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> Muniqi Turkoman Akhal Teke, Connections?
zenith
post Nov 20 2007, 06:31 AM
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I've been reading the Carl Raswan? Thread and was intrigued by some of the discussion.
I wondered if anyone knew of how Akhal Tekes were connected to arabians: were they incorporated into breeding programs, possibly through Muniqi strains? Or even further back: were they a progenitor breed which contributed to the Arabian?

Any ideas?
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Emma Maxwell
post Nov 20 2007, 10:21 AM
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I don't but would be interested too ! I would have thought there are some genetic studies of the south Asian light horse breeds out there, but I haven't searched for them. There is a common theme in Akhal Tekes, Turcomans and Arabians in that they are refined, swift and enduring. There are other smaller groups such as Darashuri and Kathiawari who have an obvious derivation from these groups. The Arabian is just the most southern, and originally spread down from the north in a very distant time. I don't when the cut off date for 'pure Arabian breeding' is supposed to have been, but it must have been a porous border for some time. Interbreeding must have taken place on the northern fringes between slightly different groups of horses. We don't really know when (and to be realistic, if) it stopped.
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diane
post Nov 20 2007, 12:04 PM
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I have similar thoughts to Emma. There's quite a few commonalities between the two and perhaps a third - the Caspian Pony (descending from the Asiatic Wild horse). Coat colour, texture, irridescence; the tail set, intelligence, pony attributes, horse attributes etc. Though I would speculate that the connection may have been made prior to the Akhal Teke ie its predecessor, the Turkoman (Iran). These three - the Turkoman, the Caspian Pony and the Arabian are situated geographically close. The Akhal Teke is further north but not too far north. IF any interactions happened at all, it would have been such a long time ago that the years/eons of breeding have mellowed the differences somewhat. However, there are two partially distinct conformation differences in the Arabian blink.gif Speculation, all speculation - no fact.

The Akhal Teke (from the USSR) is noted for:
bay, chestnut, dun with a metallic bloom with occasional black, silver and grey; white markings
14.2-15.2hh
small elegant head, fine; big eyes; wide nostrils; large beautifully shaped ears
long thin neck, very high set almost vertical to the body
high sloping shoulder
hooves are small but regular although heels are set low
forelegs set close - otherwise straight; forearm long
sparse mane and tail; silky hair
coat exceptionally fine; thin skin - in character with a desert bred animal
long hindlegs are usually sickle-shaped and cow hocked; hocks carried high
quarters are narrow and mean (lean); spare, sinewy; thighs are long and muscular
obstinate character, tempermental, bold
great stamina, fast, survives on minimal food
magnificent movement, slides over the ground in a flowing movement without swinging the body
Humans took care to maintain the bloodlines!

The Caspian Pony (from Iran) is noted for:
bay, brown, chestnut, grey, occasional blacks and creams
10-12hh
Arab-type head, short; very short ears; large eyes - gazelle-like; small tapered muzzle; large nostrils set low.
fine, thin skin
long neck and shoulder; neck usually arched
narrow body with short back
tail set high,
fine legs
gentle character, quick-witted
free-floating action; great jumping ability
hooves are strong, small and oval shaped
Geographically isolated - bloodlines maintained!

Both are utilised as riding horses. Caspian is also driven

(collated notes from general horse books).

Think about how these two would blend together over years of meticulous breeding practices!

Then consider which other bloodlines (if any) have these characteristics without any connection what so ever to any or all of these three... coincidence huh.gif
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DemelzaH
post Nov 20 2007, 08:11 PM
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http://www.frankhopkins.com/DEBfigure5.html
http://www.frankhopkins.com/mustangsA.html
http://www.frankhopkins.com/mustangsB.html
http://www.equinestudies.org/knowledge_base/mammalian.html

Regarding figure 5 above, I wonder if the "old Egyptian" branch was ever brought back in to the Arabian genepool at a later date? Could this be the key to the "look" of the Egyptian Arabian?
I presume "old Persian" is the Caspian horse/pony? blink.gif
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diane
post Nov 20 2007, 09:13 PM
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Old Persian could also have included the Turkoman as well.

