New nomads have revived the national style of farm management with no scientific innovations just following the call of nature. In late spring they move to meadows with all their animals and in late fall they come back.
It takes 3 days and 2 nights to get to green meadows. Through valleys, rivers and mountains.
Winter stay in Buguty in the Almaty region.
Local influential landowner Kanat Umbetaliev
Some years ago his family bought 12 thousand hectares of land here.
Almost all his family participates in driving, and also 6 horse herd wranglers.
For Alika aged 13 it’s the first driving though she’s been on horse since 5 years old.
Kanat has three horse herds, 250-260 heads in each. Besides he has one thousand cows, 600 sheep, one hundred horses more stand in Chilik for fattening.
In May they all move to the meadows of Assa plateau.
The first go the young horses aged 2. In two hours breeding stock of Mugalzharsk breed will go.
The last one is the herd of Novoaltaisky breed.
Their destination is behind those mountains, 2500m above sea level.
The horse herd wranglers are riding for all three days, they stop only to have a bite and a short 2 hours sleep. They sleep in daytime, at night it’s forbidden.
Hurkiyaz is 26, he has been working for Kanat for 4 years. Wranglers’ average salary is 400 USD.
This year he has a partner – his younger brother, they plan to save up money for a wedding of the second. But he has no fiancée yet anyway…
They are ready to work days and nights in order their dream comes true.
Horses are smart. Alpha males are quite aggressive, they maintain order in the herd.
Real dramas may happen in the herd
Horses may be angry one with another…
But they are better organized and their driving won’t take much time compared to the cows and sheep whose journey will take a week instead of 3 days.
Look how disciplined these animals are.
Horses are wonderful, and also tasty and expensive… Each animal costs $1500-2000, Kanat says that his profit is 400 000 USD a year. But it’s profitable to keep horses only if you have more than 500 heads.
Stud horses are the most expensive. The rest are sold for slaughtering.
Look how beautiful! It’s not so bad to be a horse herd wrangler!
Horses practically never sleep or lie on the ground.
Elder son of Kanat
The further they go the brighter landscapes become.
The horse was trying to give birth to a foal at night, but it was inside in a wrong position and was born dead despite all efforts.
The horse felt bad too
This foal was born in the beggining of the way…
This poor female horse with a foal suffered from aggressive attitude of other horses. Who knows why…
Horse herd wranglers – high caste. Only one person out of a thousand can be a horse herd wrangler.
Yergalym has been working with Kanat for 8 years, he earns $600. Horse stealing remained in the past.
These guys must be healthy as cosmonauts! 24 hours under open sky, snow or rain… Besides, they should be able to deal with attacks of volves or even people sometimes.
They work as horse herd wranglers till 55-60 years old. Then they start pasturing cows or sheep.
A good horse herd wrangles always knows best routes through fields, mountains, forests… His horses look healthy. And even with eyes closed he is able to find his horses anywhere at night.
Proud Kanat and his assistant
Their meals are short but hot. A car with products, a mechanic and a cook always accompanies them.
Fresh meat with potatoes and onions.
Finally here they are! More than 150 kinds of plants are here on each square meter!
They will spend here all summer, stay till late fall.