The Caspian Pony
An elegant and refined pony, this horse is a miniature Arab of great value for the young in show-jumping and racing. Ancient stone engravings and archeological findings point to the fact that the Caspian pony may in truth be the first horse to be used in the Middle East. This pony has had much success abroad and is now bred in Bermuda, England, and New Zealand.
Like the Asil, in its own habitat, the Kurd is known by different names, depicting differences in breeding and outward appearance, i e., Jaff, Afshar, Sanjabi, etc.. The Jaff, the model of the horse in Persian miniatures, in all probability has Asil blood. In other Kurdish strains, altogether a strong compact horse, there are traces of possible descendance from the Nisaean War Horse, mentioned by Greek historians. Excellent for long distances and mountanous areas, The Kurd also has the ability to carry heavy weight.
The Iranian Thourouhgbred
The breeding of Thouroughbreds in Iran was commenced with high quality stallions and mares. Attention and care in the technical management of their breeding give hope of a promising future. The above can already be observed on the racetrack.
In accordance with historical fact, archeological findings, and research, the Turkoman is one of the first breeds in Iran to have been developed and bred for use in specific purposes. Primarily used in raids, this horse is slim, tall, and finely built, possessing speed and stamina, making it an ideal horse for the racetrack. Similar to the Asil and the Kurd , the Turkoman also has several branches, the best known the Akhal-Take and the Yamut. A cross with the Western Thoroughbred produces good horses both for the track and for show-jumping.
The Native Iranian Horse
Indigenous to all parts of Iran, the size and build of these horses change in accordance with the area they are bred in, i e. rugged mountainous tribal terrain, or agricultural plains and valleys. Altogether, they are not very large, yet sturdy and strong, as well as sure-footed. For centuries this horse did all the hard menial jobs, used for pulling carts and carrying heavy loads.
By Dr. Tatiana Riabova and N.V. Abramova
Translated by Dr. Tito Pontecorvo
The prized blood of the Akhal-Teke horse is the beginning of the world's horsebreeding culture.
From ancient books, you can see that Central Asia was the center of horsebreeding of the ancient world. The paintings that we still have, show to us Central Asian horses with beautiful and strong legs, high necked and quick, already existing at the end of the third and the beginning of the second century BC. The ancient authors speak especially of the golden color of these horses.
Every aristocrat from Rome dreamed of getting this type of horse for hunting and war; Chinese emperors sent armies to get these horses.
One of the main arguments in favor of the Akhal-Teke being the oldest and most ancient horse breed is the horse mummies that were buried together with a Scythian king in the 4th or 3rd century BC. They were found in Russia, in the Altai Mountain region, and the horses looked typical of the Akhal-Teke.
At the time that a new religion--Islam--began to spread in the Arab countries was the beginning of Arabian horse breeding. Before this, the horse was a very rare animal in Arabia; the main animals used in warfare were camels. The influence of Akhal-Teke horses on Arab horse breeding came from the fact that the Arabs got many of their horses from their enemies; a lot of these horses were Akhal-Tekes that were then used as breeding stock by the Arabs, and from which the Arabs developed a strong cavalry.
Much later, after the Turkmen decided to move into Central Asia, Arabian horse breeding was once again influenced by Akhal-Teke horses. Famous breeders and lovers of Arab horses, Carl Raswan and E. Shille and others, say that the Arabian "Muniqi" or "Maneghi" strains were developed by using Akhal-Teke blood.
A great achievement in the world of horse breeding was the work of English breeders in the 18th and 19th centuries in developing the Thoroughbred race horse. In making this breed, English breeders used a lot of Akhal-Teke horses and horses of eastern breeds.
Pictures of early Thoroughbreds show how similar these horses were to Akhal-Tekes. Many people from Europe who visited Russia and Turkmenia in the 18th and 19th centuries also noticed how similar the horses were.
Together with the horses, the Turkmenian way of training came to England, a system which was never used in Arab countries (working under blankets, breaking a horse at one year old, etc.)
