Date: December 2000
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.
A: The Akhal-Tekes have never been bred selectively for modern sports. The
German, Dutch and French warmbloods that are also called the European
Sporthorse have for the last 20 years been bred selectivley with
state-of-the-art methods by people investing hughe amounts of money in
their breeding programs. And they do win, almost every top level show
jumping or dressage competition is won by a horse from some of the
continental warmblood studbooks.
Most Akhal-Tekes can compete on novice to medium level in any discipline,
and those levels are where 90% of todays horse owners compete on.
The recognition in the wider equestrian community is won when we have
enough good quality Tekes to show and sell.
Today there are too few breeders in Europe and therefore not enough variety
of Tekes for sale.
The workability, physical abililty, gaits and temperament does not differ
so much between the Tekes and the warmbloods as it does between different
individuals. I have in my life met crazy, unbalanced warmbloods as well as
Tekes with super workability and gaits.
My experience is that people have read in the literature that the Tekes are
agressive, stubborn one man horses and therefore expects to see them like
that. Only the most experienced and professional trainer approaches the
horse as an individual and not a breed or a color or a pedigree.