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Akhal Tekes

Akhal Teke

Akhal Teke

Akhal Teke is the most famous desert horse breed of horse from Turkmenistan. It is in fact the country’s national symbol. At present there are around 3,500 Akhal Tekes in the world. Europe, Australia and North America are the places where this breed of horses is commonly found, with most of them being found in Turkmenistan and Russia.

The history suggests that the breed first appeared in a rocky and flat desert area surrounded by mountains. It is believed that Akhal Teke was developed out of a single "oriental prototype" of wild ancestor while some claim that they are the offspring of  the mounts of Mongol raiders of the 13th and 14th century. Some historians state that Akhal Teke was kept concealed by the tribesmen of Turkmenistan and they were the first to use the breed for raiding. The breed were initially called "Argamaks" by the Russians but were later named as "Akhal Tekes" by a Russian general, Kuropatkin.

Akhal Teke is renowned for its distinctive colors. Golden buckskin or palomino is a popular color of this breed of horses. However, grey, black, bay, chestnut, cremello and perlino are also quite common colors among the Akhal Teke horses. The remarkable characteristic of Akhal Teke is its shinny metallic coat over its body. The color pattern of these horses is used as camouflage in the desert.

The physical characteristics of the Akhal Teke include long ears, straight upright head with a straight or slightly convex profile, almond shaped eyes, long neck, muscled back, sloppy shoulders and thin skin. It has a bare mane and tail. A slim body, deep chest and strong, sturdy and fine limbs makes Akhal Teke look magnificent.

Akhal Teke horses are the oldest surviving breed of horse and can adapt well to the harsh climatic conditions. This strong and alert horse of Turkmenistan can stay for a long time without much food and water. Akhal Teke is well-known for its athleticism. Its great speed and its fortitude for long march are always noticeable. Due to their resilient features, they make very good sport horses. Akhal Tekes are used for riding and are famous for their appearances and grace as show jumpers. They are also good for events, dress rehearsals and riding.

Akhal Tekes have been known to be participating horses in numerous events including the Olympics and have been known to perform wonderful feats as well. These horses have an in built capacity to amaze people and keep the audience glued to their performances. An Akhal Teke showed great patience during the shows conducted in the year 1935 wherein a group of Turkmen riders rode it for 2500 miles for around 84 days. The liveliness and alertness of Akhal Teke makes it a reputed “one-rider” horse.

Recently Akhal Teke had been used to develop a new breed called Nez Perce Horse (Appaloosa x Akhal Teke) as a result of the genetic prepotency of the ancient breed. It is probably one of the most desired and loved horses among the various breeds that currently exist.


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