Horseback riding in Mongolia

Horseback riding in Mongolia

Horseback riding in Mongolia

If you are planning to travel to Mongolia, horseback riding can be a startling experience to feel the deep connection of Mongolian nomads and their horses. For centuries, horses have been worshiped and respected by the steppe nomads. Having as many horses as people in a modern world proves how nomadic lifestyle is still revolving in Mongolia. They are used for transportation, herding, hunting, and horse racing. All children in the countryside learn to ride at the age of 4 and become jockeys by age of 7. Even today most Mongolians know how to ride a horse, whether they live in the city or in the countryside. Therefore, riding a horse in Mongolia is a great opportunity to feel the spirit of this nation.


Mongolian horses might seem small, but they are strong and sure-footed, whose ancestors once swept across Euro-Asia during the conquests of Chinggis Khan in the 13th century. Comparing Mongolian horses to the ones in the Western world, their attitude or behavior is seemingly different and mostly considered semi-wild. Nonetheless, it does not actually mean that they are aggressive or dangerous, but rather has a survival instinct close to that of wild animals. Mongolian horses are not kept in barns or pastures like western horses. On the contrary, besides the limited time that owners use them for a ride, they roam free in the steppes on their own even in cold winter nights, protecting themselves from predators. Thus, their instinct makes them quickly react to any unknown movement, noise or even smell. However, Mongolian horses are surprisingly well-trained for riding and packing, can carry heavy loads over rough trails for days without a hitch.

Mongolia horses for ride

Riding a Mongolian horse is rather simple, even if you have never ridden before. There are not many strict instructions to follow. If you are new to horseback riding and/or not confident about the experience, your local guide and horse instructor/local horseman/ will gladly help you to get the finest experience. Local families, who know their horses’ behaviors very well, manage your tour and thus you will be provided with their most well-trained horses.


To put it simply, you can put faith in your horse who knows the terrain better than us. You can trust your horse when crossing rivers or climbing muddy road since it had probably done it a hundred times before. Also, be firm with your commands. Some horses can sense if you are scared or don’t know what you are doing, and they will try to take advantage by constantly stopping to eat grass or just simply refusing to go forward. If this happens, just give a tug upwards on the reins to pull their head up from the grass, or say “Chu!” and give them a firm bump on their side by stirrups to get them to move. It would not harm them as long as you do it with good intention.


In Mongolia, you can try all levels of riding tours whether you are up to a one-day riding trial or a weeklong horse trek. And horses would take you places that vehicles simply cannot reach and reveal the gems of Mongolian beautiful nature.


We load our luggage on the pack horses, and mount our horses. As this is our first day with our horses, we will take a rather easy ride up the Orkhon Valley.


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