When you are riding a horse in Mongolia, always keep in mind the fact that your horse lives free in the steppe about 10 months out of 12.
You will need to both adapt to a different riding technique, and to a horse that can “overreact” to behaviors that seem trivial for western horses.
But conversely, you may find that some things that frighten western horses are perfectly tolerated by the Mongolian horses, especially the fact of using the lunge of the bridle to tie them to their own front leg!
Things to know before you going on horseback riding tour;
- Always approach your horse very carefully from the left side, do not surprise it. This recommendation applies to all horses, but even more for the Mongolian horse which relies only on itself to survive for most of the year.
- Before mounting the horse, check that the saddle is tight so it doesn’t slip. Always tighten the reins, make the horse stand still and mount quickly.
- Do not make sudden movements when you’re riding, ask the group to stop and get down to dress or undress.
- Do not lean forward or touch the horses around the head, because the horses often do large head movements up to get rid of small flies that bite the inside of their nostrils and ears.
- Do not gallop or trot seated, stand on your stirrups as much as possible.
- Keep your reins in one hand, use only neck reins.
- Do not use your legs to ask your horse to walk, trot or canter. Mongolian horses usually get going with the sound ‘tchou’. Just say “Tchou” .
- Avoid loose clothing that might be flapping in the wind. Instead of a poncho, choose a raincoat.
- Always ride with a tight rein. The horses can move quickly when they are frightened by objects, such as paper or wire and animals e.g. marmots,hares, birds that appear suddenly.
- Never wrap the reins around your body when riding, leading or even sitting on the ground.
- Don’t leave the horses alone while you are in the field, if you have ropes then the horses must be tightly hobbled or tied. Ask the horse guide for help if you do not know how to do this.