Akhal-Teke horse is one of the oldest pure-blooded riding horse breeds. More than five thousand years ago it was developed by the representatives of the peoples living on the territory of modern Turkmenistan, and played a significant role in the formation of such elite riding breeds as the English race horse, Donskaya, trakenenskaya and several others. Purebred Akhal-Teke horse is considered to be such because for thousands of years, the Akhal-Teke horses are not mixed with other breeds, no other impurities of the blood.
The history of the breed
The famous Italian traveler Marco Polo wrote in his travel notes about Akhal-Teke horses, on a beautiful and very expensive. In the XVII century, when it was mastered the sea route to India, the importance of the Great silk Road and the number of trade caravans, they succeeded greatly reduced. Sale, including the Akhal-Teke breed was significantly reduced, leading to less popularity and, to some extent, to oblivion.
Why is it so called?
"The heavenly horse", "heavenly ARGAMAK", "Golden horse of Parthia" was called in ancient times the Akhal-Teke horse. However, the researchers involved in the historical genealogy of this breed, and found that her name used to be changed depending on the belonging to a particular tribe. Originally it was called by Massaget, Parthian and then became. Later it was called the Turkmen, after – eniseiskoi. Before becoming the Akhal-Teke, the breed was called Persian. Only at the end of the eighteenth century breeders began to call her Akhal — Teke. Where "Akhal" means the name of the oasis, and "Teke" is the name which controlled and lived in this tribe of Turkomans.
The conditions of rock formation
Most of the peoples who lived in desert areas, there was a need for tough, smart, strong and bold horses, becoming almost a family member, which often depended very much, including life. Horses were fed with it, petted and cherished, cleaned sand. Teke loved horse racing, so highly valued frisky specimens showed good speed results. Long existence in the conditions of sharp continental climate has led to the fact that the Akhal-Teke horse can easily tolerate significant fluctuations in temperature from 50 0 C to -30 0 C and quickly adapt to different conditions.
Akhal-Teke in Russia
Representatives of this breed, according to historical documents, was highly esteemed in Russia and were called horses, emphasizing their Oriental origin. For such horses, the Russian rulers and nobility were laid out huge sums, and in the king's stables them shod with silver horseshoes. A number of historians and pologov, based on old documents and engravings, say that the favorite of Peter I, the Mare Lissat — Akhal-Teke horse.
In Soviet times, this species is actively bred in Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, where breeders worked to improve the appearance and increase in growth of horses. Today, according to experts, the best livestock of Akhal-Teke is located on the territory of Russia. They are engaged in breeding in the Moscow region, Stavropol region, Kalmykia and the North Caucasus and in Dagestan.
Over the last hundred years, the appearance of the Akhal-Teke breed has changed – they have become higher and the body became more proportional. But the unique features of this breed are preserved and the main characteristics of it are:
- height at withers of stallions is 155-160, and mares 152-155 cm
- a specific appearance – dry and lean torso with a little chest, with strong and long legs, firm small feet and not very thick tail and mane
- the representatives of this breed has a graceful and long neck located elegant head with large expressive eyes, large ears of correct shape and wide nostrils
- the suit of the Akhal-Teke horse is distinguished by its diversity: black and red, gray and bay, Karak and solovy, dun and rare isabella;
- these graceful riding horses are used in long runs, circus art, dressage.
Agree, Akhal-Teke horse in the photo that you see is a work of art created by nature and enhanced by man in millennia of efforts of generations of breeders! As a result of centuries of the features of the accommodation, feeding and training formed an exceptional appearance of this breed: the animals are extremely hardy, undemanding to quantity of food, a thin, dry and lean. Akhal-Teke horses are notable for their high and deep chest, and powerful muscular croup, with the elongated high withers and are flexible and long neck. In former times the Akhal-Teke is compared with a snake, an eagle and a Cheetah. Smooth and flexible movements, fine skin, silky smooth covering of hair and a very high close neck like a snake. An eagle such horses are similar because of the powerful, flying gallop, when the impression that they are just floating above the ground, proud, majestic. Their leanness and dryness of the Akhal-Teke horse photos, presented below, demonstrates that, resembles a Cheetah or a purebred Greyhound dog. A unique feature of this breed are the long lines. So, oblique body length of these horses is from 160 to 165, and chest girth in the range 170 – 190 cm
The Akhal-Teke's unique head shape with straight profile, although there are hook-nosed individuals: the front part is thinned and elongated, well developed head, and the forehead protrudes slightly. Deep-set, large and expressive eyes of the animal, struts and elongated, so-called Eastern (Asian) form. The front part is characterized by elongated and thin features. Ears wide set, thin and pointed. The neck is thin, flexible and long.
