Horses play a large role in the daily and national life of the Mongols; it is traditionally said that “A Mongol without a horse is like a bird without the wings.”


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Elizabeth Kendall, who travelled through Mongolia in 1911, observed, “To appreciate the Mongol you must see him on horseback,—and indeed you rarely see him otherwise, for he does not put foot to ground if he can help it.

Mongolia holds more than 3 million horses, an equine population which outnumbers the country’s human population. The horses live outdoors all year at 30 °C (86 °F) in summer down to −40 °C (−40 °F) in winter, and search for food on their own.