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Horse Breeds: Abyssinian, Akhal Teke, Albanian, Altai, American Cream Draft

Jul 10, 2008
*ABYSSINIAN*

A light horse breed, or pony, the Abyssinian is located in Ethiopia. Abyssinian's have a great deal of variety in their sizes and color.

*AKHAL TEKE*

Found in the country of Turkmenistan, the Akhal-Teke breed is most at home in a barren, arid environment. Akhal-Teke have been used as racehorses and cavalry mounts for over 3,000 years. This breed is known for it's natural gaits, unwillingness to give up, and courage. The incredible stamina is a result mostly of their diet of high protein- many are given butter and eggs with their barley.

In recent years, Akhal-Teke have been used for dressage and show jumping, as well as daily saddle riding.

Physical Appearance

The head of the Akhal-Teke breed is similar to that of Persian Arab's, featuring a long front, ears, and neck, and very expressive eyes. The chest is narrow, ribs are flat and their backs are long. The breed's height typically averages 15 hands, and gives a very elegant appearance with slender and long legs that show off their tendons. Colors are typically dun, although some will be gray. Golden and pale coats are preferred on the Akhal-Teke.

Descendents

The Akhal Teke was originally bred by the Turkoman tribes. One of the original four horse breeds that came from America across the Bering Straight, the Akhal-Teke is a descended of the Turkmenian horse.

Akhal-Teke Records

Showing their stamina, the Akhal-Teke are known for the 15 horses that were part of the 84 day march in 1935. The horses traveled from Ashkhabad to Moscow, which is over 2500 miles. The trip included a 3 day stint where the horses did not have access to water, and travel over 255 miles of desert.

*ALBANIAN*

Part of the Balkan family of horses, the Albanian is a small breed of horse with two different types. Albanian horses originally were either Mountain or Plains horses, although interbreeding between the Mountain and Plains types have made it more difficult to see the difference. The Mountain version of Albanian horses are shorter, about 12.2 hands, while the Plains Albanian stands slightly taller, at 13.2 hands.

*ALTAI*

The Altai breed of horses have been influenced by harsh climate conditions found in the land they call home, the mountain taiga.

Altai horses have large heads that are of average lengths, fleshy necks and a long back that dips slightly in the middle. Legs are properly set and considered short. Some Altai have defects including bowed hocks and sloping pasterns. Stallions have average measurements of 140cm height at withers, 170cm girth at chest, and 19cm cannon bone girth. Mares have 137cm height at withers, 170cm chest girth and 18cm cannon bone girth. Altai colors are black and gray, bay, chestnut and sometimes have spots.

The Altai is an undemanding breed, and can pasture graze all year round. when Altai's are crossed with pure breeds, the resulting offspring are larger and stronger than the Altai, but have sound health like the Altai.

The Altai Mountains were the breeding ground for Altai horses for many centuries, which is why the Altai's are adapted to harsh environments. Nomads living in this mountainous area need horses with strong heart and muscles, and hard feet. Horses must be sure-footed to travel over the steep mountain trails through rock and through fast moving water. Altai horses are hardy animals indispensable to the people who depend on the breed.

*AMERICAN CREAM DRAFT*

The first known American Cream Draft horse appeared in Iowa in 1911. Her name was "Old Granny". It was believed she had only draft breeding in the bloodlines. When bred with one of her colt's, a new breed of horses was created. The new breed were a creamy color with a white mane and tail, amber eye color and pink skin.

Early registration records confirmed that "Old Granny" was mated to Percherons, Belgians, Greys, Sorrels, and Dunns, and often had the same rich cream color and having similar other features. A man by the name of C.T. Rierson was very interested in the American Cream Draft breed and recorded the ancestry of each horse as completely as possible. Rierson founded the American Cream Horse Association of America. In 1944 a chater was issued by the State of Iowa to 20 members of the newly created American Cream Horse Association of America.

In February of 1950, the American Cream Horse Association of America was recognized by the National Stallion Enrollment Board and the Iowa Department of Agriculture as a standard. This meant the breed would receive the same privileges that older, more established horse breeds received in the state of Iowa.

In the 1950's there were over 200 American Cream Horses registered by 41 people. Unfortunately, as tractors began replacing horses in the fields, many draft horses were put to their deaths at canneries. In the late 70's, Arnold Hockett and Richard eads of Iowa and Illinois, encouraged the former secretary of the no inactive horse association, Karene Bunker Topp, to call a meeting in order to reorgnize and register the creams they owned. In 1982, in Dubuque, Iowa, seven people got together to reorganize and open the registration books to permit registration of dark skinned females of the American Cream Horse breed, while maintaining that the males must still have pink skin along with the other requirements.

The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy placed the American Cream Draft on the endangered species list.

Since 1982, one hundred fourteen American Cream Draft horses have been registered. Membership is open to all owners of American Creams, and membership can also be obtained by individuals who are wanting to help fund the work of the organization by paying a yearly dues- even if they do not own an American Cream Draft Horse.
About the Author
Phillipe Wiskell is a writer for HorseClicks.com, popular classifieds of horses for sale, horse trailers, farms for sale.
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