Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Mongolian horseback riders -talented or crazy?

Although we just had a holiday I cannot stop thinking about trips that I want to do in China. Some of our friends just got back from a fishing trip in Inner Mongolia. I would never go on a fishing trip, but I'd love to go to Inner Mongolia, especially on a horseback riding trip. Apparently the Inner Mongolia is the place to go when it comes to horseback riding in China (there or Hong Kong -or so I've heard) although I have to say, that if their riders are as 'mad' as the Mongolian horseback riders that I've met here in Suzhou I am not quite sure if I would feel safe heading out on a venture with them.

There' a horseback riding club in Suzhou that I've visited a few times. It's a not the most serious club. U turn up, they look at you (giggle) and match you up with a horse. Twice I have been given a black, wild-looking thing that I've exchanged for a fat, lazy white horse that barely moves but it's very friendly so we still get on well.

Once u have your horse (and your helmet and, hear this out -chaps! Even Lucky Luke would have been impressed!) you set off riding in the sunset.. Nah, it's far from that romantic. Suzhou isn't really the 'outback' so u have to ride on car lanes and what do you think big trucks do when they see a blond girl on a fat, white horse? Yup. They honk! (Fortunately for me, my white 'fatty' horse barely reacts).

Anyways, what I was getting at is that those Mongolian riders, at least from what I can tell, are a tad bit... mad. Sometimes we've ridden on a field and there they yell the Chinese version of 'talli-hooooo!' before they sett of galloping. Since I was a horse-loving child I know the basics of horseback riding, but galloping off with a bunch of Mongolians that seems to love the word 'faster!' (it is one of the few words they know in English) when there's a big car lane next to you and the grass is wet and slippery, is actually a little bit scary... despite wearing a helmet and chaps...

So... I am just thinking... is that the Chinese version of horseback riding, or have I just been hanging out in the wrong stable? Anyone been to a horseback riding trip in Inner Mongolia? Please feel free to share your experiences.


Mark's Blog said...

I have not been to Inner Mongolian and ride horse before,

I am intensively interested in it now! haha

Anonymous said...

As a matter of fact I have been horseback riding in Inner Mongolia, and it was much like you described. The horseman LOVED to make the horses go faster and laugh at our terrified faces. After the first leg we told them we didn't want to run anymore and luckily they said ok, which kinda worked. So now that they couldn't be entertained by torchering us, one of them ran off to get some beers and they drank while riding the rest of the way.

Everybody was in pain for the remainder of the weekend. So, if you really do want to experience it, I say go for it, just sign up for a short trip, not a three hour one like we did. Camel riding on the other hand, was way cool.

Ai Mei said...

I have been horse back riding in inner mongolia and I can tell u my experience was just the same with sarah.

Adding to that one of my frien fell from the horse and was dragged for a few min on the ground. Not a very memorable experience .... recommend u to go for a short ride.

Stay away from the horseman as they like to pick pretty girls and make their horses ride a little faster from the rest.

the camel all i remembered was they smelled really bad.

but hey life is short is good to experience it ...so i would say go for both

Anonymous said...

i did a little horseback riding in lijiang, it was pretty much the same as u have described, but i totally love it. I'm probably mad like the mongolians.

Jonna Wibelius said...

Oh dear. Looks like I have to think this trip over once again. Horseback riding in Inner Mongolia sounds just as crazy as on the (few) fields of Suzhou. I was hoping to go on a trip where u ride for days, from camp to camp.. that sort of thing... hm... sounds like it's going to be tricky to find.

Anonymous said...

You could go there next year and combine it with some running and cycling :)