The Long Riders' Guild
Temuujin Zemuun and Batmonkh Muntuush have completed their
Ride in Mongolia
November 2010: Bonnie Folkins has completed her
second expedition by riding across Kazakhstan. She was accompanied by Bahat
Ibrai, Nurbek Dalikhan and Alpamse Dalaikhan, the first Long Riders from that
country. The international team faced severe challenges.
was a very tough ride, far more strenuous that Mongolia. We were
for the most part in isolation. Streams were ice cold and we could not make dung
fires to heat water for fear of setting off grass fires. The biggest problems
were temperature extremes, for example 32 degrees, then we were plunged
And the wind was off the scale.
Still, we loved it and
would like to finish the second half of Kazakhstan next year, Bonnie
informed the Guild.
October, 2009: Bonnie, Temuujin
and Batmonkh (known to his friends as Moo Moo) have finished their Long Ride.
Here is Bonnie's report.
||This is the route we took to do our 1100
mile Long Ride in Mongolia (2009). We tossed out two original plans in favour of the route you see here.
(Click on map to enlarge it)
The reasons we changed our plans were to ensure water and grass for the
horses. My Mongolian partner riders believed that the Khangai mountain range
(Khangai Nuruu) would provide lush vegetation and plenty of streams and
rivers. They were wrong. Not only did we not find
resources, but there were few nomads or gers in sight (therefore little help
or advice when we needed it). From the few shepherds we encountered, we
learned that many were moving to greener pastures in the north. We were
ourselves sometimes able to give suggestions to migrating herders because of
the trail we had already left behind.
After Tsetserleg, we rode into high altitude mountains (almost 9000 ft.) with
sweeping, barren plateaus. Only one river provided the water sources we
expected and only for a few days. The final five hundred miles took us for
days on end through steppe that was desolate from overgrazing. That meant
almost no grass was available and often the arid land was over-run with mouse
colonies. In Mongolia, steppe mice invade the underground making tunnels that
are, for the most part, invisible to the eye. It is a very different
situation to the holes that Marmots and Ground Squirrels make that can be seen
by the horse and rider. The mouse burrows collapse with the weight of the
horse and his leg sinks hard and fast into the ground for at least twelve
inches. If your animal is moving quickly, there is a risk of tripping and
falling - even breaking a leg. If you are chased by a predator, your risks of
getting away effectively are hindered by the dangerous underground.
Our route was the following: we left the Hangard Tourist Camp on Lake
Khuvsgul and rode to Muron (in Khuvsgul Province) then on to Bulgan in
Bulgan province. From there we rode to Arkhangai Province (Khashht Village)
and to Ovorkhangai Province (Kharkhorin city), then back up through another
corner of Arkhangai Province to Tsetserleg city. Our problems started in
Bayanhongor Province through places like Jargalant, Zag and Huree Maral
(places I called Hell!) I strongly recommend that Long Riders
not follow the latter part of this route. It will put your horses at great
In the north-eastern part of Govi Altai Province we passed through the towns
of Delger and Guulin, then on to the southern parts of Zavkhan Province to
Shiluustei and Tsagaanchuluut. Back in Govi Altai (Province) again we got
lost twice in the Gobi Desert (frightening) before reaching Altai City, where
we were obliged to buy hay to accommodate the horses because the desert steppe
was so barren. We carried the hay with us all the way from Altai City to our
final destination, the ovoo of Black Horse Mountain.
During these travels through areas of overgrazing, pale yellow grass that
looked like straw to my eyes, was what we were able to offer the horses - when
we were able to find it. We were always on the lookout for it.
Click here to read about the danger of
Bonnie has also highlighted the fact
that some parts of Central Asia were used as nuclear testing sites, many of
which should be avoided by Long Riders, even though twenty years have elapsed.
So, would-be Long Riders, do your homework!
on any picture to enlarge.
Bonnie with Jacob
Moo Moo riding Red
Timuujin on Tuss
"It is the lineup following Temuujin. Peter -
the dog on the picture - was the dog that stayed with us the longest. He
would trot in unison - and the poor little guy would breathe in all that
dust being kicked up but he wanted his place !"
In December 2008 this interesting email arrived
at the LRG HQ:
My friends and I are planning a
ride from Harazargiin (Black
Olonbulag (a hamlet - the name of which means Many Rivers).
We plan to
have a backup vehicle, (a Russian UAZ Purgon), for tents and provisions.
It will be driven by our Kazakh friend Bahat who lives
in Olgii in
Western Mongolia. He will
pick up Batmonkh Muntuush (known as Moo Moo) in Altay and drive him to
Uaanbaatar where Temuujin and I be waiting. Then we will carry on to
Deed Tsagaan Nuur (Top
Our Long Ride will start from there.
We will each have one horse and there
will be one back-up horse.
We plan to purchase a breed called
the Darkhad Valley White Horse, a little larger and maybe a
little stronger than the typical Mongolian horse.
They will be purchased from a breeder
called Jargal who lives near a village called
Renchinlhumbe at Deed Tsagaan Nuur. This is in
Province in north-central
Bahat, Temuujin and Moo Moo
Temuujin and Moo Moo
We wish you the best of luck, Bonnie,
Temuujin and Moo Moo!
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