Letters to the Editor

Horsing Around at Crystal Falls Township Ranch
June 11, 2018
BLM Adopted Horse Proves to Be Curly Sidekick
June 11, 2018

The best way to go looking for an American Bashkir Curly of your own is first to follow up the ads in this issue. Then write to the ABC Registry, Box 453, Ely, NV 89301 and/or to the Eastern States Curly Club, 7608 E. County road 1000N, Sunman, IN 47401. Enclose $2.00 for one of their interesting newsletters, which list horses for sale and stallions at stud.

Horse Auction Curlies!

Some lucky people have found Curlies at a horse auction for just a few hundred dollars. But, buyer beware! Not all curly-coated horses are the real thing. A small number of horses have a pituitary gland problem that causes their hair to appear quite curly. There is no cure for this condition and they often end up at the auction. These unfortunate horses have given Curlies some undeserved bad publicity.

Here’s how to tell the difference: Authentic Curlies have a thick, soft, plush curl coat in winter, while the problem horses have rather short, dry, and unhealthy-looking hair that turns up. Curlies shed their curls in summer, unless the weather remains cold and damp. The problem horses have their curly coats year-round.

Curlies have a thick skin, more like a cow than a horse, while the problem horse has a thin skin and usually looks as if it’s been chewed on, scratched, or skinned up. Examine their hooves, too. The Curly’s hoof is tough and hard, while the hoof of the problem horse is shelly.


Dear J. D. Sands,

I sent along the photos of Shan Thomas of the CS Fund to go with an article I planned to do based on a conversation with her a few years ago about the breed, which she still considers very much an endangered species because of all the crossbreeding that has gone on. But, I decided to wait until I attend this year’s annual meeting of the ABC Registry members out in Ely, Nevada, in June in conjunction with their annual horse show. I want to talk to some of the major Curly breeders, like Joe Mead, and include their ideas along with Shan’s. Sunny Martin is always a great person to quote, too. She’s so knowledgeable and so enthusiastic about the breed.

A Good Quote from Sunny on Curlies Sold in ’91

To quote the ABC treasurer, Sunny Martin, in her October, ’91, Curly Cues newsletter: Transfers—118 in 6 months! That’s a record! It means that our Curlies are selling. What a difference from when we first started. It took 9 full years to record just 27 transfers, or just 3 a year! Looks like we’re on our way. Great!


Objections to Two Statements in your Last Issue:

The owner of Sirocco said that corn is toxic to Curlies. That is not true. Her horse is evidently allergic to corn, but I have NEVER heard of another Curly reacting adversely to corn. Mine have been given a few handfuls of corn off and on for years.

Someone else said that Curlies need high-protein feed. I’ve never heard that before, either. Curlies don’t need any grain at all unless they are being worked hard. I raised two of my Curlies (one from birth and one from the weanling stage) without any grain at all. My Half-Arab Curly filly, however, needs a good two quarts twice a day of Omalene 300 sweet feed formula for foals/weanlings/yearlings.

One myth about Curlies is that they don’t need to be wormed. Maybe they don’t have trouble with parasites out West where the grazing is over a wide area, but I had fecal samples run on my Curlies and they all needed worming. I put the foals/weanlings on a one-month worming schedule and the others on an 8-week schedule with paste wormer. Most Curly owners I know do the same.

Jay Hensley


Hello, Ron,

Curlies ARE NOT allergic to corn as state in column 4, page 20 of the April issue. Their horses may be allergic to corn, but certainly not all Curlies are.

Curlies DO NOT require high protein feed as in column 3 of page 21. They fair very well on low protein feed.

Also, please change the address to write for more information from the Curly Horse Foundation to PO Box 520, Sunman, IN 47041.

Debra Randolph

By: Jay Hensley
From: Mother Earth News, 1992, Letters to the Editor