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4-5 Months horse riding trek alone around Mongolia

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1. Posted by Traveller29 (Budding Member 4 posts) 1y

Hi everyone!
We're planning (me and a friend) a very long trip in Mongolia. We are planning to go around the country, horse-riding, alone, for about 4-5 months, beginning in February 2017 . We know it is a very ambitious project, that can be rough, difficult and maybe also risky. We are fully aware of that but we still want to organise it and thus we would need some advices and some answers ;). I also have to add that I have a great experience in horse-riding and in horses in general. My mother own a horse-riding club so I've been horse-riding since I was born.
So if anyone as some experience in this kind of project:

Concerning the horses:
-What is the normal price for a good horse, one that can endure 30km per day during 5 months?
-Where can we find these horses?
-Do we absolutely need a third horse to carry our stuff?
-Do they need to eat something in addition to grass during the day/night?

We are planning to go from UB to villages in the south to find horses, and then to go south-west then north then est and then go back to UB. To sum up we want to go around Mongolia while staying in the North part (not going in the Gobi Desert because not enough water)

Concerning the itinerary:
-Do you know if there are enough villages on this itinerary to buy food every 2-3 days?
-What kind of food do they sell, can we keep this food for several days in bags?
-Is there internet in some of these villages? Phones?
-Is it possible to find water (river, lakes...) everyday for the horses?

Other:
-Is it easy to obtain a VISA for several month?
-Do you have any contact in Mongolia, working in horse-riding sector that we could contact?
-Do you know what is the best map of Mongolia, a map showing the difference between salted and not-salted lakes?

If you have any other useful information, please share with me :)
If you have already done such a trip, even for 1 month, I'd be glad to have a little chat with you, by PM or phone.

2. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2458 posts) 1y

With all due respect don't allow your past riding experience to cloud your judgement. Recreational riding will be of very little value towards preparing you for a long trek by horseback. It's two different worlds.

I'd suggest you start by signing up for an organized trek first. This will provide the perfect opportunity to learn everything you need to know about long distance trekking by horseback in Mongolia. The experience will be absolutely invaluable and the connections you will make will crucial in making your adventure happen.

And forget about showing up to do this in February. That's insane. Google is your friend, at least check the weather!

Lastly, no one can offer any advice regarding Visas when you fail to mention the single most important piece of information: Your nationality. In any case Visas and long term stays are easy to Google too.

Good luck with your research. It's a beautiful country with a crazy/interesting history and absolutely wonderful locals, especially outside the cities.

Cheers,
Terry

[ Edit: Edited on 15-Nov-2015, at 22:31 by CheersT ]

3. Posted by Traveller29 (Budding Member 4 posts) 1y

Hi Terry and thank you for your answer.
About the weather we already checked it and I don't see any kind of insanity in going in February.
As I explained above we will start going south, which means the first temperatures we will experience in Ovorhangay will be between -13 and -7 degrees celcius (average February/March). Even if it was going to be -20 it wouldn't be a problem, we will be well equipped.
About the Visa be are both French.

Once again, as I stated in the post: "We know it is a very ambitious project, that can be rough, difficult and maybe also risky. We are fully aware of that but we still want to organise it and thus we would need some advices and some answers".
So we are not looking for answers saying that it is a bad idea, that we need a guide or we should go for shorter period or at another time. We are looking for ways and advices about doing what we want to do, not about doing something else.

4. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2458 posts) 1y

February is the tail end of winter. Even in Ovorhangay temperatures can easily be well into the low negative 20's with wind chill. I'm betting you've never winter camped with horses, how do you plan to feed them outside of protected areas where you still have deep snow and they can't forage?

Instead of demanding that people only give answers to make your ill planned adventure happen exactly as you have it in your head I would respectfully suggest that you be open minded enough to accept suggestions on how to actually make your dream a reality. Start by taking a hint from the local horseback tour operators who wouldn't imagine trying to operate in the Mongolian winter.

Good luck with your research and all the best to you.

Cheers,
Terry

5. Posted by Budgie Escapee (Budding Member 27 posts) 1y

Hey.

Sounds amazing and I wish you all the best! Have you heard of the Australian adventurer Tim Cope. He completed a three-year, 10,000km journey on horseback from Mongolia to Hungary. From this he produced a book and movie. These are sure to be a wealth of information for you and you could probably contact Tim directly. Look up timcopejourneys.com.

Cheers,
Mark

6. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2458 posts) 1y

Tim's journey is famous and even he waited until June to start the trek in Mongolia, and that was with 3 horses for support.

Cheers,
Terry

7. Posted by Traveller29 (Budding Member 4 posts) 1y

Thank you again for you answer Terry and thank you too Mark.
Terry I don't expect everything to happen exactly as I have it in my head but we really want to do it on our own, during several months and unfortunately we are not very flexible concerning the dates. We could start during march at the latest. I may be wrong but it seems to me that even if it will be difficult, it is still possible if we prepare enough. But it is true that taking a guide for the first week, to get used to the horses and the environment isn't a bad idea. What about you, have you done a horse riding trek in Mongolia? for how long?
Mark, I haven't heard of him before, thanks for noticing me I'll definitely take a look :)

8. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru 2458 posts) 1y

Yes, I have done two horse treks in Mongolia, one was a warm-up ride for only 4 days, the other was a real trip of 19 days. I have been to Mongolia 3 times, the last being in September of this year for 1 month for 2nd Unit shooting on a Hollywood movie where the principle photography was done prior in Alberta, Canada. I am no Mongolian expert, but I know more than most tourists.

More importantly I know a lot about horse trekking having done it for decades throughout the Rocky Mountains and elsewhere. One of the most interesting/ambitious rides was purchasing a string of horses in San Augustin, Colombia and riding them through the Andes then selling them in Ecuador.

Bottom line is that I think your inflexibility in reconsidering the logistics of your proposed ride is dangerous to the health of the horses. I really hope that you will first visit Mongolia and hook up with a proper outfitter for a week or two and actually learn from an expert the idiosyncrasies of horseback trekking in Mongolia before you undertake an adventure that clearly has you putting horse's lives at risk.

At least Tim recognized and accepted his initial inexperience before starting his grand adventure, thus his wise decision to begin in the summer in Mongolia so he could properly learn how to horseback trek.

I'm done with this thread. Good luck.

Cheers,
Terry

9. Posted by Andyf (Travel Guru 653 posts) 1y

I know nothing about horses but you asked about visas too...

Normally tourists can visit for one month. French citizens don't require a visa for this. I've found advice that it is possible to extend this once in the country, but I suggest you contact your Mongolian embassy for advice on a longer stay. Your longer stay is out of the ordinary, so best go for proper information rather than rely on anything someone may say on a forum.

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