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Newspaper Archive of
Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
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January 23, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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January 23, 1997
 

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28 Thursday, January 23, 1997 Pahrump Valley Gazette The Curly is an enchanting horse who loves people, In turn, people are captivated by the Curly's calm, gentle disposition. Highly intelligent, the Curly is easy to train. Reliability and dependability are other winning characteristics, and he is also an easy keeper. 'The Curly is the perfect backyard horse," says Pahrump owner and breeder Sandy Stone. The few lucky people who have the good fortune to know or own Curlies will tell you this exceptional animal is the perfect horse wherever he is. On the trail, the Curly is surefooted and calm. Unlike most horses who instinctively flee when frightened, the Curly's curios- ity usually keeps him in place to examine the source of his fear. He also has the ability to "freeze" when in a tight spot, so he seldom gets hurt. In the show ring, a relatively recent challenge, the Curly excels in performance. In open events, competing against other breeds, the horse has won trophies in jumping, dressage, cutting, roping, reining, English and Western Equitation and Pleasure, Gymkhana Events, Country Pleasure, Driving, Competitive and Endurance Trail Riding, Arena Trail and Parades. Owners say you throw the book away when you train a Curly. The horse learns easily and is bored by repetition. "Once he fig ures out what he is supposed to do, he does it." The name Curly derives from the horse's coat. The coat varies from tight curls to looser curls that create a wavy pattern on the body. The thick mane and tail range from ringlets to an almost fizzy appearance. The soft coat feels more like fur than hair and has been harvested to make clothing and blankets. The Curly's coat has another distinctive feature. It is hypo-allergenic. The unusual coat makes it possible for the Curly to survive sub-zero temperatures, like those found in its Russian homeland. In the summer, during a process Stone describes as "molt-like," the horse sheds its thick curly coat in favor of smoother, cooler summer wear. Curlies come in many sizes from miniature and ponies to draft horses. The standard Curly is a short legged horse 13 to 15 hands high with 14 hands fiarly common. Stone says the American Curly is getting larger. The basic color is chestnut, but they also are pintos, bucksins, roans and palo- minos. They have unusually tough, round hooves. Their legs are straight, and they move with a running walk or fox-trot. Many are gaited. Stone says, 'They have a Cadillac trot." Powerful round shoulders and a round barrel further con- tribute to the sturdy Curly's strength and endurance. The true origin of the Curly, like so much that surrounds this remarkable horse, is a mystery. For centuries, they have been raised on the southern slopes of Russia's Ural Mountains by the Bashkiri people, thus the name Bashkir Curly. Curlies appear in early Chinese art and statuary I and even in a curly stuffed race horse in England. They were first documented in America in 1898 when discovered in the wild herds roaming in central Nevada. However, Native American legends describe the Curly horse before the arrival of the Span- iards, and the horses are definitely not of Spanish decent. No one knows if the horses went from North America to Russia or from Russia to North America. One theory is the horses were brought here by trappers when they were settling the north coast from Alaska to San Francisco. What we do know is the Curly was often slaughtered because it was "different," and therefore, presumed to be inferior. Curly 81[OltT BItAI00I[ 8ALOOIf & CAS|HO Saturday Nights Chuck Wagon Dinners 6pm Live Music Sunday Mornings Chuck Wagon Breakfast 10 am - I pm Friday & Saturday Karaoke Kountry with Pam & J.R R.V. Spaces and Rooms available. PIOIIZlEll T|IIIIITOIIY WACtOIf TOt/It8 Day and Overnight wagon trips in Ash Meadows For Reservations Call (702) 372-1717 Crystal, Nevada, Gateway to Devil's Hole owners know just the opposite is true. The American Bashkir Curly Registry was founded in 1971 by Sunny Martin of Ely, Nevada to preserve the breed. The first Curly Martin met was a three year old stallion a neigh- bor captured from the wild herds. Martin says she had been advised she could no longer ride due to a serious back injury that had required several surgeries. She claims the horse was so sweet she climbed right up on him and neverfelt safer in her life. Curly Q was the first ofrnany OMies raised and bred by Martin. Sandy Stone traveled to Ely I to meet with Martin when she f'wst heard about the Curly horse. Stone's niece saw an article about the horse in the January 1995 edition of HORSE ILLUSTRATED MAGAZINE that gave Martin's address. Subsequently, Stone's brother and his two daughters made a trip from Colorado to Pahrump where they joined Stone for the trip to Ely. Stone, who had loved horses all her life and ingested as much information about them as she could find during her childhood, had encouraged her nieces to follow their dreams to own a horse. She says talking with them reignited her own burning pas- sion for horses. When Stone's brother and his daughters returned to Colo- rado, they had two Curlies wit' them. Having discovered the per- fect horse, Stone, too, decided to realize her lifelong dream, "to have a horse of my own." Her fulfillment has been bountiful. Stone has five horses of her own. Three of her horses came from the wild herds in cen- tral Nevada. She adopted them from the Bureau of Land Man- agernent Wild Horse Program at Palomino Valley near Reno. Elizabeth and Sara (short for Ser- endipity) were foals and Foxy Lady was a two year old. Otter Woman and the stal- lion Red Fox were purchased from the Lakota Sioux Indians located on the Pine Ridge Reservation in Nebraska. Stone and her tribal horses were raised about 100 miles from each other as Stone grew up in South Dakota just across the border from the reserva- tion. "The Indians," Stone says, "used to believe the Curly horses , had special healing powers. Only the medicine man and the chief were allowed to own them." The horses were nearly wiped out when the calvary rounded them up and shot them in front of the Indians. The story is told of one Indian who, wldl he he,rod about the slaughmr, rounded up all the remaining Curlies he could find and drove them into Canada where they were safe. They were later returned to the trihe. Stone's Curlies are friendly and vie for her affection. They follow her and love to be talked to and handled. Each has its own unique beauty and personality. While she can handle most of the training, Stone will have local "resistance free" professional trainer, James Cadigan, work with Foxy Lady, now an energetic three year old. The Curly responds well to kindness and affection, but cannot cope with and will not tolerate any type of abuse. "Resistance- free" training is the only way to work with Curlies," Stone says. The Curly is considered a rare breed. Stone and the other members of"The American Bashkir Curly Registration" want to preserve and promote the breed. Stone will start a breeding program this year. She says her work with the Curlies is like a mission. "Something, I'm supposed to do." More information about these incredible horses is available through the ABC Registry, P. O. Box 246, Ely, Nevada 89301- 0246. Phone: (702) 289-49t)9. Fax: (702) 289-8579. "Oriental" Futons Furniture Gifts A Beautiful... 1997 Oriental Calendar!! & a Letter Opener! 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