Horse racing is a serious business in Mongolia. Horses race long distances from 15–25km, so they need to be in excellent shape to compete. It is a lot of work and few monetary rewards.
A friend of mine trains his horses not far from the city. I have asked him why does he do it if there are very few rewards. His answer was that his father loved horses and he trained many of them. His children, my friend and his brother continue this tradition. But I think he loves the horses and he visits his brother when he wants to relax from the city job. His older brother does it full time.
Preparing a horse for racing is similar to preparing elite athletes. We call preparing the horses for racing морь уях or tying a horse. The horses are tied to the rope above. From now on, every water they drink, every food they eat, the races are all under supervision.
The morning starts with a stretching exercise. It is just before sunrise. A horse is stretching out after standing still all night.
Then a sip of a fresh water.
Warm up time. Some light trotting at sunrise
Some more stretching after workout.
Some food. The horses are for racing so they got to eat some extra oats. The regular horses get to consume the dried grass.
Afternoon starts with a short distance galloping. The distance is around 3km. Some days they get to ride the whole distance around 15–25 km.
After the races, the horses are wiped off the sweat.
Some more stretching and so on. It is a full time job. The job ends with sunset, to be continued tomorrow.
photo credit: all pics mine.
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