Has anyone had experience with one of these horses? I've never had the pleasure of meeting on in person, but I'm trying to find a ranch or something near me that has them. So far, most people here with horses have told me they aren't very common outside of livestock ranches.
"The Akhal-Teke is the only remaining pure strain of ancient Turkmene horse, a breed whose common ancestors bear a succession of different names over time: Massaget, Parthian, Nisean, Persian, Turkmene and finally, Akhal-Teke. Excavations in southern Turkmenistan have uncovered skeletal remains of tall, fine-boned horses dating back to 2400 BC. The breed name, however, dates back only to the end of the nineteenth century. It consists of two words: "Akhal," the long oasis nestled in the foothills of the Kopet Dag Mountains (once a part of the kingdom of ancient Persia, now present-day Turkmenistan) and "Teke," after the Turkmen tribe, the dominant nomadic people who inhabited the oasis and for centuries raised the Turkmene horse.
Geography significantly contributed to the unusual characteristics of the breed. The volatile waves of human and equine movement throughout much of Central Asian history (wars, raids, trading), often bypassed the isolated Akhal oasis. The Caspian Sea to the west, mountains on the south and desert to the north created a protective barrier to the Teke tribe and contributed to the relative genetic stability to their prized horses. The region's harsh desert conditions -- the sandy Kara Kum desert occupies 90% of Turkmenistan -- favored survival of a horse that could tolerate extreme heat, dry cold and drought. Additionally, fresh grass, essential to the high bulk diet required by horses, was available only a few months of the year; the domesticated Turkmene horse learned to survive on meager rations, mostly a low-bulk diet of high protein grains mixed with mutton fat.
The Akhal-Teke's appearance is unique; no other breed of horse shares its distinctive features, which are embodied in words like dry, thin, straight, high-set and lean. The head is long and chiseled, often with a broad brow. The eyes are large and expressive and sometimes almond-shaped. The ears are narrow, high-set and readily swivel on their axis, alert to sound and movement. The long neck is set high and straight relative to the shoulders, the withers are quite prominent. The chest is narrow, the body is long and lean, the muscling well defined, but smoothly hugging the bone. The legs are slender, with strongly sculpted tendons and long and flexible pasterns. The skin is thin, the hair is silky and the mane and tail are spars. Several colors are possible, but the most common include, bay, black, dun, chestnut, gray and palomino. A distinctive feature is a pronounced metallic sheen, a glossy golden polish overlaying the basic coat color.
Akhal-Teke blood has influenced several breeds. The Byerly Turk, one of the three founding stallions of the English Thoroughbred, is thought to be an Akhal-Teke. In support of the Akhal-Teke's influence on the Arabian breed, specialists cite especially the Syrian Arab. In the beginning of the nineteenth century the famous stallion Turkmen-Atti was used to infuse new blood into the Trakehner warmblood. Akhal-Teke blood also figured prominently in the formation of the Don and Budyonny breed.
Akhal-Tekes have often been given as state gifts. In 1956, for example, Nikita Khrushchev presented Queen Elizabeth the bright golden-dun stallion Melekush. So the story goes, grooms tried to clean off what they thought was an unnatural polish, but Melekush glowed even more a wash. More recently, the president of Turkmenistan, Saparmurad Niyazov, has made gifts of an Akhal-Teke to heads of Russia, England and France.
Senetir, the first Akhal-Teke stallion to stand stud in America, was purchased at auction in Russia in 1978 and imported to Virginia by Phil and Margot Chase, Akhal-Teke enthusiasts who have long promoted the breed in this country. Senetir's passing in 1999 was noted by an obituary in the prestigious horse sport journal, The Chronicle of the Horse."
Thanks for posting the links to the Arabian horses. Although the links are messed up, I did get the Abraxas link to open. They have some gorgeous straight Egyptian Arabs. I see one of their horse was just sold to someone in Kuwait. That is impressive to raise high enough quality horses that someone from around the world will buy them.
My Arabs were from the Fadl bloodline. Fadl was an awesome horse, he threw some of the most beautiful offspring on this earth.
Thanks for the memories.
An intelligent deaf-mute is better than an ignorant person who can speak.