About ABCR

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The American Bashkir Curly Horse Registry (ABCR) was founded in 1971 and is the oldest Registry of Curly Horses. The goals of the ABCR are to preserve this rare horse breed, to promote the Curly Horse as much as possible in shows and in the media, provide education about the special features of the horses, and to protect the genetic pool of the small breed population worldwide.

CURLY HORSE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

QUESTION: HOW CAN I TELL IT IS A CURLY HORSE I SEE?
ANSWER: Curly horses com in all colors and vary a lot regarding their size and type. The winter coat expresses itself in a variety of patterns commonly described as Marcel Wave, Crushed Velvet, ...Curl and Micro Curl. The summer coat also offers varieties ranging from smooth to wavy. The manes and tails vary from ringlets, corkscrews to dreadlocks.The hair in their ears and on the fetlocks is wavy or curly, too, and the eyelashed are often considerably curled up.

Around a quarter of all Curly Horses are born with a straight coat, mane and tail. They do not show the characteristics as described above, however, their coat is considerably different to those of other breeds. Especially in winter it is thicker and much softer than the coat of other horse breeds, like bunny hair. Straight Curly Horses seem to have the same hypoallergenic trait like their Curly relatives QUESTION: HOW CAN I TELL IT IS A CURLY HORSE I SEE? Curly horses com in all colors and vary a lot regarding their size and type. The winter coat expresses itself in a variety of patterns commonly described as Marcel Wave, Crushed Velvet, ...Curl and Micro Curl. The summer coat also offers varieties ranging from smooth to wavy. The manes and tails vary from ringlets, corkscrews to dreadlocks.The hair in their ears and on the fetlocks is wavy or curly, too, and the eyelashed are often considerably curled up. Around a quarter of all Curly Horses are born with a straight coat, mane and tail. They do not show the characteristics as described above, however, their coat is considerably different to those of other breeds. Especially in winter it is thicker and much softer than the coat of other horse breeds, like bunny hair. Straight Curly Horses seem to have the same hypoallergenic trait like their Curly relatives
 
QUESTION: I AM A BEGINNER WITH HORSES, AND I HAVE HEARD THAT CURLY HORSES ARE A GOOD CHOICE FOR ME. IS THIS TRUE?
ANSWER: First of all, Curly Horses are horses and act like other horses do. So if you are not very familiar with horses, it is a good idea to have a skilled friend or trainer around to help you. As a beginner, you might want to look for an older, experienced and trained Curly Companion instead of a foal or youngster.
However, it is true that Curlies often have a calm temperament  and a gentle disposition. Usually they are very curious, people-oriented and often comparably easy to handle, which can make them a real good choice for beginners for sure!

QUESTION: WHAT CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT THE CURLY HORSE DISPOSITION?
ANSWER:  One of the most cherished qualities of the Curly Horse is their calmness and extremely gentle disposition. We do feel that this is one of their finest features. Many have been taken off the open range, even full grown animals, and in a day or two, they are gentler than horses that have been handled for years. Nothing seems to ruffle them. They do not tend to resort too flight when frightened, which has been claimed the horse's greatest means of survival. Most of them soon respond to kindness and affection because of their inherent gentle nature. They will tend to freeze in a tight spot so seldom get themselves hurt, even if caught in dangerous situations. They will delight in human companionship and love to be talked to.
 
QUESTION: WHAT ARE CURLY HORSES USUALLY USED FOR?
ANSWER: Curly Horses can do anything at all! Curlies are known for being versatile, hardy, gentle horses. In equestrian sports, they are actively used in most of the standard disciplines for other horses such as: competitive and classical dressage, hunter/jumper, eventing, and combined driving. There have been Curly Horses used also in the western disciplines of barrels, reining, gymkhana, and Western pleasure. You will find them being used as trail and pack horses. They compete in endurance and competitive trail. Many are used as 4H & Pony Club mounts or therapeutic horses and are wonderful with these children due to their usually gentle nature. CURLIES CAN DO IT ALL!

QUESTION: IS THE CURLY HORSE REALLY A BREED?

