What breed of horse is nicknamed the "Golden Horse"?
Akhal-Teke is a Turkmen horse breed. They have a reputation for speed and endurance, intelligence, and a distinctive metallic sheen. The shiny coat of the breed led to their nickname, "Golden Horses". These horses are adapted to severe climatic conditions and are thought to be one of the oldest existing horse breeds. There are currently about 6,600 Akhal-Tekes in the world, mostly in Turkmenistan, although they are also found throughout Europe and North America.
The Akhal-Teke horsestands between 14.2 and 16 hands (58 and 64 inches, 147 and 163 cm). These horses are well known for those individuals who have a golden buckskin or palomino color, a result of the cream gene, a dilution gene that also produces the perlino and cremello colors. Aficionados of the breed claim that the color pattern served as camouflage in the desert. Many Akhal-Tekes have a natural metallic sheen to their coat.
The Akhal-Teke has a refined head with predominantly a straight or slightly convex profile, and long ears. It can also have almond-shaped or "hooded" eyes. The Akhal-Teke possess sloping shoulders and thin skin. The breed is tough and resilient, having adapted to the harshness of the dry Turkmenistan lands. The Akhal-Teke is also known for its form and grace as a show jumper.
There are several theories regarding the original ancestry of the Akhal-Teke, some dating back thousands of years. It is probable that Akhal Teke is a descendant of an older breed known as the Turkoman horse.