Akhal-Teke horses came not only to Arab countries and England. Turkmen Atti, an Akhal-Teke stallion, was used in Germany to develop the Trakehner breed.
But the strongest influence that Akhal-Teke horses had was in Russia. In Russia, people loved Akhal-Teke horses. The Russians sent expeditions to take horses, and bought them from other countries. The Tzars Alexi M. and Fedor M.--father and brother of Tsar Peter the Great--loved Akhal-Teke horses. Peter the Great had an Akhal-Teke mare named Lisett that he loved. In the 18th and 19th centuries, there were a great many Akhal-Teke horses in Russian stud farms. The Russian government bought many Akhal-Teke stallions at very high prices.
The Russians used the Akhal-Teke horses especially at the Rostov, Strellets Derkulsk, Limarevsk and Novo Alexandrov stud farms, and in the latter third of the 19th century, 40% of the horses at these farms were Akhal-Tekes.
The influence of the Akhal-Teke was also very strong in the Karabakh and Don breeds. In 1839, 800 Akhal-Teke horses were used in breeding the Don. Famous general Orlov used Akhal-Tekes for the Orlov Riding Horse and the Orlov Trotter. The famous horse Sultan was, according to Prof. V. O. Vitt, first of all, not an Arabian horse, he was an Akhal-Teke. Vitt also said that the Darley Arabian was an Akhal-Teke, and of course Turkmen Atti was an Akhal-Teke.
For breeding the Orlov Riding Horse and Orlov Trotter, many Akhal-Teke horses were used: Saltan, First, Shah, Drakon, Djeiran, Gussein-Hak, Ialangush-Han and others.
A new interest in Akhal-Teke horses came in 1881-1882, when Turkmenia joined Russia. The military were very interested in using Akhal-Tekes in the cavalry. After the union with Russia, the economy of Turkmenia did not depend so much on horses as it had before. Many people ceased to travel, and instead settled in one place to raise vegetables and fruits. There was no more need to raise horses for war, and many horses were sold to Iran, India, Afghanistan and England. This became a dangerous situation for the breed. But the General of the Zakaspiiski region, N. A. Kuropatkin, loved the Akhal-Teke horses, and he established a breeding farm in Zakaspiiski in 1897, with his own money. The first director was a Russian Cossack, J. A. Mazan, who using the best Akhal-Tekes he could find, began the main sire lines of the breed.
Mazan started to write the stud book in order to make an archive for the breed. Later, in 1912, Tsar Nicolai II signed the documents of organization making Zakaspiiski an official state stud. In 1915, there were already more than 40 purebred Akhal-Teke mares.
The Akhal-Teke horses from Zakaspiiski were shown before the first world war at Tashkent (1909), Piatigosk (1912) and Kiev (1913) and made quite an impression. In the journals and newspapers many nice words were said about the breed; the stallion Djeiran was sold to von Ettinger, who used him at stud in the famous Trakehnen farm.
Then there was the first war, the Revolution, a civil war, and only because of the work of the Zakaspiiski stud farm is the breed still alive today.
It was a great thing for the breed when Russian scientists K. Gorelov, G. S. Neelov and Bogushevski, in 1926-1927, started to write down the pedigrees of Akhal-Teke horses, and after this was started the stud book of the world's oldest pureblood breed of horses. K. I. Gorelov organized a new breeding farm, the first one not in Turkmenia. A group of mares and two stallions went to South Kazakhstan (now Lugovskoi Stud Farm), where was born the famous Absent.
An important event in the history of the breed was when, in 1958, the famous breeder Vladimir Shambourant brought 53 Akhal-Teke horses from Turkmenia and started breeding them at the Tersk stud farm. Shambourant's idea was to breed big, harmonious, beautiful horses with exotic type of the Akhal-Teke. They also needed to be strong, sportive and fast for racing. He bred many famous horses: Yulduz, Gundogar, Guneshli, Guldjakan, Asat and many others, who have had a huge influence in the future of the Akhal-Teke breed.
