The Legendary Akhal Teke by Jas Shearer-McMahon
The Akhal Teke is the most distinctive strain of the ancient race of horses known as the Turkoman or Turkmene.
Located in southern Turkmenistan, away from the trade routes, bordered by the Kara Kum desert and Kopet M, the Akhal oasis is in an area that has not been subjected to continual
conquest or occupation. This isolation, along with the great pride the Teke tribesmen took in maintaining the purity of their horses, has produced a breed of ancient lineage and great purity.
As the chief mount of Turkoman warriors for centuries, the Akhal-Teke developed endless stamina and, from the harsh desert environment, the ability to withstand great extremes of
temperature. With fresh forage available only three months of the year in the arid desert; the Teke tribesmen developed their own special methods of horse management. Kept in small bands,
tethered to stakes and blanketed, the Akhal-Teke were fed pellets consisting of alfalfa, barley, and mutton fat. This unusual management resulted in a horse that can subsist on small amounts of
food and water, becomes devoted to its master and is suspicious of strangers.
Because they were outside continuously, the blanketing protected them from the extreme swings
in desert temperatures. Blanketing also enhanced the metallic sheen of their coats, a source of great pride to their owners. Indeed, the prevailing color of the breed is gold, either as a golden
dun, golden bay, or golden chestnut, although other colors are present and are not undesirable.
The special golden color with a metallic sheen is genetically distinct and is a unique characteristic of the breed.
The Akhal-Teke is a true desert-bred horse with a light, elegant build and an original and distinctive conformation: long, tapering, aristocratic face; beautifully shaped mobile ears; wide
nostrils; and large, expressive eyes having a proud, fiery gaze. The neck is straight, long, and often
thin, set high on excellent sloping shoulders. They have very prominent withers, a long, lean, narrow, and sinewy body, with pronounced croup and sloping hindquarters. The legs are long
and dry, with good forearms, hocks well let down, with short cannons of dense bone. Hooves are small, with a thick wall of strong horn. A characteristic feature is the sparse, short mane and
forelock and absence of feather on the legs. The skin is very thin, with a short, fine and silky coat.
The overall effect is of the long, lean grace of a greyhound. Displaying magnificent action, free and
flowing, the Akhal Teke's paces maintain a soft, gliding, elastic stride. Although of quiet temperament, they are easily aroused. Bold, alert, and intelligent, they respond well to sensitive
training. The typical height is 15 to 16 hands; weight 900 to 1,000 pounds.
About the author...
Magic Valley Akhal Tekes
Magic Valley Ranch, nestled in the foothills of the Colorado Rockies, provides an ideal location and climate for rearing the magnificent Akhal-Teke horse. The high elevation, dry climate, and
undulating terrain provide a perfect match for the homeland of this ancient breed, serving as an environmental wellspring for horses of size, stamina, uncanny sense, ability, and versatility.
Originally bred as war mounts, then for racing, the Akhal-Teke is now used in all competitive equine sports such as endurance, dressage, jumping, and eventing. These showy, magnificent
horses are also used extensively in circuses. In the 1960 Olympics, the Akhal Teke stallion ABSENT won the gold medal in dressage with Sergai Filytov riding. By the end of his career,
ABSENT had won six Olympic dressage medals, more than any other horse. We welcome your calls! (Select the photo to view more information)
Contact: Jas Shearer-McMahon
PO Box 114
Livermore, Colorado 80536