Horseback Riding in Mongolia

Karakorum Ride

Overview

This horseback riding holiday in Mongolia will take you through the Khangai Mountain range in the central region, which is drained by some of Mongolia’s mightiest rivers, including the Orkhon, the most famous of them all. For thousands of years the Orkhon and its tributaries provided water and shelter to the nomadic peoples and their animals. Today their lifestyle has changed little; they still herd their sheep with horses and yaks, protecting them against the misfortune of the harsh weather and wolves.

On this horseback trek through the land of the Orkhon River in Mongolia, local horsemen will accompany you and share their homeland and secrets of survival. The staff will set up comfortable overnight camps which include a dining tent to shelter you from the sun and provide warmth at in the chilly evenings, comfortable sleeping tents, shower tent and a toilet tent.

There is also a date that includes a visit to the Naadam festival in Ulaanbaatar.

The first and last 2 nights will be spent at a hotel in Ulaanbaatar.  The rooms are clean and comfortable, and have all the modern conveniences.  Extra luggage can be left at your hotel while riding.  Once away from Ulaanbaatar, nights will be spent in either western-style tents or gers.  At the permanent ger camp accommodations are in locally constructed gers (felt tents).  The camps include shower facilities, and there are lanterns and candles for light.

In general, the food will be simple and healthy but to ensure a balanced diet. Most of the provisions will be locally produced and the menus will be based on the best possible harvest available. Mongolia is generally a meat-eating country but vegetarian requests can be catered for with plenty of advance notice.

  • Overview:
    The horses used are supplied by local nomad horseman, and although small are tough and responsive. They are adept at negotiating sand dunes, open steppes and rocky mountains. Their owners have no objection to impromptu races, and you will be surprised at the speed and agility of these tough little horses. Mongolian horses are usually unshod except in very rocky areas of the country. Mongolian tack generally comprises a head collar (halter) and lead rope, which is never removed from the horse, a bridle with a simple steel snaffle, hobbles and either a Russian steel- framed or an Australian Stock saddle.
  • Horse Breeds:
    Mongolian ponies
  • Trip Pace:
    moderate to fast
  • Tack:
    English trekking and Australian stock
  • Weight limit:
    200 lbs

Non-riders can be accommodated, typically more successfully on bespoke trekking, walking, fishing and camping holidays, which we can arrange on request.

Quick Reference Itinerary: Day 1 Arrive Ulaanbaatar, sightseeing, Day 2 Drive to Ogii Nuur, Days 3-9 Riding, Day 10 Drive to “Piece of Sand”, Day 11 Drive to Ulaanbaatar, Day 12 Depart Mongolia,

Ulaanbaatar

Tour Itinerary

Day 1

Ulaanbaatar arrival and sightseeing

Arrival at the Chinggis Khaan International Airport. After clearing immigration formalities, meet your local guide and transfer to your hotel. On your way you will pass a large suburban area, where traditional nomadic felt tents can be found next to Western styled family houses. Ulaanbaatar, the energetic capital of Mongolia, is home to more than one million people, nearly half of the Mongolian population. Migration is a tremendous challenge to this fast-growing city. … you will visit the Bogd Khan Palace, a series of beautiful traditional buildings where the last religious king of Mongolia resided. The Palace is now a museum displaying fascinating artifacts and costumes associated with the king, as well as his collection of European furniture and stuffed animals. The visit the Narantuul Market well known as “Black Market” great traditional market specially those wanting to pick up traditional Mongolian clothing, horse-riding gear, traditional boots, shamanic and Buddhist ritual items, and cashmere products. Overnight in a hotel, lunch and dinner included.

Day 2

Karakorum

Today, you will travel overland to the ancient capital of Mongolia, Karakorum. For 30 years the ancient capital of the Mongolian Empire under Genghis Khan, the largest empire the world had ever seen. At its height in 1279 it covered nearly all of Asia and Europe (his grandson Kublai Khan moved the capital to Beijing). This area is part of a UNESCO World Heritage site. There is little left of the former capital these days, but the walls of the massive Erdenezuu Monastery, built in 1586, still stand. Other temples suffered damage under communist purges of the 20th century, as they attempted to eradicate the 60 temples that housed nearly 10,000 Buddhist monks. In the afternoon, visit the Erdene Zuu Monastery which is the most ancient surviving Buddhist monastery in Mongolia. It is in Ovorkhangai Province, near the town of Kharkorin and adjacent to the ancient city of Karakorin. It is part of the World Heritage Site entitled Orkhon Valley Cultural Landscape. After visiting the Karakorum Museum, continue driving to Orkhon Valley reach to Nariin Am and meet the local horseman tonight.

Overnight in tented camp

Day 3

Tuvkhun Monastery

After breakfast the riders are matched to their horses, saddles selected, and the horse tour begins. Today you will visit the monastery, which is situated at the top of Tuvshin Mountain, and where the first religious King of Mongolia – the Ondor Gegeen Zanabazar – worked and lived. Continue riding along the river until you
reach the overnight camping spot on the river’s shores.

Overnight in tented camp

Day 4

Orkhan Valley, Orkhon Waterfall to Tumertein Am

Continue to ride to Orkhon Waterfall, situated in Orkhon Valley. This valley is known as the cradle of Mongolian civilization, as many of Mongolia’s ancient monuments lie within its borders. Camp by the waterfall for two nights and participate with caution in the local challenge of “singing games,” where the loser has to consume a whole bowl of airag (fermented mare’s milk).

