Horseback Travel & Equestrian Tradition


Ladakh is the gateway to Tibet from India. Set high in the himalayas, the nomadic March Pa people use small, hardy horses to traverse the impressive landscape. This horse riding trail immerses you in their culture and Buddhist beliefs. The terrain means that the rides are slow, but the altitude makes them challenging. Each departure date is linked to a Buddhist festival at either Lamayuru (June), Phyang (July), Hemis (July) or Dhak Tok (August).


  • A monestary high in the mountains of Ladakh
    Monastery in Ladakh county in India
  • The sun shines at the summit with gorgeous views over Ladhak
    Prayers flags in India
  • Riding along a sandy path against a truly stunning backdrop
    Horseback trail riding holidays in India
  • Camping in the mountains in Ladakh
    Camping expedition on horseback  Ladakh, Little Tibet
  • Walking a steep ascent, leading your horses on foot
    Horseback pack trip and trail Ladakh

Country key facts

Government: Republic
Capital: New Delhi
Population: 1.2 billion (2013)
Language: Hindi is the official language of India and, used by about 40% of the population, India's most widely spoken. English is also enshrined in the constitution for a wide range of official purposes. In addition, 18 regional languages are recognised by the constitution.
Religion: About 80% Hindu, 13% Muslim, with Sikh, Christian, Jain, Parsi and Buddhist minorities
President: Pranab Mukherjee (since 2012)
Prime Minister: Manmohan Singh (since 2004)

Social and economic data



Population, culture and traditions

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Did you know?

All of our horseback riding trails in Ladakh coincide with a Buddhist festival. Local inhabitants will walk for days to attend their closest festival - dressed in all their finery with an array of necklaces and bangles on the women and colourful vests and hats on the men. Whilst this colourful crowd is part of the attraction, the performances, music and dances are riveting.

Peformances tend to consist of people dressed up and wearing large masks to depict the deities which accompany a person during the 49 days from death to reincarnation. The masks often have snarling teeth, small protruding skulls, wide eyes and upturned noses, worm above colourful, layered skirts and menacingly slicing the air with swords and daggers. These sinister deities are then destroyed by the attainment of virtue through "Mara". Mara is depicted by a triangular piece of wood which is painted in many bright colours and meditated and praid over for weeks before the festival. Mara is then burned or destroyed amidst a clammer of cheers from the crowd.

The Lamayuru festival (Yuru Kabgyat) takes place at Lamayuru Monastery and lasts for two days, usually in July. It is attended by monks from all over the world and the two main figures depicted are Yama (Lord of Death) and Padmasambhava (the second Buddha - considered to be the protector of horses and other animals).

The Phyang festival (Phyang Tsedup) takes place at Phyang monastery, usually in July/August. The monastery is home to 70 monks and every third year a huge, elaborate thangka of Skyabje Jigten Gombo, the founder of the Dri-gung-pa order is unveiled. This festival celebrates the victory of good over evil.

The Tak-Tok festival (Dak Thok Tsechu)  is held at a cave chapel which is part of the Dak Thok monastery, usually in July/August. The name Dak Thok means Black Rock in Ladakhi. This festival celebrates the deeds of Guru Rimpoche, one of the founders of Tibetan Buddhism.

Early bird discounts
Get 3% off all trips booked before 31/12/2019 for a departure in 2020.
Terms and conditions:
  • This 3% early bird discount applies to the cost of the trip, and excludes transfers & supplements, international or domestic flights, and any additional services.
  • This offer cannot be combined with any other current discount.