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Equestrian Tourism in Mountainous Regions

Online course (15 days)

In this course, we share our expertise in collaborating both with a horse herd and individually with each horse that lives and grows within the herd. Based on over 20 years of experience of the owner of the largest working herd of Hutsul horses. A herd that lives in the highlands of the Carpathian Mountains (Ukraine), in conditions where this breed has developed for centuries. 

This course is both for everyone who wants to understand more about what a horse is, how we work with horse herds in the mountains, what relationships exist between individuals in the herd, what the role of the leader is, who can be the leader, and it is also for those who want to plunge into the our practical sessions, which are actual horse trips along the mountains through rough terrain.

The course is a compulsory program for all participants attending our Training Camp.

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Oleksander Ihnatenko

course author

I, a veterinarian, have loved horses since I was a child. I have watched them, and where circumstances permitted, cooperated with them. My experiences provided a lot of information to think about and opportunities for drawing some conclusions. Since 2001, that is, for 20 years I have been the owner of a herd of Huutsul breed horses, which consists of 90 heads at the time of writing this course (it is the winter of 2021). There are mares, foals, 2 stallions and gelding horses.

Online course program

Recorded video lessons and tests that can be taken at any convenient time.

One-year access with unlimited free renewal upon your request.

Day 1


About our experience, our collaboration with horses, and how we reached this level of partnership with them.

What is equestrian tourism?

Who can become an equestrian tourist?

What is required for this?

Who is a trainee?

Who is a guide?

Who can become an equestrian tourist?

Day 2

How we collaborate with horses and how we advise you to do it.

Basics of human-horse interaction.

Skill and confidence.

Horsie or horse?

Human intonation.

How the sounds we make influence horses: clicking and hissing.


Working with a herd.

Intrigue in horse collaboration.

Day 3

Hutsul Horses.

Horse physiology.

Blind spots of the horse and where the horse can see.

What does a Hutsul horse look like? Its breed characteristics.

Why can a small horse go where other horses can't?

Day 4

Obstacles in the Mountains.

Main typical obstacles in the mountains and nuances of horse-rider interaction in rugged terrain.

"If you don't fall, you don't ride"

During the trip, you need to be prepared to collaborate with the horse in any situation.

Movement of the Hutsul horse in rugged terrain.

How do we tackle obstacles?

Day 5

How does the horse move? How does a person move?

Movements of the horse and the rider.

How can a rider achieve harmonious cooperation while mounted?

Human step, Hutsul horse step.

Day 6

Contact with the Horse from the ground.

How to encourage the horse to move?

How to lead the horse in natural conditions, how to start, make turns?

Day 7

Contact with the Horse while Mounted.

Contact with the horse while mounted.

How does the horse communicate with you when you're on its back?

How can you unknowingly startle the horse and the entire herd?

Constant pressure doesn't contribute to good cooperation with the horse.

Day 8


Which saddle is best for the mountains? Why specifically?

Day 9

The seat that is best suited for mountain multi-day expeditions.

Common mistakes of riders, stereotypes.

Who is a rider?

Day 10

Rider's hands, working with reins.

Control, winding trails.

Day 11

Rider's leg work.

Footwork in the stirrup.

Muscles and free leg.

Day 12

Comprehensive briefing for the horseback training camp/expredition.

How to interact with other participants and horses during the journey?

What situations can arise and how to handle them?

Mutual responsibility of participants for each other.

Collaboration between course trainees/tourists during saddling.

Day 13

Ethology (Animal Psychology).

Ethology (a field of zoology that studies animal behavior).

Horse body language.

Hierarchical structure of the herd.

Interaction among individuals within the herd.

What matters to horses?

How do horses perceive humans?

How to become understandable to a horse?

Day 14

Practical Part of the Course - Training Camp

How does the practical part of the course proceed?

Participant's tasks.

How to interact correctly with the horse during and after the trip.

Day 15

Final test.

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