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That of Akhal-Teke horse it is a difficult breed to describe because it struggles to have a single standard. In fact, there are seventeen bloodlines that are not at all similar to each other, from an aesthetic point of view but also from a character point of view. In general, however, we can say that we are dealing with a horse fromextremely lean physique and with long, powerful and flat muscles
Akhal-Teke horse: origins
From the name it can be understood that it is not a horse of European or even American origin and in fact comes to us from Turkmenistan, an area that belonged to the Soviet Union at the time and seems to be a derivation of the extinct Turkmen horse , from which today we also have another well-known breed of horses, the Arabian horses.
It is a horse that has always been used as a draft animal but also ridden, it has proven over the years to be courageous and lively, reactive and at the same time very resistant. Nowadays we find it used in many sports such as dressage and show jumping, cross and endurance as well as trekking.
This breed also had its moments of fame, thanks to the black specimen known as Absent who won a gold medal in dressage at the Rome Olympics in 1960, two bronze medals in Tokyo 1964 and a silver medal (team) in Mexico 1968. He is an athletic horse without doubt, and at the same time graceful, which is why it also deserved the name of "celestial horse".
Akhal-Teke horse: characteristics
"Celeste" is not his only appellation. Thanks to its coat but also to its elegance and sobriety, the Akhal-Teke Horse is also called "Golden horse" or even "Shiny greyhound".
His body is graceful and light, has a rectilinear structure that at most can sometimes be a little concave under the forehead. The ears are very long and always on alert, the eyes are real very sweet eyes and expressive, with a slight curvature reminiscent of the horse's oriental origins. The nose is very similar to that of the camel and as a whole it has an intelligent look and awake but not rebellious,
The long and muscular neck connects the head to the thorax to the body which is robust but harmonious, even if not very developed, with a rib cage that develops in length more than in width. The belly resembles that of greyhounds in some ways and that's why that nickname shiny greyhound. The rump is instead wide and a bit oblique, while the chest is again not very broad.
The shoulders of the Akhal-teke horse they are well proportioned, long and wide and well rounded by the muscles as are the withers: lean but wide and in perfect continuity with the rest of the body. The musculature in general develops longitudinally and this can also be seen by looking at the thighs which are what allow this animal to run so fast and elegant. All the limbs are long, in particular, however, we find a more developed forearm than the shin.
Experts will also notice that this horse displays a particularly dense and compact bone structure, which is why as an animal this horse is one of the most resistant and shows well-defined, solid and resistant tendons. The joints are not far behind, large and robust. The hoof of the Akhal-Teke horse it is as robust as its body and with medium sizes and the nail so hard that it often does not require shoeing.
If we wish to have an idea of the characteristic dimensions of this breed, here they are.
- Chest circumference variable between 168-190 cm.
- Variable shin circumference between 18.5-20.5 cm.
- Height at the withers: variable between 154 - 165 cm.
- Variable body length between 153-167 cm.
Akhal-Teke: shiny coat
Here at last to explain the nicknames this horse, golden and shiny, which anticipated the characteristics of its coat. The cloak of the Akhal-Teke it is certainly a distinguishing trait for the breed which can boast of the wonderful shades hard to find elsewhere in the equine world.
The reflections that we find range a lot from metallic even to golden, silvery or bronze. These eccentric colors can be explained by the presence of a very thin skin and short and soft hair like silk, but not only. It is precisely a matter of coat which, in the case of this breed, has a particular shape. It has a hollow and almost transparent tip, and serves to protect this horse from the cold because it helps to reflect light. A thermal motivation but which also has aesthetic consequences
By standard, all coat colors are allowed. It starts from bay, the most common, and then there are the "sand", the black, the gray and the chestnut. Rarer we have the white palomino, the golden black, the golden isabella and the pink-isabella which is really difficult to meet and has a salmon pink color, often associated with blue eyes. The hair on the tail also has its own particularity because they are short, sparse and very fine just like those of the mane while the tuft is often absent.
Akhal-Teke horse: breeding
This graceful yet snappy horse comes also bred in Italy. Here are three of the farms that we find distributed on national soil
In Lombardy there is "New meadows"In the province of Brescia, in the municipality of Travagliato, which has been breeding stallions, mares and foals for over 20 years, in Emilia Romagna there is also the breeding Santa Chiara in the province of Parma, in the municipality of Medesano, and this is the largest Akhal Tekè horse farm in Italy. If we move to Tuscany we find the Podere La Castellaccia, in Siena, in the municipality of San Gimignano.
Akhal-Teke horse: price
As for the price, there are many factors at play and it is difficult to make an overall assessment. However, we can say that it is difficult to spend less than 4,000 euros for an adult specimen, healthy and with attached documentation.
You may also be interested in our related article with the complete list of all horse breeds with individual detailed sheets dedicated to each breed.