We did a series a year or so back where members, new and old introduced themselves. We’d like to do that again, especially if you are a new member or new to Tekes person. Here is a list of possible topics to discuss, but please consider these a jumping off point –you certainly do not have to follow these! Photos are great too. Thank you to Connie and Jim Rawski and Caroline Dudkowski – we’d love to meet MORE members!
We also thought it would be another great thing to have on the ATAA website!
I will include a list of questions, but please feel free to add whatever you think might be of interest to the rest of us. You may send the replies to me, Cathy, your newsletter editor, along with a photo of you and your horse/dog/cat whatever.
Where do you live?
How did you hear about Akhal-Teke horses?
What is your experience with horses?
How long have you been interested in Tekes or Teke crosses?
How did you hear about the ATAA?
Do you own, lease or ride a Teke or Teke cross? If so, what do you do with him/her?
If you don’t own, lease or ride a Teke or Teke cross, do you plan to have one someday?
How did you find out about Tekes?
What do you like the most about them?
What are your goals for the future with your Teke or Teke cross?
Thank you and we look forward to meeting you
Q: Where do you live? A: Las Vegas, NV and Temecula/ Hemet, CA. My Teke is in Temecula.
Q: How did you hear about Akhal-Teke horses? A: As part of the Nez Perce Horse breed
Q: What is your experience with horses? A: Started riding in Germany as a kid; then owned my first horse 2006; started a stud service business later and now have 24 horses including 4 studs of different breeds (we do not sell horses).
Q: How long have you been interested in Tekes or Teke crosses? A: Approximately 4 yrs.
Q: How did you hear about the ATAA? A: Googled Akhal Teke horses in U.S.
Q: Do you own, lease or ride a Teke or Teke cross? If so, what do you do with him/her? A: We own a Teke stallion, who is part of our Nez Perce Breeding program. He is now in training to be ridden. Then we will explore what his strength is, i.e. dressage, trail, endurance and take him down that path.
Q: What do you like the most about them? A: Beauty, grace, and loyalty. I had read about the Teke choosing one person as his counterpart. My stallion chose me since I handled him first and he trusted me and bonded with me. As opposed to the relationship with most of my other horses, where I work to gain their trust and liking, my Teke chose ME.
Q: What are your goals for the future with your Teke or Teke cross? A: See answer 6. Will breed to other mares or ship semen for our business. The breed won me over to where I would be interested in breeding pure Tekes as opposed to only working on the Nez Perce Horse program. I prefer English riding and enjoy going on trails and my background is dressage. But if he shows an aptitude and liking for jumping or endurance, and my partner wants to ride him, then he will head in that direction.
Jonathan Jones: Vancouver, BC
Some pictures showing the progress of my filly " Perizat Nabat" (Polly). Bred by Amrita Ibold at Sweet Water Farm, WA. The sire is Pan Tau & dam is Ayal Pikira. She remains at Sweet Water Farm as I believe the benefits of leaving a foal to learn its manners from the dam. I had read an article in an equestrian paper thatfoals left with the dam for the first 2 years are less likely to develop neurological faults. It also showed that the musculoskeletal development is stronger than in foals that have been removed as soon as weaned. She is now 18 months old & is starting in hand training over the next 6 months. Q: Where do you live? A: Vancouver Island, BC Q: How did you hear about AT horses? A: My sister bred AT crosses in the UK back in the early 2000s. Q: What is your experience with horses? A: Intermediate armature.
Q: How long have you been interested in ATs? A: 17 years
Q: How did you hear about the ATAA? A: Website
Q: Do you own a Teke? A: Yes, filly still with her dam.
Q: Do you plan to have another someday? A: May have another just for hacking.
Q: What do you like most about them? A: Their nature, gaits and coats.
Q: What are your goals for your AT? A: My goals are to provide her with the opportunity to develop into a sport horse, once she has reached 5 years old she will start training in all sports & over the next few years will show what is stronger, covering English saddle disciplines, as well as competitive endurance. I should also like for her to have a foal prior to starting serious training at age 5 so as to follow natures path.
Jennifer Newman, Tennessee
Stan and I live in Knoxville, Tennessee. I think I first came across the Akhal-Teke on the internet, as I do not think that they are in any of my old breed books. Also a long-time friend has had them for years, and I have loved seeing photos of them. I have been riding my whole life and got my first horse, an Appaloosa, when I was twelve. We rode 4H, went to the county fair every year, and I also rode on my high school equestrian team. For the last few years I have stalked every website that had any photos and information about the breed. I was happy to see that there was a breed club in the US, and had planned to join as a friend before I purchased Stanley. Stan is my first Teke, and he is a 2013 purebred, bay gelding (Salam x Aishet). And I have also purchased his full sister born June 9th of 2015, who I have yet to meet. Hopefully I will get to trail ride, and compete in endurance with my two someday. Right now I am still doing groundwork with Stan, and hope to begin riding him this year. So far I do not have very much experience with the breed, but of course what first drew me to the breed was their gorgeous physique. My experience with Stanley has been that they are a sweet, smart and curious breed. That about sums it up so far!