Bennett's theory is essentially that the horses which travelled the coastal route were the ones which influenced the Arabian. Her findings, for me, are little too vague as the asil breeding practices were either being developed or in place - something which she does not account for. There is no other breed with these disctinctive characteristics prior to the Arabians' (along with the likes of the other two mentioned above) global influence. This is something that Bennett doesn't account for ~ the similarity of characteristics of this group of similar geographically-located horses. For me, this part is not adequately supported considering how pedantic she is in her materials regarding other breeds. A topic which I have broached with her tongue.gif Bennett wants physical evidence before she will change her materials ... can any one suggest or confirm if the desert bred horses would have been buried by the nomadic Bedouin? If they were not buried then there will be no trace ie no physical evidence! Rock carvings are too unreliable (ie the ability to date the carvings is not specific enough) for her materials.

Old Egyptian - if writings of the French vet, PN Hamont, in the times of Mohammed Ali (late18th century), are to be considered, the Arabian was used to upgrade the Egyptian horse. And each subsequent generation bred back to an Arab within that farm specifically (Abbas Pasha Manuscript, Sherif and Forbis). If the Egyptian horse was better or even as good as the Arabian, why would there be a need to have such intense breeding practices? This somewhat contradicts Bennett's theory that it was the other way around - that the Egyptian influenced the Arabian.

Its not clear if Bennett has actually undertaken an archealogical dig in the Middle East - Arabian Peninsula relevant to the desert horse. My perspective, I don't believe she can categorically conclude her theory without such undertakings ie her findings can't be proven incorrect OR conversely, correct until this is done. huh.gif

Then there's the horse genome: who knows what it has the potential to reveal - if testing is done with this focus.
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zenith
post Nov 20 2007, 11:16 PM
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Yes interesting.
A friend of mine is very interested in Akhal Tekes. Her website has some interesting information (some of it pretty controversial) re: tekes and arabians.


This is from her site:
http://akhaltekesaustralia.com.au/historyarabvsakhal.html

"The history of horses in the Arabian Peninsular is fairly recent

(400-500A.D) in comparison with that of the 2,500 year history of the Akhal Teke in the Middle East.

Heroditus tells us that the Arabs following the army of Xerxes rode camels not horses and that there were no horses to be found in Arabia.

In Assyrian battles with the Arabs in 733 A.D. they captured camels, cattle and fowls but no horses."

and
"The Arabs often crossed their mares with Akhal Teke stallions to produce a larger, speedier horse.

The Munique strain of larger Arabians is said to have been developed this way. "

There are several other pages of akhal teke history: this is the first of 4

http://akhaltekesaustralia.com.au/history1.html

Also check out her take on thoroughbreds: she's got some solid points re: the role of Akhal Tekes in TB breeding: including speed, height colour (some of the early TB stallions had non-arab colours: eg Darcy's yellow turk).

Apparently there is some genetic research to support this TB claim.
Makes good reading, and I have read similar stuff elsewhere, but wondered particularly about the Munique strain stuff.

It would be really interesting to see some DNA cladistics, including mitochondrial work, to see how the two breeds are related. Its hard to see how Akhal Tekes (or their progenitors) wouldn't be pretty dominant somewhere back there. The early history of arabians is certainly shrouded in mystery.
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DemelzaH
post Nov 20 2007, 11:35 PM
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Thanks for your comments Diane. I find it all very interesting, but admit I don't know much about it.

So, do you think the Arabian is the original Afro-Turkic horse simply bred and selected within the paramenters of the Bedouin? Where do you think the Akhal Teke and Caspian fit in?

