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Articles > Dogs

Caring For The Akhal-Teke In Colder Climates

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Tags: Akhal Teke, Environment, Feeding

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The Akhal-Teke was not only developed in some of the most unforgiving desert terrain, it managed to thrive in it for many centuries. With this harsh terrain came just as harsh weather conditions; yet the breed remained a predominant implement of nomadic life for the region's people. The Akhal-Teke has an amazing ability to withstand cold weather conditions that would likely harm any other breed. Luckily, over the years the Akhal-Teke has found its way into parts of the world where it does not necessarily have to withstand such climate conditions. It does, nonetheless, still need care in climates that experience extreme cold.

With the Akhal-Teke's body consisting of more tendon than muscle, this means there are less parts of the horse to get cold and less blood needed to keep warm. However, wet and cold weather still affects a horse's internal temperature regulation. In colder weather, the Akhal-Teke still needs plenty of fresh water to ensure the proper balance of liquids in its system. This is especially true when dealing with horses of advanced age. Even if they can deal better with colder weather, an Akhal-Teke kept in a moderate climate is likely to acclimate as such. Extra feed such as hay or alfalfa pellets provide the extra calories that ensure the horse can regulate its body temperature.

As cold weather sets in and horses are ridden less often, they become twice as prone to such things as parasites. The Akhal-Teke itself will not tolerate being left in their stall and is more likely to be out and about than other breeds. However, this does not lower their chances of becoming infected. This is especially true if the Akhal-Teke is sharing a shelter with other horses. During the type of cold weather that keeps a horse less active for two weeks or more, a deworming is often necessary. This does away with the problem of internal parasites stirred up in dust and bedding.

Though the Akhal-Teke will have no problem being out in the coldest of weather, it will still need to be provided with adequate shelter. For times when it needs to come inside, there should be access to a shelter with a raised floor so that there is little chance to come in contact with standing pools of water. All horses need a dry place to stand. A light or waterproof blanket can be helpful for the Akhal-Teke. To ensure that fungus does not get a chance to grow, many experienced handlers recommend using and rotating between two or three blankets per week.

During winter and rainy seasons, it is not surprising to see a rise in thrush in horse hooves. This is a condition that comes from standing in wet environments for extended amounts of time. The Akhal-Teke loves to be out and about in off weather, making extra attention to hoof care a must. They will need the mud cleared from their hooves on a daily basis to prevent deterioration. They should always have a dry place to stand every night when put away. This allows their hooves a chance to recover from the day's activities.


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