Jessica Drake, Tennessee
Q: Where do you live? A: I live in Maryville, TN and run an online equestrian gift boutique for art and home decor for horse lovers called The Painting Pony. http://www.ThePaintingPony.com
Q: How did you hear about Akhal-Teke horses? A: From seeing them in books as a kid! I then looked into them more as an adult in college and loved everything I found out about them.
Q: What is your experience with horses? A: I grew up in central FL in a very large horsey area and enjoyed being at one of the premier A-rated hunter show barns. I never had a horse growing up but I worked as my barn's working student throughout my high school years and learned a ton about the industry in the process. I also rode on the IHSA while in college and competed at the IHSA nationals after qualifying individually my senior year and placed 9th in the nation for my division. My first horse (whom I still own) is an Arab mix that I purchased in my early twenties out of someone's backyard and trained completely on my own. I took him to college with me when I moved to TN from FL and then eventually taught him how to paint (hence the name of my business, The Painting Pony).
Q: How long have you been interested in Tekes? A: I am not sure how to answer this. Pretty much ever since I saw a shiny horse in a breed book as a kid. Then I realized that there were some in the USA and it *was* actually possible to own one someday! I guess I just assumed at first when I was a kid and first read about them in books, that they were only located in some far off mystical place that I would never see... of course I suppose one could say that WAS actually the case before they were imported here but by the time I was born, they had already landed on US soil - I just wasn't aware of it. I can't remember when exactly that was so I am unable to give a specific length of time.
Q: How did you hear about the ATAA? A: Facebook
Q: Do you own, lease or ride a Teke or Teke cross? If so, what do you do with him/her? A: Yes, I own a coming 7yr old stallion. We showed on the local hunter circuit for my area the year before last, but due to various reasons, we took a break from competition this past year. He is young still and has a lot of learning left to do but I plan on getting out more in the future. I enjoy taking him places and talking to people who ask about his breed because they can tell he is not any breeds they have seen before, even though he is a rather plain bay color. The Teke in him still shows well.
Q: What do you like the most about them? A: I love their work ethic and willing attitude to try their heart out for their person. I love how bonded they become and of course the shiny coat doesn't hurt either! I love the *something different* about them from other horses. And of course I love the way they move!Q: What are your goals for the future with your Teke?
A: Just to be able to enjoy him as much as I possibly can and share the breed with anyone I encounter and show them all how awesome Tekes are! I would love to compete more if I had an unlimited budget but to be able to enjoy my horse is the most important thing to me.
Madeline Lucroy, Indiana
Q: Where do you live? A: I live in Lebanon Indiana. Q: How did you hear about Akhal-Teke horses? A: I actually stumbled across them by accident. I remember reading about the shiny slender horses in books but never really thought about them much. I got involved in Eventing about four years ago and my trainer Eron just happened to be a breeder! Q: What is your experience with horses? A: I have been riding for about thirteen years, I have been a 4-H member for four of those years and a pony clubber for five. I have competed in Dressage, Eventing, and hunter under saddle. I am a working student for Eron Owens of Greystone Equestrian Center and I have been a groom at countless shows. Q: How long have you been interested in Tekes? A: For the last few years after getting to know Eron Owens. Q: How did you hear about the ATAA? A: Through my trainer Eron Owens. Q: Do you own, lease or ride a Teke or Teke cross? If so, what do you do with him/her? A: I own an eight year old gelding named Kye. We do Eventing (Beginner/Novice) and Dressage (Training/First Level). Q: What do you like the most about them? A: I adore the mindset of my gelding, he is one of the most workmanlike horses I have ever had the pleasure of riding. Even on crazy hot or cold days he's willing and constantly thinking. That coupled with athletic ability to spare makes for a super partner. Q: What are your goals for the future with your Teke or Teke cross? A: I plan to continue to move up the levels of Eventing with my Teke. I am very optimistic for a move up in our upcoming season together.
