About The Teke FAQ
Artificial Reproductive Techniques (ART)
Breed evaluation

Q: I guess there is a lot of interested in the Teke judging courses, has Tatyana Ryabova planned any dates yet? Maybe she could start with an on-line course to prepare the students on the theoretical part? While I'm on the subject, do you know how she uses the 1-10 scale for type and conformation is a 7 approved, good or very good?

Q: XX has a very limited breeding base, and it seems to me that our best mares have not necessarily been taken to the best stallions for their lines. Indeed we seem to have more stallions than mares at the moment. Genetics sets the blueprint for the horse, and the environment will determine to what extent this is expressed in the mature individual. If we don't have the very best genes in our population to begin with we cannot hope to magically produce an elite horse from average stock by accident. With a small population it is very important that breeders look critically at their stock and don't just breed for the sake of it; or just put their own mare to their own stallion regardless of compatibility and/or the need for genetic diversity in the succeeding generation. It is also vital that all breeding stock should be free of genetic faults and unquestionably pure-bred, otherwise we will dilute the gene-pool before we really get started. A clarification of the breed standard along with a clear grading system is something we desperately need.

Q: How do people in various countries get their horses graded? I assume everyone waits for a visit by Dr Ryabova or another qualified judge. Here in France there is a proposal for the French Akhal Teke Association to approve stallions. I gather that as far as the Russian stud book is concerned, any male graded first class or elite is eligible to stand as a stallion. I am not sure of how the proposed system would work in France - I assume the horses would have to be inspected by both the Russian and French inspectors! I heard there was a scheme to set up a panel of authorised judges - any progress? The present situation is difficult because we have heard that no one from Russia is anticipated in France this year - so no horses will be graded and obviously an ungraded stallion could not be used until he was graded. I would be grateful for any information on the general situation in other countries.

Q: In the grading of Teke horses, do they get graded within their line, or all lines mixed together? So in the same category; mares 2yr old, the champion could be Peren, 2nd place Arab and so on?

Q: Excuse my ignorance, but I'd like to know more about this rating system, how are the points given (and where does the system come from, I assume not from Turkmenistan)?


Q: I'm trying to find out what color genes exist in the breed. I know bay, black, chestut, cream dilutes, and gray genes exist, but what about dun? I've seen some AT horses called "dun", but I'm wondering if they are just buckskins or bays with smuttiness/countershading, or if the dun gene really does exist in the AT? Anyone seen dorsal stripes, leg barring, or other dun factors on an AT?

Q: Excuse my ignorance, I am probably barking up the wrong tree here. I haven't seen blacks who look dun but Sabine Toepfer-Gebert's stallion Gorlik looks black but when bred to a dun mare (Alikly) produces those beautiful blue-eyed pink-lipped white creatures. Two or three years in a row. I understand this means he is not a true black but a dun, is that right? I guess the example you are looking for is the opposite...

Q: I've seen some AT bays with that, and also some chestnuts(look like bay and red duns). But have you ever seen any blacks that look dun? Leg barring is usually a pretty good indicator of dun, but I know there are a lot of countershaded/smutty or other horses that mimic dun. The reason I'm asking about this is because Sponenberg lists "D" as a gene in the breed, along with Ccr.... I also know the hair structure of an AT is different than that of other breeds, and I don't know how accurate viewing the pigment arrangement in the hair would be. Do you know of any books/websites that have information on tests or research done on ATs?

Q: Unfortunately, breed or color registries are not the best sources for > definitions of color. For instance, the AQHA (correctly) registers yellow > horses with black points as buckskins or duns depending on the presence or > absence of a dorsal stripe. The best information is from geneticists, and > the most accepted geneticist in horse color is Philip Sponenburg. He has > written 2 books, the latter and better is Equine Color Genetics.

Q: Does anyone have experience with perlino horses with blue eyes. My concern is this, do they suffer from the sun and run into health problems?

Q: What did Phil require for a genetic dun -- leg stripes? You start to wonder if "dun" is really a set of genes, and maybe he was implying that they were one gene short of the classic dun. If you go to the Brindle site, they compare brindle to "dun factor," and there are varying levels of dun factor -- some dorsal stripes also branch downward an inch or so (beginning to resemble a zebra)! Where do you draw the line?

Q: I was wondering which colors are acceptable in Tekes, and if there are any that exist that cannot be registered? Specifically, does anyone know if they can be dun, as defined by Sponenburg in Equine Color Genetics, with a dorsal stripe and maybe leg barring and/or a withers stripe. I am painting one and I'd love to do him in grullo, but I haven't been able to find out whether they can be grullo (dun on black).

Q: Do any Tekes ever come with spots (other than a few chestnuts with a lot of white and a lower belly spot)? Did they ever have spots of any kind?