ANSWER: Well, this certainly depends on how you want to define the terms “Curly Horse” or "breed".
ABCR defines a breed as follows: “A breed is a specific group of domestic animals or plants having homo...geneous appearance (phenotype), homogeneous behavior, and/or other characteristics that distinguish it from other organisms of the same species and that were arrived at through selective breeding.” (Wikipedia)
Based on these experiences and recommendations of the old time Curly Horse Breeders, ABCR has developed a breeding standard of the “ideal ABCR Curly Horse” that can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/notes/american-bashkir-curly-registry/abcr-curly-horse-breed-standards/313053692185145.
We encourage our breeders to breed for ALL characteristics that compose the ABCR Curly Hors such as a gentle disposition, a sound and sturdy confirmation, the hypoallergenic trait or the hard hooves.
Research is still going on to find out the genetic settings responsible for these characteristics. ABCR considers DNA typing of the Curly Horses registered with us both as a contribution to this research as well as a proof of parentage which is important for our breeders to make the best breeding decisions possible regarding the horse health and breeding standards. Mehr anzeigen
 
QUESTION: I HAVE HEARD THAT CURLY HORSES ARE HYPO-ALLERGENIC: WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

ANSWER: Hypo-allergenic means that, in this case, the horse is less likely to cause a person who is allergic to horses to have an allergic response. That does not mean that the person will not have an "allergy attack", but that often the symptoms are less severe if they are present at all. So if you visit a Curly Horse, and you are allergic to horses, be sure to take you medicine with you!
We do not know exactly why this is so, and studies are on going. We think it may be because the Curly Horse's hair is different than a regular horses, or that the proteins in their skin are different.

QUESTION: I RECENTLY HEARD ABOUT CURLY HORSES. HOW CAN THEY BE DESCRIBED?

ANSWER: The ABCR Breed Standard describes an American Bashkir Curly as being on average 14 to 16 hands and weighing 800 to 1250 lbs. The head is of medium size with a well-defined jaw and throat latch. The eyes are wide set with eyelashes that curl up. Ears are short to medium in length with curls inside. The neck is of medium length and deep at the base where it joins the shoulder. The back is noticeably short and deep through the girth. The legs are heavy boned with short cannon bones as compared to the forearm. They have a curly coat in wintertime and generally display a notable gentle disposition.
 
QUESTION: I WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CURLY HORSE IN GENERAL. DO YOU HAVE SOMETHING I COULD WATCH?
ANSWER: Yes, we have! One of our breeders, Barbara Carroll from Stag Creek Farm, TX, was on TV in The Horse Show with Rick Lamb. So sit back, relax, enjoy watching it and learn more about the Curly Horse! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QpsnNRzW1E
 
QUESTION: HOW CAN I TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A CURLY HORSE AND A HORSE WITH THE CUSHING SYNDROM?
ANSWER: Cushing’s Disease in horses typically develops as the horse enters its senior years. Equine Cushing’s disease is a result of a number of hormone related problems that derive from changes in the brain.
Unlike the Curly Horse, Horses with Cushing Syndrom have a hard time shedding their coats in spring. Excessive thirst and urination, increased appetite with no weight gain, loss of muscle over the top line as well as chronic laminitis are symptoms for Cushings, too.
Another difference is that the 'curls' of a horse with the Cushing Syndrom are seen only in body hair,  it's ear hairs, fetlocks, mane, and tail are straight.
The curly coat of a Curly Horse is NO SIGN for a disease at all, but a wanted characteristic of the Curly Horse breed! On the picture here, we are definitely looking at a Curly Horse. Their curls in ears, mane, fetlocks and tail do not shed in spring, but are also visible in summertime!
 
QUESTION: I HAVE HEARD THAT CURLIES DON'T NEED ANY OF THE "NORMAL" CARE OF A HORSE LIKE SHOES, DE-WORMING, GRAIN, VACCINATIONS, ETC. IS THAT TRUE?
ANSWER: Curlies are horses. When we keep horses in a domestic environment we need to do things for them that wild horses may not require. Curlies, like any other, do best when their vaccinations, farrier work, and de-worming is kept up to date for their home area. Many Curly Horses are not shoed because they tend to have naturally round and hard feet; however, depending on where they live and what they do, you may find them with shoes.
Most Curly Horses do get some grain or other feed supplement, again depending on where they live. Each region brings its own vitamin and mineral requirements that the horse cannot get from their hay ration. It is best to speak with a local veterinarian to find what is best for your area; however, many Curlies are "easy keepers" and do not need as much grain as a different breed of horse. Again, check with your veterinarian!

