands (mares)

Usually, when we think of a horse, we think of one with a short, sleek coat. However, the Bashkir Curly Horse has a distinctive curled coat with a velvety texture. Their coats are somewhat of a mystery, and they have not been selectively bred to have such a coat. Both their curly coats and appealing temperament make them a top choice for many horse keepers.

Bashkir Curly Horse Breed Characteristics



What Are Bashkir Curly Horses Used For?

Bashkir Curly horses are multi-purpose horses that can be used for many different activities. They are reliable and strong, which allows them to excel at labor-intensive activities and sports. Most Bashkir Curly Horses are used for riding purposes and are preferred for people with allergies to horse hair.

Unlike some other horse breeds, the Bashkir Curly Horse can tolerate very low temperatures which allows them to survive harsh winters. They can even be kept as pets if you do not want to use them for work purposes. Aside from their excellent working abilities, Bashkir Curly Horses are also used for their milk production.

Due to the Bashkir Curly Horse’s hypoallergenic coat, they are often kept as working or pet horses for people that suffer from allergies to regular horse hair. Their uses include:

  • Western riding
  • Barrel racing
  • Competitive and classical dressage
  • Reining
  • Jumping
  • Driving
  • Farm work
  • Milk production
grullo bashkir horse
Image By: Olga_i, Shutterstock

Where Did The Bashkir Curly Horse Originate From?

The exact origins of the Bashkir Curly Horse are unknown. However, they are not a man-made breed and are believed to have been developed from wild Curly Horses. There are debates over whether the Bashkir Curly Horse’s lineage traces back to the West Asian Steppe horses, or if they are an Iberian breed due to their dominant curly genes. Other theories suggest that Bashkir curly Horses get their dominant curly gene from the Bashkir region in Russia.

Despite this, it is theorized that the Bashkir Curly Horse originates from either Bashkortostan in Russia or from South America.

What we do know about these horses is that they were discovered in 1899 by two Nevada Ranchers. Peter Damele and his father were the ones who came across wild curly horses on their land and further developed the breed.

Temperament & Intelligence of the Bashkir Curly Horse

The Bashkir Curly horse has been bred to be well-tempered and a great choice for new horse keepers. They are easy-going and hardworking horses that can be described as loyal and calm by their handlers.

Bashkir Curly horses have also been bred to be strong, resilient, and adaptable. They are highly intelligent horses that prove their reliability through their training and strong work ethic. Bashkir Curly Horses are always eager to please their handlers and they have the necessary skills to become a disciplined horse with multiple uses.

Appearance & Varieties

Bashkir Curly
Image By: Gigi123, Pixabay

When it comes to their appearance, the Bashkir Curly horse does not disappoint.


There are currently two subtypes of Bashkir Curly Horses that have been developed—the Steppe and Mountain Bashkir Curly. The Steppe Bashkir Curly is slightly taller, lighter, and typically selected for harness or saddle work. Whereas the Mountain Bashkir Curly Horse is slightly shorter and primarily used as a draft horse.


Bashkir Curly Horses are medium-sized with a robust build and tough hooves. These horses stand between 13.3 to 16 hands tall and weigh between 800 to 1,200 pounds. The stallions are usually taller than the mares. Bashkir Curly Horses have wide-set eyes and an extensive vision range similar to that of Oriental horse breeds.

Coat and Mane

The Bashkir Curly Horse is famously known for their curly coat which is most distinctive during the wintertime. Their coat, manes, tails, and eyelashes curl because these horses carry the curly coat gene.
The Bashkir Curly Horse’s split double mane can sometimes curl to the point that it forms ringlets that become bushy when brushed out. During the summertime, their coats may appear smoother, but their mane remains curly. It can be difficult to spot a Bashkir Curly Horse in summer since their curls become less visible. They generally shed their coat during spring and regrow their thick, curly coat back for winter.
Furthermore, Bashkir Curly Horses are available in several different coat types. Some of them have a much smoother coat even in summer, and don’t have distinctive curls. However, they still carry the curly gene and are still considered to be curly horses.

Color Forms

The Bashkir Curly Horse can be found in many different colors and pattern types. Some of the most common colors include chestnut, standard bay, grey, dun, roan, and black. However, they are also available in pinto, piebald, appaloosa, and palomino. These color forms and patterns look striking with the Bashkir Curly Horse’s tight curls and ringlets, making them stand out against many other horse breeds.


horse shoe divider new do not use

Things to Know When Owning an Bashkir Curly Horse:

When caring for a Bashkir Curly Horse, you want to ensure that their housing, diet, and exercise needs are met. This is essential for both working, sport, and pet Bashkir Curly Horses.

Habitat & Stable Requirements 🌾

Bashkir Curly Horses require a suitably sized stall that allows them to move and turn around comfortably. The stall should be able to house your Bashkir Curly Horse comfortably according to their size and disposition. Most Bashkir Curly Horses can be housed in a stall around 12ft by 12ft at minimum.

This size can either be smaller or larger depending on the size of your horse. Their stall should be well-ventilated, but also secure enough to prevent them from escaping and protect them from weather elements. Their stable should have porous flooring with a slight slope to the drainage channel to prevent liquids from building up.

Your Bashkir Curly Horse stall should be lined with horse-approved substrates that are absorbent and dust-free.

