Monday, 29 May 2017

The Akhal-Teké

The Akhal-Teké is a breed which I was fascinated by when I first started riding - because the first time I saw a picture the horse looked like it was gold!  They are an ancient breed which is believed to trace back to the territory of Turkmenistan over 2500 years ago and is possibly descended from the Turkoman horse which was favoured by mounted warriors. 

The Akhal-Teké is able to survive in extreme desert conditions and has fantastic stamina.  The breed is able to survive with little food and water.  They have small bodies with little fat and the mane is almost non-existent.  This means that in cold windy weather they need thick rugs. 


During the middle ages these horses were exported throughout Russia and to European countries because of their unusual qualities.  Horses were highly prized by tribal people because they were so important for income and survival.  They were used for raiding originally as their ability to survive in the desert with little food and water meant that they could cope with the long rides.

 In 1881 the tribes lost their battle and Turkmenistan became part of the Russian Empire and the breed suffered when horses were required to be slaughtered for meat.  A programme of breeding to create faster long distance racehorses in the early twentieth century crossed the Akhal-Teké with the thoroughbred but this only resulted in horses that were unable to cope with the harsh conditions in Central Asia. 
In more recent years there has been more controversy regarding the addition of Thoroughbred blood to the 

The Akhal-Teké is thought to have influenced many breeds, possibly the Thoroughbred and Trakehner.


Height:  14.2hh - 15.2hh

Colour:  The predominant colour is a striking gold colour (often with a metallic sheen) also bay, black, chestnut and grey.  The metallic sheen is due to uniquely structured hair!

Conformation:  The head is long and the eyes are large.  The ears are narrow and also long, as is the neck. The body is also long, lean and wiry, with prominent withers.  The chest is narrow and the legs are long and the quarters sloping.  The mane and tail are fine and sparse.

Temperament:  Calm and athletic.

Used as a good all rounder, racing, jumping and dressage. 

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Until next time!

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