Breed Background



These are the essential qualities of an Akhal-Teke that are important to the modern rider.

Kamilishen - 2005 mare bred by Cascade Gold, owned by Darla Dickenson

Kamilishen – 2005 mare bred by Cascade Gold, owned by Darla Dickenson

  • Sportiness –  The original getaway vehicle of the Tekke tribesmen of Turkmenistan, these horses compete in flat racing in their native country and in Russia,  excel at jumping and have made their mark in dressage as well.  Eventing and Endurance are two disciplines where their legendary stamina has helped them make a mark as well.ch_3_Cathy_hOTR
  • Personableness  – Bred and raised closely among people, Akhal-Tekes are extremely adaptable.  We have not done any systematic intelligence testing, but they are excellent students of human behavior and this makes them highly trainable.20090830_cathyleddy_akhalteke_30aug09_83
  • Smoothness – The silky, efficient gaits that carried them over the steppe lands around the Caspian Sea make for effortless riding.

You can enjoy riding them without knowing where they came from. But what fun is that?

This brochure prepared for the World Equestrian Games in 2010 gives you the basics of their history, as well as an overview of some of their competitive successes in North America.

Akhal-Teke Booklet for the WEG

The Horseflicks video on the Akhal-Teke gives another version of this history.

I also recommend that you visit the Akhal-Teke Association of America website at

Here are some more recent historical highlights, many of which were that were published in the Akhal-Teke Quarterly

1999 – Walmart across America – the 1999 Grading Tour, by Cathy Leddy, with links to results
2001 – The XP ride, by Jas Shearer-McMahon
2005-2008 – Open houses and expos
2010 – World Equestrian Games, Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington KY
2011 – The Tevis Cup, in three parts, by Monica Bretherton
2014 – The Year of the Horse, Turkmenistan

If you are interested in really detailed information or photographs, this is a brief bibliography of books about the Akhal-Teke:

Sacred Horses, by Jonathan Maslow – Out of print, can often be found used – source it via Google Books
The Day of the HorsePhoto book of 2011 Day of the Horse celebration in Turkmenistan by Kerri-Jo Stewart, Argamak Photography

Many more, but I’ll have to find them and get the titles right.