For decades we had been breeding Welsh Ponies and Dutch Warmblood horses but when we came across the Akhal Teke horses during a 6-year stay in Russia, they stole our hearts and in 1999 we established the Argamak Stud Farm at our farm in the Netherlands.
Seduced by their grace and extraordinary character, we set out to acquire high-quality broodmares representing different sire lines such as Ak Sakal, El, Gelishikly, Kaplan, Karlavach, Peren and Sovkhos II. We chose our first stallion for his correct conformation combined with the sporting achievements of his sire’s progeny, and he has not disappointed us. We also have access to other stallions and take great care in matching the mares to sires suitable to them. Each of our horses are trained under saddle and when the opportunity arises, entered in sporting events.
Basically we keep our horses outside at pasture as much as possible. In the summer the riding horses are given about a kilo of concentrates after training and are then turned out in the field again. Broodmares and their foals and yearlings are given extra minerals but otherwise get sufficient nourishment from the pastures. In winter we only stable the mares in foal and the riding horses at night, they spend all their daylight hours at pasture where they roam at will. The weaned foals and other young horses are permanently outside with a continuous supply of fodder and concentrates according to their needs. In spite of their characteristically thin hide and fine coat, the colts and fillies thrive through constant exercise and fresh air. Prior to turning them out for the winter, the foals are weaned with great care and much attention is paid to their general condition. De-worming is a must in a damp and overcrowded country like ours.
The Akhal Teke is not a “high maintainance” horse, it is hardy and sober with good hooves and resistance to both heat and cold. The mares foal easily and are good mothers without losing their interest in human beings. The stallions may play up when challenged or when led to breeding but they will safely carry a 4-year-old child around a paddock and handle with ease. Naturally, like children, they must be properly brought up to have good manners; if taught respect, and equally treated with respect, they are the best friend and companion a horseman or horsewoman can have.