Re Egyptian horses... a friend of mine recently visited Cairo and spotted such horses, pulling carts and such, thinking they must have had Arab blood... inquired about them and was told "no these are Egyptian horses". Any idea whether these horses are a breed or is it just a generic term for any mixed-breed horse in Egypt?
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DemelzaH
post Nov 20 2007, 11:58 PM
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Just spotted your post Zenith. I have no doubts the Akhal Teke (or it's close relatives/ancestors) influenced the TB.... the temperaments are reportedly quite simliar let alone the appearance! I also have no doubts the Arabian was equally important. Some of the claims made by that website are kind of grasping at straws... ie the height issue as evidence. Arabians have always had variation in height, they were not all under 15hh and this is well documented.

I have been on a replica of the ship "The Bounty" or was it "The Endeavour"? I don't know, some old ship anyway. The doors, beds etc were tiny because people were tiny in those days due to poor nutrition. I had to bend down to navigate my way through the ship and I am not tall! Of course people a couple of hundred years ago will look small compared to horses. The website owner has been rather selective with the paintings. Note where the handler of the horse is standing! More paintings and info about TBs can be found here: http://www.tbheritage.com/

I don't know who came first, and I am not bothered if the Akhal Teke is the older breed. The Arabian must have had something about it that made it so desirable, it is one of the world's most popular breeds for good reason. wink.gif

History is fascinating!
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diane
post Nov 21 2007, 04:08 AM
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QUOTE (Demelza Hoogeveen @ Nov 21 2007, 09:35 AM)
So, do you think the Arabian is the original Afro-Turkic horse simply bred and selected within the paramenters of the Bedouin? Where do you think the Akhal Teke and Caspian fit in?
*

biggrin.gif if I knew the answer to this one, I'd be laugh.gif Though I do ponder about why the nomadic Bedouin developed their breeding practices - it was for a reason no doubt about this but what was the catalyst behind it? With consideration of the early years, why was there a need for three categories of horse breeding within their culture - the main being asil huh.gif What was the or why was there a percieved need to keep the asil bloodlines separate (aside of logical reasons that we relate to now).

QUOTE
Re Egyptian horses... Any idea whether these horses are a breed or is it just a generic term for any mixed-breed horse in Egypt?

My understanding is that they were a considered breed, can't say for sure though. Some horses were known to have come from Nubia in an early Egyptian dynasty. There is also the occasional reference to horses being exhanged between the very south west Arabian Peninsula and the reciprocal part of Africa (below Nubia) - more one way than the other from memory. Though there's not much documentation on this.

Its a very undocumentated and unproven area - horses on the Arabian Peninsula. Perhaps due to plausible reasons ... the main carers were nomadic. They had their own system of accountability. What we now know and refer to as strain naming which was maintained via discourse through the generations.
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bterlaan
post Nov 21 2007, 09:29 AM
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"The Arabs often crossed their mares with Akhal Teke stallions to produce a larger, speedier horse. "

Right, so if they had no horses to begin with, how come they could cross their mares with Akhal Tekes? Also, I thought ATs came form furtherNorth/ East than the Middle East. Methinks there is a lot of rumours without any corroborating facts. I'd be very interested to see some genetic research done on Mt-DNA or the Y-chromosome-DNA
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diane
post Nov 21 2007, 09:44 AM
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Akhal Tekes were to be found all over Russia and mid/northern Europe - one of the larger dispersements of a single breed. A map suggests they were close to the northern boundaries of Iran.

Good point biggrin.gif Similar to the myth about the Arabian... the myth always talks about 5 mares (no agreement mind on which five, but it was five)... so... what about the stallions which were needed or was this a blessing via some divine intervention ph34r.gif Another myth says that they, the stallions, rolled in on the white water from the sea cool.gif biggrin.gif
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diane
post Nov 21 2007, 10:10 AM
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Horses from Egypt
QUOTE
Horses in Ancient Egypt
Horses were introduced into Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period (about 1700-1550 BC). The earliest remains of horses are a few bones from Avaris and the skeleton of a horse found at Buhen. The Buhen remains date to the early Second Intermediate Period, but this date is disputed. In the wars between the Theban 17th Dynasty and the Hyksos both sides used horses. In later times, the kingdom of Kush in the Sudan was famous for its horses, perhaps from good grazing grounds in areas of Upper Nubia: in the Victory Stela of king Piy, special mention is made of the royal attention to horses.

