Excerpt from the Journal of Olds – Chu!

Next day after breakfast we decided to have a dabble at horse-riding – something neither of us have done in any significant capacity before. Concerned with how well we’d handle the biting cold for two-hours of horse-back Nasaa insisted on providing us with some brilliant traditional outfits. I ended up looking more like a Sumo than a Nomad but there’s no denying I was perfectly warm.

We mounted up with relative ease considering I had a duvet wrapped around me, noted the controls:

–          Forward – “Chu!”

–          Faster – “Chu!”

–          Slower – Pull reigns back

–          Left – Pull reigns left

–          Right – You get the picture…

…and set off.

Before long the horse-master was encouraging us to head off on our own. We got up to a fairly reasonable speed – not a gallop by any means but I don’t think we were given that key-word though if I were to hazard a guess I’d have gone for “Chu!”.

We visited a Mongolian Goat-Herder and he and the Horse-Master were kind enough to pose for a photo.

As for the journey, Fi’s horse had a serious flatulence problem and liked nothing more than biting the other horses, while mine refused point blank to lead for more than a few hundred meters at a time, preferring instead to file in behind Fi’s gas-powered equine at every opportunity.

By the time we returned my knees were sore and raw-hide had a whole new meaning to me. The horse master seemed genuine when he informed Nasaa [he couldn’t speak a word of English] that we were some of the best riders he’d had, though I think this was more that we didn’t complain, listened to the instructions, and didn’t give him any trouble.