Mustamõisa horseback tours in the beautiful nature of South-East Estonia
Dear horse tourist and avid nature lover!
We started organizing horseback tours in 2009 in Mongolia.
Since October 5, 2016, our trips have been awarded EHE
(Genuine and Interesting Estonia) an eco - tourism quality label recognizing
environmentally friendly rural tourism products and services.
Tourism products and services so valued are characterized by genuine
experiences and valuing heritage culture.
Find out more about EHE FROM HERE.
Picturesque horseback rides will take you to the holy Taevaskoja on the paths of Estonian cult movie The Last Relic, to the exciting Mõtsküla forest or to the magical Akste Ant Kingdom. In Taevaskoja, legend tells about underground castle that has sunk into oblivion, from where, according to tradition, three passages lead to Riga, Pechory and the longest to Kiev ... On longer trips, there is a delicious local picnic basket offering in the price of the trip.
If we are lucky, we will see Kingfisher or "Flying Blue Gem" as locals say. We ride blue-eyed white Estonian Native Horses and drink local herbal tea for refreshment. If necessary and desired, we will set up a campfire in one of the picturesque Estonian State Forest Management Centre (RMK) wilderness camping sites.
In the area of today's forests of Mõtsküla-Lootvina, our proud ancestors have lived since ancient times. Here, from the touch of a hand, we pass a protected ancient cemetery, popularly known as the Great Northern War tumulus. According to scientists, remains belong to the second half of the 1st millennium. Bears, wild boars, lynxes, elk and other prides of Estonian forests also live in the area. We pass by the beautiful Lake Erne while riding in the highlands and look at a strange hill with a single native tree.
On a meditative horseback ride leading to an Akste Ant Kingdom, we see a colony of Formica aquilonia (Scottish wood ant), one of the largest in Europe in the 1970s, built by ants at the time of Christ's birth, approx. 2021 years ago. Akste Ant Kingdom has over 3 billion "inhabitants". About 1500 nests communicating and connected with each other by the tracks of forest ants are located here. Forest ants are the most developed social insects and they create the biggest communes. The ant society is similar to the human society: nest systems of complex hierarchical structure with the exchange of information and goods, division of labour, wars, family life of complex organisation and architecture of a high quality.
The main trump card of the nature reserve is the primeval and untouched Estonian nature, which acts as a real antidepressant and source of vitality. Of course, during the horseback riding, we also observe different varieties of birds, animals and plants. With good fortune we can meet Common crane (Grus grus), Lesser spotted eagle (Clanga pomarina), Northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis), Ural owl (Strix uralensis), gray wolves, red deer, wild boar, elk, roe deer, brown bear. In this area are observable classified Witches cauldron fungus (Sarcosoma globosum), Creeping lady's-tresses orchid (Goodyera repens), Cauliflower fungus (Sparassis crispa), Stag's-horn clubmoss (Lycopodium clavatum) , Lesser butterfly-orchid (Platanthera bifolia), flying Black woodpecker (Dryocopus martius) , Tengmalm's owl (Aegolius funereus), Clouded Apollo (Parnassius mnemosyne), Green snaketail dragonfly (Ophiogomphus cecilia), scuttle Grey partridges (Perdix perdix), European nightjars (Caprimulgus europaeus), Corn crakes (Crex crex) and others. In the water wonderland, we can try to spot the already mentioned Common kingfishers (Alcedo atthis), but also beavers, otters, water voles, White-throated dippers (Cinclus cinclus), Spined loaches (Cobitis taenia), European bullheads (Cottus gobio), European graylings (Thymallus thymallus), River trout (Salmo trutta fario) and Thick shelled river mussels (Unio crassus). We study different plants and talk about local history (a specific area, in addition to Põlva County and Old Livonia). Local herbal tea for refreshment.
The trips start from Mustakurmu village in Põlva County (South-East Estonia) and last 1-5 hours according to the agreement. The trip to Taevaskoja and back with a lunch break will definitely take at least 4 hours (if you are skilled rider). In Taevaskoja, if desired, you can stay in a private tent camp by the Ahja River for the night by additional agreement.
Shorter trips take place in the picturesque Akste Ant Kingdom or in the Mustakurmu-Mõtsküla-Lootvina area. If desired and for a special fee, the horses can be transported to Taevaskoja (or elsewhere) by land.
Unfortunately, or fortunately, people without previous riding experience and skills will not be allowed to trot or gallop offroad. However, if you are really a beginner, but you want to enjoy nature on horseback, we are willing to introduce you to the basics of riding and still provide a pleasant horseback hike safely at a steady speed.
For your part, bring a calm mood, high heel boots, pants suitable for riding (a seat without rubbing seams, leggings made of too slippery material is also not the best choice). For comfort and safety, we also recommend the use of gloves made of thin and non-slip material (also in summer!) Riding without the use of safety equipment and in an inadequate condition is excluded.
See you on a horseback!
CEO, Ilmavald OÜ (LLC)
COVID-19 prevention measures
Your health and sense of security is most important to us. That is why we do everything we can to ensure that you are still safe when exploring Estonian nature on horseback with us.
We monitor the occupancy of groups, strictly monitor the occupancy requirement established by the Government of Estonia in real time and regulate the number of visitors.
We additionally disinfect surfaces in contact with clients, incl. reins and saddles and other equipment as required.
We require a distance of 3-4 meters on horseback hikes. At closer contact, we demand to wear a mask.
Our staff distributes free disposable masks to those in need.
Disinfectants can be found in the outdoor toilet, in the horse saddling area. The tour guide also provides disinfectants. Please disinfect your hands when arriving, before the hiking break, as well as at the end of the hike.
Personal protective equipment can be disposed of in a specially marked trash can at the end of the hike.
If you have additional questions, write to the e-mail email@example.com
EHE (Genuine and Interesting Estonia) - Estonian ecotourism quality label (since 2016)
Põlvamaa Greener Mark - a local service quality label that marks regional origin, high quality, use of natural materials and environmentally friendly production
Ehe Eesti 2021 – Best native Estonian company name award (in manufacturing plant category)