Ruth Anne Heilgeist, Virginia
Q: Where do you live? A: In central Virginia Q: How did you hear about Akhal-Teke horses? A: While horse shopping on-line among various endurance breeder's websites, I noticed a yearling for sale on Kerry Redente's site for Cedar Ridge Ranch Arabians that was half Akhal-Teke (out of Kinor). I always knew of the breed but never researched it until I saw this filly. After buying her, I have since learned a lot more from reading and from knowledgeable people such as Allegra Steck and Phil Case. Q: What is your experience with horses? A: From bareback riding as a child to training racehorses to chauffeuring my daughter on the A and Eventing circuits to breeding warmbloods and now endurance riding, I've had a relationship with horses my entire life. Q: How long have you been interested in Tekes or Teke crosses? A: Since 2012 Q: How did you hear about the ATAA? A: From an Internet search Q: Do you own, lease or ride a Teke or Teke cross? If so, what do you do with him/her? A: I have CRR Kahlua Gold (pictured) which I purchased from Kerry Redente who is starting her endurance career as a 5 year old. Then there is the lovely Silverhill Sosna, a filly I purchased from Betsy Wandler and my Thoroughbred mare, Ms Speedy Cowgirl (aka Leila), is in foal to Allegra Steck's stallion, Alp. I am also leasing one of Allegra's mares with a breeding to one of her stallions. So I'll be sufficiently foaled for a while. Q: What do you like the most about them? A: I love (and sometimes hate) how smart and loyal they are. If I scold one of the dogs when Lua is nearby, she tries to discipline them too. And once the round pen training routine is done once, both she and Sosna get impatient if I don't add a new challenge because neither one likes a lot repetition once they've learned something. Q: What are your goals for the future with your Teke or Teke cross? A: All of my Tekes will be trained in endurance and informal team penning as chasing cattle is a nice break from miles and miles of trotting and cantering.
Q: Where do you live? A: Sequim, WA
Q: How did you hear about Akhal-Teke horses? A: A friend gave me a copy of a magazine in 1996 (Bit & Spur?) with article about Tekes in it. The breeder Cathy Leddy was mentioned in that article, I subsequently googled her name and called her. The rest is ongoing history.
Q: What is your experience with horses? A: I love them. I own them. I received my first at 9 yrs of age. I have lost a phenomenal amount of money my entire life pursuing my love of them.
Q: How long have you been interested in Tekes or Teke crosses? A: Since 1996
Q: How did you hear about the ATAA? A: Cathy Leddy
Q: Do you own, lease or ride a Teke or Teke cross? If so, what do you do with him/her? A: Yes, Currently breeder, raising a foal.
Q: What do you like the most about them? A: Their minds and that they are so relationship oriented.
Q: What are your goals for the future with your Teke or Teke cross? A: Not certain at this point.
Q: Where do you live? A: Just moved to Lexington, Kentucky originally from the Baltimore, Maryland area Q: How did you first hear about Akhal-Teke horses? A: Through a riding friend of mine, Erica Lengermann. She was researching rare horse breeds and if there were any farms near by us (when I lived in Maryland) that would allow us to come and meet the horses and even get to ride them. We were so lucky that Phil Case's farm was within a 3 hour drive and was happy to have us come. Sabine was wonderful in letting us ride a couple of their horses. Q: What is your experience with horses? A: I have been riding since I was 8 years old and moved to Maryland from overseas (Military Brat). I started at Fort Meade equestrian stables riding hunter/jumpers but with a dressage foundation. When my trainer retired and moved, she suggested that I switch to Eventing. I quickly fell in love with Eventing and dressage and have been at it ever since. I took about a 2 year break after ankle surgery right before college, and the last 2 years was able to help with the foundation of our university's equestrian team and coach our dressage team. I had to take a number of years off when I went back to nursing school and then my masters, but have been back riding ever since. Q: How long have you been interested in Tekes or Teke crosses? A: For about 3 plus years now. Q: How did you hear about the ATAA? A: Researching the breed after I met and rode some and fell in love. Q: Do you own, lease or ride a Teke or Teke cross? If so, what do you do with him/her? A: Currently, no :( Q: If you don’t own, lease or ride a Teke or Teke cross, do you plan to have one someday? A: YES!!!! Q: What do you like the most about them? A: When I was younger, I had a bad fall going cross country and have had a little bit of trust issues in the field since then. As soon as I was on one of Phil's more green mares, I had the most odd feeling. I completely trusted her, right away. Every time I have had the chance to go back to Shenandoah Farms and ride with Sabine and see Phil, I have been amazed the instant feeling of "this is a horse I belong on". I never second guessed jumping anything in my way, galloping off, or anything else. It was an amazing feeling that I would love to have again. Q: What are your goals for the future with your Teke or Teke cross? A: Once I am riding one... to continue to event (most likely just lower level, not sure I have the guts for the upper levels) and even more so continue to move up the levels in dressage.
