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Akhal Teke Puszta Trails

Overview

During these trail rides, you will encounter beautiful Akhal Teke horses that have been bred by your hosts on the family stud in southern Hungary since 1973. The horses are predominantly pure bred, although some are crosses with between 50-75% Akhal Teke bloodlines. Your hosts, the Cseppentő family…

Highlights

  • Ride rare and beautiful Akhal Teke Horses
  • Discover the great plain of south Hungary on horseback
  • Enjoy sumptuous hand-made traditional saddles
  • Visit National Historical Memorial Park of Ópusztaszer
  • Learn about the history & wildlife of the Magyar region

Essential Facts

  • 1 itinerary available
  • Max 10 riders per group
  • Average of 4 - 5 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: 90 kg / 198 lbs / 14 st 2 lbs

Description

During these trail rides, you will encounter beautiful Akhal Teke horses that have been bred by your hosts on the family stud in southern Hungary since 1973. The horses are predominantly pure bred, although some are crosses with between 50-75% Akhal Teke bloodlines. Your hosts, the Cseppentő family, have an inherent interest in the traditional way of riding, from the time of the hussars and cossacks, as well as yet more ancient cultures, such as the Persians and nomadic people of the steppe. They have taken many of these ancient practices and traditions and carried them into modern life, changing them only to suit our new ways and lifestyles.

This has resulted in trails that offer an inherent and ancient experience, where you will learn about the ancient history which has linked the people of this region and the horses they hold so dear. You will gain a sense of perceiving the world in a different age as you progress along different paths in a similar style to those ancient nomadic riders.

The rides are star or clover leaf tours, which return to the yurt camp each evening. In the day and during your journey you will ride through the rich and unspoilt flora and fauna of the Puszta and Ópusztaszer national parks, or between the blonde Tisza river and the great blue Danube! You will ride for about 25-35 km per day, with some shorter and some longer days between.

Horses & Riding

Tack

The horses are ridden in hand-made saddles that are based on traditional Hungarian-style "hussar" saddles - the design has been modernised by your host for today’s riding needs and horses. The structure is made of flexible wooden panels and a lightweight metal frame, which is covered with a leather and wool pad for extra comfort. They are extremely safe and proven to be extremely well suited to long hours on the trail. Simple English or western headstalls/bridles with snaffle bits are used.

Horses

Akhal Teke horses - these horses are bred by your hosts on their stud in Hungary since 1973. The horses have a characteristic elegant and lightweight build which gives them a very sporty appearance. The breed is well known for its shimmering, almost glittering coat hues. The Akhal Take horses are sensitive and highly intelligent, with a naturally high level of stamina which makes them perfect for long-distance races and riding.

Riding

There is 1 itinerary:

  • Attila's Tour - the Great Plains is a based ride

Ages

14+ years for the trails

Health

You should have a good level of physical fitness and be comfortable spending long hours on the saddle.

Weight

90 kg / 198 lbs / 14 st 2 lbs

Food & Accommodation

Food

Breakfast and dinner will be served at your yurt camp each day. Lunches will either be at the yurt camp or a picnic taken out on the trail.

Breakfast is served daily at around 8 am and dinner is usually between 6-7 pm. Lunchtimes will depend on the riding day, but will usually be between 12-1 pm.

Some special dietary requirements can be accommodated; such as gluten-free, lactose-free and vegetarian, with prior notice.

Accommodation

During the rides you will spend each night in genuine Kazakh and Mongolian Yurts with 2 beds. Single yurts are not available but we can organise single accommodation in a local guesthouse at an added cost. The yurts are set up in the meadow and offer an amazing experience of the clear, starry sky each night. There are shared shower and toilet cabins located near the yurts, with hot and cold running water for guests to use. There is also a large central tent for meals and socialising when not riding.

For those who do not wish to stay in a yurt, then a room at a local guesthouse can be booked for you at a supplementary cost.

Itineraries

Attila's Tour - the Great Plains Tented accommodation.

Other Activities

The daily itineraries are filled with riding and exploration of the local landscape, culture and history. Some visits to local museums and, of course, to the stud farm are included already. In the afternoons, you may have some free time between riding and enjoying dinner when you can relax at the Yurt Camp, rest in a hammock, enjoy a ball game in the meadow, take some yoga practice or meditation, to peacefully take in the natural landscape around you.

Travel

Guests should fly into and out of Budapest airport. From here you can choose to hire a car and self drive to the farm, or we can organise a transfer for you at an extra cost (please see itineraries for charges).

Itinerary & Pricing

Day 1 - Sunday - Arrival

Riding: No riding.

Arrival and welcome to the stud farm of your hosts. You will stay in yurts which are located in the grazing fields of the stud farm, surrounded by quietly munching mares (and foals if you are lucky!). Guests can experience the starry sky through the open ceiling of the Yurts, and can also hear the noises that the moving horses make at night - rest in harmony with nature, in close proximity with the horses, just like the ancestors would have done over 1000 years ago.

A hearty welcome dinner will be served between 6-7 p.m.

Day 2 - Monday - the Akhal Teke horses

Riding: 2 - 3 hours

Breakfast will be served for you in the central dining tent at approx. 8 am, after which you will be introduced to your horses ready for your first day of riding!

You will take a short test riding in the arena, a chance for you and your horse to get to know one another and ensure a good match has been made, as well as giving your hosts a chance to watch you ride. After the assessment, you will take a short riding tour in the local area, returning in time for lunch at the Yurts.

