Strength, endurance, and speed are not the traits of the large-sized, tall horses alone. These can be the adding up traits of the medium height, smart, and beautiful horse breeds like Akhal Teke.

Akhal Teke, also known as the Golden Horse is a Turkmen Breed and is famous for its agility, speed, beautiful shiny coat, and athletic body. Besides being extremely loyal and faithful to their human companions, they were adapted to survive with less food, plenty of water, and bear the harsh weather climates.

This amazing breed has a lot more to talk about.

Akhal Teke Horse Breed Information

History and Origin of the Akhal Teke Horse

Akhal Teke horse is known as one of the oldest horse breeds, where their ancestors date back to 3000 years ago. This is the ancient horse breed that is still surviving and is one of the purest horse breeds.

Akhal Teke is often said to have similar traits of the Turkomen Horses that no more exist at present. It is also believed that the Akhal Teke horses are the direct descendants of the Turkomen Horses, the Arabian breed.

The Akhal Teke horse breed originated from the desert Karakoram of Turkmenistan. The climate of the desert required an agile horse to survive with less food and harsh weather. Akhal Teke horses have more affection for humans as the desert life made them live closer to their owners.

The breed was not well-known until Turkmenistan became a part of the Russian Empire in 1881. At this time, this breed got its name, as it was bred by the Teke tribe living near the Akhal oasis.

During the tussle between Soviet Russia and the USA, the Akhal Teke breed suffered a lot. This breed was not introduced to the USA until 1979. Today, this breed has spread to Central Asia, Europe, Russia, Australia, and Uruguay.

The Personality of the Akhal Teke Horse

The Akhal Teke horse is a gentle, intuitive, intelligent, and very sensitive horse that is famous for building a strong bonding with its owner. They are very possessive about their owners and tend to defend them as a guard dog.

The intelligence and sharpness of this horse breed make them quick learners and easy to train. They can read the mind of their owner, can understand what their owner wants them to do, and can understand a small gesture or a little whisper of command.

The Akhal Teke horse is considered to be a hot-blooded horse that can make it excited, and hard to train and handle.

The Akhal Teke is a hardy dog with lots of spirits and plenty of stamina for obeying its owner. There is an element of divinity or sacredness related to this horse breed. This is the reason why Russia calls it Argamaks which means divine or sacred.

The Physical Features of the Akhal Teke Horse


The Akhal Teke horses bear a comparatively narrow or thin body than the other racing horse breeds. This is true that they possess a smart and muscular medium size body but it does not compromise their stamina, agility, and strength. They have an exotic body with a straight or slightly curved profile.

This domestic breed has a refined head, with almond-shaped eyes and long erected ears. The straight, long, and muscular back are accompanied by a long curved neck. The tail and mane are sparse, shoulders are slopping, and the skin is thin and shiny.

Life Span

The life expectancy of the Akhal Teke is a little less than other horse breeds. It lives for up to 20 years at max.

Height and Weight

The Akhal Teke is a medium size horse with medium height and weight. It is about 58 to 64 inches tall and weighs about 900 to 1000 pounds.

Coat and Colors

The Akhal Teke horse breed has a thin skin coat that is super shiny. They have a natural metallic sheen added to their coat and the coat shines beautifully with every color.

The most common colors for the Akhal Teke horse that are close enough to the golden color are buckskin, palomino, cremello, and perlino. These colors are the reason for the Akhal Teke horse getting its nickname ‘the Golden Horse’.

It is also said that these colors served as a camouflage for the horses to survive in desert life. Other colors like black, grey, bay, and chestnut are also acceptable for the Akhal Teke horse.

The metallic sheen gives a glow to the color, mostly the golden glow for the coat colors close to golden. The grey color coat gets a silver glow.

Nutrition and Feeding

Belonging to the desert origin, the Akhal Teke horse has been adapted and evolved to survive on a very sparse diet. They can survive on the little grass growing in the desert area near the oasis. However, they need a good amount of proteins to maintain their stamina.

Today, the Akhal Teke horse receives a good amount of quality grass, grains, and hay as well.

Health Issues of the Akhal Teke Horse

The smart and muscular body of the Akhal Teke horse is very strong and healthy. However, it is prone to some genetic issues.

Naked Foal Syndrome

This is a genetic disease in which a foal is born hairless. There is no hair of the coat, mane, or tail. This disease also includes the abnormalities of teeth and jaws and can result in the issues of indigestion, severe pain, etc.

Wobbler Syndrome

This genetic disease is also known as cervical vertebral malformation. In this disease, the neurological deficiencies cause stiffness and un-coordination in gait. The horse loses the balance of the body while walking. This disease can be cured by taking proper medical guidance.


In this disease, one or both the testes are absent in the scrotum. As a result, the neutering is affected and can raise many other health problems and behavioral issues.

Breeding and Gestation of the Akhal Teke Horse

The gestation period of the Akhal Teke horse is also 11 months long, about 320 to 360 days.

In the beginning, the growth of the foal is slow and it gets fast and goes through the most sensitive phase during the last 3 months. These 3 months cover the 60% development of the foal.

Extra care in terms of food and separating the pregnant mare from the other horses can have positive impacts on the health of the mare and the foal.

Uses of the Akhal Teke Horse

This versatile, smart, and shimmering horse is used in many fields of life.

  • In ancient times, this horse breed was used as a warfighter horse.
  • This horse was bred in the desert to accompany the people of the desert and fulfill their need for transport.
  • The Akhal Teke horse is a sport horse and it is used in endurance racing competitions, especially in Russia and Turkmenistan.
  • These horses with a shining coat are used for dressage.
  • They have taken part in many Olympic events and won many prizes as well.
  • The Akhal Teke horse has also been used for showjumping.
  • It is also used for pleasure riding.

Grooming and Cleaning of the Akhal Teke Horse

The metallic sheen of the Akhal Teke horse needs a regular bath to maintain its beautiful shine. Once or twice a week brushing will be good for this horse. It will help to remove dirt and debris from the coat.

The regular inspection of hooves is also necessary to protect the hooves from getting infected.

Final words

The Akhal Teke horse is vigilant but can be stubborn, restless, and too spirited at times for some riders, especially the beginners. They don’t like to be ridden by strangers as they have a very strong bonding with their owners and they are mostly one-person horses.

They need polite and gentle handling and can become aggressive and defensive with harsh dealing. They are the best companions and defenders for their owners.

If you can manage with this temperament of the Akhal Teke horse breed, then this might bring a chance for you to have the most reasonable companion for a long period.

Also Read:Best Horse Breeds in the world

Gokce Karin

Gokce's love and passion for farm animals stem from growing up on a farm in Mexico. After receiving Bachelor's degree in Equine Sciences & Livestock Farming, she started working at her own farm. Today, while managing her farm animals, she also contributes to - where she shares her experiences as well as helps people deal with their animals the best way.