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: http://ichopage.weebly.com/research.html
If you are interested in other aspects of the history of the American Curly I recommend this page as well: http://ichocurlyhorses.weebly.com/history.html
Thank you for your interest!