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Akhal-Teke Horse Breed Origin, Characteristics and Uses

The Akhal-Teke horse breed is one of the oldest in the world. Coming from Turkmenistan, this breed is popular for its athleticism and exotic beauty. The Akhal-Teke is remarkable for its endurance and hardiness.

Akhal-Teke Stats

Height: 14.2 – 16 hh

Color: bay, black, chestnut and grey. Cream dilutions are very popular, overall solid colors. Sabino and rabicano are also present.

Conformation: the Akhal-Teke has a lean body,  with long legs and a convex profile. They have long ears and may have almond-shaped eyes. The shoulders are sloping and the croup is flat.

Uses: all sports, with a focus on endurance racing.

The Akhal-Teke horse breed

But what makes this breed stand out (other than its resilience) is its coat. The hairs of the Akhal-Teke are hollow. This gives them a peculiar sheen not found in other breeds. The metallic sheen creates a special, striking look, unique to the breed (though some breeds with Akhal-Teke ancestry may show it to a lesser degree).

Akhal-Tekes provided foundation stallions for many breeds, including the Thoroughbred (possibly through Bierley Turk) and the Trakehner. It is no wonder that they were once called “Heavenly Horses”!

These horses are the national animal of Turkmenistan. The government has an agency dedicated to their breeding and care, and it is the only studbook for horses of this breed allowed in Turkmenistan. The Akhal Teke Atlary also promotes international events.

Akhal-Tekes provided foundation stallions for many breeds, including the Thoroughbred and the Trakehner. Many Russian breeds have Akhal-Teke ancestry as well. The Akhal-Teke horse breed also shares a common ancestor with the Arabian. Today, many Akhal-Tekes may not be entirely purebred, due to crossbreeding with Thoroughbred.

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