Allergy Information and why Curly horses are hypoallergenic http:ichocurlyhorses.org
By Loretta L. Nielsen, Ph.D., former ICHO Director of Research
Why are Curly Horses Hypoallergenic?
The answer to this question is under research now in Germany. Pictured in a Stuttgart newspaper [above] are, Dr. Frank Jugert, of the University of Aachen, in Aachen, Germany, and the German Curly Horse breeder, Gaby Kärcher. Gaby is having her North American Curly Horse, "Mary," (*Ebony's May Day Queen ABC P- 1137 F) submit a hair sample for an allergy test project. A student, Anne Spieker, and her professor, Dr. Frank Jugert, are involved in researching and documenting just how hypoallergenic Curly Horses are. They are testing a number of other horse breeds for comparison. They are following exact protocol, in order to determine if they can truly document a lower allergic reaction to Curly Horses, compared to other horses.
In mid 2000, ICHO breeders, Jackie Richardson, Curly Horse Co. of Iowa, and myself, submitted 24 samples of Curly Horse hair to allow them to meet their official guidelines for a proper test, from officially quarantined North American Curly Horses. I was also able to send him 4 samples from separately quarantined Smooth Coated Curly Horses, for an additional experiment on the side. Ten horses are necessary for official research, but perhaps the four we could find to properly quarantine, that Dr. Jugert was also willing to process, will give us some information.
update: February 2002. University of Aachen has reported to Gaby Kaercher (curly breeder in Germany pictured above) the initial news that this project is now concluded. The report of the findings is being put together now by the graduate student who did the research under Dr. Frank Jugert. ICHO hopes to receive the report soon. In the meantime, the representative did tell us this much:
- YES North American Curly Horses ARE hypoallergenic.
- The reason they are hypoallergenic appears to be that Curlies have a different protein structure in the skin, from other typical breed horses.
Microscopic view of some of the same Curly Horse test
hair samples that was used in this study. The left view is
a Crow Country Curly Horse smooth coat horse. The right
view is a Crow Country Curly Horse curly coated horse.
These are both taken at the same magnification of
Abstract: Anecdotal and In-Vitro Allergy Testing of Horse Allergies and Tolerance to Curly Horses
Dissertation written for obtaining the degree of Doctor (Human Medicine) at the University of Aachen in Germany.
Author: Anne Kurschner geb. Spieker
February 17, 2004
Translation by Hans Nussbaumer, May 19, 2007
This translation was done at the request of the International Curly Horse Organization, in order to provide a basis for further research into the hypoallergenic qualities of the Curly Horse.
Germany is a country that is home to 2.4 million riders and 750,000 horses. This reflects the rising trend between 1984 and 1994 of 62%.
Allergies to horse hair and horse dander (horse epithelium) have been identified by previous research. In this research, the testing will only involve the dander because the research involving horse hair provided less reliable results.
Horse dander consists of more than 60 different proteins. In Germany, 20 to 30 percent of the population has some allergies and this tendency is increasing. 50 people were involved in this study of varying ages. 35 were women and 15 men.
A Western Blot test was run. On different gelblocks, antigens were dispersed on a nitrocellulose filter. Patient.s serum was added to provide a visible result. 33 showed positive to normal horses, while only 2 were positive to horse dander alone. The rest also reacted to oats, grain, cattle, red deer, or other allergens.
Electrophoresis comparison between normal horse dander compared to Curly horse shows that the dander contains the same proteins, but those causing the allergic reaction are in much less volume than is found in regular horse dander.
Allergy to Curly Horses Research by Dr. Wolfgang Mitlehner
Pneumologie. 2015 Dec;69(12):711-718. Epub 2015 Dec 9
Horse Allergy: Curly Horses Allow Horse Allergic Riders To Ride Again.
Mitlehner W, Mitlehner HC, Niggemann B.
