Iomuds are light horses from Turkmenistan. They are raised
in Turkmenistan, particularly in the velayat of Dasoguz; in Uzbekistan; in
Karakalpakstan (now part of Uzbekistan); and in Iraq, Iran and Turkey.
Like other breeds of Turkmen horses – including Akhal-Teke,
Ersari, Goklan, Salor and Sarik –Iomuds are named for the Turkmen tribe that
formed it, the Iomud. Both the name of the horse and the name of the Turkmen
clan may be spelt in many ways, including Iomud, Yomud, Yamud and Yomut. The
Iomud people occupy the northern part of modern Turkmenistan, from the eastern
shores of the Caspian Sea in the west to the area of Dasoguz, on the northern
edge of the Karakum Desert, in the north-east. They are principally
concentrated in the velayats of Balkan and Dasoguz.
The early history of the Iomud breed, like that of Turkmen
horses in general, is not clear. The qualities of Turkmen horses, and the
differences between the various breeds, were recognised by western travellers
in the area in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Clement Augustus de
Bode wrote in 1848 that the Tekke horses had the best endurance, and were
preferred to pure-bred Arabs, while the Iomud and the Goklan were faster and
more lightly built.
In the twentieth century, the numbers of the Iomud breed
have declined. In 1980, in the Soviet era, the total number was recorded as
964, of which 616 were considered pure-bred. In 1983 stud farms were set up
with the aim of increasing the number of breeding mares from 140 to about 250.
A conservation farm was also established in the Gyzyletrek district, in
The Iomud contributed significantly to the development of
the Lokai breed in Tajikistan
Iomud horses have remarkable endurance. According to local
information collected in 1937, they could cover the 800 km from Dasoguz to
Etrek in seven days. They can carry 120 kg without difficulty in mountain or
Iomud horses are usually grey or chestnut; golden chestnut
and black can occur. Stallions stand about 152 cm (15 hands), mares a little
less. Thoracic circumference (girth) is about 168 cm, cannon bone measurement
about 19 cm. The profile is straight or slightly convex, the legs fine and
often bowed; the mane and tail are sparse, and the skin is delicate.