The Akhal-Teke horse is one of the most ancient riding thoroughbred horse breeds. More than five thousand years ago, it was bred by representatives of peoples living in the territory of modern Turkmenistan, and played a significant role in the formation of such elite riding breeds as the English racing, Don, Trakehner and several others. A thoroughbred Akhal-Teke horse is considered such because for thousands of years the Akhal-Teke horses did not mix with representatives of other breeds, there were no admixtures of other blood.
The horses of the Akhal-Teke breed, with a spectacular appearance, high endurance, excellent speed characteristics and adaptability to various climatic conditions, were highly valued and used in their military campaigns by such famous warlords of antiquity as Genghis Khan, the Persian king Darius and others. Many historians, based on detailed descriptions left by ancient authors, believe that the famous horse of Alexander the Great (Macedonian) - Bucephalus was of the Akhal-Teke breed.
The famous Italian traveler Marco Polo also wrote in his travel notes about the Akhal-Teke horses as beautiful and very expensive. By the 17th century, when the sea route to India was mastered, the significance of the Great Silk Road and the number of trade caravans, which followed it, greatly decreased. Sales, including horses of the Akhal-Teke breed, declined significantly, leading to less popularity and, to a certain extent, to oblivion.
Why so called?
"Paradise horse", "Heavenly argamak", "Golden Horse of Parthia" was the name of the Akhal-Teke horse in ancient times. However, researchers engaged in the historical genealogy of this breed, found that its name used to vary depending on the membership of a particular tribe. Originally it was called Massagetsk, then it became Parthian. Later it was called Turkmen, after - Nisan. Before becoming Akhal-Teke, the breed was called Persian. Only by the end of the XVIII century horse breeders began to call it Akhal Teke. Where "akhal" means the name of the oasis, and "teke" - the name of the Tekin tribe that controlled and lived in it.
Rock formation conditions
Most of the peoples living in the desert areas had a need for a hardy, quick-witted, strong and bold horse that became practically a member of the family, on which very much depended, including life. The horses were fed with hands, holili and protected, cleaned with sand. The Tekins liked racing, which is why frisky representatives of the breed, who showed good speed results, were highly valued. The long existence in the conditions of a sharp continental climate has led to the fact that the Akhal-Teke horse easily tolerates significant fluctuations in temperature - from +50 0 С to -30 0 С and quickly adapt to different conditions.
Akhal-Teke in Russia
According to historical documents, representatives of this breed were highly valued in Russia and called argamas, emphasizing their eastern origin. For such horses, the Russian rulers and nobles laid out huge sums, and in the royal stables they were shod with silver horseshoes. A number of historians and hippologists, based on old documents and engravings, claim that Peter I’s favorite, Lizset's mare is an Akhal-Teke horse.
In Soviet times, this breed was actively bred in Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan, where breeders worked to improve external data and increase horse growth. Today, according to experts, the best Akhal-Teke herd is in Russia. They are engaged in breeding in the Moscow region, Stavropol Territory, Kalmykia, in the North Caucasus and in Dagestan.
Akhal-Tekeans have a unique head shape with a straight profile, although there are also arboreal specimens: the front part is thinned and stretched, the back of the head is well developed, and the forehead protrudes slightly. The deeply set large and expressive eyes of the animal are braced and lengthened - the 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.
Akhal-Teke breed is also famous for its variety of colors. Hippology experts say that all the colors described by man over a thousand-year history of horse breeding are found in Akhal-Teke. The most common are: bay, buckskin, black and red color and their various shades. Infrequently, there are igrenevaya, solovy and gray, but the rarest - Akhal-Teke horse of Isabel suit, in which the skin of the animal is painted in various shades of pink, and the eyes are greenish or blue. The name of this suit, according to legends, was due to the Spanish queen Isabella, who swore on some occasion to always wear a shirt of the same color. Horses, painted in the same color as the wardrobe item of this crowned person, began to be called isabella. Formally, the skin of these animals is described as red, but it looks exactly like pink. The Isabella or cream Akhal-Teke horse in America even has a special name - “Cremello”. Another distinctive feature of this breed is the silver or golden luster of the hairline, the so-called shirt, inherited from the ancient Bactrian and Parthian ancestors.