QUESTION: I DO UNDERSTAND THAT ABCR HAS AN OPEN OUTCROSS BOOK AND A MUSTANG BOOK. BUT WHY HAS ABCR A CLOSED BOOK FOR CURLY HORSES?
ANSWER: Before a closed book was implemented at ABCR, every horse with a curly coat and known or unknown parentage co...uld be registered. Then, in the 1990s, the CS Fund, a grant-making, California-based foundation, gave some scientifical advice to close the books. The following excerpt explains about the reasons for this and is taken from Equus, March 1990:

"... In an effort to prevent the loss of these minor breeds' gene pools, the CS Fund commissioned a pilot study of the American Curly Horse, a breed numbering fewer than 1,000, whose signature kinky coat and obscure origins set it apart from the mainstream of modern horsedom. What the study found may help save the Curly Horse as well as provide the means through which other threatened domestic equine breeds, including the Shire, Cleveland Bay, Hackney, and Lipizan, may survive.

The CS Fund's study combined three approaches-
laboratory analyses, pedigree searches, and painstaking
- examination of written and oral historical records
- to define the Curly breed.
A research study performed in 1975 by Keith Farrell, PhD, of Washington State University, had already disclosed that the only significant difference between curly horse hair and straight horsehair is in the shape of the shaft. As with human hair, curly horsehair is oval in shape while straight hair is round.

When D. Phillip Sponenberg, DVM, PhD, of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in Blacksburg, Virginia, examined the first two stud books of the American Bashkir Curly Registry, he discovered that two mechanisms appear to govern the appearance of curly coats in offspring. Some registered Curly Horses had been produced by two straight-haired parents, and, therefore, the characteristic had resulted from a recessive gene. This genetic "hiccup," if you will, can pop up in nearly any breed of horse, but it probably occurs most often in Percherons. The majority of the registered Curly Horses, however, were products of matings in which at least one of the parents was also curly coated, suggesting the existence of a dominant gene. In other words, the coat characteristic must be visible in the parents to appear in their offspring.

An important genetic distinction exists between the two varieties. "The recessive type," says Shan Thomas, administrative director of the CS Fund, "is first and foremost a member of his parent's breed. He is a Missouri Fox Trotter or Quarter Horse upon whom nature bestowed a curly coat. The second, dominant type might be a breed." Currently, the American Bashkir Registry does not distinguish between the two types.

Blood-typing of 200 curly-coated horses as well as 12 straight-haired horses of Curly Horse pedigree were then performed by An Bowling, PhD, of the serology laboratory at the University of California-Davis. The intent was not to verify parentage, as is usually the purpose of the procedure, which identifies and compares blood components. Instead, the CS Fund was hoping the blood would provide some clues as to how a horse becomes curly coated, whether the Curly Horse is distinct genetically from other breeds of horses, and whether there is any difference between the recessive and dominant types.

Although the blood-typing results verified the findings of the other areas of research, they did not identify characteristics unique to the Curly Horse. "There was no single marker common to all horses with curly coats," says Thomas. "If one had been found, this would have led to further study to see if such a marker were directly related to the gene for curly hair."

Genetic diversity was the primary finding of Bowling's work. Within the group of sampled horses, 110 of a possible 135 equine variants were present. This high number is not surprising, says Bowling, in a registry with an open studbook and active crossbreeding program. About half of the markers identified were "rare and unusual," a rate consistent with other breeds, but they were present in only four percent of the tested population. Blood-typing of one Curly disclosed a variant that had not been identified in any North American horse tested but only among South American horses of Spanish ancestry.

Bowling found that the blood components of the 212 tested horses most closely resembled those of the Quarter Horse and Morgan, breeds commonly used for crossbreeding. But a few of the horses also had some variants not usually found in modern North American breeds.

