Buying Horses in Tavan Bogd National Park, Mongolia+ Diary
When we started travelling in March we hadn’t really thought about buying horses in Mongolia. But this trip really was everything you can imagine it was. Every day we had severe highs and lows. The highs were as simple as all six of us cruising along in the sunshine and camping under the Milkyway. But when it was bad it was really bad, vomiting camels, escaping horses, drunk locals, horny dogs, injured animals, crashed drones and broken gear this trip had it all.
If you’re interested in buying horses, we have an indepth guide here.
Looking back, purchasing and travelling with animals is a whole new experience and a great one at that. It is definitely one we will be doing again next year.
It all started on a sunny beach in Tonsai, Thailand. We were once again revisiting our favorite Thai climbing spot and chatting with other climbers about future plans when our now good friend Tamar planted the idea of buying horses in Mongolia. When I say planted, it was probably more stole/borrowed the idea from her.
The next couple of months while we were climbing throughout Asia we researched and planned our trip deciding on the Altai Mountains in West Mongolia as our starting point. Silvia was getting more and more excited about the prospect of travelling with animals and Pyn just wanted to buy a dog.
Olgii sits just outside Tavan Bogd the National Park within which the Altai Mountains are situated and it was here that our trip really started. We had already bought all our horse tack and some food in Ulaanbaatar the capital as there was no such market in Olgii. We transported about 80kgs of gear on the 40 hour bumpy bus from Ulaanbaatar to Olgii. The next step was to buy the animals, purchase a bit more food and get the permits.
After talking to almost all the travel agencies in Olgii we hit gold with a guy who would take us to buy the horses but also commit to buying them back off us when we had finished. The trade for the horses and camel went off without a hitch, although the animals were a bit skinny they seemed relatively calm and responsive while riding. We named our two horses Cosmo and Gobi, our camel Floppy and our dog Aktus.
Two days later we joined the horseman at his summer ‘house’ and started our epic journey.
Now I could continue about the whole month and go into detail about the many near disasters and the emotional rollercoaster we went on nearly everyday but so much happened that honestly my vocabulary and linguistic abilities wouldn’t be able to do it justice and so much would have to be left out.
Instead I’ve linked to our mostly unedited diary, a bit of bulking out here and there for context and the best bits highlighted in red. Click here to read the diary. Hope you enjoy.
If you’re interested in buying your own horses and recreating this trip. Click here to purchase the guide we wrote on buying horses and preparing for the trip of a life time in Mongolia.