I took this picture in 2005. We were on a long road trip, making site visits with partners, and this picture was taken somewhere in eastern Altai Krai.
The sign says “Tire Repair…Balancing.”
Horses are an essential mode of transportation across much of Siberia. In Altai, the landscape is often remote and mountainous, and there are few paved roads. The rest of them (and there are not a lot) vary from smooth gravel roads to rutted muddy tracks.
Horses get you everywhere else – over mountain passes, between disconnected villages, across vast fields, into the wilderness for hunting and other subsistence activities. Even in the larger villages, you can often see horses pulling wagons around town or transporting people or hay and other crops in from the fields.
Horses, as with most livestock, are allowed to roam freely. I can’t get enough of seeing small herds crossing the countryside, foals next to their mamas, stallions sometimes watching over.
Seems like most of my horse pictures are taken while on the move. Either that, or the horses were too busy to stop and pose.