Kyrgyz and their love for horses

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The Kyrgyz people are a Turkic ethnic group native to Central Asia. They are primarily found in Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, China, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The nomadic life and livestock culture are based primarily on the horses. Horses have been and still are, an essential supported and a loyal companion to the Kyrgyz people and therefore a part of Kyrgyz culture. A local idiom says that “horses are the Kyrgyz’s wings”. And a man who does not know how to ride a horse is not a man, they say.

As nomads and living in the mountains, horses assist Kyrgyz people in many ways. Horses were used to ride, to shepherd, to hunt wild animals, in wars, to travel long distances, in horse games and races.

From the old times all the way to our era. They have dominated the social, spiritual and economic life of Kyrgyz people.

Kyrgyz horses are well adapted into the harsh climate and terrain of the region. Throughout the war's history, horses were especially significant, it was believed that the invincible army was so successful because of the horses. Even after the death of a warrior, his body and horse were indivisible so they were often buried together. Horses were also used as payment for the bride during the matchmaking and stealing a horse was punishable by death.

Children in Kyrgyz villages first sit on the horse when they learn to walk. Horse meat dishes and horse milk are obligatory to all the big Kyrgyz celebrations and parties.

Horse is a friend. It's part of the family and community of Kyrgyz.

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