Because of the work of Russian professionals, the breed was saved in both Russia and Turkmenistan.
At the beginning of 1970, there were only 200 breeding mares in Turkmenia. The situation once again became dangerous and the Soviet government desired to give the main control and all the work with breeding papers to the Institute of Horse Breeding in the Ryazan region. In 1973 Dr. T. Riabova, together with M. Chezkesova, controlled all the Akhal-Teke horses in Turkmenia, Kazakhstan and Russia.
Beginning in 1973 and continuing today, each Akhal-Teke foal must be blood typed. Competitions are held to choose the most sportive horses and choose the best young horses. The Institute of Horse Breeding keeps the stud book of Akhal-Teke horses, and gives recommendations on all the problems that breeders may have. The scientists at the institute write many articles about the special problems of the Akhal-Teke breed.
Because of the very tight control from the Institute, the quality of horses at the stud farms continues to go up, as does interest in the breed itself. Now there are over 1,000 purebred broodmares. The Institute started a stud book of partbred Akhal-Tekes, which showed themselves competent in sports. In 1990 the Association of Akhal-Teke Horsebreeding of the Soviet Union was started, to be the overseer of Russian Akhal-Teke breeding; when the Soviet Union was finished, it became the Russian Association. Nevertheless, the members of this Association were not only Russians, but breeders from Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
Turkmenistan became independent from Russia, and said that it would work with its horses in its own way. With that, the situation for Akhal-Tekes in Turkmenistan began to worsen severely. By 1997, the quality of Turkmenian horses was much worse than it had been; 30% of the horses at the Ashkabad Hippodrome are not purebred, and the Turkmenians do not register their horses in the Stud Book.
To help reverse the situation in Turkmenistan, it was decided to create the International Association of Akhal-Teke Horsebreeding (MAAK), with the first president being a Turkmenian breeder, Geldi Kiarizov. This decision was made at the Akhaltekinets breeding farm in Dubna, owned by T. Pontecorvo. The founders of the International Association of Akhal-Teke Horsebreeding are the Institute of Horsebreeding in Russia; the Russian Association of Akhal-Teke Horsebreeding, and the private farm Akhal-Yurt from Turkmenistan.
The main founder is the Institute of Horsebreeding in Russia. This Institute does all the paperwork for the Akhal-Teke breed the world over, and is the only organization which has the right to keep and control the work with the Stud Book of pureblood Akhal-Teke horses. The only information about the Akhal-Teke that you can trust 100% comes from this Institute.
Only at the Institute is there a dossier about every pure-blood Akhal-Teke horse: blood test, pedigree, the results of every year of control, photographs, and a lot of other information.
The Institute of Horsebreeding is the breeding center of the International Association of Akhal-Teke Horsebreeding--and only the Institute can give real documents for Akhal-Teke horses. There are only two signatures that you can trust on the documents of Akhal-Teke horses, those of the inspectors of the Stud Book, T. N. Riabova and N.V. Abramova. All the other documents with other signatures are falsified documents.
Today the Akhal-Teke horsebreeding in Russia is doing very well. Prices for Akhal-Tekes are between $20,000 and $80,000. Russians love these clever and intelligent horses. They are used for classical horse sports and for racing.
In 1997 most of the Turkmenian breeders understood that without Russia, the breeding of pureblood Akhal-Tekes in Turkmenistan would be finished. And that's why there was an agreement made between the Russian Institute of Horsebreeding and the Turkmenian breeders, about keeping Turkmenian horses registered and blood-typed, with the Institute in control of their paperwork. Only the Institute of Horsebreeding will be able to save the breeding of purebred Akhal-Tekes in Turkmenistan.
Dr. T. N. Riabova is the main inspector and registrar of the Stud Book, and director of the Breeding Center of MAAK. She is also the president of the Russian Association of Akhal-Teke Horsebreeding. She has a Ph.D. in Biology.
Dr. N. V. Abramova is an inspector and registrar for the Stud Book, Secretary of MAAK and has a Ph.D. in Agriculture.
