Aug 13 2009

Mongolia 2009 – Part 2 – Meeting our Wranglers

Published by at 7:52 am under Mongolia,Western Mongolia

We spent the first two days of our time in the park getting used to our horses and meeting the local Kazakhs who would be our horse and camel wranglers. They all lived in the area – one family’s group of gers was a short distance behind our site at the bottom of the mountain:


A group of gers from a local Kazakh family


Per local custom, we were invited inside and given food such as tea, cheese, yoghurt, etc.


The head wrangler named Karbai sang a song for us while playing the dombura.

Afterwards, we went outside where they put new shoes on two of the horses we would use.


Karbai hammers a shoe into shape while the other wranglers tend to the horse. Not easy to see here but the wrangler in the center of the picture is wearing a Hawaiian aloha shirt with surfboards and 1940’s cars on it. Very stylish.


Putting the shoe on the horse. These guys work pretty hard.

The next day, like last year, many of the locals – easily over 100 – came out and staged a Kazakh version of naadam for us. There were horse races, tug-of-war (usually with a goat carcass but they used a pair of jeans for us), and a game where they have to pick something up off the ground while staying on a moving horse. One of our guys named Sarkut won that one.


Two Kazakhs in the horse race next to the lake.

The next day, we hit the trail on our horses to head to the next camp site. More to come…

– Dave

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