The Akhal-Teke forms close bonds with its owners, in a way that is similar to dogs! They often become quite protective of their owners, as well. They are unusual horses, which have often received a bad reputation because of their unusual personalities and conformation. Those that have taken the time to get to know this breed find that they are worthy of the highest honor.
The Akhal-Teke is indeed a fiery creature although it should be noted that the Akhal-Teke might possess a few qualities that are not best suited for those who are novice horse owners. While the Akhal-Teke is a strong, hardy, handsome horse, the Akhal-Teke has also been known to be stubborn, willful and difficult. The Akhal-Teke does however, hold many fine qualities that experienced horse owners might find appealing.
For instance, this horse has been known and is famous for possessing great stamina, even while on a meager diet or with little or no water. Well suited for dressage, jumping as well as general saddle use, the Akhal-Teke may very well be the perfect horse for those who have had experience with horses in the past.
As a desert horse, the Akhal-Teke has a very light build and fine skin. The neck is straight, long and rather thin and attached to it, is a handsome, elegant head with large expressive eyes, and lovely ears that are highly mobile. The body of the Akhal-Teke is longish and the legs are long and strong as well. The Akhal-Teke’s mane and tail are soft, but rather thin and sparse. Standing from 15 to 16 hands high and weighing in at around 900 to 1000 pounds the Akhal-Teke is of average size. While the Akhal-Teke can be seen in different shades, the most prized coloring is with a golden sheen.
The history of the Akhal-Teke can be considered long and rich. It is thought that the Akhal-Teke is descended from the “Turkmenian horse” which was a very ancient horse that was thought to have crossed over the Bering Strait during the last ice age. The name Akhal-Teke comes from “Teke” being a Turkmenian tribe and “Akhal” is the oasis on which the Teke tribe was located. This horse has been used as in racing as well as in the military for over 3000 years.
The ancient methods of taking care of this horse are very interesting. Because the Akhal-Teke was originally a desert horse and there wasn’t much fresh food to be found in the desert, the Akhal-Teke relied heavily on a low bulk, but high protein diet. Additionally, tribes would cover their horses with blankets of felt to keep the horse warm on a cold night. The stamina of the Akhal-Teke was proven when in 1935, 15 horses traveled 2, 580 miles in under 83 days. 600 of those miles were through the desert and of that 600, just under 300 miles of it was without water.