Monday, April 15, 2013

The Akhal-Teke Horse

When horse lovers hear someone mention the breed Akhal-Teke, they imagine a long, skinny horse with gleaming coat and thin neck supporting a small head. This beautiful, hotblooded, desert horse is popular today in all types of competitive events.

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
Horse Nation)
Around the beginning of the sixth century AD, a nomadic Turkish tribe found the Teke and adopted it into their tribe, treating the horse as part of the family and even letting them sleep alongside the tribesmen in a tent. Weather was harsh, fluctuating from bitter cold to sweltering heat. Even so, the hardy horses survived, and even thrived, on the grain and mutton fat cakes they were fed.
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. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for reading this post! I love to hear from and interact with my readers; it's what makes blogging worth it, so please comment and let me know what you think.