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Ahal Tekes horses

... I could see why the Turkmen valued these horses above all earthly things. The Akhal-Teke is not only the Turkmen's national pride, but also their cultural treasury and patron saint.

... the long-legged, lean, lustrous Akhal-Teke, with its trim musculature, sparse mane, and veins rippling out of its thin, fine, shimmering coat. Although actually compact, short-barreled, and narrow in the chest, the impossibly long neck and high, strong legs give the altogether opposite impression of a large, streamlined animal—taller, for instance, than an Arabian. They also carried themselves, like larger horses, as if possessed of a high, courageous spirit fully aware of their unique place in this sector of creation.

... Turkmen aren't the first breeders and guardians of these horses. The Turkmen have only been here for several hundred years. Long before them, the Parthians fought the forces of Alexander of Macedon from horseback. Alexander's phalanxes marched through this region after his conquest of Persia. The phalanx, which his father Philip had perfected, consisted of a strong line of infantry with horse-drawn chariots on the flanks. But the Parthians had light cavalry on swift horses; they were archers fighting from horseback. They attacked the Greek phalanxes from all sides, day and night. They rode up, shot their arrows at close range, then rode away, sending a second volley as they retreated, shooting over the rumps of their horses. This was known as the 'Parthian shot.' They refused to meet Alexander on his terms; they would not fight a large-scale infantry battle. Instead, they attacked at a gallop, then vanished into the desert. They fought the first guerrilla war. The Greeks had only seen cavalry for the first time in Persia. The Parthians paid tribute to the Persian empire in horses and cavalrymen. Alexander had no means to counter such light cavalry tactics. They couldn't chase the Parthian cavalry, which would return to its encampments for fresh mounts and then attack again. Day and night they fought. These tactics inflicted heavy losses on Alexander's forces, but he retaliated, they say, in two ways. First, he burned the Parthian city of Nisa, which is very nearby; I will take you there another day, if you would like. Second, he incorporated the Parthians into his empire by marrying Roxanna, the daughter of the Parthian satrap. He had conquered the Persian empire in one year, but his troops spent two years trying to subdue the native tribesmen from these hills. By the end of that time, Alexander of Macedon was won over, and from that time the West began to learn to employ cavalry."

Sacred Horses: Memoirs of a Turkmen Cowboy [Jonathan Maslow]