Horse whispering in Velingrad
Horses symbolise strength, speed, and durability and are often associated with freedom. In Europe, there are a handful of regions where free-roaming horses live. The Rhodope hills around Velingrad are home to one of the last free-roaming wild horse breeds, the Karakachan horse (feral Konik). They represent an ancient horse breed that is related to the Mongol horse. These horses were used by Karakachans, who lived nomadic lifestyles and used the horses to carry their life-sustaining cargo from pasture to pasture.
The horses are a smaller breed, well-accustomed to the local environment, undemanding to feed and groom, resilient to diseases and durable. Today, the horses are included in the European Wildlife Bank and live in two protected areas in the Rhodopes. The region is home to four herds that count more than 80 horses. According to experts, horses significantly contribute to biodiversity, most notably by sustaining pastures.
In addition to horses, the nomadic Karakachan tribe lived in harmony with dogs and sheep. That led to the inception of domestic species – the Karakachan dog and Karakachan sheep. Today, the friendly dog breed is predominantly a guard dog for livestock and was officially declared a Bulgarian indigenous dog breed in 2005.
If you wish to enjoy an organised experience, the Equestrian Center Sivek is the right address. Here, you will learn all about the indigenous horse breed. A visit to their centre will enable your team to experience beginner riding in the arena or horse-riding in nature for advanced riders. The centre has fourteen horses and a pony. In addition, your incentive group can try their hand at archery which is a popular team activity among companies.
|Wow factor||One of the last free-roaming wild horse breeds|
|Incentive type||Active experience|
|Number of participants||Up to 15|
|Best time of the year||April – October|
|Duration||From 2 to 3 hours|