Turkman Horses: The Most Beautiful Breed
The history of human beings’ life demonstrates that man has always done everything in his power to get the best out of nature. Among all animals and plants man has conquered and has been using for his own purposes, horses have always been different. They have been by humans’ side being used for various purposes. Upon taming, man used these creatures only for riding and carrying things. After the invention of cart, man used horses to make it move. Soon, they were used for agriculture, transportation, contests and entertainment and also, for wars and battles. Anyone who had better horses, could do better at wars and rule over more regions of the world. This also goes for Nader Shah Afshar in Iran, who used Turkman horses and seized India. Back in the old days, people knew that possessing horses of genuine breeds played an important role in their social life. Therefore, they started improving the breeds which resulted in appearance of various horses. As our knowledge of genetics grew, the breed improvement of horses got better. Over the years, nothing, even the invention of cars has been able to stop horse races. Nowadays, after thousands of years since horses were tamed and crossbred, the variety of horses are so much that noticing the difference between breeds will not be easy for everyone. Some groups of horses have been created by combining the best breeds.
Different breeds of Turkman horses
Among genuine horses of the east, Turkman horses have been one of the prominent ones. The evidences remained from the old ages clearly show that Turkman horses have always been used by royals and people. Turkman horses have different breeds that Akhal-Teke, lomud (or Yamud or Yomud) and Chenaran are the most popular ones. The loyal and smart Akhal-Teke is one the purest breeds of Turkman horses that its elegant body and glow has turned it into a unique horse.
External characteristics of Turkman horses:
A strong skeleton, slender body, tall and thin legs with strong and proper joints, which has made their steps soft and glorious, alongside a flat stomach, a bony face with glossy, noticeable pupils, long and slim ears and sparse mane are special features of Turkman horses. Although they are 148 to 150 meters tall and thinner than other horses, this has not made Turkman horses to be less powerful than the others.
Turkman horses’ skin and hair are thready but resistant. The skin on Turkman horses glows in a way that you won’t be able to stop staring. The variety of colors is so much among Turkman horses but they are mostly dun, brindled, grey and light-bay which is probably the most beautiful and expensive among Turkman horses.
Where to find Turkman horses
According to Dr. Gus Cothran, a researcher in University of Kentucky, Turkman horses are among the oldest and the purest breeds of horses. You can see the hoof marks of these horses in different parts of the world. Besides Turkmenistan, Russia and some other European countries, north east regions of Iran are one of the most important regions for preserving and training Turkman horses.
Who are the Turkmen and how they take care of their Turkman horses
As you might already know, Iran, aka Persia, is an ancient country which has more than a few tribes who have special culture and they believe in their own customs and traditions. Those who have traveled to Iran might already be familiar with the fact that some of these tribes are actually nomads. They live in tents, produce their own food and dairy and use animals, especially horses for transportation. In order to get acquainted with nomadic life, visit Iran nomad tour.
One of the biggest tribes in Iran are Turkmen. Since they live in the most parts of Golestan Province and Jargalan in North Khorasan Province, you can see Turkman horses in these two provinces much more than others. After all these years and even now that technology has an important role in humans’ lives, Turkman horses have maintained their special place in Turkmen’s lives, especially in the countryside. Turkmen people love and adore their Turkman horses in an unexplainable way. Regardless of gender, they live their whole life tied to Turkmen horses. Men ride them, go to horse matches on them, feed them and take care of them like a family member. Women make the felt needed for covering and protecting Turkman horses’ bodies using wool through a very difficult process. They believe that felt protects Turkman horses’ skin against changes of the temperature and helps the skin and hair to glow. They don’t believe in keeping their beloved horses in stables and covered areas, instead they cover and protect them with special felts made for each season. Turkman women are also professionals in knitting carpets, some of which can be used to cover Turkman horses. These people believe that ‘A Turkman horse supports Turkman men and a carpet is the voice of a Turkman woman’s heart’.
Some poets have talked about Turkman horses in their poems, too. There is also a saying between Turkman people that shows their love towards this creature. It goes like this: ‘A horse for a human is just as a wing for a bird’. They believe that the breeze touching a human’s cheeks through ears of Turkman horses is a heavenly one.
Over the years, globetrotters who have traveled to Iran, have wrote a lot about Turkman horses. Some of them have played a prominent role in introduction and maintenance of pure breeds of Turkman horses. Ms. Louise Firouz was one the best researchers who was able to breed the Iranian horse with the help of Dr. Gus Cothran. She also proved that Turkman horses were a key in creation of eastern horses.
These days, since breeding and maintaining Turkman horses have been a great success, the auctions take place to sell and buy Turkman horses. In these auctions horses are being sold to the highest buyer.
Tourists have always been interested in Turkman horses. Not only the ones who have some information about horses but also, people who have no idea what a horse actually is, enjoy being among Turkman people which is why we believe for a nature-lover, taking a trip to see this tribe and Turkman horses will be a exciting experience. Do note that in case you were interested in these kinds of trips, you can always ask us to arrange Classical Cultural tours of Iran or Tailor-made tours in a way that you will have the opportunity to check out Turkman horses in person.