Interestingly, these components are present in the blood of the straight-haired feral horses of Nevada's Great Basin region. Three separate groups of Curlies from Nevada, Canada, and the Dakotas retain the most remnants of the original genetic pool, indicating that these horses are likely descendants of feral stock. The result, says Bowling, is that the horses are a "source of some unusual genetic material that can't be found elsewhere." At the same time, Curlies carry a heavy mix of characteristics common to other domestic breeds.

In the historical section of the study, four theories of the breed's origin were scrutinized. The unusual coat has variously been ascribed to the introduction of horses from Russia or from South America, mutations in native-born stock, and the remnants of pre-Spanish horses that unaccountably escaped extinction when all other equidae on the continent were wiped out eons before. Though the study did confirm the presence of curly-coated horses in both Russia and South America, it was "unable to prove that a dominant curly-coated horse breed was introduced or imported to North America," says Thomas. It also confirmed that the Curly Horse did not obtain its unique coat from the Russian Bashkir breed, which, in fact, is a straight-haired horse. Instead, evidence appears to point to a "spontaneous mutation" or adaptation of feral horses and that this adaptation can be the result of either a dominant or recessive gene.

"From both the empirical evidence and the blood work," says Thomas, "there is justification for two and possibly three coincidental mutations that resulted in curly horse breeds in Russia, North America, and South America. These three breeds have common ancestors. You don't see these mutations among horses with pony ancestors, for example. Isolated mutations are not uncommon in nature. We suspect that in these three separate groups of horses, the mutation was instigated or supported by severe environmental conditions. There is good anecdotal evidence that curly-coated horses can survive cold better than those with straight hair. And interestingly, the regions where these three curly-haired groups developed are all similar in environment, being high-altitude plains."

The fact that a curly coat remains in these horses, continues Thomas, "is only one sign of a breed that once existed and has now been nearly crossbred out of existence. The Curly Horse breed is now three distinct types: the stock-horse type from crosses with Quarter Horses, Appaloosas, and Paints; the Fox Trotter type; and a more-refined type from crosses with Arabians, Morgans, and Saddlebreds." Although the curly coat remains in some of these crosses, the horse is genetically more Quarter Horse or Morgan or Fox Trotter than pure Curly.

Owners and breeders of curly-coated horses can go in several directions now that breed genetics are better understood, says Thomas. "If interested, they could attempt a regeneration program. With attention to genetics and by tapping the three pockets of original gene pool left, they might be able to use linebreeding to recreate what once was. DNA research, though expensive, would help this project significantly by giving very specific information about group membership. Unless this happens, the original Curly Horse breed can be considered extinct.

"If breeders choose, alternately, to move forward from here," she continues, "it would be necessary to acknowledge in the registry the existence of the three subsections of the breed, standardize within these types, stop crossing between the types, and close the stud books."


QUESTION: WHAT ABOUT THE CURLY HORSE AND CEREBELLAR ABIOTROPHY (CA)?

ANSWER: Deriving from the Arabian Horse, Cerebellar Abiotrophy is a recessive disease that affects the coordination controlling area of the brain. Latest studies found that it can... be passed on to other breeds that carry Arabian breeding influence. Carriers of the CA gene seem to be healthy and show no clinical symptoms.  Owners of Curly Horses can test their horses for CA before breeding e.g. at UC Davis: http://www.vgl.ucdavis.edu/services/horse.php. Use your current account or create one and order the CA Test for your horse. You can also buy CA-DNA testing in our shop: http://www.abcregistry.org/#/shop/4556739652/ca-testing/566957.
Further information about CA and the Curly Breed can be found in this article: http://www.thehorse.com/articles/27337/cerebellar-abiotrophy-not-just-for-arabians. Learn more about Cerebellar Abiotrophy here: http://www.cerebellar-abiotrophy.org/.

QUESTION: I HAVE RECENTLY HEARD ABOUT PSSM IN CURLY HORSES. WHAT IS THAT ALL ABOUT?
ANSWER: Like in other horse breeds such as Quarter Horses, genetical diseases can occure in the Curly Horse breed as well. You can find a comprehensive overview about genetic DNA testing here: http://curlyhorses.com/genetic-testing.htm. Thanks Donna Grace Vickery for the hard research work on this!