Overnight tented camp

Day 6

Buureg-Khuis Lake

Refreshed and relaxing at base camp, it’s back on the horses today to set off into a new area. When you watch the packhorses being loaded, you will be amazed about how much these small, sturdy horses can carry. Nevertheless, we recommend that you take as little as possible with you on this part of the trip. The riding becomes more challenging as you will ride through more obstacle areas and narrow trails of forested mountains into more remoteness altitude of 2200m above sea level where nature is pristine and untouched. You will reach the main destination 0f Eight Lakes and overnight in a tent on the shore of lake.

Day 7

Shireet Lake-Shurangiin Tsohio

Ride between the beautiful lakes, hike, watch birds and flowers. The Naiman Lake area was formed by volcanic eruption in the late Neogene period. You still can see lava rocks in the flat area and barren mountain tops. Then ride back to where the Nomad family lives for a farewell dinner with horseman and meet the support vehicles.

Overnight in tented camp with kitchen and pack animal support.

Day 10

Drive to Khugnu Khan

After a leisurely breakfast drive to Khugnu Khan, past Erdene Khamba Monastery, which is located only 18 km north of Elsen Tasarhai, at the Khogno Khan Uul Mountains (1967 m ASL.) Today there are only the ruins. Erdene Khamba Monastery had two sections: the lower one called the Zaluu Khiid, or the “Novice Temple” and the upper one is called the Uvgun Khiid, or the “Elder’s Temple”, which was built on top of the mountain. The monastery was built in a sacred valley, according to Mongolian Buddhist traditions.

Overnight in tented camps

Day 11

Hustai National Park

After leisurely drive to Hustai National Park, embark on a search for the world’s last surviving subspecies of the wild horse (Eques Ferus), known as Przewalski’s horse, or takhi here. Poaching and livestock overgrazing decimated once large herds and after sightings ceased in the 1960s, conservationists pronounced the takhi extinct in the wild. Fortunately, however, small numbers of these distinctive Mongolian horses were living in captivity, so scientists collaborated internationally to breed and reintroduce the species in its native habitat. The reintroduction of the rare and endangered Przewalski’s horse has proven a success story estimate now place the total free-ranging takhi population in Khustai Nuruu and other reintroduction areas at nearly 400. Hike to Moilt valley, abundant with patches of forest and all kinds of flowers. It is one of the best locations to observe wildlife. This is a perfect place for hiking. After Lunch drive to Tuul Riverside Lodge in Maikhan Tolgoi. An intimate and fully sustainable traditional Mongolian ger camp on the foot of the Bayanzurkh Mountain, the beautiful camp’s surrounding invites to be explored and discovered! Your gers are prepared by a dedicated team of people, giving you a warm welcome! Please feel free to channel your inner discoverer and explore the beautiful surroundings of our camp! We hope to give you an insight of Mongolia’s captivating culture
through various activities.

Overnight Tuul Riverside Lodge: ger with ensuite bathrooms

Day 12

Tuul Riverside Lodge

After breakfast our nomadic neighbor will come with his ox and cart and will take you on a ride, while you bring Mongolian bows and arrows along. Legendary for their prowess with the bow, Mongols perfected this ancient practice with bows constructed from wood, animal sinew, bone, and glue made from fish bladders in a process that could take up to a year. A stone inscription dating from the 13th century claims that one of Genghis Khan’s generals hit a target from a distance of 1/3 of a mile! Late in the afternoon will learn a Mongolian traditional game using ankle bones, like a shooting and horse racing etc. In the evening dine on a traditional Mongolian barbecue food, known as Khorhog, demonstrating what an important ingredient stones can be: mutton will be cooked slowly in a huge, metal urn with vegetables, water, and most importantly hot stones from the flame. The meat becomes soft and tasty, and the water turns into a thick meaty broth… Quite a few Mongolian chefs affirm that they can taste the difference between river and lake stones. The day will finish with a camp’s bon-fire and star gazing, which is unforgettable on a clear night.

Overnight Tuul Riverside lodge

Day 13

International departure

After breakfast, you will be transferred the hour and a half to the airport and back home.

Itinerary Addendum

This itinerary is flexible and may be modified at the guides' discretion due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances.

Tour Map

Tour Dates & Pricing

The NAADAM FESTIVAL takes place on a separate itinerary that runs from JUNE 30 to JULY 13.

Departure Dates

Trip Starts
Trip Ends
May 15, 2024
May 27, 2024
Jun 3, 2024
Jun 15, 2024
Jul 17, 2024
Jul 29, 2024
Aug 19, 2024
Aug 31, 2024

Pricing & Options

  • Base Price
  • $3,325

    Per person with 2-3 guests

  • Pricing Variation
  • $3,190

    Per person with 4-5 guests

  • $2,925

    Per person with 6-8 guests

  • $2,525

    Per person with 9 guests

  • Single Supplement
  • $260

Additional Pricing Information:
Rice prices vary according to group size. Ride price is set, guaranteed and final at the time deposit is paid.


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Contact Megan Barrett

The Spirit of the Reindeer Herders Ride was our 5th Equitours trip overseas and they have all been amazing! This year in Mongolia was so far our most exotic adventure and once again far exceeded our expectations. Equitours does a great job of contracting with excellent tour companies and makes it so easy to arrange for all aspects of travel.  Our guide and her crew were SO fantastic! They became like family and were so VERY patient. Mongolia is beautiful and must have the most hospitable people on earth! We even got to see a wedding! The entire trip was perfect!

Jeannie Bunt, 2012

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