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.
Another of Almaty, where you can really see the mirror-luster of her coat.
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:
Buldshak's gone more silver, however, and is largely grey on her face.
And this is Habib, a cremello colt whose appearance is the model for... well, that would be telling:
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:
(All images copyright Kerri-Jo Stewart (Argamak.ca) and used under Creative Commons.)