- 17 February 2016
Akhalteke or Turkmen horses are the most ancient among all other horse species. They were bred by Turkmens more than 5000 years ago in the foot-hills of Turkmenistan. There were renowned Turkmen horses in the processions of the ancestors of the Turkmens – the Oguz, Scuthian and Parthian kings. Depictions of them are found throughout Asia.
The Akhalteke horses were known by various names, which are thousands of years old – “Divine horses”, “Golden horse of Parthia”, “horse of Nisa”, “blood – sweating horse”, “Heavenly horses”.
Within this period they were protected from the blood of the steppe species, thus today it is the purest horse species. Ancient Turkmen traditions which preserved perfectly the purity of horse species played a significant role. Akhalteke horses influenced the breeding of various species worldwide, including Arabian and British thoroughbred horses.
Preserving the purity of the Akhalteke breed was a matter of honour among the Turkmen people that was passed down from generation to generation. The Turkmen people knew the most outstanding stallions and their family trees well.
World famous Akhalteke horses have received dozens of the highest awards at world championships, the Olympic Games and exhibitions. It is sufficient to mention only one Akhlateke horse – Absent, which demonstrated its powers at three Olympic Games and was justifiably called “the horse of the century”. On this subject, specialists have done scientific research with Akhaltekes and have clarified that they have a peculiar soft and elastic step. While all other horse breeds lift their legs high and quiver the body, an Akhalteke goes fluently as it slides over the land. His body does not quiver. He steps low with a sliding movement approach to the land and smoothly strolls over it. All this is because Turkmen horses for thousands of years have grown up in the desert on sandy land and the strong joints in their turn have affected the soft step.
An Akhalteke horse is certainly doubling the beauty of the world. But any paradise beauty is as strong as delicate. Turkmens have discovered the truth on their long and hard way that nowhere else but Turkmenistan, the motherland of its ancestors, an Akhalteke horse has retained its purity and pedigree. This land has raised people and then a horse, which has become a faithful friend in the life of Turkmens.
Horses, unlike any other animal in the world, were given proper names, not nicknames, by the Turkmen people. Newborn foals are called sons and daughters, and later on grandsons and granddaughters, assimilating them to the people. In this way Turkmen people linked their fate inseparably with the horse’s fate.
The Akhalteke horses have rare thin and short, iridescent hair through which sometimes blood vessels can be seen. It contributes to the Akhalteke horses indescribable beauty. People say that the Akhalteke horses breathe through and sweat blood. When moving, graceful and beautiful Akhalteke horse has a spark in its eyes, its wide open trembling nostrils breathe deeply, it’s swan-necks are raised high and its silky tails flow in the wind.
Pride of Turkmens - Akhalteke horse is a part of the sovereign Turkmenistan's national emblem. Every year the last Sunday of April, Turkmen people celebrate the Akhalteke Horses Holiday.