writing rengeek magpie mind

August 2014

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writing eternal sky rog

writing stories and taking pictures of anything but love...

I'm working on getting my head back into the Eternal Sky headspace (soon I will reread both Range of Ghosts and Shattered Pillars and update my little list of unanswered questions) and while I am waiting for dinner to finish cooking (sage lime chicken and beets and sweet potatoes and asparagus, oh my) I was poking around Flickr looking at photos of Akhal-Tekes, as is my wont.

The Qersnyk horses of the Eternal Sky are much more like the Akhal-Teke than the Mongol pony; a breed adapted to similar conditions, but with a very different, almost otherwordly appearance. (The artist for the amazing flyleaf map, by the way, read the book and figured that out for herself!) They're famous for their strangely lustrous coats, which look almost metallic in direct light.

I thought you might like some photo references.

This is Almaty, a liver bay mare with one white hoof. Sort of like you-know-who. She looks like she enjoys her sweets, as well... and like she might be in foal. Akhal-Tekes are usually very slender in build.

Lone Larch Akhal-Tekes - Almaty

Another of Almaty, where you can really see the mirror-luster of her coat.

Almaty

This is the color we and the Qersnyk both call liver bay. Another mare I used as a visual model is Darginka who has an amazingly wonderful Roman nose.

Here's Pagoda, a mare with the same color scheme as Buldshak of the line of Temurbataar:

Pagoda (& Davinia behind her)

Buldshak's gone more silver, however, and is largely grey on her face.

Pagoda again:

Pagoda & Davinia

And this is Habib, a cremello colt whose appearance is the model for... well, that would be telling:

Akhal-Teke stallion Habib Shael

But isn't he amazing looking? Yes, his eyes are blue.

ETA: Here's another shot or two of Habib, where you can see the division in color between the cremello (a very pale gold) and the true white of his blaze and socks:

Habib Shael at 5 years

Habib by Nadja

(All images copyright Kerri-Jo Stewart (Argamak.ca) and used under Creative Commons.)

Comments

I'm such a dork.

I was scrolling through my f-list, saw your post and reverted to age 11, or so. "Horsies!!"

:-D
It happens to me every time, too.
Me, too.
:o It's a companion!!

Very pretty!
Pony!
+1 to this!!
Beautiful!

My daughter saw this on the screen and she was across the room like a magnet.
Oh, man -- how PRETTY they are!!
I got to talk briefly to an Akhal-Teke breeder here in the PDX area (well, okay, she's from Hood River so about 60 miles and another microclimate away). Cool horses in their thought processes as well as their looks. The kind of horse that you ask, not demand, to do something, and give them space to process and think. Kind of like Lipizzans, Arabs, or performance-bred (i.e., doing something besides pitty-patting on the rail at shows) horses from other breeds (the Mocha girl comes from cutting and reining bloodlines and she's one of that mental ilk).

One of these days I want to check out the Nimiipuu's Palouse horse breeding program. I'd like to see what the Appaloosa/Akhal-Teke cross is like, both physically and mentally. Could be one hell of a performance horse...or a real PITA to deal with (smart, athletic horses who don't want to work can be real challenges. Fortunately, most of the smart, athletic horses I've encountered really really like their riding jobs).
I saw pictures of these many years ago as a child, and wanted one desperately. By the time having a horse actually became an option, I'd met and fallen in love with a particular little Arab. Now I don't think I'd try to have another horse - my passions aren't what they were when I was 12 or 25 - but these guys are still gorgeous.
Oh man, they're so beautiful. Nine year old self now completely in charge.
The Akhal-Teke is such a beautiful breed, and I love the metallic lustre of their coats. I don't know nearly enough about them - I'm fascinated by just how looooong they are, in addition to the slenderness.
The first time I recall seeing a photo of one of the Akhal-Tekes was on FB or some such social media and I had to go look the breed up separately because I thought for sure that amazing coat sheen on the palomino stallion in question had got to be a Photoshop trick of some sort. Evidently not. Amazing, if faintly disturbing. (Disturbing, I think, because it reminds me of the shiny that human hair gets if regularly exposed to pool chlorine -- it looks lovely but is an indication of damage.)
I was never one of those little girls who was gaga over horses. But these horses are amazing. They truly are surreal and beautiful at the same time.

Wow. Those coats.
I haven't been horse-crazy since I was 12. But wow, those are some gorgeous creatures!
That's Kambar, a Russian race horse! It's probably the most famous image of an Akhal-Teke in existence, and was the first one I ever saw.
Me, too! In one of those summative horse breeds of the world books. I did not know the name or that he was a race horse -- but then, what else would such a leggy animal *do*?
Gorgeous creatures indeed. Shimmery mirages.
I remember being a bit horse crazy around that age, and writing a thank you letter to Walter Farley (through the publisher, because theirs was the only address in the book) after reading The Black Stallion. And he himself wrote back! I was so surprised, amazed and thrilled to bits that I never wrote another letter to an author again, I was afraid it would jinx the spell.
And then came computers...
Thank you Elizabeth Bear for introducing Habib to my not-so-blue eyes.
My pleasure.

I read the Walter Farley books too. ;-)
Akhal-Tekes are such beautiful animals! I've admired them for years and just love their unique coloration. Thanks for sharing all the lovely photos!Here is another example of a metallic coat: http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m5r6nbCrVC1qij1zno1_1280.jpg So pretty!

(Can we no longer do html in comments? It went weird, sorry for the long link instead!) :P
I haven't changed any settings, but who knows what LJ hath wrought?

And jeepers, that is an amazing looking animal.
A horse carved from a giant pearl.
Yes, Yes, and YES! Horses are so completely wonderful anyway, but such an elegantly configured horse -- like the horse version of a greyhound.

Question: Does the Akhal-Tekes not have all that much mane, or is it just the way this breed is groomed to show?

Not much mane, indeed--and I think they also do clip them.
wow - more reason to write a horse novel. *like i really need some more reasons!*
I can't recommend Sacred Horses:: Memoirs of a Turkmen Cowboy by Jonathan Maslow highly enough. It's a marvelously funny and informative travel diary of an american journalist who wanted to ride Akhal-Tekes (and did) but first had to get there.
I pretty sceptical to horses, given that 2 people near to me have been injured getting thrown off horses, but I kinda want to just hug Habib and hear his view on life.