Food & Diet Requirements 🥕

Their diet should include quality feeds, roughage, and balanced rations at a consistent schedule. Ensuring that your Bashkir Curly Horse is fed an appropriate diet two to three or more times a day is crucial for their digestion and overall health. You should feed your Bashkir Curly Horse according to their weight and workload, and food should be offered in small portions often to support their feeding habits. Bashkir Curly Horses should be offered foraging foods such as hay, pasture, concentrated feeds, and supplements daily.

Bashkir Curly Horses should also be fed a complete commercial feed to ensure that they are receiving the nutrients they need. Generally, a Bashkir Curly Horse with a heavy workload will be eating more grains in their diet than one with a light to no workload.

Exercise 🐎

Exercise is incredibly important for your Bashkir Curly Horse. This will help to keep them in shape, offer mental and physical enrichment, and burn off energy. You should never confine your Bashkir Curly horse to a small stall or pen, even if they are only kept as pets. Bashkir Curly Horses are an athletic breed that enjoys exercising and working. You can offer your Bashkir Curly exercise in the form of riding, warm-ups, training, sports activities, or slow and steady movements while they are grazing. After vigorous exercise, you should always cool your Bashkir Curly Horse down before placing them in their stable.

Gallopingbashkircurly-commons wikimedia
Image By: Galloping Bashkin Curly (Image Credit: Lindsayanne, Wikimedia Commons CC By 2.5)

Training 🐴

Bashkir Curly Horses are highly intelligent and level-headed, which makes them easy to train. These horses excel at training and are usually well-tempered and can be easily handled with the right approach. Training your Bashkir Curly Horse takes time and patience, and you should respect your Bashkir Curly during their training. Monitor your Bashkir Curly Horse’s behavior and stop when they begin to misbehave or become uncomfortable during certain training practices. Bashkir Curly Horses can be trained for sports, riding, and neck reining.

Grooming 🧽

Bashkir Curly Horse grooming is similar to that of a regular horse with few special considerations. You will need to regularly groom your Bashkir Curly Horse by brushing, currying, hoove picking, and trimming. They need to be groomed at least three times a week to prevent dirt buildup and matting from occurring, but daily grooming is recommended.

When grooming a curly horse, you need to be mindful of their thick curls and use a brush to undo knots from their mane, coat, and tail. Some Bashkir Curly Horse keepers prefer to not comb their horse’s mane and tail to keep the ringlets from becoming bushy.

Lifespan & Health Conditions 🏥

Although Bashkir Curly Horses are a relatively healthy horse breed, they are still susceptible to developing certain medical problems commonly affecting horses. These medical problems do require treatments and diagnoses from an equine veterinarian.

They also require farrier work, deworming, and vaccinations. They need vaccinations for rabies, equine encephalitis, West Nile virus, and tetanus shots. These vaccinations and treatments should only be given to your Bashkir Curly Horse by professionals. The specific vaccinations your Bashkir Curly Horse may need can vary by state.

Minor Conditions
  • Allergies
  • Mud fever
  • Insect bites
  • Thrush
  • Epistaxis (nosebleed)
  • Sweet itch
  • Minor parasites
Serious Conditions
  • Colic
  • Equine influenza
  • Laminitis
  • Back problems
  • Arthritis
  • Equine ulcers
  • Laminitis (founder)
  • Rabies
  • Tetanus
  • Endotoxemia (intestinal bacterial infections)

With proper care and necessary medical attention, Bashkir Curly Horses can live for up to 25 years. Most healthy and well-bred Bashkir Curly Horses live well into their 20s and may even exceed their average lifespan.

Male vs Female

There are a few major differences between Bashkir Curly stallions and mares. The most noticeable difference is that the stallions are slightly taller and heavier than mares. In terms of temperament and athletic abilities, both Bashkir Curly stallions and mares are well-mannered and sporty.

Although their temperament can be influenced by other factors aside from their sex, stallions are sometimes considered more laid-back than mares. Bashkir Curly horse stallions are sometimes preferred for long strides and stamina. Mares may be affected by their hormones which can affect their behavior and mood, although mood fluctuations can affect stallions too.


3 Little-Known Facts About the Bashkir Curly Horse

1. Bashkir Curly horses are considered a hypoallergenic horse breed

Bashkir Curly horses are often referred to as being hypoallergenic since they are less likely to trigger allergies in people. Their exact reason for this is not fully understood by researchers since they still produce the protein that triggers horse allergies. However, people find that they do not experience many allergies around Bashkir Curly horses in comparison to other horse breeds.

2. There are only around 12,000 registered Bashkir Curly Horses in the world

Bashkir Curly Horses are considered rare, and there are not as many out there as other popular horse breeds. Although the exact numbers are unknown, there are only between 11,000 to 12,000 registered Bashkir Curly Horses in the world.

3. Bashkir Curly horses are ancient, but their origins are unknown

The Bashkir Curly Horse’s history dates back centuries, although little is known about their exact origins. They remain somewhat of a mystery in the horse world, even though various records display curly horses in history.

new horse shoe dividerFinal Thoughts

Bashkir Curly Horses are rare yet well-tempered horses that have unique curly coats. They are used for multiple purposes from sporting, working, and even making well-mannered pets. Although little is known about the Bashkir Curly Horse’s origins, we do know that they are a dynamic and level-headed breed that is favored for their unusual curly and hypoallergenic qualities.

Featured Image Credit: Olga_i, Shutterstock

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