Photographic Journey to “Taliin Tumen Aduu – Steppe Horse Festival”

It is said that Mongols are born on horseback. Chinggis Khaan’s descendants have been keeping their “horse culture” into the 21st century. When you visit Mongol nomads, you can see their horse training skills such as taming, lassoing and picking up pegs from the ground while on horseback. And when you see that horse skill, you can clearly imagine how Mongol warriors conquered half of the world on horseback. 

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Nomadic horse culture – famously associated with Chinggis Khaan and his Mongol khanates 

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It is not possible to imagine Mongolian history without horses

Mongolian horses look smaller but they have strong stamina because of the pastoral way of living. Nomads do not feed the horses with prepared hay, they migrate several times a year for the better pasture. So the horses are roaming wild and free on the wide steppes and when people need to ride they catch horses from the herd and then started to tame and train for riding.

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Skillful riders are defined by their ability to lasso an untamed horse from the herd.

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The horses of Mongolia are semi wild, allowed to graze freely on the steppe until they are needed to ride

Batzaya Choijiljav, Mongolian photographer and traveler took a photographic journey to the “Taliin Tumen Aduu – Steppe Horse Festival” to the legendary homeland of Chinggis Khaan. He collected action moments, some of the stunning shots of horses, elegant jewelries, adorable kids, strange faces and much more. I would like to inform that "On his first travel to this horse festival,  he captured the horse which was awarded "The Best Animal Photo of the Year 2016" published on Soon, It became a famous image "Horse with a mane like pop star Ellie Goulding spotted in Mongolia". You can see that photo HERE 

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One of the purposes of Steppe Horse festival is to promote intangible horse culture to the next generations 

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A three -year-old cutie, Ichinkhorloo.S, from nearby village to celebrate the horse festival 

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Mongolian children start to learn horse riding before they can walk- and that is true

From two-year-old kids to elderly folks, from international photographers to local horse lovers were gathered on the open steppe and celebrated and captured this thrilling cultural festival. During the festival, the atmosphere among the Mongols was amazing, everyone was so emotional they respected their horses and elders, their greetings with each other, their customs and traditions everything was incredible.

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Local nomads and foreign visitors during the steppe horse festival 

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Beautiful fashionable couples compete for their traditional costume, horse equipping and riding skills at the horse festival

And they did not only show off their horse skills but also, perform traditional music, dance, and elegant decorated saddles, bridles and equipping techniques. In the evening, folklore performance was held in the local theatre, here you will immerse yourself in one of the Mongolian wonders.

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The Mongol craftsmen over centuries created their own saddles and its decorative silver ornaments 

local culture performance

The Steppe Horse Festival is not all about the horses, but also it is about folk music, dance and arts 

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"Taiga" breed - Mongolian hunting dog 

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Steppe Horse Festival or winter Horse Festival was known in the world for by the stunning images, taken by Batzaya Choijiljav. And then started to be attracted by international photographers. The quantity of visitors, participants and photographers have been increasing for this attractive event, year by year.  You will feel real human being among these friendly Mongolians and it is one of the must-see events in Asia. 

Event organizers: 

Local Government of Batnorov Soum, Khentii Province
“Munkh Khariltsaa” NGO 



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