According to experts, Akhal-Teke are smart horses with a delicate mental structure and a developed sense of self-worth. Representatives of this breed are more sensitive than others to the cold and inattentive attitude towards themselves on the part of a person, but they do not demonstrate their feelings. Many hippologists talk about the “dog” affection and loyalty of Akhal-Teke horses to their owner, especially if he was able to establish contact and mutual understanding with the animal. This character was formed as a result of special conditions of detention. Over the centuries, most of the Akhal-Teke men were kept alone and in constant interaction with their master, which is why such a strong attachment to people developed. Changing the owner of these horses is extremely difficult to carry. The temperament of the Akhal-Teke, as in most of the breeds from the south, is energetic and hot, easily excitable, but non-aggressive. As experts say, these horses are obedient, soft clavuses and maneuvers. However, this breed is not suitable for beginners and from time to time practicing amateurs, it is for professionals who are able to find contact.
Content and feeding
As already mentioned, Akhal-Teke never divorced in the conditions of the herd. There, where this breed was bred earlier, there are quite a few pastures, and you can use them no more than three months a year. Most of the time, horses are fed manually in small portions of high-quality feed: once a day with green hay from alfalfa and twice with pure selected barley. Water is given at least three times a day.
Today, the cultivation of Akhal-Teke horses is carried out in two directions: race and sport, with mandatory and careful selection on the exterior. The breed cultivates the following lines, most of which go back to the stallion Boynou, known in the 19th century:
- Sapar Khan,
- Everdy Teleke.
Other modern genealogical lines of the Akhal-Teke breed are:
- Gelishikli are the most typical representatives of the breed with clearly readable characters.
- Kir Sakara - a horse with a strong constitution and good results at a distance.
- Skaka - the representatives of this line are large, with a somewhat 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 use much less.
- The Arabian stallions of this line are mostly black, and mares, as a rule, are dun and bay. Representatives of this line are well established in sports, as well as in half-blooded horse breeding.
- Karlavacha - animals are compact, of medium 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, the breeding and improvement of the Akhal-Teke breed is carried out at such stud farms as in Stavropol, named after Naib Idris, and named after. V.P. Shamborant, "Akhalt - Service", as well as in such breeding farms as "Tekinsky Legion", "Yunav" and a number of others. In addition, the Akhal-Teke horses are bred in stud farms in Turkmenistan and in Kazakhstan. In our country, scientists of the All-Russian Institute of Horse Breeding keep a strict record of all representatives of the breed, breeding books are published and annual references are published.
Progenitors of all breeds of riding horses
About Akhal-Teke horses Vitt.VO.O. He spoke as about jewels storing "the last drops of that source of pure blood, which created all the horse breeding of the world." Their uniqueness lies in the fact that of the 250 horse species identified in the world today, this breed is the oldest. According to scientists, it was from the end of the Akhal-Teke breed that all modern horse breeding began. Since it was their blood that was used to create other breeds of horses. The Akhal-Teke beauties themselves have remained virtually unchanged over the past millennia, only slightly grown.
Attitude and education of the true Akhal-Teke
Especially trembling about newborn foals - the entrance to the stable is strictly only for the staff who surrounds the mare and the baby with constant care. For a long time, foals were considered family members, they were raised from birth as their children and even fed from the arm. Such “domestic” content did not spoil them, on the contrary. Therefore, horse breeders of modern times pay tribute to the lifestyle and traditions of their ancestors - each purebred Akhal-Teke horse is brought up and kept individually: in love, care and attention to its character.
Akhalteke - a wonderful, emotional horse, which is very sensitive to the mood of a person. In communication and learning it is categorically impossible to use force, rudeness, sharpness and neglect. All this will not lead to the desired result, only by feeling the love and trust in the person, the horse will do what is required of him. It is very difficult to earn the trust of Akhal-Teke, but if it succeeds, then a faithful and devoted friend will be found in return.
Interesting facts about Akhal-Teke
Some individuals of this breed are quite famous. For example, at the Victory Parade in 1945, Marshal Zhukov was seated on the Akhal-Teke horse Arab, a descendant of Boynou. And in 2010, the akhalteke horse, the horse Gyrat, a direct descendant of Arab, also participated in the anniversary parade dedicated to the 65th anniversary of the Victory Day.
