Akhal-Teke: This is a breed of horse 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. With its unusual, gazelle-like appearance this is an incredibly distinctive breed. Experts say the breed is at least 3,000 years old and may be the last remaining strain of the Turkmene (a horse that has existed since 2400 B.C.). Some claim that the horses are descendants of the mounts of Mongol raiders of the 13th and 14th century.
They selectively bred the horses, keeping records of the pedigrees via an oral tradition. In 1881, Turkmenistan became part of the Russian Empire. The tribes fought with the tsar, eventually losing. A Russian general, Kuropatkin, founded a breeding farm after the war and renamed the horses "Akhal-Tekes," after the Teke Turkmen tribe that lived near the Akhal oasis. The Russians printed the first studbook in 1941, which included 287 stallions and 468 mares.