Memos from Asia

Incredible National Horse Games in Kyrgyzstan You Should Totally Watch

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Have you ever heard about a Central Asian country which holds an extremely interesting Horse Games Event?

Let’s quickly get acquainted with that impressive country first.

Kyrgyzstan holds the National Horse games festival annually. Commonly known as the Kyrgyz Republic, this country has over 6.5 million population. From untouched mountains to breathtaking pastures, the landscape of the country is diverse.

You would probably apply for horse-riding lessons if you are passionate about horses, but Kyrgyz youngsters get valuable lessons from traditional festivals and games. National Horse Festival is a great opportunity to become popular, gain experience, and demonstrate skills.

The event involves major national games such as Kyz Kuumani, Tyiyn Engmei, and Er Oodarysh. Except for horse riding, guests and locals will listen to a music show and try traditional cuisine on the day of the festival.

Kyz Kuumani – “Chasing the girl”

As the name suggests, this horse-riding game involves the race between a man and a woman. Surprisingly, women are also good horse riders as men in Kyrgyzstan.

Having some distance in the middle, a man chases after a woman to reach and a woman tries to escape. After arriving in the finish line, the woman turns back and this time she chases after a man to beat him with a whip.

It will be considered as the shame for a man if he cannot reach the woman. The prize for this man will be several whips and embarrassment in the game.

This horse game was included in traditional weddings. A smart bride can slow down her horse in order not to embarrass the groom in public. (Central Asia Travel). However, the majority of Kyrgyz men are strong enough to reach women.

Tyiyin Engmei – Grabbing the coin

Translated as “Grabbing the coin” to English, Tyiyin Engmei is a highly efficient game to train youth in horse-riding and check their skills. A participant starts galloping a horse in top speed from over 100 meters away and should grab the coin off the ground.

The rules of the game may seem simple but winning requires much effort in reality. If the horse runs slower than the minimum speed required, the judge disqualifies the participant immediately.

Game participants will have 3 chances to try and the person with the most coins will be announced as a winner. (Kathmandu & Beyond)

Have you finished packing your travel suitcase for your trip to Kyrgyzstan?

Ein kirgisischer Hirte versucht, aus dem Gallopp heraus einen Geldschein vom Boden aufzuheben.

Er Oodarysh – Horse wrestling

If you are a wrestling fan or not, this game show can impress you.

In this popular game, two strong men wrestle on the horse. Winner will be the person who could pull down the opponent from his horse.

ISSYK KUL, KYRGYZSTAN – OCTOBER 16, 2017: Kyrgyz men doing traditional nomadic horseback wrestling known as ErEnish in Issyk Kul, Kyrgyzstan.

The participants will wrestle without T-shirts and they put oil on their body. For this reason, it will be several times harder to pull down the opponent.

The regulations dictate that kicking, beating, and whipping is not allowed. (Sheherazade)


Majority Kyrgyz traditional festivals contain physical activities. The game shows, especially Horse Games Festival intended to make young generation strong and healthy. The games Chasing the girls, Coin grabbing and Er Oodarysh are all very exciting and very interesting for visitors.

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