By Grace Gray.
The Akhal-Teke is known for its unusual metallic looking coat. Its coat can come in many colours but is common in black, golden bay, golden buckskin, palomino and cream which is why the Akhal-Teke is known as the “Golden horse”.
These horses were originally called Argamaks and lived with nomadic tribesmen in Turkmenistan.
In 1881 Russian General Kuropatkin was so impressed with these horses during the wars at that time that he developed a breeding farm for them. He renamed them the Akhal-Teke after the Teke Turkmen tribe that lived around the Akhal oasis.
The Russians closed the studbook in 1932 and it was printed nine years later.
In Asia, the stallions are not gelded.
The Akhal-Teke has a fine, yet elegant head, and stands at an average height of 16hh. Their agility, stamina and ability to withstand hot conditions made this breed perfect for the tribesmen in the nineteenth century.
In the early twentieth century, a breeding programme between the Akhal-Teke and the Thoroughbred was introduced to create a faster long-distance racehorse.
Despite their higher head carriage, today the Akhal-Teke makes a good mount for dressage, eventing and endurance.