Horses are undoubtedly the most majestic animals on earth. They are living forms of art, that remind us of the power and creativity of nature.
Apart from it, they are highly intelligent, spirited, and proud, so their company is exciting even for experienced riders and trainers. Have you ever seen a representative of the Akhal-Teke breed? It is among the rarest, most exotic full-size horse breeds around the world.
These incredibly beautiful creatures are intelligent, incredibly athletic, with perfect, shiny coats, which are the reason why they have been given the nickname, “Golden Horses.”
These horses originate from Turkmenistan, and frozen fossils found in a Southside Siberian burial site from the 6th century BC confirm that they have been around for millennia.
Akhal-Teke horses have a life expectancy of 20 years. These elegant equines have a flat, muscular body, with a long, narrow head and neck, a silky mane, and almond-shaped eyes. They are about 163 cm tall and weigh about 1,000 pounds.
What makes them unique is their metallic coat. Yet, the breed comes in a variety of colors, from black to bay, to chestnut. Many carry a gene for the cream dilution, resulting in palomino, cremello and perlino coats.
The unique coat is a result of the arrangement of the hair shafts in a way that they refract light. They are hollow, which creates a sort of a prism for light to travel through.
These horses are purebred, mostly because they were found in Kara- Kum desert, a rocky desert in Turkmenistan, where there are not many other horses for them to crossbreed with.
They were only “discovered” by the modern era in 1881 when Turkmenistan was annexed by the Russian Empire.
These magnificent horses are the national emblem of Turkmenistan. The Turkmen often decorate them with special draping, materials and jewels, to emphasize their beauty. These “alagayysh” are highly-prized and made of gold, silver, bronze and precious stones.
Akhal-Tekes are found in various places, like on their stamps, banknotes, and their coat of arms. While they were bred for transportation and raids due to their agility, stamina, and speed in the past, nowadays, they are used for showjumping, long-distance races, dressage, and pleasure riding.
What makes them even more special is their fierce loyalty to their owner, their intuition, and intelligence.
Nowadays, there are only a little over 5,000 “horses from heaven” remaining in the entire world.
This is due to the poor management of the breed, and the ban on exports from the Soviet Union. Yet, this means that a few adjustments can brighten up the future of these gorgeous creatures.