Akhal-Teke Virtual Library

These references regarding the amazing Akhal-Teke horse, its storied past, present, and future, and on relevant horse-related topics more generally, are collected by the Akhal-Teke Foundation (ATF) as part of our educational mission.

We also maintain a physical reference library with additional materials not available online. Please let us know at "akhaltekefoundation@gmail.com" if you have Akhal-Teke questions, or suggestions for additional useful references.

Akhal-Teke Breeders

The Akhal-Teke Association of America has a "registered breeders" program, listing Akhal-Teke horse breeders who are in good standing and maintain some good practices regarding registration and transparency. Other breeders are also listed.

As of March, 2021, the ATAA lists three registered breeders:

    Cascade Gold Akhal-Tekes
    Cathy Leddy, 21314 129th Ave SE, Snohomish, WA 98296
    c.leddy@frontier.com, 425-485-4970, www.cgakhaltekes.org
    Swan Farm Akhal-Tekes
    Pat Johnston & Kevin Matthews, 84020 Brown Road, Dexter, OR 94731
    SwanFarmDexter@gmail.com, 541-485-7757, www.swanfarmakhaltekes.com
    Sweet Water Farm Akhal-Teke
    Amrita Ibold, 2097 West Valley Rd, Friday Harbor, WA 98250
    ibolds@rockisland.com, 360-378-8386, www.akhalteke.cc
Akhal-Teke as a Foundation Breed

Genome Diversity and the Origin of the Arabian Horse. Cosgrove, E.J., Sadeghi, R., Schlamp, F. et al. Sci Rep 10, 9702 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-66232-1

This recent research adds to the strong evidence that the Akhal-Teke, not the Arabian, is the breed of foundation stallions of the modern Thoroughbred.

“Contrary to popular belief, we could detect no significant genomic contribution of the Arabian breed to the Thoroughbred racehorse, including Y chromosome ancestry.”

“Recently... an analysis of horse Y chromosome haplotypes has indicated that the Y haplotype of the “Darley Arabian” actually originated from the Turkoman[/Akhal-Teke] horse, an ancient breed from the Middle East and Central Asia that is... also an “Oriental” type breed.”

“Five of the race-use [Arabian] horses carried the Tb-oB1* haplogroup attributed to the “Byerley Turk” foundation sire of the Thoroughbred breed. Tb-oB1* is found within a variety of breeds and lineages, including the Turkomen[/Akhal-Teke]. Therefore, these five horses may carry Y chromosomes derived from ancestors common to both racing Arabians and the Thoroughbred breed.”

In other words, from Akhal-Tekes.

Y Chromosome Uncovers the Recent Oriental Origin of Modern Stallions. Barbara Wallner, Nicola Palmieri, Claus Vogl, Stefan Rieder, Christian Schlötterer, Gottfried Brem, et al. Current Biology (June 29, 2017). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2017.05.086

"To identify the origin of Tb, we extended our samples by including the Akhal-Teke, the remnant of the Turkoman horse, and found that Tb is the most frequent haplotype among 78 Akhal-Teke males (81%, Figure 4B). Thus, Tb is likely of Turkoman origin and spread widely by English Thoroughbred stallions. Additionally, the presence of Tb in many European breeds with no documented influence of English Thoroughbred stallions shows the influence of Turkoman stallions, independent of the English Thoroughbred. This finding corresponds to the geopolitical development of the region."

Akhal-Teke Horse Registration

ATAA/VNIIK Dual Horse Registration through the Akhal-Teke Association of America

The Akhal-Teke breed is formally defined by the official registry at VNIIK in Russia. The Akhal-Teke Association of America (ATAA) acts as a convenient U.S. agent providing one-stop service for registering Akhal-Teke horses in Russia, while also maintaining its own ATAA registry of purebred and crossbred Akhal-Tekes in North America.

Early Horse Domestication in Central Asia

Origin and Evolution of Deleterious Mutations in Horses. Ludovic Orlando, Pablo Librado. Genes 10(9):649 (August 2019). DOI: 10.3390/genes10090649.

The Akhal-Teke is considered one of the oldest horse breeds, often said to go back some 4000 years. So the emerging science of early horse domestication in the Caspian area, especially from 3500 to 5000 years ago, may shed new light on the history of the breed.

Horse Behavior and Cognition Research

Horses are Sensitive to Baby Talk: Pet-directed speech facilitates communication with humans in a pointing task and during grooming. Lea Lansade, Miléna Trösch, Céline Parias, Ludovic Calandreau, et al. Animal Cognition (March 2021). DOI: 10.1007/s10071-021-01487-3

From the abstract:
"Pet-directed speech (PDS) is a type of speech humans spontaneously use with their companion animals. It is very similar to speech commonly used when talking to babies. A survey on social media showed that 92.7% of the respondents used PDS with their horse, but only 44.4% thought that their horse was sensitive to it, and the others did not know or doubted its efficacy. ... During a pointing task in which the experimenter pointed at the location of a reward with their finger, horses who had been spoken to with PDS (n = 10) found the food significantly more often than chance, which was not the case when horses were spoken to with adult-directed speech (ADS) (n = 10). These results... indicate that horses, like certain non-human primates and dogs are sensitive to PDS. PDS could thus foster communication between people and horses during everyday interactions."

Interpretive article:
Do You ‘Baby Talk’ to Your Horse? She Hears You. Robin Foster, The Horse, 4/4/2021.

Horses Categorize Human Emotions Cross-Modally Based on Facial Expression and Non-Verbal Vocalizations. Miléna Trösch, Florent Cuzol, Céline Parias, Ludovic Calandreau, Raymond Nowak, and Léa Lansade. Animals (Basel). 2019 Nov; 9(11): 862. DOI: 10.3390/ani9110862

Preserving Rare Equine Genetics

Manual of Methods for Preservation of Valuable Equine Genetics in Live Animals and Post‐Mortem (PDF). Kindra Rader, Charles C. Love, Charlene R. Couch, and Katrin Hinrichs. The Livestock Conservancy (2018).

This PDF manual includes valuable information, including steps on how to accomplish an emergency posthumous semen collection from a rare breed stallion, from posthumous dissection to epididymal flush and freeze.

Rare Breed Management

Managing Breeds for a Secure Future: Strategies for Breeders and Breed Associations (book). D. Phillip Sponenberg, Jeannette Beranger, Alison Martin. 5m Publishing, ISBN-13: 978-1910455760 (2017).

An invaluable reference for responsible rare breed breeders and deep rare breed supporters.