Are Curly Horses Hypoallergenic?
Is the Bashkir Curly horse...really a hypoallergenic horse? What about curly crosses are they hypoallergenic too?
And what about those straight/minimal coated horses?
In our experience here, we have found that the foals born here, that do not show a completely curly coat, some folks call them "Smooth coated" some call them "minimal" have still been hypoallergenic for Mike....I like the term minimal best, as we have never had a foal that had a completely straight coat, these horses show curl in the manes/tails and sometimes even a bit on their body, they just don't have enough to pass the standards of the ABC registry as a curl coated horse. We have NO experience, however, in foals born to curly/other breed crosses, that come out carrying this type of coat...as they say, "the verdict is still out on this one"....
We have had many visitors to our ranch, some simply could not believe the claim, that a horse, any horse, could have hypoallergenic qualities.We, however, live this fact on a daily basis...Mike is deathly allergic to horses, he can not even tolerate watching me ride at a neighbor's indoor arena, more than a few minutes, horse hair in the air alone, is enough to set off his allergies, first the stinging eyes, then the hives, and then a major asthma attack....so, we know first hand!
We have had skeptics come to the ranch, certain to prove us wrong! but, instead they discovered, what we already knew...for many allergy suffers, this is true. One of the latest skeptics to come here, was a Dr. from out of the area...he had a terribly allergic son, who, like Mike the allergy triggered asthma...a serious condition, not to be taken lightly. As usual here, we first sent out hair samples..and the Dr. discovered that his son, has no reaction to the hair samples...so, they came in person, and as a result...3 of our Bashkir Curly horses went home with them...The family was in a complete "re horse" mode, giving up their QH stock, for the Bashkir Curly, with the unique coats, and the wonderful personality.
On another occasion, a family came.. the Mom of the family was just SURE she would not be able to tolerate the horses, but instead she found out not only she could tolerate them, but her very allergic horse loving daughter could too...one of our youngsters left with them.
I guess I should tally, just HOW many horses have gone to families with one or more allergic to horses member...it has been alot...and if it were NOT for the Bashkir Curly, and their unique coat, these folks would not be horse owners today....missing out on one of the great joys of life...IMO of course!
I am frequently asked about the hypoallergenic qualities of the Bashkir curlies, that have been crossed with other breeds...I must say, this needs to be determined on a personal basis....in our experience, Mike has no reaction to a cross bred curly, about 50% of the time...We have owned 4 cross bred curly mares, 2 of the mares, he could not tell any difference between them and our other stock...the other 2, it was quite apparent early on....We are just now determining the hypo qualities of Bashkir Curlies with 3/4 curly blood.....We have one 3/4 mare, Black Sage, he has no reaction to her....but I do know, it is on a personal basis...so if you are considering one of these horses, please ask for a hair sample..that is a start! It does not seem to matter the "style" ( as I call it ) of curly coat, whether it be a wave, pin curls, big curls, or something in between.
Update April 15, 2008 :
It never ceases to amaze me, the hypoallergenic quality of our horses...we had visitors out to the ranch over the weekend, and once again, no allergic reaction for a visitor who has loved the thought of owning a horse, for years, yet, could not be around other breed horses. "Dave" ( with allergies ) brought his family over from not too far away, in Eastern Washington ---heck, that is CLOSE in the curly world---Dave, his wife, their son and his wife, and the grandkids, aged 2-7yrs....Dave had no reaction to the horses, he petted, handled them, even took a bunch of hair off one and rubbed it hard into his forearm...and...nothing! nothing, nothing, no eyes watering and swelling, no asthma attack, no hives on his forearm..nothing! We did keep our genetically 1/2 mare, Krinkle Clown out of the picture for him, Mike is a bit sensitive to her, yet his reaction ( usually a sneeze ) is quite unlike a typical "other horse" reaction...in fact, on our trip into Hells Canyon, she was but a few feet away from our tent, and he handled her daily. but...just to be safe, we did not include her in this test for Dave......like I say, it never ceases to amaze me..and the fact, that every horse they looked at and handled, was quite the mannerly horse, even HeartBreaker who has mares calling to him literally just a few feet away. Thank you Dave and family! It was quite an enjoyable visit and day ;-)
So, we enjoy our Bashkir Curlies ever day here, here are some pics of Mike working with them.