Mongolia

The WildArt Mongolia Expedition, Part 13: An Ambling Horse Race In Bayahongor

What are they watching?

What are they watching?

We finally came full circle, in a way, and arrived back to Bayanhongor, from where we had turned south towards the Gobi over two weeks earlier. As we came into town we saw a big crowd and…horses. What was going on? We drove over to the parking area, stopped and jumped out with our cameras. It was a horse race, but not like any I’d seen. For one thing it was on an oval dirt course instead of across the countryside. For another the horses sure didn’t seem to be going very fast. It turned out to be a race for a very special gaited Mongol horse called an ambler. Some horses are born with the ability to pace, which means both legs on one side move together. They are highly prized because they give a smoother ride than the regular Mongol horses who have a shortened gait which is an adaptation to minimize the danger of breaking leg if the horse steps in something like a marmot hole. What a wonderful and unexpected photo opp and experience this was almost at the end of the Expedition!

It's a horse race!

It’s a horse race!

This time most of the riders were adult men.

This time most of the riders were adult men.

I'd never seen Mongol horses move like this before.

I’d never seen Mongol horses move like this before.

And I loved how some of the riders were wearing very fancy del.

And I loved how some of the riders were wearing very fancy del.

At the finish line.

At the finish line.

Best. Dressed. Man.

Best. Dressed. Man.

One of the winners, apparently.

One of the winners, apparently.

Everyone seemed to having a seriously good time.

Everyone seemed to having a seriously good time.

Mugging for the camera.

Smiling for the camera. Love the peace sign.

On our way north

On our way north we passed….a dinosaur park. The light was going and we had a ways to drive to no time to stop. Just grabbed some shots from the van.

I want this for our backyard.

I want this for our backyard.

Back out into the countryside,

Back out into the countryside, going north into the Hangai Mountains to a monastery that I visited and fell in love with in 2010, Ganchen Lama Khiid. You can read about that first visit here.

It was July and green

It was July and green the first time I went up this road. Now it was September and the land was golden in the setting sun.

It truly was a beautiful fall evening.

It truly was a beautiful fall evening.

But it was also going to be cold. We drove on as it became dark and finally arrived at the Monastery….

 

 

 

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