Diseases and defects
Environmental impact on the Teke
General management
Individual horses

Q: How to work with MAAK as western association

Q: Unfortunately, due to the lack of proper record keeping of registration issues and correspondance between MAAK and its customers (breeders and owners of Akhal-Tekes) the MAAK officials feel that they have to make personal attacks on the members that question their way-of-working. Their comments on my sire Almaz and his origins is very illustrative on how the paper work of MAAK is managed. Almaz was exported to Sweden in 1991 with papers stating that he was a pure bred Akhal-Teke. He was selected by me as a sire prospect eventhough it was the first teke I bought I found he had the qualities of an excellent teke, which in 1997 was acknowledged by MAAK officials that graded him elite and ranked him as the third best Akhal-Teke stallion in Europe. MAAK officials have also has graded his two pure bred daughters as elite. The pedigree he was officially exported with, prooved to be incorrect, according to Tatyana, after a check with his blood typing it showed up he had another pedigree, he was not from Dagestan but Dagestan's full brother Turali and from another dam. I do not know how he could have been offically exported with incorrect pedigree in 1991. In order to obtain an export certificate every horse must be checked with VNIIK and its officials. We did buy a part bred, or whatever they are called by MAAK officials, though, in 1995 we bought the mare Alma from Estonia, being a very good sport horse type with very good rideability, she was born in Kazakhstan she came to Sweden with all her official papers stamped by Russian officials. Her pedigree was also incorrect, she was not a part bred,according to MAAK officials she was a pure bred, somehow she also had her Russian papers all wrong. And, she was also graded elite by MAAK officials. I admit that we where quite happy to suddenly have an elite graded pure bred Akhal-Teke mare out of a part bred mare. She also has elite graded offspring. Anyways, I have some comments and questions to the message sent to this list by MAAK officials; You claim that you do not demand a bill of sales in order to issue registration papers as you otherwise issue the papers in the name of the breeder. How come then, when you "could not understand at all, who is the real owner of Roshin" did issue and send the papers to the breeder? The owner stated in the registration papers or passports, EU-passports or other passports does NOT serve as proof of ownership. On many international passports this is written very clearly. This is very important to know if you buy and sell. An idea for MAAK is to write this in its rules and regulations and also note this clearly on the registration papers in order to avoid misunderstandings in the future. Especially, as even the MAAK officials obviously do not always know who owns the horses they register. Another question, have you now issued the registration papers of Roshin? And if so who have you registered as the owner? The international blood typing certificate for Roshin was given to a MAAK official in 2001, the year Roshin was born. Regarding the US buyer that was denied registering of offspring to a registered pure bred mare she bought in good faith in the US and the MAAK:s role as pursuer of buyers of stolen goods over the world. Does this mean that you act on the behalf of all owners of Akhal-Tekes in the world that claim that their horses somehow got stolen, and that you then ban all the offspring of such horses from inscription into the closed stud book? If I own an Akhal-Teke and sell it and do not tell the buyer to change the owner in the MAAK-registration paper I can later claim that the horse in question was stolen and use the MAAK-registration as proof, and this registration paper would be considered valid instead of the contract by any court of law in the world? The problem here would be as you write in the message yourself, "any dishonest person could have done forged documents, either in Russia or in any European country". That is why the contract is the only valid document of the ownership of the horse and why it is stated very clearly on many breed registration papers as well as the EU-passports that is it NOT a proof of ownership. Jessica Eile Keith

Q: Do you need to present a bill of sales to MAAK in order to get new paperwork for a purebred Teked issued?

Q: I'm frustrated! Need your opinion. We bought in Year 2000 an older AT-Stallion from Germany. He was bred in Tschagorta. Unfortunately, Pedigree was not found in the Russian Studbook. So we asked Barbara Illauer, official MAAK rep. in Europe at Polling for help. She is in contact with MAAK, Tatjana Rjabova. She asked us for bloodtest. We did an International blood type card. Year by Year I ask for result. Now, German friends brought us the papers and we got a bill about U$D 80 for registration in Studbook (is already registered in book IX, page 305) and U$D 100 for searching parents!!!! We already paid DM 92 for blood type card and CHF 40 for veterinary. Do you think that I have to pay all this fees? Is it my mistake that he got years ago wrong papers for export?

Q: Can the breed association's outside Russia wotk together with MAAK?

Q: I would like to become a Maak member. Is anyone going to Russia ? I was told the best way to do it is for someone take the money and application there...

