There is new hope for people with allergies to horses. A rare breed of horse with a different hair coat has solved that problem. "They are totally different from other horses, " said Sonja Oakes, of Oakesmuir Farm in Guelph, Ontario. Most people with horse allergies find that the Bashkir Curly horse does not create a reaction, because its genetic design is different from other horse breeds. There have been many visitors from around the world to the Oakesmuir Farm - most people with allergies to horses have not reacted to this breed. Curlies do not require shoes because they have naturally strong hooves.
Although they are most famous for being hypo-allergenic, Curly horses have many other exceptional features. Nature has provided these horses with a unique heating and cooling system. Their thick curly winter coat repels rain and snow. Underneath, air is trapped near the short hair coat next to the body, keeping them warm. They are able to withstand cold winters, and can stay outside year-round. In the spring, they shed their coats. Some of our Curlies are homozygous for curls. This means that the gene that produces curls is a dominant gene and a homozygous Curly can only produce foals that have curly coats. The advantage to having a homozygous Curly is that you can breed it to any breed of horse, curly coated or not, and you will still get a foal with curls. Curlies come in all colours, plus they may also be appaloosa, pinto, tri-colour, etc. Some of our Curlies are also homozygous for colour, meaning that all of their foals will be pinto coloured. The coat can range from a crushed velvet look, to a gentle wave, to tight corkscrew curls over the entire body. Their thick manes often appear wavy. Naturally very gentle, many Curly horses do not have the same flight reaction other breeds do when frightened. They tend to assess, not flee, making them safer mounts. Curly's seem to bond with people and learn quickly. This trait makes them good for children and novice riders.
They are suitable for most disciplines, both English and Western. Curlies have performed well in national-level dressage, jumping, vaulting, side-saddle, and endurance riding. They excel at everything, including being pleasure, family-oriented mounts.
Quality is No Accident
It's a long road from mediocrity to superiority. In a breeding program, it takes years, even with a breed as good as the Bashkir Curly horse. Our goal is to reach the top, and we have made some big steps in that direction. Oakesmuir Curly Horses started over two decades ago with foundation mares and one of the best studs in the breed. Having purchased many horses that we felt epitomized the qualities of the Curlies, our diligence and perseverance in finding top-notch breeding stock has resulted in a successful breeding program. Curly horses are prospering in North America and Europe, and Oakesmuir Curly Horses is one of the leaders. We export Curly horses around the world. We have our eyes on the future, which is why we have achieved such success, and will continue to play a role in the development of the Bashkir Curly Horse breed. Four factors are responsible for these achievements: the quality of our horses, our excellent training regimen, the accuracy in our genetic evaluation programs, and our professional after-sale service. Mares and stallions with excellent conformation and attitude provide the cornerstone of our operation and, with good nutritional support, are having superior foals. The result of our investment of time and money has been the production of correct and beautiful performance-oriented foals. Some of our foals are being trained for hunters and dressage, and we hope that over the years, as we gain more experience, we can further refine our breeding program. It takes a lot of hard work and good decisions to produce a quality stable of horses. That is why we put everything we have into it. That is why we think you will be impressed with the results. Give us a call. We'd love to show you our horses!
Sonja Oakes at the Rose Bowl Parade in 2004