A Bit of History: Curlies of North America
From the beginning, Curlies were very few in number. To create a Curly breeding program meant breeding to other breeds.
The Damele’s herd was reduced to three mares & a colt during a severe storm in the 1950`s. Eli Bad Warrior sold his few remaining Curlies to Slim Burndt in the 1930`s. Curlies were discovered in other areas of the west but never in large numbers. To continue the breeding of Curlies it was necessary to cross breed them to other breeds. Each breeder had his own idea of what other breed to cross with the Curly. Some breeds used were the Arabian, Morgan, Quarter Horse, Appaloosa, Standardbred, Draft & Missouri Foxtrotter.
One thing that stands out about many of the other breeds used to cross breed to the Curlies, is many had outstanding bloodlines. These horses were some of the best of the best bred to the Curly. This is a great foundation for our Curly of today.
Some of our Curlies pedigrees reads like a Who’s Who of Arabian, Morgan, QH, Appaloosa & Missouri Foxtrotter bloodlines. The Curly had a great beginning thanks to the planned outcrossing of dedicated breeders that wanted a “good usin` horse”.
For the diversity of breeds used and the high quality of those breeds sires & dams, we are truly fortunate to have those bloodlines in our Curlies of today.
Another Bit: Further Back
INDIAN WINTER COUNTS- Information found by Ken Bundy, from “The Sioux, 1798-1922, A Dakota Winter Count” by Alexis Praus
“1802-Capture of Curly Haired Horses- Around 1775 advance parties of Dakotas cossed the Missiouri River freely after the Arikara were forced to abandon the country in ths area of the Great Bend. At this time, most of the Tetons did not have horses but began to aquire them rapidly by trading & stealing. When the group who kept this count first obtained horses is not indicated. Curly haired horses, however, were enough of a curiosity to be used as a yearly marker. The Crows were early possessors of them and in this case, may have been their source.
It is said that Curly haired horses can still be seen on the Plains. This variety of horse is mentioned in accounts, they are referred to as singed, burned or wooly.” [The Indians of the Plains used the “winter count” to record the events of the year. Each year ended with winter and a new began with the spring.]
>>Read more about Curlies: Curly Horses in History