The 'Golden Horse', one of the rarest horses in the world

Maya Devi
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The Akhal-Teke is an ancient breed of horse that originated in the Central Asian desert and was originally bred for the Turkmen people as a ridden horse. The breed is known for its tremendous stamina, soundness, and speed, and is a national symbol in Turkmenistan, where it is celebrated in April every year. The Akhal-Teke has a glistening coat that typically has a metallic shimmer, which has earned it the nickname “golden horse.”

The breed is thought to be one of the world’s oldest, with records dating back three millennia. However, it is now considered rare, with an estimated global population of fewer than 5,000, and it is listed as “threatened” by the Livestock Conservancy. The Akhal-Teke is most commonly found in Russia and Turkmenistan.

The Akhal-Teke’s coat is designed to enable it to withstand both heat and cold.

‘Golden’ coats
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The Akhal-Teke breed is renowned for its glimmering and shiny coat, which has a metallic sheen that makes the horse look golden, especially if it has a buckskin color. This unique sheen is due to the structure of their hair, which bends sunlight through one side and refracts it out the other, creating a golden glow. This coloring also helped to camouflage the horse in its desert habitat. The breed's coat is designed to withstand both extreme heat and cold, and they grow a dense undercoat in winter for warmth. The Akhal-Teke comes in various colors, including bay, buckskin, black, chestnut, grey, cream, and palomino, with blue eyes or marbled eyes being fairly common.

Potted history ‘Golden’ coats

The Akhal-Teke breed of horse originated in Turkmenistan, Central Asia, around 3,000 years ago. The tough, fast and stamina-laden horses were bred by the nomadic Turkmen people to suit their desert lifestyle, enabling them to raid other tribes and survive in hot, dusty conditions. The name Akhal-Teke was coined in the 17th century, with "Akhal" referring to a line of oases in Turkmenistan and "Teke" from the tribe of the same name. The breed was first acquired by Russians 500 years ago, who have since played a key role in preserving it, including establishing a stud farm after annexing Turkmenistan in 1881.

How much does an Akhal-Teke cost?

The cost of an Akhal-Teke horse varies based on factors such as age, pedigree, training, temperament, and conformation. Those with a metallic sheen on their coat are often priced higher due to their unique aesthetics. Despite their rarity, Akhal-Tekes are sold at comparable rates to horses of other breeds with similar experience. Therefore, there is no set price range for an Akhal-Teke horse, as it is dependent on individual characteristics and current market demand.

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I have done my graduation in history and politics. I write unique and interesting articles focused on our day to day life.


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