The Ultimate Steppe Riding Tour (Mongolia)

The Ultimate Steppe Riding Tour (Mongolia)

No fences, no power lines, no paved roads! Mongolia is a unique area of unsurpassed geographical and human diversity, with forest, desert, steppe and lake lands populated by over 15 distinct ethnic groups. Join us on a horseback riding adventure in Mongolia to experience this culture first hand and from the saddle.

Horses are deeply embedded within Mongolia’s culture; they are an indication of a man’s wealth. The pace of life is governed by the speed of the horse and horses are woven into Mongolian song, verse and history. Infants are taught to ride before they can walk, and a young man’s prowess is measured by his skill as a horseman. This offers an ideal setting for a small adventurous group to experience a way of life unchanged since the days of the Golden Horde, when Chingis Khan’s “devil horsemen” created the largest empire the world has ever known.

Ask anyone who has spent much time in Mongolia, and they will confirm that seeing the country from the back of a horse is by far the best viewpoint, and in fact the only means of transportation that makes any sense at all. This is true in Mongolia as nowhere else on earth for three reasons. First, the roads are in such abominable condition, and the Russian-made vehicles so lacking in passenger comforts as to render sightseeing by car a trial of endurance rather than a convenience. Second, the landscape is ideally suited to travel by horseback.

Third - you meet the locals. The Mongolians, particularly in the countryside, are naturally warm, hospitable, and quick to laugh. They invite strangers into their gers, generously offer milk tea and cheese curds, answer and ask questions. Travelers arriving by horseback have the advantage of living within a framework familiar to both cultures, and conversation flows quicker and easier as a result.

Highlights:
Mongolia at its best - boundless steppes, ger camps, nomad families, Mongolian horses, vast landscapes, unspoiled nature
Terelj National Park with Turtle rock and numerous unique stone formations amidst the vast steppes and hilly landscape
Ulan Bator - the capital of Mongolia where the nomadic spirit can be still felt no matter of the modern buildings in the centre


Itinerary:

Day 1.
Ulan Bator
Arrival in Ulan Bator and transfer to the hotel. Free time.
Optional: Sightseeing of the town including a folklore show in the evening. We visit The Temple Gandan Hiid, The National History Museum, Zaisan Memorial etc. In the evening Mongolian folklore show and dinner will put a good start to your Mongolian experience.

Day 2.
Ulan Bator - Terelj
In the morning transfer to Terelj National Park (about 80 km from Ulan Bator), to the base ger camp. We meet the horses and the local guide. Start horse riding to Turtle rock and Ariyabal meditation emple./15km/. Full board /lunch and dinner picnic/. Overnight in camping tents.

Day 3. Real steppe riding
Horse riding to Gunj monastery ruins /20-25km/. Full board /lunch and dinner - picnic/. Overnight in camping tents.

Day 4. Real steppe riding
Horse riding to Yoliin davaa /20-25km/. Full board /lunch and dinner - picnic/. Overnight in camping tents.

Day 5.
Terelj
Ride back to the base ger camp for a shower and relaxation after the first riding stage. Dinner and overnight at the ger camp.

Day 6. Tuul River
The second riding stage continues westwards in the direction of the new statue of Chinghis Khan. We pass the forest and reach Tuul River /25 km/. Full board /lunch and dinner - picnic) Overnight in camping tent near the statue.

Day 7. Tuul River
Horse riding back to Tuul river /15km/. Overnight in a tent camp at the banks of Tuul River. 

Day 8.
Terelj
We cross the river and ride back to the base ger camp, where we say good bye to the horses. Afternoon at leisure. Dinner and overnight at the ger camp

Day 9.
Terelj - Ulan Bator
Travel back to Ulan Bator, where we spend the night in a hotel. Free time after arriving in Ulan Bator. 

Day 10.
Departure
Depending on the flight times, transfer to the airport for departure.
 
Luggage transport: The luggage is transported on horses, so don't pack too much. You can leave your extra luggage at the camp in Terelj.

Practical information: Terrain: Most parts of the tour feature steppes, rounded hills and open valleys. Riding will be about 6-8 hours a day. Horses and saddling: The weight limit of the riders is 95 kg. You will ride traditional Mongolian horses (about 150 – 160 cm high) equipped with tour saddles (wooden base with leather gaskets and pillows), requiring a period of adaptation during which the risk of fall is higher. There are some Western and Russian saddles available. The Mongolian horse is small, with particularly developed forequarters and a short and massive neck. The Mongolian horse is very strong for its size and very tough, they are well able to cope with riders up to the weight limit. The horses are almost never shod, except in winter in the Lake Khovsgol region in winter; this is in order to fix spikes to horses that pull the sleigh on the frozen lake.
Almost all colours are possible, including those with very old markings such as zebra stripes. Mongolian nomads do not name their horses, they call them by their colour and they have dozens of different terms to describe the subtleties of possible colours of their horses. The Mongolian horse has a docile temper, despite spending months of freedom in the steppe it shows a very quiet behaviour as soon as its owner catches it for the ride. They are ridden very differently to the Western style, you do not kick to increase speed, but simply use voice commands. Reins are held in one hand and the ponies are steered by neck-reining. In trot and canter riders should stand in their stirrups as much as possible.
Rider requirements: Must be confident in walk, trot and canter. This is an adventurous ride and riders will be required to participate in horse care, grooming and tacking up etc. Must be fit enough for long hours in the saddle.
Mongolians stand in the stirrups at all paces and so the horses are not used to riders sitting in the saddle. You should be fit enough to stand in the stirrups at trot and canter for periods of up to twenty minutes. Minimum riding age is 12 years.


Price Includes:
accommodation: 2 nights in double room in standart hotel in Ulan Bator; 2 nights in ger camp,each ger sleeps up to 4 people (shared WC/shower available in the camp); 5 nights in camping tents
meals: fullboard (breakfast,lunch and dinner from breakfast on day 2 till breakfast on day 9 + breakfast on day 10)
local English-speaking riding guide
fully equipped horses (helmets not included)
all ground transfers incl. transfer from/to the airport
luggage transportation during the tour

Not Included:
flight ticket
drinks and meals not mentioned above
Mongolian visa
tips
alcohol and extra soft drinks
personal expenses
insurance
optional tour in Ulan Bator

Additional Services:
optional full day city tour in Ulan Bator - 80 EUR per person; including transport; English speaking local guide; entrance fees; lunch; tickets for foklore show


Gallery


The Ultimate Steppe Riding Tour (Mongolia) (Rated 4.94 / 5 Based on 393 Reviews.)

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