With its unusual, gazelle-like appearance, the Akhal-Teke horse is an incredibly distinctive breed. Experts say the Akhal-Teke breed is at least 3,000 years old. The Akhal-Teke may be the last remaining strain of the Turkmene (a horse that has existed since 2400 B.C.). In the Middle Ages (500 to 1500 A.D.), Akhal-Tekes lived with nomadic tribesmen near the Kopet Dag Mountains in Turkmenistan.
The nomads treated the horses as part of their families, tethering them near their shelters. In the early 1900s, Russians used Akhal-Tekes as cavalry horses. Today they excel in sport, particularly in racing, show jumping, dressage and endurance racing.