Stories Told in "Western Horseman"
Since we have not been able to recieve permission to post the articles found over the years telling about Curly horses I will give an account here of what each article contains in my own words as well as the date of the issue should anyone wish to purchase copies from the magazine!
June 1960 "Fur Covered Horses" by Dorys Crow Grover
Here we find the first mention of the Pony with a Toni, speaking of the curly horses found around Pendleton, OR. They were also called "Fur covered Horses". C. A. Wolf had about 1 inch of tightly curled hair all over. Wolf was controlling the breeding to get a curly every time. he noted that they took little grooming.
Wolf was attempting to set up a registry for them and to find a suitable name. His first encounter with the Curly horses was some running wild in the Blue Mountains; where he noted some were extremely curly and others only partly so. His horses showed Thoroughbred and Appaloosa blood lines, notably with blankets as well as their manes and tails. Those with Thoroughbred strains were from were gathered on the Umatilla National Forest. At the writing of this article he had been gathering them for at least six years. he stated that when breeding a Curly to a straight -haired horse 50% were curly. When breeding Curly to Curly most were curly.
Wolf had five animals with which he wished to start his registry. he called them easy to gentle and about the size of a Cayuse or large pony. He stated he believed them to most definitely be a mutation!
An editor's note followed and the following letters from folks over time in WH were shared:
1. (Jan.-Feb. 1947) Written by George A. Ludin; lander, Wyoming tells of the horse owned by George A. Dollison of Englewood, CO., a five year old gelding 15 HH weighing 1050, the horse used by "Ripley's Believe It or Not" cartoons. Ludin noted that he had a letter stating that that horse came from a stallion imported into Canada and that these horses were well known around the Lander area before that; his father having shipped a matched pair to NY in the early 1880s.
2.(March-April 1947); Duane M. Shipman; Westminster, CO. mentioned about the 'fur-covered horse" mentioned by Ludin that the March 1938 issue, "Nature Magazine mentions a curly-haired breed belonging to the (Bankshirs) spl: and comes from the plains of eastern Russia.
3. (July-Aug, 1947); Elias W. Hoagland of St. Louis, Missouri stated during his life they observed many curly horses; stating in the 50 years prior many saw them. (he also mentioned seeing one with a bone protruding from it's forehead, a rather heavy bone.) He states the belief that they originated in Ireland.
4.(May-June 1947); Morton Bell ; Tracy, CA. tells that in 1920-11-12 he believed it was '12 about 100 miles east of Tonopah, NV, he had some Paiute Indians helping him and his partner gathering wild horses and ran into a bunch of "curly sorrels" the same as Mr. Dollison's curly, except that the stallion would have been the only one that weighed that much. Mr. Bell credits his partner Ed Hand with saving his life from this stallion. The Indians had no appetite for this particular herd and dropped out of chasing them.
When they had the bunch about 1/2 mile into a blind canyon when the stallion sensed something amiss; whirling back he ran behind his bunch
and came straight for Morton who along with Ed ended up roping him only to have the stallion get free enough to clamp down on Morton's thigh with his teeth. The story didn't end well for the Stallion but the Indians told the men they would not be going with them in the future should they look for Curly haired sorrels!
5. Sept-Oct-1948; Mrs. H.E. Hecht, Clearwater, CA: She shared a photo of a 5 year old Curly horse owned by art Johnson of Hollydale, CA. He was bay his mother was an Indian pony and his father, a Thoroughbred. His dam being curly also and bay in color.
These are the dates of known early issues of Western Horseman magazines with mention of Curly haired horses:
- There were a couple more but i do not have dates on them and they were later like 1990s possibly.