A.S. Klimuk is the main breeder at the Stavropol Stud Farm.
This article was translated from the original Russian by Dr. Tito Pontecorvo of the Akhaltekinets Stud Farms in Dubna, Russia, and San Antonio, Texas.
On This Page:
The Turkoman and the Arabian Compared
"Turks" and the English Thoroughbred
Turks on the Continent
Possible Turkomans in the Americas
Perhaps this is a good time and place to consider the differences which existed at that time between the horse we know as having been recognizably "Arabian" and that we know as being recognizably "Turkoman/Turanian" and understand how the two came to be confused.
The Turkoman (left) and the Arabian, in their purest old forms, were very like one another in some ways and very different in others. Both had excellent speed and stamina. Both had extremely fine coats and delicate skin, unlike that of any breed found in Europe. They both had large eyes, wide foreheads and tapering muzzles. They both came from very arid environments. Here, however, the similarities between the Turkoman of Central Asia and the Nedji Arabian end, and the horses begin to diverge to suit their environments and the fighting styles of their breeders.
Among the differences which are probably due, in the main, to environmental influences are these:
The Turkoman as small hooves, and the old Nedji Arabian fairly large hooves for its size. This was an adaptation to footing. The steppes of Central Asia consisted of hard, rocky ground, covered somewhat with coarse sand somewhat more like fine gravel and clumps of stiff, parched vegetation. A smaller hoof was needed here to be able to negotiate the embedded rocks and clumps without become stuck in them. In the Central Arabian desert, there is deep sand of the kind that beach-loving Americans usually associate with the word "sand." Large rocks are often not embedded and can be moved by a passing hoof. The larger hoof is needed here to cope with this kind of going.
The spine of the Turkoman, the Tekke Turkoman (and today in many cases the Akhal-Teke) in particular, is much longer than that of the Arabian. The reason for this may likely be that when riding long distances, the Turkoman was expected to trot, and the Arabian was not. Indeed, a fluid trot may not have come naturally to the old Arabian at all, as trotting on any horse over heavy sand is extremely tiring and difficult. In general, one will notice that the more difficult the "going" underfoot, the shorter-backed a "native" type of horse will be (and some such horses will also show a tendency to substitute the pace or a single-foot gait for the trot, to avoid the forging and striking that too short a back on too long-legged a horse tends to produce).
The Turkoman is on the whole taller than the desert-bred Arabian. This, again, may have to do with the comparative stability of footing which the Turkoman often enjoyed. Height would put Arabians in the desert at a disadvantage, as the higher one's center of gravity is over footing of any kind, the more energy is required to maintain it in balance; insecure, shifting footing takes more energy still. A taller horse under the same circumstances is likely to tire sooner than a shorter one.
In other words, the Turkoman is ideally suited for noticing, outrunning and outlasting predators, and moving to and from water, on the Central Asian Steppes; and the Arabian is ideally suited for noticing, outrunning and outlasting predators, and moving to and from water, in the Central Arabian Desert.
Among the differences which are probably due, in the main, to suitability for use and thus selective breeding, are these:
The Turkoman is often nearly mane-less. Considering that it was originally used as a "moving platform" for mounted archers, this should not be all that surprising. A flowing mane would greatly interfere with the drawing of a bow. Certainly one could braid a mane in preparation for a fight, but of course in this case one would have to know in advance that the fight was coming, which wasn't always the case. The Arabs, when they fought on horseback, used a very long lance or a short sword, with which a long mane was less likely to interfere or become entangled.
The Arabian carries its tail high when galloping, and higher than most when walking or trotting. The Turkoman runs with its tail streaming behind it, where it does not interfere with the drawing of the bow when taking the famous Parthian Shot.
In other words, the Turkoman is the ideal platform for mounted archers who shot on the run, and the Arabian is the perfect platform for lancers and swordsmen.
