Rare horse calls Southern Downs home
AMANDA Watson has been around horses her whole life but when she met Chester the 'curly', she knew she'd struck a rare find.
Looking at Chester, you might think someone had taken a crimping iron to his mane and perming product to his coat, but the fact is his wavy locks are completely natural.
The unusual breed originated in North America from a genetic quirk that developed in appaloosas and quarter horses over the years.
Chester is a one of only 100 curly horses in Australia and 5000 in the world, but he now calls Amiens, just outside of Stanthorpe his new home.
The two-year old chestnut gelding stumbled into Ms Watson's arms on Australia Day when she went travelled to Orange to meet one of two curly horse breeders in Australia on the recommendation of a friend.
"I have owned horses for a number of years but when I went out to meet the herd of curly horses I was just amazed by their nature," she said.
"I have never had horses just want to be up and touching you, it was quite surreal really, it was quite different to what I had ever experienced before."
Ms Watson loves Chester's funky 'do, but it was his personality that really captured her heart.
"He is just such a cool dude, he takes everything in his stride. I don't know how else to describe it, I love it," she said.
"His temperament just really suits me and that is my number one thing."
Curly horses are naturally very confident and friendly, which is perfect for Ms Watson who keeps a busy schedule between work and family.
"I don't get a chance to ride every day so to have a horse that you can just jump on and is happy to be ridden is great," she said.
Chester has all the tell-tale traits of a curly horse: curls in his ears and fetlock and a crumpled, crinkly mane.
He has his summer coat on now, but come the cooler months Chester's coat will get very thick and he will look even more distinctive.
With a naturally low heart rate, curlies are good for endurance and trail riding.
Ms Watson said she was looking forward to riding Chester with the Southern Downs Cowboy Dressage Group.