Akhal-Teke photo
Akhal-Teke horse
Photograph by Naudotojas. Some rights reserved.

Akhal-Teke photo
An Akhal-Teke at Verona Fieracavalli, 2007
Photograph by Annalisa Parisi. Some rights reserved.


The Akhal-Teke is a horse breed first found in Turkmenistan. Their main feature is the distinct coat that gleams and this is also what distinguishes them from the other horse breeds. The height of this horse can be anywhere between 14 to 16.5 hands. This horse has large, beautiful, expressive eyes that are almond shaped. The features of this horse enable it to adapt well to any harsh weather conditions. They have a layer of thin skin as compared to many other breeds. Another identifiable feature in this horse is the sparse mane and tail. This breed has a neck which is always upright and the back is long and not heavily muscled. This horse has a slim built and a deep chest with tough and strong limbs. These horses are well known for their endurance and resilience. This breed is a perfect combination of grace and strength.

14 - 16.5 hands

Though these horses come in almost any color, the most noted colors are chestnut, bay, palomino, black, grey, cremello, golden, dun and perlino.

Suitable for
These horses are well suited for sports. Since they have great endurance capabilities, the Akhal-Teke horses are used for travelling over long distances. These horses are also used for events like racing, show jumping, endurance riding and dressage.

The history of the Akhal-Teke horses dates back to many centuries ago. These horses were bred by nomadic people in Turkmenistan who travelled between Turkmenistan and Russia. The name Teke comes from the tribe with the same name who inhabited the region around the Akhal Oasis. These horses were the pride of this tribe and were bred to serve as war horses and for raiding purposes. Since these horses were prized possessions of these tribesmen, there was no chance for cross breeding them. Hence, most of the Akhal-Teke horses are pure blooded animals.

These horses were found in large numbers in Turkmenistan until the Russians took over this region. During this period, these horses were slaughtered in thousands to feed the Russians. This act of the Russians upset the Turks to a great extent since they felt attached to these animals. Hence, in an effort to prevent them from being killed, a number of Turks vanished into the desert with their horses or just let them free so that they could protect themselves from being slaughtered.

In modern times, the Akhal-Teke horses are found in various countries like the United States of America, Australia, Europe, Asia and many other countries of the world.