Among the differences which may be due, in the main, to both environmental and breeding influences -- or whose influence is unknown -- are these:
The Turkoman horse, in all its form, has a coat which glows with a metallic sheen. Not all horses in a population will show it, and some glow more than others, but as a whole, a glowing coat is a hallmark of the breed. This is due to a change in the structure of the individual hair. Many theories have been put forth as to why the Turkoman glows, but none explain why the Turkoman horses in particular benefit from this genetic difference and why other horses would not.
The Turkoman horse is narrower in the body than the Arabian, or indeed than any other breed of horse. This helps it to dissipate heat quickly, but it is also a great aid in twisting and turning in the saddle, which would be invaluable to mounted archers who need to shoot in any direction, as opposed to lancers who need a firm footing from which to thrust a lance. Lance-throwing from horseback would be far easier on an Arabian -- whose "wider wheel base" would also help with making the sharp turns that close-in fighting requires.
In other words, the Turkoman was the ideal horse for the Turkmen, and the Arab was the ideal horse for the Arabs.
So how did this confusion over which horse was which arise? There were probably several contributing factors.
One of them was that when the first Oriental horses were imported to England, it simply didn't matter what kind of horse it was, so long as it was elegant and fast and could race.
Another comes from Islam. Throughout the Islamic world in previous times, it was commonplace for Arabs to "adopt converts into the tribe," so to speak, especially if they were wealthy and/or in positions of power. A Turk who converted to Islam was taught Arabic (to read the Koran in Arabic) and called an "Arab" by the Arabs. The Turks, being nomads, were generally open to new ideas from all over the place; many who were previously Buddhist or Zoroastrians embraced Islam and thus became nominally "Arabs." Thus their horses might have gotten that appellation by association. (For more information on this process, see Frye below).
All this may have contributed to the fact that in England, as Sidney tells us, "Every Oriental horse -- Turk, Barb or Egyptian bred -- is called an Arab in this country."
How much the Arabian and the Turkoman have been crossed in the past is open to debate. There are those who believe that this was never done, on either side; and it may well be that in remote places like the Nejd the core Arabian was kept "pure," just as the Turkoman would have been kept "pure" by the most nomadic tribes of Turkmen.
However, it is very likely that there was some -- and in some cases a good deal of -- intermingling between these two types of Oriental hotblood, especially where their borders met. We know that Turkoman stallions were kept for use by the elite palace guards of the Caliph of Baghdad, and that it was these stallions which he used for breeding with his Arabian mares. It was probably from these horses that the Muniqui Arabian arose.
"Turks" and the English Thoroughbred
The idea that the Turkoman horse, in any of its many types and strains, may have influenced the English Thoroughbred in any way is anathema to many people. But this is not only possible, but very probable.
It has been argued--mainly by Arabian proponent Lady Wentworth--that all the "Turks" listed in Weatherby's General Stud Book are actually "Arabians of the highest class" who are only called Turks because they were bought or taken as prizes of war in Turkey and the Crimea. There is, however, plenty of evidence that the Turks were actually Turks (Turkomans) and not mislabelled Arabians.
The first Turkoman recorded in England is said by Marvin to have been a stallion brought over by Colonel Valentine Baker, who wished to see it used to breed with the English Thoroughbred. We have not yet come across any information as to what happened to that horse once he reached England.
Turkomans were brought to England by soldiers stationed in various parts of the East, the most famous of which was the stallion Merv, who was brought to England by Baker Pacha in the 19th century. What was so astonishing about Merv at the time was the incredibly high stud fee which was charged for his services, £85, which at that time was considered exorbitant for any stallion. Unfortunately, other Englishmen did not esteem Merv the way Baker Pacha did. Sidney quotes a correspondent who had seen Merv as saying, "He looked to me about 16 hands high, fine shoulders, good head and neck, fine skin, good wearing legs, bad feet and leggy. I thought him unsuited to breed hunters ... he looked to me about an 11 stone horse, and not like going through dirt." [A stone = 14 lbs, so an 11 stone horse would be one expected to be able to carry about 150 pounds or about 68 kg.] Merv covered no mares in England, and in 1877 he was sold to the Earl of Claremont's stud in Ireland.