Some facts about the Akhal-Teke breed:
- Height at withers reaches 155-160 cm for stallions, 152-155 cm for mares.
- Elegant lightweight head with wide nostrils.
- Big and expressive Asian eyes.
- Ears are neat, not big.
- Chest circumference 170-190cm.
Adult horses are tall and have a lean constitution, somewhat similar to a hound dog. They are very well adapted to the hot climate and do not require a lot of water, in addition, the racers can quickly acclimatize to any changes in the weather. In a few words, the appearance of the Akhal-Teke can be described as follows: the chest is small, the legs are strong and long, the hooves are not large but tough enough, the back is stretched, the tail and mane are not thick, and some horses have no mane at all, the croup is muscular and slightly lowered hips narrow. The skin is very thin, and the hair is soft and silky, cast on satin sheen, the sun gives the impression that the horse is covered with gold.
There are legends about the endurance of horses. Historically, it was proved that there was a case when a horse wounded by a saber, carried out from a battle two people. And in our time, the Akhal-Teke racers often carried out long transitions and sports competitions. For example, in 1935, the trip from Ashgabat to Moscow was completed in just 84 days, despite the fact that the Karakum sands were left behind for 3 days, and there was not a single stop for food, drink, rest or sleep. All participants reached the finish line healthy, the first came the stallion Tarlan.
The main characteristics of the breed
Suit:red, black and bay, often with a beautiful golden sheen. It can also be gray, buckthorn, isabella, solovy, karak.
Height at withers: from 1.52 to 1.55 m for mares and from 1.55 to 1.60 m for stallions.
Exterior: elegant head with large, expressive eyes. Wide nostrils, long ears of the ideal form. Straight, long and thin neck, long back. Thorax small, narrow thighs. Straight strong front legs, muscular thighs, long hind legs, which are characterized by "saber". Solid small hooves. The tail and mane are not very thick.
Using: universal riding horses. Used in many disciplines of equestrian sport. Due to their endurance, they can take part in exhausting runs. Often used in dressage.
Special features: energetic, obedient, agile. Famous for their stamina. They tolerate heat without any problems, drink little water. They are distinguished by elegance of forms, beautiful, graceful movements.
Akhal-Teke stallion Bugar. World champion. Moscow 2009
External signs of the breed
The Akhal-Teke horse is a true work of art, the deserved pride of breeders, the result of the work of many generations of horse breeders. Any person who has ever seen Akhaltekin’s will never again confuse him with a representative of another breed.
Tekinets bay suit
Akhal-Teke horses are quite tall. The stallions at the withers reach 160 cm. Because of the lean constitution, they resemble a gerard or a greyhound dog. Long lines dominate the appearance of these horses. Akhaltekin chest girth - 175-190 cm, slanting body length - 160-165 cm.
The horses of the Akhal-Teke breed have a peculiar shape of the head and neck. The front part of the head is thin and somewhat elongated, the forehead is slightly convex, the profile of the head is straight, but can sometimes be hooked. Eyes deep set, expressive, slightly slanting, elongated - "Asian eye". The long and thin neck has a developed nape.
Akhal-Teke horses have thin skin through which the vascular mesh appears. The coat is silky and gentle. The mane is not very long and thick, and in some individuals it is not at all, which is not characteristic of any other breed.
The croup is muscular, slightly lowered, the withers are high, the thighs are narrow, the chest is small. The legs are dry and long, the back is stretched.
The suits are varied. The most common are black, red and bay Akhal-Teke. In addition, representatives of this breed can have a malt, silver, buckthorn, Karak, isabella, brown color. The very structure of the hair of these horses is such that the wool looks shiny, like satin. From afar, Akhal-Teke look like they are made of gold.
Akhalteke’s isabelow suit
Features of character and character
Akhal-Teke horses are noted for their ardent temperament. Some of them only allow the owner to enter. In addition, the Akhal-Teke people are distinguished by a fine mental organization. They are proud, clever and never show off their feelings. The trust of the Akhal-Teke horse must be earned, but if you succeed in becoming a friend to it, the Akhal-Teke horse will be ready for the sake of its owner for anything.
Akhal-Teke horses are notable for their ardent temperament.
