|The Kyrgyz Republic|
The country of Kyrgyzstan is a small landlocked country about the size of South Dakota with a population of 5 million people. It is bordered to the north by Kazakhstan and to the south by China, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. It was part of the former Soviet Union and is now an independent republic. The Kyrgyz people have their own language but most speak Russian as well. It is a rugged mountainous country with the highest peaks in the Tien Shan Range reaching over 25,000 ft. Traditionally the Kyrgyz people were nomadic herdsmen who lived in yurts ( called bozuy in Kyrgyz) and moved with their herds of sheep and cows through the open range land. The horse plays an important part in their lifestyle providing transportation, recreation, food and drink. Most Kyrgyz now live in villages, but many still move into the mountains in the summer with their tents to graze their livestock.
Our business in the United States is based at The Big Yellow House, an historic home in Absarokee, Montana. This is not such an unlikely combination, if one understands the similarities and connections between Montana and Kyrgyzstan. The Kyrgyz Republic lies at the same latitude as Montana and has a similar climate and landscape. We grow similar crops, raise sheep and cattle and have a both have a vibrant horse culture. There are also intriguing links with the Plains Indian culture. Since the break up of the Soviet Union, Montana has a had a special diplomatic relationship with Kyrgyzstan in a program called “Partners in Peace”.