According to the South China Morning Post, as of 2018, the interest in horseback riding in that country has exploded, making China second only to the United States in number of riders. This is thanks to increased wealth and a booming economy.
And despite the dire predictions that are part of the 2020 global landscape, the popularity of riding in China shows no sign of abating. In fact, Beijing, site of the 2008 Olympics, has recently opened up an urban bridle path for trail riding in the city.
According to one news source, equestrians of all levels can mount up and ride the 4.37km trail through forests, parks and even vineyards. Wang Xiaoxiao, a 30-year-old white-collar worker in Beijing, said she would like to ride down the path. “I have been learning to ride horses at a club in the suburbs,” she said. “I watched an equestrian event a few years ago and became attracted to the sport. I think there are not many areas in the city for us to enjoy and experience the beauty of riding horses.”
The person who organizes and operates the riding path will also offer up professionally-guided rides for those horse enthusiasts who lack experience.
The Beijing trail is only the latest such equestrian experience in China. In Xinqiao town of Jiangyin, Wuxi, sits the Heilan Horse Culture Museum, which opened for business in 2009. The museum is approximately 8,700 square metres and occupies four floors. There is a breed exhibit with live horses housed in marble stalls with chandeliers, equestrian riding exhibitions that look like the Spanish Riding School of Vienna ‒ only with an all-female riding team. There is also an equestrian club for locals to take lessons and clinics from world-renowned trainers as well as on-site vets.