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Akhal-Teke Breed
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Akhal-Teke Breed

One of the longest still standing exotic horse breed is the Akhal-Teke breed. The breed is a rare gem that is old and without a doubt an exotic full-size horse breed. History shows that the Akhal-Teke horse breed was developed by the nomadic Central Asian fierce warrior tribes well over three thousand years back.

The name “Mystery Horse” is given to the Akhal-Teke for having influenced many a horse breed, while no other breed has influenced this majestic horse breed. Due to its rarity, Akhal-Teke is revered as kin to mysticism, a kind that is not only celebrated by the highly cherished national symbol of the Turkmenistan Nation.

Rarer than rare is the best definition for this breed as no other kind comes close to laying claim to the history, the legend as well as the mystique that clearly defines the Akhal-Teke horse breed. Moreover, a lot has been spoken, studied, published about the horse breed, including ancient origins, the demeanour of the animal and its captivating looks.

The Unique Akhal-Teke Looks

A healthy Akhal-Teke horse stands between 58 and 64 inches, or 147 and 163 centimeters. There are individuals of this horse breed that hold a palomino or golden buckskin, resulting from their cream gene.

The cream gene that also produces cremello and perlino colors. If such horses were to grace the track field, a sizeable number of bettors would only use the racing form to bet on Akhal-Teke breeds. More colors of this breed are recognized, and the colors include black, gray, bay and chestnut.

Although it is not a breed that appears anywhere on the form guide, aficionados of the horse breed are quick to add that Akhal-Teke color patterns serve as the best camouflage while in the desert. Plenty of Akhal-Teke horse breeds have a natural and metallic sheen on their coat.

The Akhal-Teke Physical Characteristics

A horse breed is one with a refined head that is mainly straight or has a slight convex profile to it. The animal’s ears are long. Different breeds have either hooded or almond eyes. The animal’s mane and tail are habitually scant.

The animal’s long back is muscled slightly, and the breed has a flat croup, the long upright neck. The skin is thin, but the shoulders are sloping. The beauty of this horse breed is sturdy and resilient. The animal’s resilience is a result of the tough and harsh Turkmenistan land where animals adapt to living without food and water for days on end.

The harsh climate makes the horse a perfect breed for sport. Many a racing form will reveal to you how the Akhal-Teke horse breed is excellent in endurance races. The best example of the horse’s prowess is the 1935 endurance journey embarked on by a group of Turkmen that covered 2,500 miles on horseback. The men traveled the distance from Ashgabat all the way to Moscow in 84 days. Within the 84 days, the men and beasts went for three days crossing 235 miles of pure desert without water.

Other than the endurance sport, The Akhal-Teke horse breed is regarded highly due to its exceptional racing form and grace as a show jumper.

The Studbook

The studbook manager determines the Akhal-Teke quality horse breed. He has a career spanning well over forty years that he has used to continue criticizing breeders from all over the world who fail to produce the pure Akhal-Teke horse breed.

Moreover, dependent on the type of animal, the pedigree, the off-spring product and the beast’s achievement in sport, the Akhal-Teke horse is classified under Elite, Class I or Class II. The classification is undertaken through two annual famous grading events in Moscow.

The two events are namely the Heavenly Argamak International Sport Meeting and the Golden Akhal-Teke Cup Shael International Sport Meeting. These are two events where breeders present their finest horses’ in front of a judging committee. During the events, judges evaluate the horses in age and gender categories including several sports disciplines and finally a halter class.


This article was written by sports writer John Hawthorne who is a major fan of equine sports on all continents. This passion for sports and writing has led John to being a full time writer for an Australian based form guide website.

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  1. jst4horses
    Thank you for an informative and wonderful article. I love reading horse history. I wondered. I have been doing research for many years, and started out with the American wild horse and roaming burro..................it is awesome to learn more about horses and their history. I hope humans save them, both in the wild and in breeding areas. I worked with international horse rescue twice to save the Lippezan horses. Their history too is full and awesome. Horse lovers around the world raised money to buy packaged beef to trade for the stud farm mares and stallions as the people were in a war, and had no food and were eating them the last time around. Today, if you read Wild Horse Conspiracy, the real wild horses and burros (NOT ferals as previously thought by most people) need saving as the cattle ranchers and miners want all the land that was hard won by horse groups and wild animal protection leagues across our nation in 1971 in which the animals were given their own forever lands, but they are being eroded and taken away. The predators killed off and then the herds are out of balance with nature..........we, as humans need to save our planet's heritage.

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