🐎 The Akhal-Teke Horse Breed

Breed Description

A light and elegant horse, usually long and lean, giving the impression of a greyhound. Most Tekes have a sparse mane and forelock and an absence of feather on the legs and coats that glow like metal. Flowing gaits, a desire to bond with a person of their own, and a sensible and sensitive nature.

Average Height

Normal height is between 15 and 16 hands, with horses both larger and smaller, weight between 900 to 1100 pounds.


All colors, most with a metallic glow.


The Akhal-Teke is a true desert bred horse with a light, elegant build and a 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. The Akhal-Teke is long, lean, and, typically, narrow through the chest, making him an extremely comfortable ride. 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, often with a metallic glow to it. The overall effect is of the long, lean grace of a greyhound. Magnificent action, free and flowing; in all paces a soft, gliding, elastic stride.

Members of this breed often excel in the following disciplines:

  • Endurance
  • Eventing
  • Dressage

Breed History

The Akhal-Teke was created in Southern Turkmenistan by the Teke tribe at the Akhal Oasis. Located away from the trade routes, bordered by the Kara Kum desert and Kopet Dag mountains, the Akhal Oasis is in an area not subjected to continual conquest or occupation. This isolation, along with the great pride the Teke tribesmen took in 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 type of 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. The blanketing also enhanced the metallic sheen of their coat, which is a source of great pride for their owners.

Miscellaneous Facts

Originally bred as a war horse used to complete distances at high speeds in short times, today the Akhal-Teke is used as everything from a race horse to a reining horse. Akhal-Tekes have won Olympic Gold and Silver in Dressage and been jumping champions throughout Europe. In Germany, Akhal-Tekes compete in Reining and follow the hounds. In the United States, they are making their mark in Eventing, Dressage, Jumping and Endurance.

US Breed Association

Akhal-Teke Association of America
21314 129th Ave SE
Snohomish, WA 98296