The Akhal-Teke is a horse breed from Turkmenistan, where they are a national emblem. They are noted for their speed and for endurance on long marches. These "golden-horses" are adapted to severe climatic conditions and are thought to be one of the oldest surviving horse breeds. There are currently about 3,500 Akhal-Tekes in the world, mostly in Turkmenistan and Russia, although they are also found throughout Europe, Australia, and North America.
The Akhal-Teke typically stands between 58 and 64 inches (147 and 163 cm). These horses are famous for those individuals who have a golden buckskin or palomino color with a distinctive natural metallic shimmer of their coats. A number of other colors are recognized, however, including bay, black, chestnut, palomino, cremello, perlino, and grey. The Akhal-Teke's most notable and defining characteristic is the natural metallic bloom of its coat.
The breed is tough and resilient, having adapted to the harshness of Turkmenistan lands, where horses must live without much food or water. This has also made the horses good for sport. The breed has great endurance, as shown in 1935 when a group of Turkmen riders rode the 2500 miles from Ashgabat to Moscow in 84 days, including a three-day crossing of 235 miles of desert without water. The Akhal-Teke is also known for its form and grace as a show jumper.