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Saturday, May 21, 2022

Equestrian tourism and horseback riding in Georgia

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For centuries, the horse was a friend of Georgian warriors and peasants and accompanied people in travel, struggle and labor. Horses are found in the history of Georgia and in many texts or descriptions of war they are mentioned as one of the best means of transport. Many foreign travelers of the 19th century also wrote about the quality of horses in Georgia. Georgian and Caucasian horses in general were strong, had a small body and did not require special care. That is why, during the Second World War, when all countries were obliged to send their horses to the battlefield, the best horses were sent from Georgia as well. This was the beginning of the disappearance of centuries-old tradition and culture. At the same time, unfortunately, over time, the popularity of the horse riding in Georgia has decreased. Consequently, Georgians could not preserve the breed and it became almost completely extinct.

ცხენოსნობა საქართველოში georgian mountains

The tradition of horse riding is currently preserved in only a few regions, although horse racing is still popular. Young boys take care of horses from an early age, buy the best breeds, raise them, train them and take part in competitions. Unfortunately, nowadays, owning a horse and taking care of it is less perceived as a profession, therefore parents often prevent young kids from loving and taking this job seriously.
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Today, many people believe that one of the ways to preserve the horse breeding culture in Georgia is to develop equestrian and horseback riding tourism. Keeping an animal is not an easy and cheap task, therefore when commerce emerges, this activity also becomes easier.
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Due to the geographical and climatic characteristics of Georgia, equestrian tourism has a great potential in the country as tours can be arranged at any time of the year. This makes this business even more attractive and profitable. Places such as Khevsureti, Pshavi, Pankisi, Tusheti, Alazani Valley, etc. are ideal locations for horseback riding. You can visit the mountains in summer and desert areas in winter.
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Equestrian tourism includes long-distance travel for maybe few days while horseback riding is usually short tours. Walking with a horse is also another activity, which turned out to be very therapeutic. One of the important parts of equestrian tourism is that it allows the travelers to be closer to nature and therefore feel themselves as a part of the environment.

საცხენოსნო ტურიზმი horseback riding

Horses used for tourism should be calm and if not, they should be trained. That is why they are mostly very quiet. It is also said that, in general, the horse feels how experienced the rider is and behaves accordingly. Each of them have their own characters, they make friends with each other, get to know the rider and express emotions. The characteristics of the horse is of great importance when choosing them to use them for horse tourism. The horse should not strain the traveler and should allow them to feel comfortable.

ცხენები

Although the interest in equestrian tourism has been growing in recent years, there is still a lack of equestrian tour guides. Just a few years ago, this profession was considered neither promising nor profitable. Therefore, there is no space in Georgia where those interested in the industry can get education. Being a tour guide is not just riding a horse and taking care of them, it requires knowledge of planning the right routes, purchasing and maintaining the equipment, arranging infrastructure, organizing tours and interacting with travelers. In addition, it is important that the industry develops in the right direction so that it does not harm locals and meets the tourists’ expectations as well.

Equestrian tourism is a part of eco and rural tourism and is especially good for nature. This activity does not pollute the environment, does not require intensive use of resources and, therefore, is essential for the development of sustainable and responsible tourism. Strengthening this direction in the tourism sector has a positive effect on both the environment and people interested in horseback riding, and a source of additional interesting activity for tourists visiting the country.

ცხენით სეირნობა ტურები horseback riding in Georgia tours

Luckily, there are people in Georgia who are actively working to make horseback riding culture and equestrian tourism an important part of our country. They try to create an educational space and make this industry popular. Therefore, we hope that you will soon hear interesting news from us about this part of tourism and horseback riding will become an important part of Georgian culture again.
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It would be impossible to write this article without the help of amazing people like Ia Tabagari, Giga Kharkhelauri and Nika Bichinashvili, so huge thanks to them!

 

Sight Georgia
Inspire to travel with us in Georgia and discover amazing spots, heartwarming hospitality and experience unforgettable moments. We share stories about travel, our unique culture, and traditions.

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