Mongolians would live a much more problematic life, if not for the horses which provide a convenient means of transportation, meat to eat, and milk to drink. The eastern steppe is renowned as a horse breeding area, especially Sükhbaatar Province and Khentii Province. However, horses are bred all across the country and differ by landscape and climate peculiarities. The steppe features the tallest horses, whereas short ones are typical for mountains. Mongolian horses also vary by colour and occur in white, black, chestnut, gray, brownish-gray, and other varieties—depending on the herdsmen's preferences. The owners respect the freedom of their horses and let them choose the pasture land on their own. Sometimes the animals are away for a few days, so the herders go to look for them but in general, a horse is quite obedient once it gets used to its rider. The best time to watch the variety of Mongolian horses is summer (mid-May to July) when they graze in masses and put on weight after the winter scarcity. Siberian conditions are considered favourable for these unpretending animals, and they are found even in the Gobi desert. But severe winters can really harm the poor animals, and they die in high numbers of starvation—this awful phenomenon is called "winter zud," and the worst thing is the helplessness of the herdsmen. Needless to say, in winter Mongolian horses lose weight, up to 30% of it, and don't appear especially attractive.
When can one observe Mongolian horses grazing in large numbers?
Mongolian horses can be observed grazing in large numbers during the summer season, more specifically, from mid-May to July. This period coincides with the lush growth of vegetation in the pasturelands. During these months, horses come together to graze in impressive numbers, a sight to behold. Additionally, summer is an ideal time for the horses to put on weight after the winter scarcity. Show more
How do Mongolian horses differ in various landscapes?
Mongolian horses differ depending on the landscape they are bred in. For instance, horses bred in the eastern steppe, including Sükhbaatar Province and Khentii Province, tend to be tall. On the other hand, shorter horses are typical in mountainous regions. Additionally, Mongolian horses vary in breed and color all over the country, thanks to their owners' choice of pasturelands. Once a Mongolian horse gets used to its rider, it is obedient and easy to handle. Show more
What are the best locations in Mongolia to witness an array of colored horses?
Mongolia is an ideal destination for horse lovers seeking to witness a variety of colored horses. While differing in breed and color depending on the landscape and climate, Mongolian horses can be found all across the country. The eastern steppe, particularly Sükhbaatar Province and Khentii Province, is renowned for breeding the largest of horses and is rich in the horse riding culture. By Mongolian law, horse owners must respect their horses' freedom and prohibit riding them on highways. Show more
What challenges do Mongolian horses face during the winter season?
Mongolian horses face several challenges during a harsh winter known as the 'winter zud.' During such extreme winters, horses can lose up to 30% of their weight and die in large numbers, posing a major threat to herdsmen. The biggest hurdle is their inability to do much to help their animals in such conditions. Despite this, Mongolian horses are incredibly resilient and can survive in harsh climates like the Gobi desert or Siberia. Show more
How do Mongolian horse owners ensure the freedom of their horses?
Mongolian horse owners respect their horses' freedom by letting them choose their own pasturelands and graze freely on the most nutritious plant varieties. Owners typically keep vigil over the horses during summer when they graze in masses to protect them against wolf attacks. However, riding horses on highways is illegal under Mongolian law to give the horses ample freedom and prevent accidents. Show more