Amber and Sydney Morrison
Q: Where do you live? A: Medina, Ohio
Q: How did you hear about Akhal-Teke horses? A: Amazingly, Teddy was a trail horse/school horse at the barn my daughter takes lessons at.
Q: What is your experience with horses? A: Sydney has been riding and taking lessons since she was 6 years old. She is now 12. She started with Hunter/Jumper, but has recently changed to Eventing. Sydney is at the barn 7 days a week. The school bus drops her off right in front of the barnafter school every day! My husband and I do not have a history with horses, so this is entirely Sydney's passion. We have leased horses in the past, but once she rode Teddy, we all knew that they were a perfect match. Q: How did you hear about the ATAA? A: While researching Akhal-Teke's before we purchased Teddy, we found the ATAA. Q: Do you own, lease or ride a Teke or Teke cross? If so, what do you do with him/her? A: We have owned Teddy (Silk Road Marauder) since May 15, 2015. Just over 3 months! Sydney and Teddy have already completed and placed in 2 Mini Trial Events, and one Dressage Show.
Q: What do you like the most about them? A: We love the breed because of their beautiful athleticism, endurance, work ethic, and sweet, expressive faces! Q: What are your goals for the future with your Teke or Teke cross? A: Sydney and her fantastic trainer, are looking forward to getting Teddy back to his roots with dressage and Eventing. Since he was originally trained by Sweet Water Farm as an Eventing prospect, we are optimistic that he can tap into his past and come out an amazing competitor!
Sydney and Teddy below
Connie and Jim Rawski Q: Where do you live? A: We live in Ontario an hour east of Toronto, north near Kitchener - Waterloo.
Q: How did you find out about Akhal-Tekes? A: Doing a search on the internet, looking for the perfect endurance horse breed.
Q: What is your experience with horses? A: Connie has over 44 years with horses, teaching riding, shoeing horses and over 40 years of endurance. Jim has over 35 years of endurance riding and working with horses.
Q: How long have you been interested in Tekes or Teke crosses? A: For 4 years I have been interested in Akhal Tekes.
Q: How did you hear about the ATAA? A: Searching on the internet looking how to register my horses
Q: What horses do you own? A: For purebreds we have an Akhal Teke stallion, JC Darius, a gelding, JC Zymone, which is Connie's horse that she is competing on, and 2 purebred Akhal Teke mares JBK Andyn and JC Hasil whom Jim is competing on this year. Our half Akhal-Teke /Arab is a filly by the name of JC Nezja and is a year old. We breed Akhal-Tekes and Arab crosses and compete them in Endurance riding. We have an Arabian stallion by the name of JC Alectric and an Arabian mare named JC Flash. We have a new purebred palomino Akhal-Teke colt by the name of JC I.C. (ICY for short)
Q: What do you like best about them? A: I like how tough they are for endurance
Q: What are your goals for the future? A: Future we would like to sell purebred Akhal Tekes and partbred Arab / Akhal Tekes crosses to fellow Endurance riders who would be awed by these amazing athletes.
Connie and Jim at the White River Ride in Michigan
Caroline Dudkowski I live in the northern suburbs of Chicago; it’s quite a densely populated area and most of the stables are gone, boarding your horse in Wisconsin (about 20 miles from me) is common. I first heard of Akhal Tekes from my wonderful dressage teacher, Claire Yates, during my first horse search; she encouraged me to look at those breeds known for their hardiness including being able to go barefoot, the result is the mantra "no hoof, no horse" forever in my brain.
I started riding lessons after I graduated college so almost 20 years ago; I began in a hunter-jumper type program but soon, switched to dressage. Having a busy job and other hobbies (hiking/backpacking, sewing, other crafts), I have never been a truly serious rider, but the dressage principles make for such well-developed horses both physically and mentally that I try to attain them despite my limited riding schedule. After leasing horses many times, I bought a Lipizzan gelding 4 years ago; he has developed into a dressage specialist.
My interest in Tekes led me to the ATAA and I am very excited to learn more about the breed and to meet people face-to-face at the Conference later this year in Indianapolis. To satiate my curiosity about the breed, I wrote several "cold" e-mails to people who had Tekes for sale or who were listed as breeders with all sorts of questions on temperament, suitability for dressage, hardiness, etc.; the response rate was incredibly high! The reason for the interest? My current horse does not thrive with me in a riding sense, he would benefit so much more from a home with a serious job. So, I am exploring what would be a good next step for me and I think a Teke or a Teke cross may be it - hardiness, check - strong bond to human, check - versatility, check - reasonable gaits so that I can improve my riding, check - supportive breed community, check!