Adventures in Living --
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Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Akhal Teke Horses
Akhal Teke horses are an ancient pure breed from Central Asia. They are exceptionally fast, tough, and large, averaging 14.3 and 16.3 hands. [A hand is about four inches. A horse is measured, on a flat surface, from the ground to the withers, which is the bump that joins the back and the neck.] Able to endure extreme temperatures and privations, they were a horse of choice in the harsh lands of the Karakum Desert in Turkmenistan and in Russia.
Not far from the outskirts of Ashgabat, we visited a farm where Akhal Teke horses are bred and trained. They were lovely with shiny coats and long necks and soft eyes. A number of beauties were brought out and put through their paces.
While we were on the farm it started to rain and the farm hands quickly shooed the horses into their barn. Unfortunately, the tall horses didn’t duck when entering the barn though its low-beamed door. Nor did the farm hands pull down on the reins to get the horses to lower their heads. Each time a horse hit its head on the lintel, there was a burst of laughter. Not very pleasant for us or the Akhal Tekes. Like a lot of things in Turkmenistan, it was odd. And very unlike the bird farm near Alamty, where the workers clearly loved and cared for their animals and kept things in pristine conditions.
For more information about Akhal Teke horses, go to the Akhal Teke Ranch website and see the well cared for horses in Idaho.