ABCR provides a quality assured online pedigree database for ABCR horses to help breeders determine possible risks due to the parentage of their Curly Horses.
We would like to encourage all of our breeders to have a closer look at this topic and act accordingly. 

QUESTION: I HAVE RECENTLY HEARD ABOUT PSSM IN CURLY HORSES. WHAT IS THAT ALL ABOUT?
ANSWER: Like in other horse breeds such as Quarter Horses, genetical diseases can occure in the Curly Horse breed as well. You can find a comprehensive overview abo...ut genetic DNA testing here: http://curlyhorses.com/genetic-testing.htm. Thanks Donna Grace Vickery for the hard research work on this!

ABCR provides a quality assured online pedigree database for ABCR horses to help breeders determine possible risks due to the parentage of their Curly Horses.
We would like to encourage all of our breeders to have a closer look at this topic and act accordingly.

QUESTION: WHAT DO I NEED TO CONSIDER BEFORE I BUY MY (FIRST) CURLY HORSE?
ANSWER: We found this handy checklist on the web that helps you to evaluate horses you are considering purchasing, including their temperament, soundness and training.
http://www.equinelegalsolutions.com/assets/HBC.pdf

QUESTION: HOW DO I AVOID COMMON MISTAKES WHEN I BUY A (CURLY) HORSE?

ANSWER: We found this Top Ten Mistakes that even experienced horse buyers make for your consideration.
http://www.equinelegalsolutions.com/toptenhorsebuyingmistakes.html

QUESTION: I WANT TO SELL A (CURLY) HORSE, WHAT DO I HAVE TO CONSIDER?

ANSWER: We found this neat FAQ for you on the Internet: http://www.equinelegalsolutions.com/selling_faq.html

QUESTION: WHAT ARE THE COST OF BREEDING A (CURLY) MARE?
ANSWER: You can find an idea about this and other related information here: http://www.equinelegalsolutions.com/realcostsofbreedingmare.html

QUESTION: HOW DOES ABCR REGISTER CURLY HORSES?
To put it in a nutshell, ABCR registers Curly Horses depending on parentage in 4 Books:
  1) Full Book (closed): ABCR foundation stock & offspring
  2) Blood% Book (closed): 1 parent from Full Book & 1 parent from Blood% Book
  3) Outcross Book (open): 1 parent from Full Book & 1 registered parent of another breed
  4) BLM Curly Mustang Book (open): Curly Haired BLM Mustangs & offspring
Not eligible
  - Matings of two straight coated horses
  - Horses with unknown parentage (Grade Horses)
  - Offspring with less than ½ fraction of Full Book or Mustang Book parentage
For details
  - see ABCR Rules & Regulations, 3ff: http://www.abcregistry.org/#/about/4553897711,
  - ask the ABCR Registrar (registrar@abcregistry.org) or
  - ask your District Rep: http://www.abcregistry.org/#/board-members/4553897714

You can also check out our easy-to-use ABCR Registration Pre-Check tool to find out if your Curly Horse is ABCR eligible:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1QvtSM6ir5LABpVYuDd2t_N9dYRB73N-Y_zriA2M1svQ/viewform

QUESTION: HOW DO I FIND OUT IF MY CURLY IS ABCR ELIGIBLE?
ANSWER: Try our easy-to-use ABCR Registration Pre-Check tool to find out!
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1QvtSM6ir5LABpVYuDd2t_N9dYRB73N-Y_zriA2M1svQ/viewform
For details and questions about the ABCR registrations rules,
◾see ABCR Rules & Regulations, 3ff: http://www.abcregistry.org/#/about/4553897711,
◾ask the ABCR Registrar (registrar@abcregistry.org) or
◾ask your District Rep: http://www.abcregistry.org/#/board-members/4553897714

QUESTION: I HAVE HEARD YOU HAVE AN OUTCROSS BOOK NOW. WHAT DOES THAT EXACTLY MEAN?

ANSWER: The ABCR Outcross Book is a new book in the ABCR registration system that is open and allows you to register offspring from ABCR Curly Horses from the Full Book and REGISTERED horses of another breed, e.g. Missouri Foxtrotters.

