Trip Start Sep 2005
52Trip End Sep 2006
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
I signed up to do a 7-day horse trek for my second week there. Not the best type of exercise after a marathon. I was saddle-sore before I started, and weīd be doing 30-40k through Mongolian wilderness everyday. Maybe it was because the ground was so soft, but 2-3 days into the trek and my muscles felt great.
At the start of the trek the horses are nervous because some complete stranger is trying to take control of them. But after a week in the saddle they start to recognize you and relax alot. Or more precisely they start to recognize their own smell off you.
Horses generally arenīt my thing. Usually the horse Iīm on always takes some mad notion to just run off for a gallop and wonīt stop no matter how much I pull on the reins
As far as scenery goes Mongolia could compete with anywhere that Iīve been to. Many countries have beautiful landscapes of mountains, forests, rivers, etc, but mongolia also has lots of wildflower meadows which are in their full glory at this time of year. Right outside the tent door you have a beautiful wild flower meadow where the horses are doing their overnight grazing. Oranges, whites, yellows, and pink flowers blanket the place
Travelling by horse is a really nice way to see a place. We were fortunate enough to meet some reindeer herders. Thereīs only about 30 of them in an area about half the size of NīIreland. The other day we saw some children training horses for the racing next week. They were riding round in circles singing old racing songs to the horses. The nomad children start to ride soon as they can walk. Weīve come across many sacred spots along the way, where you all have to get off your horses and walk round them 3 times, CLOCKWISE! It must be clockwise.
Another day we rode into the very remote village of Renchilumbe. It was like the Magnificent 7 riding into a small mexican village. A couple of locals peeped out at us from behind curtained windows. Some took their siesta in the shade of a wall. Cool stuff. The riding in that area wasnīt so much fun as there was alot of marsh. So itīs not to be attemptd without sunglasses.
At the end of the week Iīd had a lesson in all things horsy. I knew how to saddle up my own horse. (The guides trained us up for a saddling competition on the last day, which Dirk claimed he won. Though after his antics on the last night Iīm sorry I didnīt call for stewards inquiry.) I also learned how pack animals behaved, why they like to trot along with their noses right in the tail of the horse in front. I had first hand experience of the expression chomping at the bit, and knew the implications. Lucky for me on the last day my horse was chomping at the bit, just in time for the end-of-week race. At the starting sign he took off like a wild thing, only to be caught by an ex-race horse ridden by Sabine, who won by 2 lengths
I never would have believed that Iīd enjoy this trip so much. The organization was excellent. The food was top notch. We even had mongolian campfire pizza! The group and the guides were great. We had a few sing-songs, plenty of crack, and plenty of mongolian folk-stories. Thereīs something very relaxing about trotting along on your horse through the wilderness. Not that I was feeling stressed beforehand. But if you ever were, Iīd recommend it as a trip to ease all the troubles away.