Learning to Ride

During the Summer 2014, I purchased a horse and made a 600km, 32 day journey across Kyrgyzstan on horseback, as a complete novice of a rider. I learned to ride my horse along the way, through trial and error and from the shepherds I met living on the steppes and in the mountains. The full story can be read here https://maptia.com/scottturner/stories/learning-to-ride If you are interested in the details of setting up a journey like this, here is some information about how I did it (and how I would do it differently next time): As for purchasing the horse, in Kyrgyzstan a good riding stallion/gelding goes for about 70,000-80,000 SOM, and depending on exchange rate, that's like $1250-$1500. You can get a cheap saddle for like $100 which will do just fine. Or you can get a nice saddle for $300 if you know where to buy. I'd recommend the cheap one honestly. It's not worth it to get the expensive one. I did the purchasing through a trekking company. Even if you know horses, I'd recommend that route. You'll need somewhere to keep the horse before you leave for trekking, and something to feed it as well, so getting in contact with people who can help you, even if you have to pay for it, is recommended. I can recommend a few companies who can help if you're serious. Keeping in a horse in a confined space is HARD work. The sooner you can get out into the mountains, the better; the grass is free and there is typically plenty of it (depending on the season and specific location). The hardest part of trekking with horses is dealing with the horses themselves. Keeping them fed, watered, and rested. Especially when you start talking about month long treks. They aren't machines, and you need to find really good grass for them to eat, which can be hard to come by sometimes. They eat 20 hrs a day and sleep for about 4 typically. So if you throw 5-6 hrs of trekking in there, keep in mind that when you are done for the day, it's already behind schedule and it needs to eat thick green grass to catch up. Finding good grass is extremely important. Also, if you don't have experience with horses, the other really important detail you need to consider is that horses are INCREDIBLY herd minded. They are tough to handle alone. Meaning, if your horse is solo and sees a herd, it's going to run after the herd. This can be a big problem if you are not prepared. My recommendation is to stay close to the shepherds out there. In Kyrgyzstan, they are exceedingly friendly and are happy to have visitors. Just ask to pitch your tent next to the yurt; I've never been turned down. I can provide other information if you want, like details on what gear to buy, what seasons to visit (which will depend on your adventure level....I know a guy who does winter trekking out there in -40C lol), etc. Just send me a message. Cheers! Scott


  • 93c974e640c2cc540b612bd3c2c70ee9%3fdefault=mm&size=100

    Lovely photos, #5986 is really amazing!

    over 5 years ago
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    Vincent bihler

    Awesome work... All of these shots has been made with your M3 + 50 ?

    almost 5 years ago

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Scott Turner