We will maraud in the historical Podolia, relatively close to borders with Romania and Moldova. Located in modern Ukraine, through centuries those lands went from hands to hands, from one empire to another, leaving a strong and diverse mark on those lands. The vast, green and amazing Ukraine combined with its unique history makes it an amazing place for trail riding. Our team on the spot will take care of everything while you ride, so you could dismount in the evening and enjoy the evening. We will also visit Khotyn’s and Kamianets-Podilskyi’s strongholds, taking a one-day break on our trail. We will follow in the footsteps of the old nobility and Cossacks, drink kvass, ride on our horses into river and gallop through open lands of Ukraine.
Days overall9 daysDays in saddle7
StandardCossack's adventure (tents, washing in rivers)Luggageno limit kgFoodlocal cuisine, vegetarian meals available
Skillswalk, trot, gallop
As all of the Dirty Hooves Ukraine expeditions, the Dniester basin ride is first and foremost a wild adventure! There is no Internet connection here, there is weak mobile coverage, running water runs mostly in rivers. Instead, we gallop through vast fields, ride on our horses into rivers, drink cold kvass during breaks and listen to Ukrainian songs, sometimes discretely shedding a tear or two.
We mostly use Ukrainian Riding Horses. It’s an very versatile race bred for sporting purposes. Our horses have mostly a race-horse heritage. While similar to the Thoroughbred horses, they are stronger and more obedient.
A typical daily route takes around 6 hours on horseback. We start at our base in Monastyrok (Монастирок). It’s a small town by the Seret river, some 320 kilometers away from the Polish border. We are going to spend full six days in the saddle and return to our agritourism after completing the trail. Halfway through the trail we will take a one-day break to visit Khotyn and Kamianets-Podilskyi, places of utmost historical importance to both Poland and Ukraine.
- Accommodation in our agritourism and in tents during the trail ride
- Alimentation in Monastyrok and on the trail (breakfasts and dinners; sandwiches for lunch made during breakfast)
- A company of an experienced guide
- A horse with a complete tack
- A trip to Khotyn and Kamianets-Podilskyi, including entry fees
- Tourist insurance covering high risk sports
- Travel costs to and from Ukraine (it’s most convenient to use a car; public transport is available and it’s a great adventure)
- Optional: lunch in Kamianets-Podilskyi’s restaurant
- Minor expenses (souvenirs, extra snacks, etc.)
The riders meet in Monastyrok. It is now time to rest after the travel, have a proper meal and inspect the horses. In the spare time, it is worth taking a walk to the Seret riverbank and having a swim. In the evening a welcome dinner and party will take place.
After breakfast, riders prepare their horses, drink one for the ride and set off. The path is diverse. It leads through the forests and sunflower fields. We pass a boar farm and take a break in a village near a shop where you may get some cold bear, kvass or snacks. In the evening we reach Kryvche (Кривче) to set our first camp.
By the Zbruch river
After a filling breakfast, we clean our horses, drink one for the road and find ourselves on the trail again. We gallop through the green fields, pass the forgotten Ukrainian villages. Before nightfall, we reach Kudrintsi (Кудринці) and camp by the Zbruch river, next to a hill occupied by ruins of an old Polish castle built on a border with Russian Empire.
On that day the horses take a day off and the party goes on a bus trip. We visit Khotyn, Kamianets-Podilskyi and admire the remains of a stronghold known as the Fortress of the Holy Trinity. In the evening, we go back to Kudrintsi, where the cook greets us with a steaming dinner.
After breakfast, we get back on the trail. We gallop through the vast fields, wade through thick woods and visit more of the forgotten Podolia villages. In the evening, we reach the Dniester river for the first time – near Kolodribka (Колодрiбка – and set a camp by the riverbank.
Through the green fields
On this day, we keep on riding through the fields, but we will sencounter orchards and pastures as well. The terrain will become more hilly and diversified while still offering a lot of space for galloping. In the evening, we approach the Schitіvtsі (Щитівці) village and spend the night in the oxbow of the Seret river.
On that day we arrive back by the Dniester. The closer we get, the higher the terrain gets. We go for the more attended roads and meet more Ukrainians passing by. Finally, we reach the canyon near Ustechko. Here, the river widens to several dozens of meters. We will let our horses dring from the river and then gather round by the bonfire, for dinner, having fun together and fror a good night sleep.
Road to Monastyrok
After breakfast, we drink the last one for the ride. The trail is coming to and and – we set course to our base in Monastyrok. There is a lot of galloping that day and the pace significantly increases. We take a break in a village nearby, and then get back on our horses for the last ride together. The familiar Seret river is glimmering in the distance. Then, in the evening, we have a delicious last dinner and a farewell party, too, of course.
Going back gome
In the morning we have breakfast together. There is no hurry, but all companions, one by one, gradually embark on a journey back home.
We spend the nights in tents and sleep on thick military mattresses. We provide full alimentation and alcohol. The first and the last night are spent in Monastyrok, all the remaining ones on the road.
You may find Ukrainian cuisine somewhat fattening. The meals are simple, but really tasty nonetheless. At all times you will have access to the kitchen with a fridge full of beer and other beverages.
During the breaks, the party often stops by the village shops to have a sip of kvass or beer. You may snack on dried fish, cheese or sweets (e.g. sunflower halvah).
We have a decent collection of various saddles in our Monastyrok base, but we mostly use trail-riding saddles during our treks. The saddles are comfortable, usually imported from Poland.
The horsecloths are equipped with small travelling bags, but it’s better to keep your personal belongings (documents, money, phone) with you (the bags can’t be safely locked and items could fall out during a fast gallop).
We use traditional bridles in Ukraine; we also use bits.
What you should take with you?
During our Ukrainian treks, we are assisted by a spacious car that carries the luggage, a mobile field kitchen and the camping equipment. All of the luggage is left behind every morning in the camp and then transported to the next location.
- cash, preferably UAH
- electronic devices, e.g. camera
- flashlight; head flashlights are quite handy
- mosquito repellent
- head cover against the Sun
- riding equipment (Jodhpur boots, gloves, etc.)
- sleeping bag
- headrest, e.g. a sweater in a pillowcase or a tourist pillow
- flip-flops for showering
- optional: straps to attach the raincoat to the saddle
Available upon request