Breed Standards

  • Courtesy of Three Feathers Farm

Body Confirmation

  • Wide set eyes with eyelashes that curl up
  • Ears that are short to medium in length with curls inside(ear hair does not totally shed out in the summer)
  • A medium length neck, deep at the base of the neck where it joins the base of the shoulder
  • Noticeably short back, deep through the girth
  • An appearance of a long under line and belly cut high in the flank
  • Heavy boned legs and short cannon bone as compared to the forearm
  • Medium withers and a flat croup with a shallow slope to the base of the tail.

Curly Characteristics

  • Body (Fine, soft hair)
  • Ringlet (can be several inches long)
  • Marcel Wave (deep soft wave in the body coat)
  • Crushed Velvet (soft dense pile of curls in body coat)


  • Extra fine hair
  • Kinky -preferable
  • Wavy
  • Should shed all or partial in the summer 
  • Split mane (hangs on both sides of neck)


  • Ringlets
  • Wavy
  • Should shed partial at the head of the tail in the summer or some horses may shed tail completely


  • Curly – preferable
  • Wavy
  • Should shed in summer but still retain some long hairs


  • Almost perfectly round in shape
  • Very hard and dense
  • Proportioned to the size of the horse

Size and weight

  • Average size – 15 hands; there are some exceptions from 13.3 hands to 16 hands
  • Average weight – 800 to 1000 pounds; some curlies may weigh up to 1200 pounds

Unique Characteristics

  • Curly coat can be hypoallergenic(the horsehair is round instead of flat and testing has shown the hair to be closely related to mohair)
  • Can completely shed the mane and/or tail in the summer, only to grow back in the fall with the winter coat
  • Noticeably short, strong back, indicating five lumbar vertebrae
  • Even-tempered disposition
  • Quick pulse and respiration recovery
  • Very dense bone in the legs
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