National associations

Q: It is interesting that the AT may be descended from an even more ancient breed from Siberia. This may track with what a good friend of mine who breeds thoroughbreds and is an expert on bloodlines has told me about Russian breeds. Her family is from northern Russia, and her grandfather told her stories of the kinds of horses they had to drive on the troika in the winter. They needed lightweight, leggy horses to gallop over the snow crust and tundra without falling through. Heavier horses were unsuitable because they would fall through the crust. This explains why tall, thin horses were bred or evolved in the north, where you would expect heavyset animals to be, as that heavier bodytype is more selective to survive in cold climates. If the slender breed was selected for by man, and covered with rugs to keep warm, this is a logical explanation. I wanted to comment on head types and dished faces. Dr. Deb Bennett also places the AT in the oxheaded group because of the skull type. The forehead is very broad and flat, with eye orbs set out prominently at the sides, giving a dished looked across the forehead. The profile is flat or even slightly roman below the eyes. In the Arabian horse, there is a bulge between the eyes, the eye orbs not set the same as the oxhead breeds and the dish is below the eyes. I also wanted to comment that when she refers to breeds of Spanish origin, one must not look at the modern Andalusian as the original spanish type, as that has been since diluted with other blood.

Q: Is the Teke man-made or developed from natural selection?

Q: Is the Teke really related to the Yakut?


Q: How is the Teke crossing with the warmbloods?

Q: n fact, AT are probably one of the most versatile breeds and maybe part of preserving and developing one type is in fact preserving this versatility, rather than encouraging selection for specific disciplines.. The fact that individual Teke will have an aptitude for certain activities doesn't invalidate the versatility.. On another note though - I looked through a Turkmen book at the weekend which has the photographs of the AT line-founders: and what variation! So my next question to this forum is: when defining standard and type, how do the sire lines fit into this? Do we want to encourage certain recognisable lines? Or are lines there just as a historical genetic material to strive at an improvement through crossing them?

Q: Is breeding Akhal-Tekes to other breeds to produce part breds good or bad for the breed?

Q: Are Tekes used in the Trakhener breed?

Q: How do we maintain the most important trait in the Tekes?

Q: Who defines the type, how do we maintain type?

Q: I think it would be prudent to define the word "improvement" here. What is it with the Teke that needs improvement? Are there health concerns that need consideration? Does the temperament need improvement? One could ask these types of questions about everything. I think what the objective should be to look at the uses and conditions that made the breed valuable in the first place, and work/train/breed to maintain those traits. I think that there are many connotations to the word "Improvement."

Q: What can we consider as a good brood mare? Since I'm completely unexperienced with Tekes and horses in general, I assumed that, provided she has good origins, she grows up in fit and healthy conditions and she's able to breed, it'd be enough!

Q: According to a recently published web site in Australia, the Teke breed is being destroyed in Europe.

Sire lines
Tekes in Finland
Tekes in Turkey
Tekes in USA
Teke influence on TB's

Q: I totally agree about Teke being comfortable to ride. But could you at some point say more about how you do get them to work on the bit? I have a new trainor at the moment who is very keen on training aids - she tried xx in draw-reins first and then lunged in a chambon. Chambon worked quite well but draw reins did only for a couple of sessions. Then he started to fight them and possibly strained a muscle. Last time the farrier came I was discussing training aid with someone on the yard and the farrier grinned and said: How do you get a horse with this conformation to work on the bit anyway?

Q: Since they are also horses with quite strong personalities, horses that mature a bit later than most warmbloods, it is much easier to take "some" warm-blood horse and start winning CEIOs or Championships at six of their age than wait for a Teke to mature and settle down.

Q: Does anyone ride and compete an Akhal Teke Stallion - if so how do you find him - I am getting conflicting information - many people have said to me that they are very difficult and can be dangerous - more so than any other breed. Some say they are great.

Q: Then I showed Tatyjana Riabova in Russia, my progress.Her comment was "Why are you not riding them?They should be ridden by the time they are 2".If you do not, we have the theory in Russia,that these horses become more difficult to train and to handle because they are quick to learn bad habits,as they become larger and stronger-they seem to like rearing which frightens the average handler/trainer who then becomes severe and a bad circle can develope.

Q: How many serious trainers are prepared to work with them? Very few in Russia and probably even fewer in the West. Judges look askance at the AT conformation and let's face it, AT are not easy to school. Their intelligence makes them so interesting to own but can be a mixed blessing where training is concerned. They need light, sensitive and clever riders, to match their own sensitivity and intelligence if they are to be persuaded to perform to a convincing standard. I am lucky to have found one for the time being but it is quite a financial commitment. Most professional riders wouldn't dream of taking on an AT to compete with for themselves - too exotic, too fussy, too much of a "thinking" horse. I know my horse's trainor takes her own Prix StGeorge-standard German Warmblood a lot more seriously than she does my AT, although she is achieving good results with him.

Q: Does the body build of the Teke affect the gaits?

Q: Should the Tekes begin training under rider at the age of 1.5 years ?

Q: Are the Tekes late developers?

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