Explore Jeju high atop a handsome horse

For those of us who spend most of our time in the city, just heading out into the great outdoors — let alone interacting with animals that aren’t domesticated pets — is a rare treat.

And if you happen to be a horse lover, then Jeju Island is the place to go for a most memorable experience.

Last week, we took a day to try two of the island’s many horse riding experience programs. Here’s a list of some of the many operations on Jeju Island, as found on our VisitJeju.net site (Click on the Horseback Riding tab).  

The general idea is if you’re new to horse riding, you can take a gentle, guided trek from 15 to 70 minutes through a pleasant forest setting. The cost is in the range of 30,000 to 110,000 won.

If you have more experience, though, you can explore one of the island’s volcanic cones on horseback. These are in the 2 to 4 hour range and can cost up to 440,000 won.

Did you know?

Since at least the late 1200s, the island’s vast grasslands were considered an excellent place to breed horses. Jeju was famous for its tributes of horses to the royal court in Seoul. After centuries of isolation and domestication, the Jeju horse’s genetic lineage is prized for its heartiness and named Natural Monument No. 347. 

 

In my case, the first stop in the morning was at a well-known horse riding park on the lower slopes of Hallasan Mountain along the 1117 Road, not too far from Keun Nokkome volcanic cone and Jakeun Nokkome.

The trip was quiet and peaceful, and my horse was very easy to work with. (It wasn’t a Jeju pony per se.) Apart from the the thrill of riding a horse for the first time in a long while, it was the sheer amount of wild bird song which also really stood out in my mind as a most refreshing, pleasant outdoors experience.

 

In the afternoon, at the base of a volcanic cone along the 97 Road southeast of Jeju City, things were ramped up a bit as my guide had my horse and I trot and gallop along their track, before riding up along a trail at the lower section of Budae Oreum.

With a bit more experience and time, I would have liked to have done the entire four-hour trip, but it wasn’t meant to be on that particular day.

Perhaps you’ve had a horse riding experience on Jeju Island? We’d love to hear all about it! Please leave a comment.

 


Visitjeju.net

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