When you breed horses of the Outcross Book to Curly Horses from the Blood Percentage Book, the Outcross Book, or the Curly Mustang Book, offspring are eligible for the Outcross Book, too. The key point is that the offspring is at least 1/2 Full Curly Horse or Mustang.

However, straight-to-straight matings or matings with horses of unknown parentage (horses of another breed WITHOUT registration) are not eligible. Offspring of horses from the Outcross Book will stay in the Outcross Book.

Details can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/notes/american-bashkir-curly-registry/how-does-abcr-register-horses/310368802453634

QUESTION: WHY SHOULD I REGISTER MY CURLY HORSE AT ABCR?

ANSWER: Register your Curly Horse at ABCR include the following advantages:
◾Identification of your Curly Horse by DNA and description/pictures documented in the ABCR database and in the pedigree certificate you receive
◾Recording of your Curly Horse’s bloodlines, approved by DNA in the Full and Blood Percentage Book which is important for breeder’s programs
◾By making the data of your horse available to the large database driven collection of registered Curly Horses (containing more than 5,600 entries of Curly Horses worldwide) you support further research on the unique traits of the Curly Horse.

QUESTION: HOW DO I REGISTER CURLY HORSES AT ABCR?

ANSWER: You can find the details here: https://www.facebook.com/notes/american-bashkir-curly-registry/how-do-i-register-curly-horses-at-abcr/297104353780079

QUESTION: HOW DO I REPORT CHANGES TO ABCR?

ANSWER: Please use our online form: https://www.facebook.com/notes/american-bashkir-curly-registry/how-do-i-report-changes-to-abcr/308378812652633
 
QUESTION: HOW DO I TAKE PICTURES FOR THE ABCR REGISTRATION?
ANSWER: Find details here: https://www.facebook.com/notes/american-bashkir-curly-registry/how-do-i-take-pictures-for-the-abcr-registration/315497275274120

QUESTION: HOW DO I PLACE AN AD AT THE ABCR WEBSITE?

ANSWER:
Placing an ad at the ABCR Website is easy.
Design your ad (valid for 6 months):

Regular horse ad:
  • Text maximum 100 words (please use this word count tool): http://wordcounttool.net/
  • include your video link
  • include your website
  • include up to 6 pictures
Stallion ad:
  • unlimited text
  • include your video link
  • include your website
  • include up to 6 pictures
Please place your ad in our online ad form here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dHlCR0d5aWJleEQ5eG43Y2pBMlRoY3c6MQ
 
Send your pictures:
Please send your pictures to abcrworklist@googlemail.com
 
Pay your ad:
Please visit our SHOP  to pay: http://www.abcregistry.org/#/abcr-shop/4556739651/Advertisements
Prices:
  • ABCR Breeders: Price 6.00 $,  additional horse 3.00 $
  • ABCR Members: Price 7.50 $,  additional horse 5.00 $
  • Non-ABCR Members: Price 15.00 $,  additional horse 10.00 $
Special offers:
  • Breeders Package: 4 regular horse ads and 1 stallion ad for 20.00 $ (For ABCR Breeders only)
  • Buy 3 get 1 for free: Buy 3 regular horse ads, 3 stallion ads, or a combination at the same time and get 1 regular horse ad for free!
Important:
Be sure to read our American Bashkir Curly Horse Terms of Use before filling out this form. You will be asked to confirm our Terms of Use in our online ad form. http://www.abcregistry.org/#/curlysaletou/4561708644

QUESTION: HOW DO I SHOP AT ABCR?

ANSWER: You find our Online Shop here: http://www.abcregistry.org/#/abcr-shop/4556739651
Online shopping can be done via PayPal, Credit Card or Direct Debit.
Just follow these links and choose your options:
  • Membership:  http://www.abcregistry.org/#/abcr-shop/4556739651/Membership
  • Registrations: http://www.abcregistry.org/#/abcr-shop/4556739651/Registration
  • DNA-Tests: http://www.abcregistry.org/#/abcr-shop/4556739651/DNA-Tests-COI
  • Advertisements: http://www.abcregistry.org/#/abcr-shop/4556739651/Advertisements
We also accept checks. Please send them to:
American Bashkir Curly Registry National Office
71 Cavalier Blvd, #124
Florence, Kentucky 41042
USA
The return check fee is 25.00 $


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