Debates of the perfect breed of animals have happened between different people, especially for horses. Horses have over 300 breeds in the world and many people have been debating about its perfect breed. However, as of perfectness and being majestic, it does not get any closer than the Akhal-Teke breed. This breed is like an amazing artist draws a perfect picture of the perfect horse. Once you see the pictures of these horses, you will see why they are so breathtaking.
This somewhat ‘perfect’ breed of horses is much more than a pretty horse. These animals are incredibly intelligent and athletic creatures. Having a shiny coat is just a bonus for their perfectness.
Originally, the Akhal-Teke came from Turkmenistan and it can be dated almost 3,000 years ago. Distinct Akhal-Teke fossils were found frozen in a Southside Siberian burial site from the 6th century BC.
These horses can reach up to 163cm in height and can weigh up to 1,000 pounds. They have a long slender head and neck with a flat muscular structure. Often, these horses have a gold color with a metallic sheen which gives them the look of real gold. Other than gold, these horses can have different varieties of colors such as chestnut, grey, or black. These horses can also have the ‘cream gene’ which means that they can be cremello, perlino, or palomino. The life expectancy of an Akhal-Teke is about 20 years.
The uniqueness of these horses is probably the characteristic sheen. The sheen, or hair shaft, is arranged to refract light. They don’t come with the typical opaque center other horses’ hair contain but instead, they are hollow. With the refraction of the light, the hair on the horse gives a sight of shine.
Aside from being one of the oldest known horse breeds in the world, the Akhal-Teke horses are purebred. Because they are found in Kara Kum desert, which is a rocky desert in Turkmenistan where not a lot of other horses exist so they can be crossbreed with, the horses continued a pure line. Additionally, people could not get these horses as easily as others.
Crossbreeding between the Akhal-Teke and other horse breed has been happening as of late and the result was a horse with diluted features. Some of the crossbred horses weren’t as strong as the purebred ones. Often, they would die in the hard conditions of Central Asia.
These horses are a national symbol to Turkmenistan, a country located in Central Asia. Turkmenistan is covered almost entirely of the Kara Kum desert. It also borders with the Caspian Sea. Originally, these horses came from Turkmenistan so it is logical for them to accept the horse as its symbol.
This animal is very popular in Turkmenistan. You can find photographs of them in numerous varieties of places. On their banknotes, postage stamps, and their coat of arms, you can find pictures of the Akhal-Teke. Citizens of Turkmenistan often decorate these horses with special draping, precious jewels, especially silver and gold (highlighting the beauty of the animal).
Turkmen bred these horses for their stamina, speed, and agility. The horses were mainly used as transportation or for raids. During these days, the horses are used for racing, dressage, and joyriding.
These animals are fiercely loyal to their owners. Right now, the population of these horses has decreased to about 5,000. One of the reasons for the decrease in their populations is the clear lack of management of the breed. Soviet Union’s Ban on exports of the horses led to a small number of the breed being sent to other parts of the world. The UK has about 40 of these horses left. Even if the Akhal-Teke breeds with other horses, they will lose their purebred line.
If you are interested in horses, make sure you consider buying an Akhal-Teke. Information about this breed is so little that many people around the world hear about them for the first time.
However, due to their decreased numbers, media have been sharing their story more and more. If a few adjustments are made in management and breeding programs, the breed of these horses will increase much more than what it is today.