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!
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.