National Geographic : 1962 Mar
Archer takes aim during a tournament at Ulan Bator. Similar but more powerful bows armed the warriors of Genghis Khan's hordes. der to them. Theft of a horse, according to Marco Polo, carried the death penalty in an cient days, just as it did more recently in our own American West. The Kazakhs in the western part of the country, who number only 37,000, are the only Mongolians who eat horse meat. Most Mongolians would never dream of eating their horses. They are too valuable as transporta tion and as a source of milk. Today the Mongolians use horses to herd sheep and goats and to round up livestock. Boys and girls ride horses to school. Horses bring couriers to remote places and are used in the hunt. But the foremost use is for milk. How to Catch a Running Mare Women do the milking, but it is a man's job to catch a horse. A lasso is not used. The Mon golian has a 15-foot birch pole with a leather loop at the end (an urga), which he slips over the running horse's head (page 316). "He must be well back in the saddle," one arat told me, "or he'll be thrown." Mongolian horses need little breaking and are gentle even to strangers -provided one approaches them on the left side. Like many American ranch mounts, an approach from the wrong side may bring trouble. Modern Mongolia has a new use for her horses. While she has a favorable foreign trade balance, she imports more from China Booted wrestlers in gaudy jerkins grapple in a gymnasium at Ulan Bator. A competitor loses when any part of his body other than his feet touches the plush carpet covering the floor.