Akhalteke Horse: Turkmenistan’s National Value

Akhalteke Horse:

Turkmenistan’s National Value

THE Akhalteke horse is inseparably connected with the history of Turkmenistan. Throughout the country’s history, which dates back to 5,000 BCE, famous historical people in Turkmen history such as Oguzhan, Gorogly beg, AlpArslan, Togrul beg and Chagryl beg, have traversed the desert landscape with these trusted and loyal animals — their most faithful of friends.

Today, archaeologists believe that the wild, golden horse of Central Asia was the first horse in history to be domesticated between 8,000 and 5,000 BCE, originally as domesticated livestock. However, it is also believed they were quickly mounted and ridden. Trade, migration and war spread fame of Turanian horse throughout world and it became popular for its attributes as a fast and hardy horse, of a good temperament and exceptional colours, in places such as Greece, Egypt and Persia. At the end of the Parthian Empire in the 3rd Century CE, the nomadic Turkmen tribes which had been among the first horse breeders, established the Akhalteke breed, the Akhal oasis at thje centre of their realm near Nissa.

From this time the Akhalteke horse has provided unwavering friendship, firstly as a companion in an inhospitable climate and as a means of traversing the rugged landscape, then as a war horse and later as commemorative symbol of victory and prosperity. It is clear that from their earliest history the Turkmen nation have revered this beautiful animal and archaeological remains indicate that these faithful creatures were awarded human-like burials, adorned with jewellery and accompanied by grave goods. Now, in the modern epoch of revival and great change, the Akhalteke is a cultural symbol and it is still very much a part of Turkmen life.

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