In the afternoon you will visit the stud by Steppe-Train: The groups will be transported around the property by wagon(s) which is towed by a tractor (like a train). This adventure will give you an introduction to the Akhal-Teke Stud and your host's farm, where you will meet the stallions, the riding horses and the foals. The Akhal-Teke breed that you will be introduced to during the tour was the companion and vehicle of your host's ancestors when they first arrived in the Carpathian Basin, playing a major role during the Hungarian Conquest. Your hosts have a great interest and fondness for the breed as a result and will be happy to answer any questions you might have about these beautiful horses.

Dinner will be served between 6-7p.m.

Day 3 - Tuesday - the Turul

Riding: 5 hours

Breakfast will again be served at around 8 a. m this morning.

You should be ready to mount and aim to depart on your first full day ride at around 9 am. You will enjoy a long morning ride of around 3 hours through the plains and meadows, enjoying a good variety of paces. You will eventually arrive at your picnic lunch stop by the Turul Statue which has been erected here to commemorate the Hungarian conquest. The Turul (peregrine falcon) was an important player in the sagas of origin for the Magyars (Hungarian settlers). The Magyars were adept falconers and relied on their birds for hunting and providing food. The statue also commemorates the Hungarian Invasion of the Carpathian Basin.

Dinner will again be served between 6-7 p. m. back at the Yurt Camp, in the meadow of the Akhal-Teke stud.

Day 4 - Wednesday - the Communion Mounds

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

Breakfast will again be served at 8 this morning, ready for your departure on horseback at 9 a. m.

Today you will ride to see the Communian or Steppe mounds which served as burial grounds for the peoples of the steppes for over 2000 years. Mounds like these can be found throughout the Carpathian basin, all the way across to Mongolia. They are not grand monuments like the pyramids of Egypt, however, they were used for the same purposes in vast areas of Eurasia for this long period of time. Some 1,600 mounds - that are known - are located in the Great Hungarian Plain alone, but these represent only a fraction of all the steppe mounds.

During your explorations among the Cummunian mounds, you will ride through the meadows of the plain, reed fields and oak forests, as well as across flood plains where you can discover the rich flora of this region, which can be called a real jungle. You will also meet and experience the shepherd or sheep herding culture of the Great Hungarian Plain. Lunch today will be another tasty picnic out on the ride.

Upon arrival back to the stud, dinner will be served between 6 and 7 p. m. at the Yurt Camp.

Day 5 - Thursday - The Grey Cattle

Riding: 4 - 5 hours

Following breakfast this morning you will again meet the horses and aim to depart at around 9 o`clock.

Today's ride will take you through the winter feeding grounds of the Hungarian Grey cattle herd. The local cattle breed is also originally from the steppe country of old and is characterised by its pale grey coat colouring (giving them their name) and its long lyre-shaped horns. The winter feeding grounds are situated in a natural conversation area covering some 1200-hectares and characterised predominately by meadowlands. Here you can view a huge variety of the other local fauna, such as the water buffaloes grazing in the open and a host of colourful birds, spread across the wide horizon of these protected meadows.

During the riding day, you will pass almost at arm's length alongside the docile Hungarian Grey Cattle herds, in which you can spot small calves and mighty bulls!

This landscape is a credible reflection of the great steppes. In the afternoon, you will pay a visit to see the Feszty Panorama Picture in the National Historical Memorial Park. The painting depicts the ancient Hungarian Invasion of the Carpathian Basin.

Dinner will be served between 6-7 p.m before overnight in the Yurts.

Day 6 - Friday - Mindszent River Ferry

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

Breakfast will be served at around 8 a.m this morning before meeting the horses at 9 a.m.

During your final riding day (and if the water level allows it) you will head into a dense forest located on a flood plain. The forest will offer a complete adventure on its own, as you ride amongst the jungle-like mighty trees and creeper plants. When water levels are high you may enjoy some splashy canters - reminiscent of the great deltas of Africa! After around 3 hours of riding, you will cross the river on the ferry and have lunch on an elevated part of the riverbank shaded beneath great poplar trees. The river Tisza is one of the two major rivers of Hungary and is commonly called ”the Blonde Tisza”.

In the afternoon you will ride back to the stud farm to enjoy a farewell dinner between 6-7 p. m. A final night of accommodation in the Yurt Camp, surrounded by the sounds of the horses quietly grazing.

Day 7 - Saturday - Departure

Riding: No riding.

Following breakfast today it will be time to say a find farewell to your hosts and their wonderful Akhal Teke horses. Perhaps a future adventure will be on the cards!

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

Riders should be experienced and comfortable riding a forward going, spirited breed of horse. All guests should be well balanced at walk, trot (both sitting and rising) and canter (both sitting and light/2 point seat) whilst in the arena and out on the trails. You should be able to ride simple school movements like circles, serpentines and changes of rein. The Akhal Teke horses are known for their sensitive disposition and highly responsive nature - they are not for the faint-hearted!

Minimum group size 5
Maximum group size 10
Departure windows

May 15, 2022 - May 21, 2022

May 29, 2022 - June 4, 2022

July 17, 2022 - July 23, 2022

Aug. 28, 2022 - Sept. 3, 2022

Pricing

2022
Rider, Sharing
£635 $805 €750
Included 6 nights accommodation in shared yurts/tents, all meals from dinner on arrival day until breakfast on departure day, 5 days of riding as per the itinerary.
Not included Flights, airport transfers, travel insurance, drinks, tips and other personal expenses.

Extras

2022 - Single Supplement £255 $320 €300
Paid to Far and Ride
Single rooms can only be provided in a nearby guesthouse. Yurts must be shared (2 people in each).
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.