Friday, March 01, 2019

EQA Interview with Julie Veloo on Learning to Ride in Mongolia - Full Story

February 21 2019
Author: Krystal Kelly

Julie is a Canadian girl with the true heart of an adventuress. Growing up in the far North of British Columbia, she was accustomed to brutal winters and wild lands. Horses weren’t a part of her childhood though, in fact she held onto a fear of horses well into her adult life. Her interests of anthropology and travel eventually led her to Mongolia with her husband, where at the age of 50 she decided to challenge herself as part of understanding the Mongolian culture. She sat on a horse for the first time and was only led around the paddock by a small boy, but when she dismounted a whole new passion had been ignited inside her and she was never the same again.

“I had no clue that I was going to turn into the crazy horseback riding lady,” she chuckles before continuing. “Now, I am an associate member of the Long Riders’ Guild with about 25,000 kilometers under my belt and a fervent desire to hopefully make 100,000 before I die.”

Her interest in the Mongolian culture was a crucial factor in learning to ride. “I wasn’t planning on learning to ride,” she says, “It was just that I saw all these gorgeous little Mongolian children thundering by on their horses out in the wild steppe…” She realized that if she wanted to understand the culture, she needed to learn to ride. How else would she know what it’s like to herd thousands of animals or experience what it’s like traveling from one Ger—the nomadic homes also known as yurts—to another on horseback as the Mongols have done for thousands of years? She wanted to know what the Mongolians already knew: what it feels like to be “at one” with an animal...

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