The Akhal-Teke breed is also famous for variety of colors. Specialists hippology say that all the suits described a man in the whole history of horse breeding the Akhal-Teke meeting. The most common: Bay, buckskin, black and red suit, and various shades. Rarely greneva, Palomino and gray, but the rare Akhal-Teke horse of Isabella suit, in which the animal skin is colored in different shades of pink, and his eyes were green or blue. The title of this suit, according to legend, was due to the Spanish Queen Isabella, who had sworn for some reason to always wear a shirt of the same color. Horses, painted in the same color as the garment that sovereigns began to call izabellamiko. Technically, the skin of these animals is described as red, but it looks exactly like pink. Isabella or cream Akhal-Teke horse in America, even has a special name – "cremello". Another distinguishing feature of this breed – silver or Golden Shine of hair, so-called shirt, inherited from the ancient Bactrian and parfillskip ancestors.
According to experts, the Akhal-Teke horses — intelligent horses with subtle mental structure and strong sense of self-worth. Representatives of this breed are more susceptible to cold and inattentive attitude on the part of the person, but their feelings do not show. Hippology talking about the topic of interest and devotion to the Akhal-Teke horse to its owner, especially if he managed to establish contact and understanding with the animal. Such a character was formed as a result of special conditions. For centuries the majority of Akhal-Teke horses were kept singly and in constant interaction with its owner, because of what formed such a strong attachment to people. Change the owner of these horses carry is extremely difficult. Temperament the Akhal-Teke, like most rocks from the South, hot and energetic, easily excitable, but not aggressive. As experts say, these horses are docile, maggotty and maneuverable. However, this breed is not suitable for beginners, and from time to time training lovers, it is for professionals to find a contact.
The maintenance and feeding
As already mentioned, the Akhal-Teke were never divorced in the conditions of the herd. Where divorce previously, this breed is fairly small pastures, and they can use no more than three months per year. Most of the time the horses are fed manually in small portions of high-quality feed: once a day green hay from alfalfa, and twice — pure choice barley. Water give not less than three times a day.
Today, the cultivation of Akhal-Teke horses is conducted in two areas: race and sports, with mandatory and careful selection on the exterior. In the cultivated species the following lines, most of which dates back to the famous in the nineteenth century stallion Boinou:
Other genealogical lines of the modern Akhal-Teke breed are:
- Gelishikli – the most typical representatives of the breed with clearly legible signs.
- Kir Sakara - a horse with a strong constitution and good results at a distance.
- Skaka - representatives of this line are large, with a slightly elongated body.
- Kaplan was isolated from the line of Kir Sakar. Animals have a well-defined breed type and high growth, high performance.
- Spruce - horses are quite rustic in form, which is why they began to be used much less.
- The Arabian stallions of this line are mostly black, and the mares, as a rule, are dun and bay. Representatives of this line have proven themselves in sports, as well as in half-blooded horse breeding.
- Karlavacha - animals are compact, medium in size, show good results in smooth jumps.
- Fakirpelvan - horses have proven themselves in the classic types of equestrian sports, but the work on improvement continues.
In modern Russia, breeding and improvement of the Akhal-Teke breed of horse do on such plants as Stavropol, the name of Naib Idris, im. V. P. Shamborant, "Ahalt Service", and in such breeding farms, as "Teke Legion", "Unau" and several others. In addition, the Akhal-Teke was bred on the stud in Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan. In our country the scientists of the Russian Institute of horse breeding there is a strict accounting of all dogs are available stud books and published an annual reference.