Historians claim that the Akhal-Teke is at least 3,000 years old, and is related to the Turkmene, a horse that has existed since 2400 B.C.
|Akhal-Tekes shine like gold because their hair has very little |
opaqueness in it. Instead, the opaque core is replaced with
transparent medulla, which refracts light, giving the horse a shiny appearance.(for original picture, see
In 1881, when Turkmenistan became part of the Russian Empire, the Russians called the horses Argamaks, meaning "cherished Asian horses." They later renamed them "Akhal Teke" after the Teke Turkmen who lived near the Akhal oasis.
They tried crossbreeding the Akhal-Teke with Thoroughbreds in hopes of improving the breed, but with the added Thoroughbred blood, the once hardy horse could not withstand the harsh desert climate.
|Akhal-Tekes are also recognized by their narrow frame|
and cat-like eyes.
Consequently, in 1973, authorities decided that all foals would have to be pureblooded Akhal-Tekes in order to be allowed in the studbook. Any stallion not producing pureblooded offspring is scratched from the studbook.
Akhal-Tekes are use in almost every horse competition, including endurance racing, show jumping, dressage, and flat racing.