Enroute to Tsokar, Changthang District, Ladakh, Himalayan India
Tourist treks and horses
These horses were returning to Leh after a week’s trek guiding tourists around, popular trekking routes consist of treks around Changthang plateau doing the popular Tsokar to Tsomoriri route.
Not many travellers know that their trekking horses usually come from around Leh instead of around Changthang plateau. The horsemen would bring their horses to Tsokar, meeting the tourists who usually commute there with the jeeps. There are not enough trekking horses around Tsokar or Tsomoriri to cater for the large number of tourist treks during the peak season. Horses are expensive and not many villages around the Changthang plateau can afford to have that many horses living in their property. Only those around Leh would be able to possess four or more horses especially if they are connected to the tourist trade.
They usually take 5 days to reach their trekking destination before embarking on the trek. A typical tourist trek takes a further 7 days from Tsokar to Tsomoriri Lake. After which the horses return to Leh 5 days later.
Arduous work for these horses and for their owners, still better compared to the people around the much poorer region of Changthang plateau who live on subsistence farming and breeding pashmina goats. In my previous post, I did mention that Pashmina goats are usually bred around Changthang region and not in Kashimir.