The Curly Horse is a horse with a curly gene that gives them a fleecy look in body hair, mane and tail, in varying degrees. Curly horses are recognized as their own breed – and have a bloodline-based registry called the American Bashkir curly registry and a trait-based registry called the International Curly Horse Organization – the curly trait can pop up in many other horse breeds – mostly due to the curly trait being recessive in Mustang bloodlines. Because of this, many horse breeds – particularly American breeds – carrying some Mustang blood. The curly trait most often pops up unexpectedly in Mustangs, Missouri Fox trotters and Morgan horses.
Today, curly horses live both in the wild and in pastures and stables around the world. There remain wild curliesamong the Mustang herds in both Nevada and the Dakotas. These horses are managed by the Bureau of Land Management and occasionally are available for sale through herd culling (a practice of rounding up and selling horses, in order to maintain the population at a level the land resources can sustain) and sales by the BLM.
The lifespan of curly horses can vary dramatically. Just like any horse or other living organism, a number of factors affect life expectancy. Many curly horses, if well cared for, survive well into their 20s. Because curly horses are a naturally robust breed that’s not prone to digestive or health issues, curly horses may live, on average, longer than the average horse.