The Akhal-Teke, one of the oldest domesticated horse breeds, was bred for endurance and speed. Some equestrians dislike the breed’s skinny and narrow shape, which contrasts with the more typical muscular, deep-chested riding horse breeds. Others regard it as a work of art, with a beautiful aspect and stride. Whatever your thoughts are, the Akhal-Teke is one of the rarest and most exotic full-size horse breeds.
The Akhal-Teke is an ancient breed with a long history dating back thousands of years. It may have descended from the same forebears as the more well-known hot-blooded breed, the Arabian. The breed evolved in Turkmenistan’s Karakum desert, where the horses had to survive a lack of water and food, as well as intense heat and cold.
The Akhal-Tekes coexisted closely with their nomadic humans, with one being vital to the existence of the other. The tribesmen bred their horses expressly for athleticism. The first formal breeding farms of Akhal-Tekes were founded when Turkmenistan became a member of the Russian Empire in 1881. The breed was called after the Teke Turkmen tribe, who resided near the Akhal oasis at the time.
The breed suffered during the chaos of Soviet Russia’s early days, and its numbers decreased. It was not introduced in the United States until 1979. Its registry in the United States is the Akhal-Teke Association of America.
The Akhal-Teke Horse is noted for being exceptionally sensitive and perceptive as a result of thousands of years of selective breeding. The breed is even recognized for responding to mental ideas made by their human companions, and they are highly clever animals who are devoted to a single person. In fact, some Akhal-Teke horses may dislike being ridden by stranger.
However, due to their excitability, restlessness, and vigor, these horses are best suited for experienced riders, trainers, and owners. Small gestures, gently spoken words, and glances are sufficient to train these horses to comply; however, punishments and shouting should be avoided because these animals can become defensive.
If you can give Akhal-Teke horses daily attention and love, they will respond similarly to dogs. They will quickly bond with you if you provide them with the attention they require and fully understand their wants.
The skin on the Akhal-Teke Horse is exceedingly thin, and the coat is likewise quite fine. This horse can come in a variety of colors. In reality, every equine color, as well as any mix of white markings, is permitted. Bay, grey, chestnut, black, dun, buckskin, perlino, palomino, and cremello are common colors.
Many of these horses have an exceptional shade of gold as well as a gloss that may be described as dazzling metallic. This distinguishing feature makes them incredibly gorgeous to behold. The golden iridescence is seen on all hues except black, and on grey horses it appears as silvery iridescence.
You will need to bathe and clean your horse on a regular basis to keep the Akhal-Teke’s iridescent coat looking great. Every grooming session will also provide these creatures the care they need, while also strengthening your bond with your horse.
The Akhal-Teke has a limited genetic diversity. As a result, the breed is vulnerable to a variety of inherited health concerns, including:
- Cervical vertebral malformation (also known as wobbler syndrome): This ailment causes a horse’s gait to be rigid and disorganized due to neurological abnormalities. Medical intervention can aid in the management of symptoms.
- Cryptorchidism: Lack of one or both testes in the scrotum, which makes neutering more difficult and can lead to various health and behavioral issues. The horse continues to produce testosterone, which can cause it to be temperamental.
- Naked foal syndrome occurs when foals are born hairless. They also have dental and jaw anomalies, as well as a proclivity to develop additional digestive, pain, and other issues.