Explorers Connect

Mongolian Long Ride

EC CommunityJames Hipkiss

A planned solo expedition to cross Mongolia. On horseback. Yes, that's right. Two horses actually. With the world in a seemingly endless rush to get its hands on a Black Friday Asda telly, what better time to embark on a nostalgic adventure harking back to the good old days of equine exploration. Forget doing it fast or furthest. Just enjoy doing it.

Ever since I could speak, I spoke of horses. Now I have the time and energy to do something few people would think of, or it turns out, care to do. Ride across Mongolia and visit one of the last Nomadic horse cultures left. Really visit. Learn what it means to live or die by your horsemanship.Kindly recognised by The Long Riders Guild and with their huge wealth of knowledge and expertise in equine based exploration as a resource, I have put the plans in place for a three month Expedition across the Steppe.

Tough logistically and physically, the romantic notions of riding off into the sunset were something I was keen to avoid. Long riders are a tough breed but never have I come across a group of people more willing to impart knowledge, often hard fought on the trail, then these quiet heroes. If you haven't read Tim Copes new book On the Trail of Genghis Khan, you should. In it he details his odyssey across Mongolia to the shores of the Danube. Some 10,000km away in Hungary. It took him three and a half years. He had never ridden a horse before.Expeditions are often arduous and difficult, perhaps more so when the typical hierarchy of needs such as a warm place to sleep for the night, are superseded by thoughts for your horses well being.

This is the Long Riders code. The journey, not for glory or recognition, but more as a sharing experience between two different species. To me, the very essence of adventure.If you are in Mongolia next year, drop me a line. If you fancy hearing how I got on, drop me a line. If you ever dreamed of riding across the Steppe, drop me a line.Good luck with all the other adventures going on out there, there are still many more to be found.Jack