Trans-Baikal curly-haired horses have thick coats of hair that give them a slightly “sheepish” appearance. Expect to see a shirtless Putin riding one bareback any day now.

Russia's Shagadelic Curly-Haired Horses

It's believed that curly-haired horses were developed by the renowned horsemen of the Mongol Empire over a thousand years ago. Their distinctive curly coats helped keep the horses warm during frigid Siberian winters, in much the same way as extinct Woolly Mammoths and Woolly Rhinoceroses that inhabited the same region in prehistoric times.

Russia's Shagadelic Curly-Haired Horses

Not only are these horses well-insulated by curly fur that covers 99-percent of their bodies, they're also smaller and shorter than the Arabians, Appaloosa and other modern riding and ranch horses most people are familiar with. Even in their native region, however, curly-haired horses are a rare sight. It's estimated that only about 300 such horses roam the range in Russia's Chita Oblast bordering China and Mongolia.  

Russia's Shagadelic Curly-Haired Horses

Curly-haired horses come in a variety of coat colors ranging from white to reddish brown to gray or black; some even sport “calico” coats made up of two or three different shades. The horses are known for their gentle dispositions and easily take to being saddled and ridden.

Russia's Shagadelic Curly-Haired Horses

There is a market for curly-haired horses – not a bad thing as such interest spurs their preservation and conservation. If you'd like one (admit it, you DO want a curly-haired pony), the average price online is roughly one million rubles or $15,000 per horse. (via EnglishRussia)

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