Horse Trekking in Mongolia for Women’s Adventure Travel
Stone Horse Expeditions 2015 Riding Season in Mongolia
Horse trekking in Mongolia for Women’s Adventure Travel is a growing trend we are glad to support with Stone Horse Expeditions. As our 2015 season of multi-day horse treks is winding down, I look back on this year’s tours. As in previous years, most of our riding guests were women, and three expeditions turned out to be with all women riders.
Horse Trekking Groups with Stone Horse Expeditions
Over the last few years, we have hosted various groups on riding expeditions – families and friends who plan a horse trek in Mongolia to spend time together on a riding adventure. The age range of group members has been from twelve to seventy.
Mothers, Daughters and Horses
Several of these groups were mothers and daughters with different motivations for horse riding in Mongolia. Nancy and her two teenage girls, Phoebe and Megan living in Hong Kong, came to Mongolia for riding in open spaces, much different from the confinements of riding clubs in a big city. These girls, and their mother, were great riders and a great match for the two young and easygoing Mongolian horses (Ben and Jerry) we had acquired new at that time.
A mother-daughter team from Australia, Hillary and Rhiannon, both medical doctors, joined us in 2014; a horse trek in Mongolia had been Hillary’s dream for years, but she put it off for 8 years until her adult children selected Stone Horse to give a riding expedition as a gift to their mother. A Canadian mother-daughter group of three, Patty, Jennifer and Johanna, enjoyed riding and camping in the autumn landscapes of Gorkhi Terelj National Park during our 2013 season. Jennifer, the oldest daughter and lawyer by profession, wrote a guest blog for us, which we posted last year.
Horse Trekking in Mongolia for Women’s Adventure Travel
Women Travelers on Horse Treks in Mongolia
This year, we were very happy to welcome back a group of young women from Singapore for their second, and longer, riding expedition. Joined by another female rider, Silke from Hong Kong, this horse trek in August with five women was a great time. Warm temperatures allowed for swimming in a remote mountain lake, and the abundance of wildflowers made the scenery only better. Star gazing in the clear Mongolian sky was a favorite pastime in the evenings for these city dwelling adventure travelers.
The second time horse trekkers enjoyed and further bonded with “their” trail horses, greatly developing their riding and outdoor skills and are planning to return again! Yue Lin also published a blog on their riding adventure, complete with poetry inspired by horse riding in Mongolia. The group, – Charmaine, Shiyan, Yue Lin, Pamela -, and more of their friends, are currently discussing their 2016 Mongolia horse trek!
The six day autumn ride in early October was (over)booked by all women riders again. With a group of friends from Texas, two Australian friends and another two women from the US and Singapore, this was a team of seven women aged between late twenties to late fifties. While riding levels ranged from beginner to more experienced riders, travel and adventure were shared favorites among all, and so was a taste for good wine after riding – in the heated dining tent. Needless to say, another trip with lots of fun and laughter. It is nice to see guests part as friends, talking about staying in touch, and wanting to return. Susan, a Boston lawyer currently on sabbatical traveling the globe, was so inspired – she send us her recorded song about the trek a week after she left.
Our season’s final tour, completed just last week on October 22, was again with young professional women from Singapore who braved night time temperatures way below the range they are used to at home. They too talked of returning for more – riding in another season, honing their riding skills and returning to “their” horses who they grew fond of.
Horses and Riders on Stone Horse Treks in Mongolia
The love of girls for horses is often remarked on. I shared it from a young age myself, though I didn’t have opportunity when I was young to be with horses, I dreamt of it. Many of our female riding guests reflect that attraction as well. Some rode at a young age, others as adults, and some are finally making their dream come true – of horse riding in Mongolia!
Most riding guests with us come to really like and appreciate their expedition horse, for his skills and experience on the trail, and for the horse’s individual character that a rider will soon find out about. Women probably express their affection for their trail horse more though; from this year’s tours I have many photos of women and their horses where the affection of the rider is obvious. It is very nice for us to see that. We have a lot of respect and affection for our horses, and good horse care is an important part of how we operate.
Reflections of Trends in Adventure Travel
While women’s interest in horses and riding are one reason for the high percentage in female guests on horse treks, the increase is likely also a reflection of general trends of women in travel, and especially in adventure travel. A large and growing adventure travel market segment is taken up by women, and professional women in Asia are a growing group of adventure travelers, as we can confirm.
Mongolia is a convenient destination for travelers from Asia, with easy connections through Singapore, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Beijing, Seoul and Tokyo. More importantly, it’s a great escape for those living and working in a big and bustling Asian city. We regularly witness this as our guests relax and enjoy being out on the trail riding through open spaces under a big sky, and on the back of a great horse. I remember our guest Keiko from Kyoto, Japan this past August as she exclaimed once we set out for the ride, with a big smile on her face, “I feel free”!
Stone Horse Expeditions in Mongolia – Teamwork for Safe and Comfortable Horse Trekking
While we greatly enjoy the trips with women riders and all women groups, we welcome ALL, and Stone Horse operations are by no means all women.
Our wranglers/packers provide a lot of male muscle power to saddle and pack horses, and make and break camp. With excess energy due to their youth, and being Mongolian, wrestling matches are not uncommon for entertainment in camp. In the Stone Horse team, men and women work together to prepare and run the expeditions. We all share in the safety and well being of our guests, and in making Stone Horse Expeditions great adventures with lasting memories.
Equine and Canine Team Members at Stone Horse
The Stone Horse equine and canine team is all male. All our horses are boys, and it is easy to believe when you watch them on the trail, in the corral at home or in the pasture – newcomers are put to the test a bit, there are practical jokes equine style and the senior trail horses keep the young guys in line.
Last but not least – Stinky the expedition dog. He is male and an exemplary nice guy too – caring, friendly and very affectionate. Being more mature now, he avoids fights but is diplomatic and mostly negotiates his passage when meeting local dogs along the way, making allies as he travels our trekking routes in Gorkhi Terelj National Park. And he takes his job serious, guarding the camp and our gear, and being very protective of all expedition members. He hates it when we are spread out too far, and runs back and forth to keep his flock together. We all feel safe with Stinky along.
Group Reservations and Single Travelers with Stone Horse Expeditions in Mongolia
With all aspects of our expeditions, we make great efforts to accommodate individual needs. We are happy to receive your group and to arrange an exclusive tour for your private group; in this case, if your group size is less than our trip size of six guests, a supplement is charged. For solo travelers, we do not charge single supplements for hotel and other accommodation.
Contact us to discuss your reservation!
Looking forward to riding with you!
Stone Horse Expeditions & Travel
Senior members of the Stone Horse Expedition team – Good Boy and Sabine