After the transhumance of the Tush horses, let’s drive the Kabardins the other side of the chain in Kabardino Balkaria.The landscapes are very different from the southern Georgian slopes. These are rather large opened spaces with mountains that rise very gradually towards the highest peaks of the Caucasus Mountains (Dikh Tau and Elbrus 5642m). We sometimes find ourselves at 3000m with the feeling of being only at 1500m. The open landscapes gives us an incredible impression of immensity.
The first 3-4 days (depending on which route we will take) we move forwards until reaching the alpin pasture of the Kabardins herd composed of 150 horses enjoying the campsite every day in a new and incredible scenery. Then from there we start the transhumance of one part of the herd, driving them back to the winter pasture. We ride with 50 horses walking, trotting or galloping free in front of us.
During the evening we enjoy the fresh Kabardin cuisine and the amazing sceneries that the location is offering over the Elbrouz Mount, canyons, waterfalls… .
Finally this trip offers a big cultural and historical interest: the combinaison of two countries located of both side of the Great Caucasus Chain, the passage through the Darial gorge (the only natural passage in the Caucasian barrier dating back to the Roman times), the different types of architecture and the change of the atmosphere from Nalchik to Vladikavkaz (which was called once Ordjonikidze, a Georgian name), and from Vladikavkaz to Tbilisi come complete the horse expedition with some historical and cultural aspects. We finally drive through the Kazbek Mount area, the Ananuri fortress till Tbilisi, the very alive capital of Georgia.
Horses: Kabardin. They are quite tall, stocky, agile and very enduring horses. Many years ago they have been sorted out and trained for military purpose. Nowadays the selection is going on and you will ride the best of them.
The Cherkess saddlers are wellknown in Russia. They are few skilled craftsmen and you will be able to visit one of the workshop and see how they manufacture the saddles.