Akhal Teke Horse Breed Profile
History Of The Akhal Teke Horse
The Akhal Teke horse is believed to be one of the oldest surviving and purest of horse breeds. The Akal Teke is a descendant of the ancient Turkmene horse that originated from Asia and was used by nomadic tribes as a war horse. Later the Turkmene horse was brought to Russia and the best breeding stock (including the stallion Bionou who dominates many Akhal Teke lines today) were taken to the first Akhal Teke Stud, Zakaspiisky, near Ashkhabad where the breed was developed and used by the Russian Military.
The Akhal Teke horse has amazing stamina and this was proved in an endurance ride in 1935 where Anglo-Teke, Yomud and Akhal Teke horses were ridden 2,600 miles from Ashkhabad to Moscow over 84 days. The ride included 3 days traveling 215 miles across the Kara Kum desert without water with the purebred Akhal Teke horses arrived in Moscow in significantly better condition than the other horses.
Written records of the Akhal Teke horse have been kept since 1885, the year in which Bionou was born. The first stud book for Central Asian breeds was published in 1941 and included 287 Akhal Teke stallions and 468 Akhal Teke mares. In 1975 the Akhal Teke horse was recognised as a pure breed.
Height Of The Akhal Teke Horse
The Akhal Teke horse stands 14.2 to 16 hh.
Colour Of The Akhal Teke Horse
The Akhal Teke horse can be found in bay, black, chestnut, grey, palomino, cremello or dun with black points and often has white markings on the face and legs. The coat has a distinctive metallic sheen to it due to a unique structure of the hair.
Breed Characteristics Of The Akhal Teke Horse
The Akhal Teke horse has a small, pretty head with large eyes and long, narrow, highly set ears. It has a long thin neck with a sparse silky mane, sometimes with no forelock, set high on a sloping shoulder with prominent withers. It has a long, narrow chest, long body, fine legs with no feathering and a sparse tail. The Akhal Teke is a hardy and intelligent horse, long striding, fast, agile, comfortable and with plenty of stamina.
Temperament Of The Akhal Teke Horse
The Akhal Teke horse is intelligent and quick to learn, very sensitive, gentle and often develops a strong bond with their owner making them a "one-rider" horse. Akhal Tekes can also be spirited, stubborn and bold.
Uses Of The Akhal Teke Horse
The Akhal Teke is used as a general riding horse as well as a competition horse. Akhal Teke horses around the world have performed well in dressage, show jumping, eventing and endurance whilst in Russia and Turkmenistan they are also used as race horses.