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“5 Stars for Stone Horse Tours”

Stone Horse Expeditions & Travel - Day Tours
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Stone Horse Expeditions undertakes unique horse trips through pristine cultural and wilderness landscapes. 30+ years of wilderness expedition and guiding experience. Small group size (6 guests max.), high quality, eco-friendly 8,10 and 14 day horse trekking adventures through two of Mongolia's premier wilderness parks. "Train to Ger" 3 and 4 day herder family ger stay and multi-day Gobi Desert tours.
Oakland, California
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“5 Stars for Stone Horse Tours”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 19, 2013

In August I rode for 10 days with Stone Horse Tours across the steppes and rivers of Gorkii Terelj National Park and the taiga forest and mountains of Han Khentii Wilderness Area. I worked in Mongolia between 2002 and 2008, but didn’t had the chance to immerse myself in Mongolia’s glorious landscape without trucks and endless driving.

I highly, highly recommend Stone Horse Tours. There’s no other horse riding outfit like them in Mongolia. The trip leaders are the owners of the company, Sabine and Keith, who live in Mongolia, are very experienced wilderness guides, and are active conservationists in Mongolia. They own the horses and Sabine even handcrafts some of the saddles. They have explored this region for 10-15 years and know the terrain. Two Mongol horsemen, Buyainaa and Byambaa, who were attentive to my needs, manage the packing, packhorses, and set up the campsites. I enjoyed their occasional quiet singing as we rode. Meals were delicious and satisfying. At my request, meals were vegetarian.

There were essentially two parts to the trip – trotting up the wide river valleys in Terelj National Park past herders and their gers and livestock. Nothing beats trotting up the steppe in tight formation. You really do feel like you can conquer the world!

From the steppe, after one of our many river crossings, we entered the boreal larch and pine forest of Han Khentii wilderness area where we spied wolverine tracks and later grizzly bear scat in the muddy trail. Pushing through alder bogs, we reached the headwaters of Tuul River (“Mother of the Tuul”), a distant wild place known to very few Mongolians, then headed south past mountain ponds and lakes, over mountain passes, with more river crossings over the Tuul, Terelj and Khongor Rivers.

This summer was rainy so many paths were boggy and very challenging, but the horses were adept at negotiating the difficult terrain. I can’t say enough about how great the horses were. They showed great “heart”, stamina, agility, and patience with a semi-experienced rider such as myself.

I would say that this is a horse trip for people with some riding experience, but, more importantly, who have a spirit of adventure, love of the outdoors, and are physically fit. Stone Horse Tours takes you way, way off the standard routes offered by other tour companies. This exceptional steppe and wilderness trip was just what I was looking for.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank Susan A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Keith S, Owner at Stone Horse Expeditions & Travel - Day Tours, responded to this review, December 25, 2013
Thanks Susan for your comments. It is an extraordinary landscape and going deep into the wilderness "way way" off the usual trekking path, is what we really enjoying taking guests on. As an ecologist, it was great to have you on the trip and talk about the natural phenomena around us as we traveled. You can come back anytime.
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98 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“A genuine Mongolian experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 8, 2013

What was intended to only be a brief stop over ended up being one of the highlights of our China - Russia trip. A truly once in a lifetime, unforgettable experience.

After months of extensive research into the best places to stay and things to do in Mongolia, we struggled to find something that would cater to what we were looking for - a genuine Mongolian experience. We're seasoned travellers so the stock standard 'tourist tours' isn't really our cup of tea.

Organising trips around Mongolia can be a logistical nightmare, especially if it's apart of a bigger travel itinerary which it was for us. Just as we were about to give up… we stumbled across Stone Horse Expeditions. They took a lot of the stress away by organising everything for us - from pick-ups, to drop offs, accommodation and food. Keith was really accommodating to our all our needs (especially at such short notice) and made the process super smooth and easy.

Being Kiwi's, it was a huge bonus to us knowing that Keith had extensive conservation experience here in NZ. With that in mind, we knew that the adventure would be one built around respect for the locals and their environment.

We were looked after with incredible hospitality as soon as we set foot off the train right through to our sad departure. Big thanks to Keith and Oggie who took care of us during our whole stay and to Yadmaa and Davasuren (the herder family who we stayed with) for inviting us so openly into their home.

The only downside is that we didn't get to stay long enough. Which is why we’re already making plans to return for a Gobi horse trek!