The origin of the Akhal-Teke horse breed
It is believed that the Akhal-Teke horse appeared about 3 thousand years BC. in the region that today occupies Turkmenistan. Taking into account the fact that a clean population has reached our days, not crossed with other horses, the Akhal-Teke people are considered to be the standard of riding horses.
We owe the appearance of the breed to the Iranian-speaking peoples of Central Asia, who loved and respected these animals very much. In an effort to create the perfect mount, these people created the Akhal-Teke people familiar to us today.
It is noteworthy that by the time the Akhal-Teke breed appeared, the then centers of civilization, such as Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt, had not yet used these animals. The home horse came to them from Central Asia, that is, in fact, the Akhal-Teke people became the progenitors of all other horse breeds in the Western world. According to some information, even oriental civilizations (China, Japan) got horses through Akhal-Teke.
Mention that in the area of modern Turkmenistan bred the best horses in the world, are found everywhere in ancient literature, starting from the time of the pharaohs. Лишь в Средневековье значение породы стало утрачиваться, поскольку в Азии и Европе стали преобладать знаменитые потомки ахалтекинцев — арабские скакуны, андалузцы и др.
По мере того, как Европа и арабский мир обходились местными животными, ахалтекинская порода лошадей оставалась весьма востребованной в Средней Азии и на Руси (у нас тогда ее звали «аргамак»). However, by that time very few had already watched the purity of the rock and it was on the verge of blurring. Breed saved the expansion of the Russian Empire in Central Asia. By the time of the arrival of the Russians in the second half of the 19th century. purebred livestock remained only in the Akhal-Teke oasis. So the breed has found its modern name.
With the establishment of the Soviet government began serious breeding work aimed at "modernization" of this ancient and slightly outdated breed. Major efforts were made to increase the growth of the horse and straighten some flaws in the exterior. Due to this, modern Akhal-Teke differ from their ancestors, who lived a thousand years ago, only by height and a more regular figure. And all the other unique characteristics that make the Akhal-Teke horse the best or one of the best, have been preserved.
From the Soviet Union, the Akhal-Teke horse again began to spread throughout the world. Re-discovering this breed for itself, the Western world began to use the familiar name for us - Akhal-Teke. Today, these horses are bred in dozens of countries around the world, but the most numerous livestock in Russia and Turkmenistan.
Akhal-Teke horse - character, features, exterior
Characteristics of the breed are a direct result of the conditions in which it was bred. Nomadic peoples needed horses that could easily carry fast races and long transitions. And all this in conditions of exhausting heat, lack of pastures and watering. As a result, lean "dry" horses with a minimum amount of subcutaneous fat, very hardy and not at all capricious in matters of nutrition, were bred.
Like many thoroughbred horses, Akhal-Teke have their own distinct character. Unlike phlegmatic and fully submissive half-breeds, these horses require a deeper approach. It is necessary to interact with the Turkmen horse as a partner, and not as an insensitive tool. Because of this, it is believed that the character of the Akhal-Teke horse is not the easiest.
Separately, it is necessary to say about the special swimming gait of horses of this breed. Since the Akhal-Teke come from the desert and semi-desert region, they have mastered such a step that helps them to more easily overcome the sand spills.
In comparison with most European breeds, the Akhal-Teke horses look more refined and even fragile, but behind this external grace there is greater strength and endurance. In recent history, the Ashgabat-Moscow run, held in 1935, is especially famous. About 3.5 thousand kilometers separating the two cities, riders on the Akhal-Teke horses crossed in just 84 days. In this case, all the horses normally moved the transition and were healthy.
One glance at the photo of the horses of the Akhal-Teke breed is enough to distinguish them from European breeds. This is a tall (160-170 cm) horse with a chiseled figure. In its forms, it is similar to a greyhound or a lean cheetah.
With a sufficiently proportional torso, a long, elegant neck and beautiful long legs stand out a little. The coat is short and the mane is so “thin” that it is often not even cut off.
Suits of horses of the Akhal-Teke breed are quite diverse, all main types are represented. At the same time, for all Akhal-Teke, regardless of the suit, there is a noticeable silver or golden shimmer of wool.
