I have been interested in Akhal-Tekes for a while now. I love the desert breeds and these, being rare, have a bit more charm for me than an Arabian (though I do love Arabians). Anyways, I was looking around a bit on the net and found a breeder in B.C. Long story short, I was able to get a internship with them and will be heading out there in June this year. They raise these horses for endurance racing.
I am wondering if anyone on here has owned or handled one? Just wondering about temperament, gaits, etc.
I have handled 'hot' horses, Arabian crosses, two long yearling TBs, and a Saddlebred cross.
I don't have any first-hand experience with them but I understand the temperaments lean toward the "difficult". They are often conformationally challenged and have very long backs (especially for endurance horses) and a prevalence of cryptorchidism. I think most of these issues have stemmed from the fact that often they are bred more with colour in mind than anything else, despite being a competition horse. I find their coats very beautiful but I have to cover my eyes when I see the conformation faults some of them display.
Nevertheless, this sounds like an amazing opportunity and incredibly exciting - please tell us all about it!
So I have done some reading and, yes they were bred for mainly color. The buckskins and palominos being most prized.
They are said to defy every conformation rule in the book. The lady from where I'm going said that they are very hard to fit to saddle with their long round backs.
Explain cryptorchidism... I have never heard of it before.
So far as I know, I will be helping exercising the two race horses, and then helping with the training of the younger ones. A three year old to break, two year olds to to saddle and ground train, and a yearling to halter break. I will also be helping with general stable work.
They train with Paul Dufresne's methods. I read some articles on his site and found it quite interesting.
I am super excited to be doing this! Hoping to learn a lot!
Cryptorchidism is a condition in which one (or both) testicles is retained in the body. The retained testicle will not produce live sperm. It is prone to cancer. The condition is heritable. It costs hundreds of extra dollars to geld a cryptorchid horse.
It would be a deal killer to me if I were a breeder. My cousin had a quarter horse stallion that was cryptorchid. Every colt he produced was cryptorchid. That was over 25 years ago and it cost $700 to geld the colts back then.