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Meet the Akhal-teke horse

by Jibson
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The Akhal-teke, race of horses is over 3,000 years old. As if fabric of silk and pearls, the race originates from Turkmenistan, where it is a national symbol. He is also called the “golden horse” because of his looks.

The Akhal-Teke is an ancient breed with a history that dates back thousands of years. It possibly descended from some of the same ancestors as the better-known hot-blooded breed, the Arabian. 

The breed originated in the Karakum desert of Turkmenistan, where the horses had to tolerate sparse water and food, as well as extremes of heat and cold. The Akhal-Tekes lived closely with their nomadic humans, each being essential to the other’s survival. The tribesmen specifically bred their horses for their athleticism.

The Akhal-Teke typically stands from 14 hands (56 inches) to 16 hands (64 inches) on average. It generally weighs between 900 and 1,000 pounds and has a slim build that’s often compared to that of a greyhound.

The nomadic tribesmen of Turkmenistan primarily used Akhal-Tekes for transportation. They selectively bred their horses for enhanced speed, stamina, and agility, which were prized qualities for raids.

Nowadays, Akhal-Tekes are used for dressage, showjumping, long-distance racing, and pleasure riding. In Russia, an Akhal-Teke is even a status symbol. The breed’s positive characteristics also echo throughout the horse racing world.

Akhal-Tekes are thin-skinned, and their coats are very fine. All equine colors and markings are accepted in the breed registry. Many carry a gene for the cream dilution, which can result in palomino, cremello, and perlino coats. Some horses have pale blue eyes. 

With its slender build and metallic sheen, the Akhal-Teke’s appearance is quite distinctive among horse breeds. But the horse is also prized for its smooth, flowing gait. In addition, the Akhal-Teke’s temperament is notable.

As a desert horse with little grass available, the Akhal-Teke evolved to subsist on a sparse diet. But protein was historically the key to its stamina. Today, the horses may receive a similarly balanced diet with quality grass, hay, and some grain. 

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