With deserts, mountain ranges, grasslands, plateaus, plains, and basins, China’s landscape has much to offer travelers. Entering this country will make you feel as if you’ve traveled back in time. With so much history in this place, you’ll want to explore it not in a modern way, but in a way that is almost as old as the country itself: riding on horseback.
And how will you find the perfect horse riding tour? Horse Tours Club will help you out! We provide fantastic riding holidays in China that allow you to truly experience the countryside.
Equestrian History and Culture
There is some debate about the origins of horses in China. Some believed that they were native to the area; however, new DNA evidence suggests that their breeds are a mixture of local horses and those introduced from the West.
Chinese scholars believe horses were first domesticated between 3,000 and 2,300 BCE. Horse-drawn war chariots were certainly used during the Shang Dynasty, which was from 1,450 to 1,050 BCE.
Due to conflict with the Huns, the Chinese developed light cavalry in defense against invaders. As time went on, they refined not only their tactics with horses but breeding led to the refinement of the horses themselves.
Throughout the following years, the Chinese military struggled to feed their horses and procure quality horses. They often had to acquire horses from other sources. During certain dynasties, they were able to keep their cavalry strong, which no doubt led to the continued use of horses in the country today.
China is known for numerous breeds of horses, including the Baise, Balikun, Heihe, Guoxia, Ferghana, Guizhou, Datong, Jielin, Lijiang, Nangchen, Riwoche, Tibetan, Xilingol, Yili, Yunnan, and Hequ.
The Guoxia is an ancient breed—likely a descendant of Mongolian horses—from the southwest of China. Originally used for carrying fruit baskets in orchids, Guoxia translates to “under fruit tree horse”. It’s one of the smallest breeds at around 11 hands tall.
The Guizhou is one of the purest Chinese breeds because of its origins in the isolated, mountainous province of Guizhou. Commonly brown, black, bay, chestnut, dun, or gray, they have well-muscled yet small builds.
The Tibetan pony is held in high esteem in its home of the same namesake. This breed is thought to be a descendant of the Mongolian Pony and other Chinese breeds. These horses were often given as gifts to emperors.
What You’ll See and Do on Your Horse Riding Holiday in China
There are so many things to experience on your vacation. Your guide will take you on an adventure through different villages and landscapes in China, including places like Turquoise Lake (Zhakra Yimtso), Maoniu Village, or Gongka Peak.
You’ll have the opportunity to see sights like the small mountain city of Kangding, which consists primarily of ethnic Han Chinese with a significant Tibetan presence and style. For centuries, Kangding has been the meeting place of Tibetan and Chinese culture. It’s the final settlement before the mountains of Tibet, the Chengdu-Lhasa highway passes, and the region of Kham.
You’ll be able to ride into the high Lhagang grasslands, where you can visit a temple and eat lunch with a nomadic family or have a grassland picnic in the nice weather. Travel to Yibei Lake, a deep sinkhole in the highest part of the grasslands. You can also ride over Griffon Pass and down to the Zhakra Hot Springs, where you’ll be able to soak in the steaming water.
Horse Tours Club will set up the perfect trip for you and your group. We offer worldwide horse riding tours, ensuring quality and safety for our customers. Book your Chinese horseback riding tour through Horse Tours Club today!