Horseriding : Turkmenistan is
home to the Akhal-Teke horse, a special breed known for its speed and
intelligence. These horses occupy a special place in Turkmen culture
and are a source of great national pride. An old Turkmen saying goes,
‘Getting up in the morning, greet your father and then see your
horse.’ Rides in the countryside can be arranged through local tour
operators or through travel agents specialising in Turkmenistan. The
vast open spaces make Turkmenistan very good for riding, though the
Akhal-Teke horses are suitable for experienced riders only. Rides can
be done just outside Ashgabat through the gorges of the Firuza River
and to the local hot springs, and in other parts of the country.
In spring and autumn, horseraces are held at
the Hippodrome in Ashgabat, and 10km (6 miles) south of Ashgabat is
the Turkmenbashi Stud Farm where the Akhal-Teke horses are bred (see
Resorts & Excursions section).