IExperience Mongolia's horses, culture and endless beauty on a 10-day riding trek.
» TEXT AND PHOTOS BY
IN A COUNTRY more than twice the size of Texas but
with a population only the size of Houston, one finds open
land, peace and serenity. Just over an hour’s drive outside
of Mongolia’s capital city, Ulaanbaatar, a piece of paradise
awaits discovery from the saddle.
The Mongolian horses live in
an almost wild state, have an
incredibly smooth gait and
seemingly endless endurance.
Horses are kept as nature intended,
and the herdsmen share a silent
connection with them, their
unwritten traditions passed down
through the generations. On
horseback is the perfect way to
experience this country.
I watch a herd of 40 horses
cross the river that runs through
the land owned by Baagii and his
wife, Saraa. A mare tied to her foal
coaxes it across. Instantly falling
in love with this country, I would
soon discover that the people are
as genuine as its beauty.
The herdsmen live as nomads,
moving their portable round
houses, called ger, to greener
pastures. The wooden accordion-style sides of the ger fold up, the
center columns that support
the roof slats all come apart, and
topped by the felt or canvas shell
it lays neatly on a wagon that
is often pulled by a yak. Young
children fetch water from the river;
38 JANUARY 2016 | HorseIllustrated.com