In the New Kingdom horses were animals of the military elite and the ruling class. In general Egyptians did not ride on horses but used them for chariots. Two horses are the rule. Horseshoes were not used. Egyptian horses, which were probably almost identical to those in the Near East, are rather small by comparison with modern horses, and attested in different colours (brown, reddish etc.).


Most readings suggest that Egypt's horses came via the Hyksos. Though there are a fair few readings that suggest that Egypt got the chariot and the long bow only from the Hyksos plus more horses.

Webpage
QUOTE
Appendix Two  Earliest Horses in Egypt
After the text of this book was completed, in which we postulated the presence of some horses in Egypt before the Hyksos Invasion brought them in abundance; reports of the excavation of Fort Buhen in the Sudan have come to hand. Here there was a large Egyptian fortress from the times of the XIIth and of the XVIIIth Dynasties, that is, before and after the Hyksos period.
Professor Walter B. Emery, Edwards Professor of Egyptology in the University of London, carrying out the excavations for the Egypt Exploration Society, discovered the burial of a horse definitely pre-Hyksos. He states that "on sound archaeological evidence" it antedated the Hyksos by 200 years. (See "Illustrated London News, September 12, 1959, page 250)
This single find muzzles forever the argument based solely on the silence of the monuments that there "were no horses in Egypt prior to the Hyksos Invasion." It confirms our theory that some horses had been brought into the country earlier than the times of the Hyksos.


The Dongol(a)
QUOTE
The Dongol horse is/was bred in upper Egypt and eastern Sudan. This horse is taller and stronger than the Arabian, mostly black (dark bay) with longer, narrower head, on longer leg with slanted hind end. Hence there seem to be obvious evidence of crossbreeding with the Barb, possibly the blood of the western horse. Adamez is not excluding the possibility that the European horses of the western type came with the Christian crusaders into the regions. During the Italian-Abyssinian war, the entire Abyssinian (Ethiopia) cavalry was equipped with the Dongol horses, which were excellent riding horses. Therefore these horses were imported to Ireland, where there were used to create a lighter version of the Hunter horse. The Germans also conducted similar experiments as well.
Webpage

QUOTE
The Dongola horse breed is a light horse that is found in north Sudan and in western Eritrea. They are reddish-bay colored and often have white faces and feet. The West African Dongola horse and Sudanese Countrybred horse were developed from the Dongola, along with the Djerma horse. This breed is very rare.
another webpage on the Dongola
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zenith
post Dec 10 2007, 09:05 PM
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Thanks Diane, really interesting input. Wouldn't you just love a time machine so you could see history unfolding!

Interesting site. It does seem to reinforce the claims I have read widely that horses were very scarce in the time of Arabia until the time of Mohamed (7thC AD), and they likely got most of their horses elsewhere. Given the speed, endurance, and hardiness of the Akhal Teke, it seems unlikely they would not have incorporated this blood if they had the chance. A few stallions would be the easiest way, as like the bedouin, the Akhal Tekes breeders/owners prized the mares and would rarely sell one. It sounds likely that many of the early arabian horses may have come from Egypt.

A lot of this information is on this page or linking from it. It talks about wild breeds and their domestication in the region.
http://horsecare.stablemade.com/_articles/tarpan.htm
http://horsecare.stablemade.com/_articles/iranian_horse.htm
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diane
post Dec 10 2007, 10:55 PM
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A Tardis would be wonderful (along with the Dr biggrin.gif ~ as he'd have to operate it, naturally!). Then everything woud be settled - the myths exposed! cool.gif

Thanks for the links, every little helps. smile.gif
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