Viking River Cruises “Passage to Eastern Europe” offers insight into the history as well as contemporary life in Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania.
Traditionally the horses were taught to lie down in the prairie grass so enemies could not see the horse or rider.
While in Hungary passengers visit a farm to witness "The Horsemen of the Puszta." The men train their horses not to be afraid of the crack of the whip which simulates gunfire. The tradition comes from a time when the horses were used in battle. The whip never touches the horse.
The horses’ ancestors had to learn to sit in tall prairie grass so that they could not be seen by their rider’s enemies.
The horses are also trained to sit and lie down, as they once did to hide from the enemies in the tall grass of the Hungarian Plains.
The Horsemen of the Pusztaare and their horses are highly trained in the traditions of survival during enemy attack.
The visit concludes with free time to take a wagon ride, and to visit the barns and paddocks to see the horses close up.
The youngest rider is 11
The crack of the whip simulates gunfire. It was used traditionally to train horses not to be afraid of the loud noises.
At top: Something seldom seen anywhere: One man controls ten horses.
All Photos by Marilyn Jones