There is no better place to take your time and discover the country on a horse than Kyrgyzstan. Get on your saddle, and forget the worries of modern life.
In Kyrgyzstan, horses are a key component of the economy and of the country’s identity. Like in many other Central Asian countries, horses have always been and still are today essential for getting around the mountainous territory of Kyrgyzstan. But they are also a social and cultural symbol.
Like in neighboring countries, children learn to ride horses from their youngest age. Horses are considered as a source of life in Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyz drink Kumis, mare milk, since very ancient times. It’s also a source of joy, since horses are used for national celebrations and games. Horses have always been a symbol of Kyrgyzstan.
Nowadays, you can observe six different breeds of horses in Kyrgyzstan. The Kyrgyz’s favorite mounted horse, small, robust and strong, almost disappeared due to Soviet policies to eliminate this horse. It’s a very important animal in Kyrgyz history, and this horse has songs, poems and stories dedicated to it.
Since 2004, under the initiative of Jacqueline Ripart, a French horse specialist, the Kyrgyz Ate foundation works on rehabilitating these breeds and the ancestral equestrian traditions of Kyrgyzstan. The organization also holds a yearly festival dedicated to this horse in the Pamir, in the South of the country.
Horseback riding in the valleys and mountains of Kyrgyzstan is probably the best way to feel harmony with the nature and understand the history of nomadic tribes.
It’s also the safest way to discover the country, especially in high altitude mountains where cars cannot always pass.