Saturday, March 22, 2014

Traditional Sport in Kyrgizstan

Sent by Sir Terence Clark:

UPDATE: I was struck by the smooth gait of the horses and the comfortable seat of the riders in one sequence. I am no great horseman, so was gratified when old cowhand and world class photographer Jay Dusard wrote: "The most amazing segment in the film was the horses that were shown at extremely fast trotting. Very fast and smooth traveling, with riders staying nearly level. Posting the trot was practically indistinguishable, with some of the riders posting ever so slightly. At least one of the horses was pacing, rather than trotting."


Jonathan Hanson said...

I watched the video, and it's impressive. however, while I feel nothing but awe at the courage of the dogs, I cannot abide seeing a prey animal of any kind kept alive a second longer than necessary - much less one as intelligent as a wolf. I'm not sure what tradition would make that necessary.

Steve Bodio said...

I don't know about the Kyrgiz. But in Russia, bears and other animals are kept for 'testing' the courage of new dogs. Which sounds terrible, but I am reliably informed that experienced bears AND dogs get into the performance and become expert at putting on a noisy show without ever coming in contact!

Some Asian tribes will not breed any flock protection females who will not stand up and fight for twenty minutes. This by the way is a curiously bloodless exercise-- Central Asian dog 'fights' are better seen as wrestling matches, because none are killed or even seriously injured; rather the winner (unlike pit bulls) will acknowledge any submissive gesture and not press on.

As I said once to a Turkish Kurd on the Syrian border who was enumerating all the cultures he would eliminate for world peace ("... and we killed the Armeniams for the Anatolians and they are ungrateful, so kill all of them too!"): it's a tough neighborhood.

Guy Boyd said...

The trotting horses seem taller and more lanky than the shaggy, short ponies I've seen pics of in Mongola and, I think, even next door in Kazakhstan.

Do they ever use the Tiagans and eagles together for wolf hunting or is there some probability that they would injure each other in the struggle with the wolf.

Steve Bodio said...

I didn't see the very short horses both Mongols and Mongolian Kazakhs ride anywhere in southern Kazakhstan-- maybe they have them up north. I saw warmbloods, thoroughbreds, big Arabians, and Akhal Tekes.

I think using both is a personal decision and based on individuals. Some do, for all kinds of quarry.