Horseback Riding in Mongolia

Karakorum with Naadam Festival

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.

Your final days are spent in Ulaanbaatar witnessing the colorful pageantry of the Naadam Festival, a celebration of Mongolia’s three national sports: wrestling, archery and horseback riding.

There are also treks scheduled at times other than in conjunction with the Naadam Festival. That itinerary is the same, except does not include the days at the festival.

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 12-13 Naadam Festival, Day 14 Depart Mongolia,

Ulaanbaatar

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive and transfer to your 3-star hotel. Guided sightseeing in Ulaanbaatar. Lunch and dinner in a local restaurant.

Day 2

After breakfast at the hotel, head west of Ulaanbaatar. The scenery is wide-open steppe with rolling hills in the background. We will stop for lunch along the way. Overnight in tents next to Ogiin Nuur (Lake).

Day 3

Today you will get acquainted with your horse and tack and set out for the first ride. You may also wish to spend some time resting, swimming and fishing. Later, you will be driven to Khoshoo Tsaidam, and exploring ruins from the time of the Turkish Empire. Overnight in the previous night’s camp.

Day 4

Ride towards Karakorum, setting up camp at a place called Five Trees close to Karakorum.

Day 5

Today you will ride to Karakorum, the ancient capital of Mongolia from where Chinggis Khan launched his cavalry. There is a small town here now. On arrival the first and most obvious landmark is the vast wall of Erdenezuu Monastery. The monastery was built in 1586 and is surrounded by a massive 400m x 400m wall. Not a single nail was used in the construction of the ornate temples, only a few of which remain standing after the communist purges. In previous times the grounds held over 60 temples with 10,000 monks using them for their daily worship. You will visit the monastery and then ride along the Orkhon River, where you will camp for the night.

Day 6

You will continue riding until we reach Nariin Valley, which is on the way to Tovkhon Monastery. Camp in the valley tonight.

Day 7

Today you will visit Tovkhon Monastery, which is situated on 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 to where camp is set up on the shore.

Day 8

Continue to Orkhon Waterfall. The waterfall is situated in the Orkhon Valley and this valley is known as the cradle of the Mongolian civilization since many of Mongolia’s ancient monuments lie within its borders. Camp overnight by the waterfall.

Day 9

After many days in the saddle you might want to spend a day of leisure by the waterfall. If not, you can ride around this picturesque area. The area surrounding the waterfall is green and forested and you can spend the day walking in the area. This area of Mongolia is well known for producing the best “airag” (fermented mares’ milk) in the country. Many locals love to challenge you to singing games – the loser has to consume a whole bowl of “airag” so beware when visiting local families.

Day 10

Today you will drive until you reach a place called “Piece of Sand,” about a 5-hour drive from the waterfall. This stretch of sand is a long strip that originates in the Gobi and reaches all the way into the central aimags of Mongolia. On arrival we will set up camp in the foothills of the Khogno Khan Mountain. This mountain is perfect for some afternoon hiking and there are some remains of an ancient monastery that should be explored.

Day 11

After breakfast you will return to Ulaanbaatar in the vehicles, about a 6-hour drive, mainly on paved roads. On arrival in the capital you will be taken to the hotel. There will be a dinner at the Ger Restaurant with traditional Mongolian food and entertainment.

Day 12

Today you will spend a full day at the Naadam Festival in Ulaanbaatar. In the morning we will see the flag ceremony on the main square, then go to the stadium to see the opening ceremony, and the wrestling and archery competitions. In the afternoon we will see the horse racing in the surrounding countryside. The evening program will be a performance of Mongolian folk song and dance. A guide and vehicle will accompany you at all times. Breakfast and lunch will be at the hotel, and dinner will be at a local restaurant. Overnight at the 3- star hotel.

Day 13

This day can be spent relaxing and exploring the city, or you can return to the stadium to watch more wrestling and archery, or watch more horse racing just outside the city. There will be a dinner and cultural program, followed by another overnight stay in the hotel.

Day 14

After breakfast transfer to the airport for your international departure.

Itinerary Addendum

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

Trip Map

Trip Dates & Pricing

There are other trips with the same itinerary without Naadam.

Departure Dates

Trip Starts
Trip Ends
Jun 30, 2020
Jul 13, 2020

Pricing & Options

  • Base Price
  • $3,990Per person with 2-3 guests
  • Pricing Variation
  • $3,750Per person with 4-5 guests
  • $3,460Per person with 6-8 guests
  • Single Supplement
  • $595

Departure Dates

Trip Starts
Trip Ends
Jun 30, 2021
Jul 13, 2021

Pricing & Options

  • Base Price
  • $3,990Per person with 2-3 guests
  • Pricing Variation
  • $3,750Per person with 4-5 guests
  • $3,460Per person with 6-8 guests
  • Single Supplement
  • $595
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