Horseback Riding in Mongolia
Horses are a part of Mongolia's culture as traditionally they indicate the wealth of the owner. Most Mongolians know how to ride a horse and the horses are a part of Mongolian songs and even govern the pace of life with their speed.
Infants are often taught to ride a horse and the prowess of young Mongolian men is measure by their skills as a horseman. Mongolia is a great setting for adventurous travelers who like to experience traditional lifestyles, which remain largely unchanged from the times when Ghengis Khans horsemen create one of the world's largest empires.
The Mongol horse is a native breed of horses from Mongolia. Allegedly the breed is mostly unchanged from Genghis Khan's time. The number of animals held by the country is much greater than its human population.
Horses live outdoors all around the year in Mongolia and look for food on their own. The milk of these horses is processed into airag, the national beverage of Mongolia. Every person in a Mongolian family usually has his or her own horse.
If you would like to go horseback riding in Mongolia, you can do so by either signing up for a riding tour, renting a horse or even buying your own horse. Mongolian families often sell horses that they do not have much utility for. But it is recommended to book an organized riding tour.
It is always best to have a Mongolian guide with you, unless you know the area really well. Apart from the actual act of riding, the challenge is ensuring you have water sources along the way. Just for back up always carry sufficient water for your horse.
Mongolian horses usually get going with the sound 'choo'. Climb your horse from the left side to the saddle. Mongolian horses are used to his because that is the side they were climbed on by Genghis Khan's warriors.
In the beginning you may feel unbalanced while riding. Finding the right balance is the first important part of horse riding. Use your hands and legs to control the horse and other aids if you do have them. Remember not to panic ever and make any rash decision while you are on the horse because you and the horse could get hurt.
Discover Mongolia (discovermongolia.mn) has a thirteen-day horse riding tour through the central Mongolia including Naadam festival in Karakorum and ten-day trek through Hentii, the motherland of Chinggis khan.
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