Speaking of color, there's another gem that's been rattling around in my head since I first got Tommy. I've had a 'slight' aspiration to show at a national level someday. (The 'slight' is being highly emphasised here...) It will most likely never come to fruition - and for at least two reasons. First, there are no Akhal Teke Nationals. And secondly, you'd have to do some major elbowing to make them fit into the main showrings with everybody elses breed. Thirdly, there is not enough white on most purebred Akhal Tekes to justify double registering them - hence little open shows are probably as good as it's gonna get. If you're into sports like eventing, jumping, dressage, ect. you can ride a grade draft horse if it has enough talent to do it. But in the registry and association shows, it's a whole different ball game. The rules are much more rigid, and most Tekes just don't fit into the nook very well.
The Turkmens have a strong belief that if there is too much white markings on a horse, it will be undesirable. They believe that too much white resembles a cow, and not a horse. That's okay in Turkmenistan, but in america - we love color. It's everywhere. You can probably step out your front door and fling a rock at your neighbors pasture ornament and hit a spot or two on it. What else is there to say.... we're really color crazy in this country!
So, it brings me to the golden opportunity part, another potential promotional foot through the door for Teke breeders. Imagine an Akhal Teke that had enough white to be double registered in the Pinto Horse Association. It is do-able, with just a little work. The sabino gene is very much present in the Akhal Teke breed. It crops up quite often in leg and facial markings, along with the occasional blue eye now and again. The gene just needs a little bit of "cultivation" from breeders. Below are a few photos below illustrating the sabino traits in the Akhal Teke:
A mare from the re-purposed Akhalt-Service Farm, Russia
Northern Wood Farm Stallion, Russia
So, the genes are there. Why not use it to an advantage? Imagine these lovely light breed horses below as Akhal Tekes with color:
Breeders, any input into this looney-brained idea that I have here...?