Saturday, February 25, 2012

Home Coming

I had another blog all written; however, having been away from our American Curly Horses for 18 days brought another subject to mind.  Often when a human is away from their horse or horses there will be a “testing” of sorts when they return.  Curly Horses are, after all, horses so one may expect them to behave appropriately.  I expected, at the very least, our youngest Curlies to test my leadership abilities by trying to make me back-up or seeing if they can bite me and get away with it. 

I flew in Tuesday evening and after arriving home joined in doing chores with my husband.  As I brought the food buckets into each paddock, I was amazed to find that not one Curly horse behaved as if I had been gone more than an hour or two.  Not one chose to test me as they often test the leadership of a fellow horse, a new human, or even one who they know but haven’t seen for a few days.  When the testing didn’t happen I thought it might be related to the fact that I had food in my hands, so then watched for it the following morning when I did not.  Yet over the ensuing days not one horse has tested me.

Not even in the least do I believe it is because they are Curly Horses, neither do I feel that it was a fluke.  I do think that it is a testament to the relationship I have built with each horse from my oldest *Glory, at 24 years of age, to my youngest *Andrea of only 17 months.  I try to always show them that I am steady, trustworthy, and consistent.  That allows them to feel safe and to know their place in the hierarchy.

Here’s hoping that each of you have the chance to develop such a deep and lasting relationship with your Curly.

(Please excuse the delay in posting.  I arrived home from Indiana, where I had been for the birth of a grandson, only to find that my computer’s hard drive had developed problems.  Thankfully, Chuck was able to replace it and save all my data.)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


All horse owners have different ways of feeding, and American Curly Horse owners are no different. There have been many myths about Curly Horses and one of them was that they never need hard feed. That simply is not true. American Curly Horses, depending on where they live, and from where their hay comes, usually need some vitamin and/or mineral supplement. In Vermont, we are deficit in magnesium, as are many places in North America, so it is important to choose a feed that will supplement them well. Because I prefer to have greater control over what my horses eat, especially regarding non-nutritive items in feeds, I mix my own.

I have chosen to feed my horses a higher protein and fat mix, and adjust the carbohydrate need for each horse. But, I primarily used the hard feed as a carrier for the supplements I have chosen to use. For the past four (4) years I have used a vitamin/mineral mix from EquiVision that has kept my horses doing very well. I chose it because it came closest to the amount of magnesium, selenium, and vitamin E that my vet had suggested would be best. It also does not have fillers. However, I have found that three (3) of the horses have needed a bit higher magnesium, for various reasons, and so supplement them with a pure magnesium powder.

Ultimately whether you have a Curly horse, or some other breed, it is best to consult with your vet, and research, research, research before choosing how to feed your horse.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

The American Curly Horse

The American Curly is still quite a mystery horse. We know some things about their past, for instance, that the Sioux and Crow nations prized them as we see drawings about them on their calendar counts. We know that the Curly Horse was seen from time to time in round-ups of the Mustang, and a drawing of a Curly Horse was featured in Ripley’s Believe-It-or-Not. From whence they came is as much a mystery today as then.

For some time it was believed that they were related to the Bashkir horses from Russia, and from that the name “American Bashkir Curly Horse” was derived, but it has since been discovered that none of the Bashkir horses have curly hair. Unfortunately, the appendage of “Bashkir” still sticks though it is incorrect.

In hopes of unraveling some of the mystery, there is an on-going DNA research project sponsored through the International Curly Horse Organization to discover the breeds that have gone into forming the Curly Horse of today. You can read more about it on this ICHO page:

If you are interested in other aspects of the history of the American Curly I recommend this page as well:

Thank you for your interest!