There's not enough space here to rave on about our amazing experience, so if you're keen to learn more about Soviet mini-vans, trekking around Genghi's boyhood stomping ground and close encounters with wolves then you can read all about it on our blog: http://thewayfindings.com/2013/05/12/darkhid-valley-mongolia/

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
7 Thank wayfinding_nz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Keith S, Owner at Stone Horse Expeditions & Travel - Day Tours, responded to this review, December 11, 2013
Thanks for the review and pointing out your more detailed writing on your travel posts. That, along with your great photo's was really interesting. We look forward to having you back to do a Gobi Crossing with us.
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Dallas
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Stone Horse to the rescue.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 24, 2013

Earlier this year, after research and reading reviews, we chose to use Stone Horse as our tour operator for our September trip to Mongolia and we booked the 3 day "Train to Ger" stay. Unfortunately, the day we arrived, my wife came down with a sudden and very severe case of tonsillitis. Keith and Oggi were both extremely helpful having their driver shuttle us to and from the doctor, then to a hotel in UB that they arranged for us. While we would have much rather spent the time with Davasuren and Yadmaa, they did everything they could to ensure our 3 days in a UB hotel were as comfortable as possible including organizing a guide to take us on a day trip into the steppe once my wife was feeling better. Their driver (who spoke no English) was also incredibly warm and helpful. We are in their debt, and hope to come back one day to complete our journey.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank iamgipper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Keith S, Owner at Stone Horse Expeditions & Travel - Day Tours, responded to this review, November 26, 2013
Thanks for your comments. We know all too well what it's like to be traveling to a new or different country and become ill. It's not pleasant. We'll do whatever we can to help our guests find the proper medical help and make them as comfortable as possible. I'm glad we were able to get you out to see some of the countryside while you were here. Look forward to your return.
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Birmingham, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“The Way It Should Be Done”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 22, 2013

The only mode of travel to really enjoy Mongolia is by horse and Keith and Sabine of Stone Horse Expeditions are the perfect guides to steer you across the wild steppes. I spent more than a week trekking across the Gorki-Terelj National Park on my trusted speed Jerry, just one of a dozen or so carefully picked Geldings owned by the conservationist couple who have made Mongolia their home after years helping save the planet in Antarctica. Mongolia is one of the few wild and undisturbed places left on earth and riding across its vast expanses, crossing pristine meadows and waist-high rivers serves only add to the magic of a country that is still little understood in the West. Stone Horse expeditions are not a slap dash affair. The owners' attention to detail and knowledge of the local terrain and customs ensures a comfortable trip whilst retaining a wild edge. Their camping equipment is cutting-edge and sturdy while Sabine's culinary skills make meal time something to look forward to whether its lunching by a babbling brook or an al fresco feat under a moonlit sky.There's something primal about rising at dawn, riding all day and then retiring at nightfall that invigorates both mind and body inducing a stillness and clarity that remains with you for months after the trip. Stone Horse caters for a range of riders from the complete novice to the accomplished horseman and its well-kept animals are carefully matched to a rider's abilities. Keith and Sabine exude magnanimity and display a genuine love and respect for the country they now call home and I would thoroughly recommend travel with them for a rich and authentic way to experience Mongolia.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank amardeep b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Keith S, Owner at Stone Horse Expeditions & Travel - Day Tours, responded to this review, November 26, 2013
Thanks for the review. We try hard to make it "the way it should be done". We look for the best equipment, work with really good people here in our staff and spend a lot of time working with our horses to make sure we have the best possible for our trips. Really glad you could join us. It was great having you along.
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Athens GR
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Excellent ger stay, very poor organisation”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 14, 2013

We had the pleasure of staying with Yadmaa and Davasuren for a couple of days, and we had a very nice time. Both of them are very hospitable, though language is an issue, making you feel very comfortable and safe. Davasuren is an excellent cook, and took very good care of us.
The spot is awesome and the autumn colors made it like a dream. The horse riding was also excellent, the scenery in the forest was magical. We had a lot of fun milking the cows, and taking walks around the place. The whole experience was very memorable.

The organization of the trip was however a disaster. We had to write 4-5 emails to get an answer, and even though we contacted them one month in advance, when we arrived in Mongolia we still didn't know how much money we would pay or if someone would pick us up from the bus station. We had to move around with our luggage to find a place to stay, because the Chenggis house was full, and when we finally arrived to a vacant place, the wifi was not working. The day we were supposed to visit the museum, monastery, etc we got a "guide" who was not a guide, and though he was very kind and spoke good english, he did very poor time management and in the end we didn't have time to do even half the things we were supposed to. Finally the absolute worst part was when our "guide" didn't know if someone would take us to the train station the next morning and Oggie would not answer the phone. She finally sent us an email at 22.35 (not very smart when you have to wake up at 5 o' clock in the morning and NOT have internet at home!!) to which we answered immediately we needed to get the train station earlier and of course she still has not replied. The house lady where we stayed also left us a note of the pick up time at 1.30 in the morning, while we were sleeping.
The whole experience was very disappointing and stressful, especially after all the excellent reviews we had read. What a shame...

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
7 Thank alikaki00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Keith S, Owner at Stone Horse Expeditions & Travel - Day Tours, responded to this review, October 15, 2013
Thanks for alerting us to this experience. We take all comments about our business seriously and will look into what happened to ensure there is no repeat of this type of service. As the owner/operator, I am out with every long horse ride in the back country. We try very hard to offer the highest standard of service possible under the conditions we travel in. We will strive to ensure any below par service is improved. Thanks again for your comments.
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