Places for horseback riding in Russia

Places for horseback riding in Russia

A horse is an all-terrain animal. It can take you to places you can’t walk or drive. People traveling on horseback can go to hard-to-reach places and get an unusual experience of living in the wild. Another pleasure is learning how to interact with your horse. Many horseback riding tours are designed for experienced hikers, but there are options for beginner riders as well. It is important to prepare well and choose a route that matches your skills.

Preparing for the hike

As a rule, horses provided by travel agencies are calm, accustomed to unusual situations. They know how to move in a caravan. However, no one is immune from extreme moments in which they will have to show independence. A few lessons with a trainer will help you understand the principles of control, learn how to take pressure off your back and decide whether you like horseback riding. Such minimal skills will definitely come in handy: often the group does not have the opportunity to return to base before the end of the route.

Kostroma region, Galich

Places for horseback riding in Russia

The classic Russian landscapes of the Kostroma region – wide fields, pine forests and birch groves – are a beautiful backdrop for the first horse rides into nature. The main routes in this region are laid across flat terrain. Many people come to Kostroma for weekends or long holidays. Travel agencies take this feature into account and develop easy weekend routes. Participants can try living in a tent if they have not done so before. In addition, you can also warm up in the bathhouse, play billiards and tennis, take pictures in folk costumes, while away the evening near the Russian stove or visit the fortress in the city of Galich. 

How to get there: You can get from Moscow to Galich by train. From other cities, first by plane to Kostroma, then by bus or train to Galich, then by taxi to the village of Mikhailovskoye. Here is one of the most popular tourist bases for horse riding – “Morning in the Village”.

Where to stay:in Kostroma you can spend the night in the guest house “White Horse”. 

Karachay-Cherkessia, Honey Falls

Places for horseback riding in Russia

Look at alpine meadows, travel through gorges to babbling springs and powerful waterfalls, spend the night in a tent overlooking Elbrus – this is what one of the options for a horseback trek in the Caucasus might look like. Thanks to horses, travelers are immersed in the world of Lermontov’s works and walk along those paths where tourist buses cannot pass. Many excursion bases offer day trips to popular attractions or a lightweight tour with stops at thermal springs. One of the oldest organizers of equestrian programs in the Caucasus is the Honey Falls tourist complex, which has horses for riders with different riding experience.

How to get there: by plane to Mineralnye Vody, then by bus or taxi to Kislovodsk, and from there to the “Honey Falls” tourist complex. You can also get to Kislovodsk from Moscow by train.

Where to stay: You can comfortably stay at «Park Hotel » in Kislovodsk.

Bashkiria, Beloretsky district

Places for horseback riding in Russia

The spurs of the Southern Urals are well suited for getting acquainted with horse riding in mountain conditions. Six-day adventures among tall ship pines and deep rivers are enough to feel like a pioneer, but not get tired of nomadic life. The main hiking trails pass in relative proximity to populated areas, so it is possible to return to the base before the end of the hike. In addition, many organizers offer combined options with rafting in the summer and sleigh rides and dog sledding in the winter.

How to get there: by plane to Ufa, then by bus or taxi to the selected tourist base.

Where to stay: before the hike — at camp sites. In Ufa you can stay overnight at the Bashkiria hotel complex.

Altai Republic, Altai Mountains

Places for horseback riding in Russia

During a six-day trek through Altai, travelers will see a change in landscapes more than once: deciduous forests, cedar trees, alpine meadows, mountain tundra. High plateaus and cliffs offer views of blue lakes surrounded by colored rocks. These fantastic views are depicted in the paintings of Nicholas Roerich. Despite the fact that the horse caravan moves only at a walk, it will be very difficult for beginners on these routes – it is better to go here well prepared. Participants are challenged by capricious weather, difficult forest and mountain paths, constant elevation changes, and lack of communication and internet. Horses carry things and food on themselves: it will not be possible to return to civilization until the very end of the journey. But for experienced riders this is an opportunity to test their skills and stamina.

How to get there: by plane to Gorno-Altaisk, then by bus or taxi to the selected tourist base.

Where to stay: before the start of the hike at the camp sites. In Gorno-Altaisk you can relax in the Altai guest yard.

Irkutsk region, Baikal

Places for horseback riding in Russia

Tour companies offer a fairly large selection of vehicles for exploring the beauty of Baikal. Among them are horses. Combined routes are popular among travelers: a ride in the saddle alternates with trips by car and water transport. To prevent excursion participants from getting tired, the programs include long stops for swimming and photo sessions in picturesque places.

How to get there: by plane to Irkutsk, then by bus, minibus or car to Listvyanka.

Where to stay: in Listvyanka you can spend the night at the Baikal Hotel.

Buryatia, Shumak passes and Tunkinskaya valley

Places for horseback riding in Russia

Buryatia is one of the first regions that began to develop equestrian tourism. The complexity of the routes depends on the duration of the hike: the more days, the higher you go into the mountains. Tour participants are immersed in the world of magical myths and legends, stop at healing springs, and visit places of worship. Along one of the directions, travelers will reach unique natural objects – weathering pillars, which are called the chars of Urgedey. In another, you will see the stunning contrasting landscape of the Coymore Lakes Valley. Like movie heroes going into the sunset, riders will plunge into the vast blue of the Sayans. Walking in the saddle can be combined with rafting and car trips. In the latter case, the number of available routes will immediately increase.

How to get there: by plane to Irkutsk or Ulan-Ude, then by car, regular buses or minibuses to the village of Kyren, where the administration of the National Tunkinsky Park. To visit these areas, you must obtain a permit in advance.

Where to stay: before the hike – at the camp sites. In Irkutsk you can relax at the Empire Hotel, and in Ulan-Ude Orda is suitable.

What questions should you ask a travel agency to choose the appropriate option

  1. How many days does the route last?

One or two days is the best option for a first trip.
Three to seven days is a real adventure for riders who have already been on short trips.

  1. How many hours does a day’s trek last?

Inexperienced riders will find it difficult to ride for more than two or three hours a day. On multi-day hikes, you will have to spend up to six hours a day in the saddle.

  1. What type of parking?

You can combine communication with horses and a relaxing holiday on photo tours or on routes with long stops in beautiful places for hiking and swimming.

  1. Is it possible to return to base early?

For those who are not confident in their abilities, it is better to choose the format with car accompaniment. The route runs along roads where cars can pass, so a tired participant can return to the base at any time. If horses carry things and food supplies for a week, then most likely the path lies far from highways, and all riders go together to the end.

  1. You also need to check with the travel agency:
  • are there horses for beginners;
  • minimum allowed age of riders;
  • pace (walk, trot, gallop);
  • required equipment (helmet, boots, etc.);
  • availability of relevant insurance.

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