Turks on the Continent
Turkoman horses, aside from being occasional gifts of state, were often brought into Western Europe by various individuals, most connected with the military in some way. Some of these horses have had a profound impact on various European warmblood breeds.
During the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance, one of the most universally acclaimed war and racing horses in Europe was the Neapolitan Courser. Gervaise Markham, Master of Horse to James I of England, describes the Neapolitan in terms which will sound very familiar to the fancier of the Turanian horse:
"A horse of a strong and comely fashion, loving disposition, and infinite courageousness. His limbs and general features are so strong and well-knit together that he has ever been reputed the only beast for the wars, being naturally free from fear or cowardice. His head is long, lean and very slender; and does from eye to nose bend like a hawk's beak. He has a great, full eye, a sharp ear, and a straight leg, which, to an over curious eye might appear too slender -- which is all the fault curiosity itself and find. They are naturally of a lofty pace, loving to their rider, most strong in their exercise, and to conclude, as good in all points that no foreign race has ever borne a tithe so much excellence."
Markham preferred the English Thoroughbred first among all breeds of horses; the Neapolitan second, and the steppe-bred Turk third, notice that he had seen Turks racing on English race courses. (This would have been around 1566-1625.) He also noted of the Turks he had seen that, "Naturally they desire to amble, and, which is most strange, their trot is full of pride and gracefulness."
The most well-known of these horses is possibly Turkmein Atti, (one of many spellings of this horse's name). Although a drawing of him done (presumably) from life shows a horse with many Arabian characteristics, the name is curious in that it means "Turkmen horse" in Turkmenian.
Possible Turks in the Americas
Much is known about the Akhal-Teke in America, but what of the tribal Turkoman horses who existed before it? There are no actual records of specific Turkomans being imported into the Americas, but there are intriguing similarities between some American horses, present day and extinct, and the Turkoman.
The Mormon Horse
The Moyle Horse
Horses do not think like humans and their first basic thought is for their own safety and well being. A horses motto is act first and think later. This is how they have survived over the years.
A runaway or bolter is labelled a bad horse but this is how nature designed them. A horse will naturally run from anything that he thinks will endanger its welfare even if it is only a bird jumping out from the hedge or a unfamiliar object lurking in its path. A piece of strange wire laying on the floor to a horse could be a deadly snake or that plastic bag blowing across the yard could be some terifying horse eating monster. It is natural for a horse to react in this way.
It is up to the horse owner to educate the horse to overcome his fears slowly and thoughtfully a horse should not be punished for what nature tells him to run away from.
Horses are also individuals and should be treated as such they all have their own unique characters dislikes and preferences, not all horses are the same some will learn more quickly than others, some are natural leaders and some are born to follow this can also be inherited. Watch horses in a field together you can learn a lot by just taking the time to observe them as a group.
Horses temperaments vary from horse to horse and should be treated individualy as well. Horses experience all kinds of different emotions, frustration, anger, exitement, to name but a few. You should get to know your horse and interprate his different emotions.
A horse left alone, when its companions have gone out for a hack or returned to their stabes will start to fret and worry. Horses are gregarious animals and like company. To their way of thinking there is safety in numbers, and a single horse is vulnerable. When watching horses in the field watch how they opperate as a herd. If most are taking a nap you will usually find one that is keeping watch.
Horses are wonderfull animals and we should all take the time to learn a little about their behavior and try to understand things from their point of view. Learn the language of Equus.
"When a courageous horse is unwilling to approach some object, it must be explained to him that it is not so awful, and if this fails, you must lead him gently to it and touch it yourself. Those who compel a horse with blows, make him more frightened than ever, for horses believe whenever they receive harsh treatment in such circumstances, that the feared objects are reesponsible for their discomfort."
نوشته شده در جمعه هفدهم اردیبهشت 1389ساعت 23:46   توسط قیوم | |
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