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Akhal Teke basic information

The Akhal-Teke's appearance is unique; no other breed of horse shares its distinctive features, which are embodied in words like dry, thin, straight, high-set and lean. The head is long and chiseled, often with a broad brow. The eyes are large and expressive and sometimes almond-shaped. The ears are narrow, high-set and readily swivel on their axis, alert to sound and movement. The long neck is set high and straight relative to the shoulders, the withers are quite prominent. The chest is narrow, the body is long and lean, the muscling well defined, but smoothly hugging the bone. The legs are slender, with strongly sculpted tendons and long and flexible pasterns. The skin is thin, the hair is silky and the mane and tail are spars. Several colors are possible, but the most common include, bay, black, dun, chestnut, gray and palomino. A distinctive feature is a pronounced metallic sheen, a glossy golden polish overlaying the basic coat color.

Within the breed, three types can be distinguished. Type 1, the most typical type and closely fitting the descriptions above, is well represented by the following lines: Gelishikili, Peren and Kaplan. Type 2, somewhat smaller and well regarded for its speed, is represented by the Karlavach and El lines. Type 3, a more massive body type and noted for its stamina, is best represented by the Arab and Dor-Bairam lines. At the present time, the breed is represented by 17 separate lines, 12 of which trace back to Boinou (1885-1908).

The 1981 studbook (Vol. VI) records the following average measurements in centimeters for an Akhal-Teke breeding stallion is 157.6 (height at withers), 160.1 (body length/barrel, measured on the diagonal), 176.4 (chest circumference), 18.8 (cannon bone circumference) and for a mare are 157-159-175-18.7. Twelve years later, in 1993, statistics for stallions, based on an evaluation of 190 horses from 13 countries (including 88 from Turkmenistan, 51 from Russia and 21 from Kazakhstan), showed an increase in all measurements except body length: 159.2-160.0-177.5-19.18. Figures broken down by country indicate that horses in Western Europe are larger than the average, while those from America, often bred for endurance riding, tend to be smaller.

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