Horse Isle 3: Big Book of Breeds
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Big Book of Breeds
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[ INDEX ] Equine Type: Horse Breed: Teke Turkmen (Turkmen)   [ PREV ] [ NEXT ]
When the Soviet Union took over Turkmenistan, a law was passed making it illegal for any family to own more than one horse. Some Teke and Yamut (Iomud) Turkmen gave up their herds, while others simply let their horses loose. Many took their herds across the border into Iran, and where they breed and race the Teke Turkmen horse to this day.

Unlike the Akhal-Teke, the Turkmen contains no Thoroughbred blood. Recently, the Iranian Government, seeing the value of this horse especially in the West, made the Teke Turkmen a national treasure and forbade its export without special license.

The Turkmen is a smaller horse than the Akhal-Teke. Its features are somewhat less extreme in conformation than the very angular Teke, although the Turkmen retains the hooded eye (epicanthal fold) and metallic coat. Its color range is also somewhat wider, including colors which no longer appear in the Akhal-Teke. The Teke Turkmen race their horses on rectangular tracks from a very young age, requiring not only exceptional speed, but great agility for navigating the sharp turns. Like its cousin, the breed is an easy keeper, slow maturing, and very much a "one person horse."

Teke Turkmans in Iran are still bred in the tradition way: the stallions are part of a human family starting at the age of six months; mares are allowed to run in "taboons" on the Central Asian steppes, and are left to fend for themselves apart from breeding and foaling season. Because of this, the breed is intelligent, resourceful, extremely loyal to its human or equine family, and likely to be rather stubborn around everyone else.

Breeders in Iran have formed the Turkmen Horse Breeding and Consulting Cooperative (THBC) to register their horses and advise on breeding. The Equestrian Federation of Iran holds a yearly Iran Turkmen Horse event once a year.

An enormous variety of colors occurs in the Turkmen, including some (such as roan) that have been eliminated from the Soviet/Turkmenistani Akhal-Teke. Some curly-coated horses appear from time to time, as do horses whose ears touch.


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