Use of Akhal-Teke horses
This breed is not very popular outside the post-Soviet space. Worldwide livestock has only about 6.6 thousand individuals, which in fact is quite small. Most of all Akhal-Teke horses are in Turkmenistan itself (about 3 thousand), Russia (1.6 thousand), Western Europe (1.3 thousand in general) and the USA (about 500 individuals). Most modern Akhal-Teke are the descendants of the famous mount Boynou, who lived in the second half of the XIX century.
Despite some moral obsolescence, the Akhal-Teke horse still has great potential as a top breed. "Turkmen" quite actively used in equestrian sports. Since Soviet times, there are full-fledged jumps on Akhal-Teke horses, passing according to the classic rules with all the prizes.
The main prizes, which are played with their participation, are held at the second most important hippodrome of Russia - in Pyatigorsk. Also Akhal-Teke races are held in Krasnodar, Tashkent and, of course, in Ashgabat. Periodically, these horses can be seen in the Russian capital.
But videos of the Akhal-Teke breed of horses are filmed not only during their competition with each other, but also in competitions with other famous breeds. The pinnacle of success is the victory of the Akhal-Teke stallion in dressage during the Roman Olympiad of the 60th year. Akhal-Teke was and remains the only champion in this discipline in the entire history of the Olympic Games, who would not belong to the German breeds.
Is it possible for a business to breed Akhal-Teke?
So, we have told almost everything about the Akhal-Teke horses, now let's move on to the main thing - the prospects for commercial breeding in Russia.
Since the Akhal-Teke breed of horses is to a certain extent native for our country, the cost of breeding young animals is significantly lower than the prices of European or American breeds. However, one should not forget that this is a thoroughbred racehorse, which means that, by definition, it is valued more expensively than a regular mongrel horse.
Given the characteristics, purpose and value of the Akhal-Teke horse breed, there are two options for how you can earn on their breeding and rearing.
Firstly, these animals are still in demand in sports disciplines, so if you have a thick grid of connections with rich people who are passionate about this topic, you can sell trained stallions to those who wish to take part in equestrian sports. Needless to say, this is a specific and small market. To make money on it, you need to put much more effort than in any other type of business.
Secondly, Akhal-Teke in general, suitable for use in tourism purposes. And although there is a persistent myth about the character of this breed, as if the temper of Turkmen horses is bad and capricious, this problem is in fact greatly exaggerated. Especially if you make a meaningful selection of Akhal-Teke horses and generally treat them kindly.
At this, the possibilities for commercial breeding of Akhal-Teke horses are generally exhausted. To grow these noble horses for meat and milk will be genuine blasphemy. And not only because it is a noble horse breed, but also because there are more productive meat breeds, to which the Akhal-Tekes are much inferior in this matter.
But if we ignore the mercantile spirit and consider horses exclusively as companion animals, then the Akhal-Tekins are very good in this regard. Horses of this breed are very attached to their masters and pay obedience for good attitude to themselves. Do you want to get a pair of horses to indulge in horseback riding on the nature on weekends? Akhal-Teke perfectly suited for these purposes. Or, for example, present your wife with a cream Akhal-Teke horse - this is truly a luxurious and completely non-trivial gift that she will appreciate.
Conditions of keeping Akhal-Teke horses
When creating a stable, one should follow the standard rules, which are the same for all thoroughbred horses, which means that they are also valid for Akhal-Teke.
It is better to place a stable outside the city, or, in extreme cases, on the outskirts away from large avenues and densely populated residential areas. The reasons are obvious and do not require explanation.
In the stable itself should be clean, light and moderately warm. Although Akhal-Teke can carry up to 30 degrees of frost, do not forget about the origin of the Akhal-Teke breed of horses. These animals come from a region with a hot desert climate, and therefore the constant stay of horses in the cold will not lead to anything good. In addition to food and water, horses need at least minimal personal space - at least 4 square meters. meters
For normal keeping and breeding of horses, you will also need other outbuildings:
- barn for hay
- barn for other feed,
- storage room for storing harness, tools, etc.,
- walking platform.
Unless you plan to do the maintenance of the horses yourself, you also need to hire some kind of staff. You should pay particular attention to the issues of hiring a veterinarian and trainer, since the health of the horse and its ability to perform its tasks depend on these specialists.