On today’s episode Heather speaks with a fellow Canadian who is now a Swiss transplant. They discuss how she is preparing and training for the Mongol Derby. Can you imagine 1000km’s, 10 days, 25 + horses an adventure of a lifetime. Heather and Stephanie talk about how she decided to give this amazing gift to herself and all the planning that this trip will entail.
The Mongol Derby!
The Mongol Derby is the longest and toughest horse race in the world.
Inspired by the Genghis Khan’s original “pony express,” competitors ride approximately 25 horses across 1,000 km of Mongolian wilderness in less than 10 days. During that time, riders fend entirely for themselves, navigating across the steppe with no marked trails and taking shelter with Mongolian herdsmen along the route or camping alone with their horse at night.
Participants change horses every 40 kilometers and ride from 8am to 7pm but, let’s be clear, this is no vacation. The Mongol Derby is notoriously difficult to complete, with only half of competitors making it across the finish line. The horses that are provided for Derby competitors have all been introduced to a saddle and bridle, but their level of training and comfort around humans varies widely; this is why the race horses have been dubbed “semi-feral.” In the past, riders have suffered broken necks and collarbones, punctured lungs, and torn ligaments.
In addition to being a profound physical and mental challenge, this derby tests a rider’s ability to navigate through a foreign country with a strange language and alphabet. Riders bring their own GPS device to help them navigate through the grasslands, rivers, floodplains, mountains, wooded areas, and marshes of the Mongolian steppe. Aside from the terrain, a rider’s primary enemies on the steppe are wild dogs and marmot holes, which can cause a devastating fall if a horse’s foot gets stuck.
Our Guests today:
Stefanie Buettner (Switzerland via Canada)
Where you can follow Stefanie’s adventures and get in touch:
Instagram: Bucketlist horse adventures
Website: Mighty Mongolian Adventure
Don’t forget to check out the resources section in this article!
- How the olympics inspired an amazing journey
- The charity that will benefit from this
- The Mongolian horses
- The ins and outs of the Mongol Derby, the longest and toughest horse race in the world
Thank you for tuning in and happy trails!
Today’s episode is sponsored by Horse India
Horse India aims to give you a holiday to remember, to ensure that through our safaris you can experience the passion we hold for the Marwari horse and Rajasthan. We want to share with you the thrill of riding the unique and spirited Marwari.
Ride through magical Rajasthan, feel the spirit of the Marwari horse as you discover history, culture, forts and palaces, by retracing old routes through the forests of the Aravalli (A-ra-Valley) Hills, and riding over the sand dunes of the Thar Desert. You may have heard of the “Golden Triangle” – well we ride the bit in the middle! Between the blue city of Jodhpur, the lake city of Udaipur, and within easy reach of the pink city of Jaipur.Join us to ride Marwari horses in their homeland.Horse India welcomes groups of 4 – 12 riders. They can cater to all riding abilities, but to get the most from the holidays you should be comfortable at a canter in the open countryside.
You can book your own private group, join one of our open groups, or if short on time ask us for Day rates. The most popular time to ride in Rajasthan is between October and March however, the rides can be booked for any time of year to suit your required dates, and will be tailored to suit the weather conditions (summer heat / monsoon rain etc) as well as your riding abilities and requirements. Families with children, and non-riding partners welcome.
For more information please check out their website and facebook pages.
Website: Horse India
Facebook : Horse India
- Mongol Derby Packing List
- Interviews with past mongol derby competitors
- Podcast Episode Race the Wild Coast in SA (also features the mongol derby)
- The history of the Mongol Derby
- The Oldest Mongol Derby Winner
- Equestrian tools and resources
- EQA Online Shop