To test the hypothesis that so called hypoallergenic horses (Curly horses) allow horse allergic riders to ride again, we investigated 40 horse allergic riders in a period of 37 months. Methods: We tested these patients (pts.) by skin prick test (SPT) with different non-curly and Curly horses and studied the riding hours and horse brushing by measurements of peak expiratory flow (PEF) and Tiffeneau tests (FEV1) as well as peak nasal inspiratory flow (PNIF) over 12 months. The results in 37/40 pts. showed no relevant reactions of the lower airways or nasal flow. Only in 3/40 patients an initial significant fall of FEV1 was observed, reversed by a single inhalation of salbutamol and not repeated despite further riding contact. In contrast to other allergic events (e. g. baker's asthma) a further and regular contact with these horses abolished the mild allergic reactions of the start period of contact. This may be due to hypoallergenic properties of these horses, whose test material produces weaker reactions in the SPT than that of normal horses. After a period of three years, a loss of reactivity to normal horses could be confirmed in some of the riders. Conclusion: The tested purebreed Curly horses may be a suitable alternative for horse allergic riders if the methodological precautions of this study are followed.
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.
PMID: 26649597 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Wolfgang Mitlehner, MD,
Physician, Specialist for Internal Medicine,
Zur Schulkoppel 2
D 24860 Klappholz
What allergy sufferers are saying about the Curly being hypoallergenic
CHILDHOOD DREAMS FULLFILED...... at 46. I have dreamed of owning a horse since a very young age. I heard stories of my grandfather riding in Wild Bill's traveling show back at the turn of the century, my aunt barrel racing and my Uncle and Dad doing trick riding. My grandfather wanted to get us a pony, but my parents could not afford the upkeep. Occasionally I was able to ride my friends horses and it was the best time of my life.
When I met my husband, he had plans to move to back home to Idaho; so 5 years later, we packed up and moved to 50 acres in Harrison Flats, 30 miles south of Coeur d'Alene. Wow...50 acres, we made plans to have horses, since we grew our own hay. But suddenly, my dreams were taken away. I went in for an allergy test because I started having reactions to certain foods. I tested 4++, on a scale of 1 to 4, for seafood, nuts, beans, and...horses. I was devastated. I got where I would not go out to do anything outside. We had a daughter and Daddy did all the fun things outside. I gained weight and felt like a prisoner. Then my daughter started taking riding lessons.
Sarah is a natural on horses. She comes across as shy and timid, but when she gets on a horse she flourishes. But everytime she came home, the clothes were immediately dumped in the washer and she took a shower. Of course, it didn't talk long for her to ask for a horse of her own. God was working overtime, because soon after she asked, I saw an ad on Craigslist for a hypo allergenic horse. What??? I have never heard of such a thing. I became addicted to finding out everything I could and one day, after a lot of miles checking out curlies and having few reactions, we found our horse.
We now own Twizzler and she is everything we can ask for. I am actually in the process of finding another one so I can ride with my daughter. It has been life changing: I no longer stay in the house. I have been out there putting up fence, weed eating and working with Twiz. I even took my first solo ride in 30 years and I have dropped almost 40 lbs. My life has changed dramatically and it is all because of an ad and a curly haired sorrel who I have grown to love dearly!
I am very allergic to regular horses, but not Curlies! For a while I thought that I was getting less allergic to horses because I thought I was not getting a reaction to the non curly horses, or so it seemed. My Mom and I went to Vancouver to a stallion show with our stallion *Sandman and when I went in that big show barn it took me about a ½ an hour and then it was off to the hospital because I was having a very hard time breathing. So I guess I'm still very allergic to those darn non curly horses! LOL.
Now to talk about my wonderful horse. *Cuervo and I have been riding together for seven years now. He is the safest horse around, anyone can ride him…if you can make him go. (haha-I have strong legs because of him.) *Cuervo and I have done loads of stuff together. He and I have been trail riding, cross country jumping, bareback riding and had lots of fun in the sun. We've gone in local shows, dressage shows and just starting jumping shows. We were also in 4H for 2 years but we've just switched to Pony Club as I want to do a little more jumping.
If you want a safe, smart, great horse, I recommend a Curly, especially if you have allergies. Horses were always my favourite animal, and I was SO happy when we found a type of horse that I wasn't allergic to! As my mom said, "It's a dream come true!". I think Curlies are great and everyone should have one, I sure love mine!
Have fun with your horses and keep on riding!
Standing Sandman's Magic, hypoallergenic Curly stallion