One of the unique traditions in Mongolia is that anyone who visits this country as a state guest is presented with a whole horse as a gift. This was the case with Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who received this honorary gift during his visit to the country nearly a decade ago, when he was still serving as the Foreign Minister. The horse given to him was a young and vibrant creature, which was fondly named as “Thundering Hooves”. However, after his visit, the horse remained in Mongolia when Steinmeier returned to his home country, Germany.
Upon his return to Mongolia, this time as the Federal President, Steinmeier expressed a keen interest in knowing about the well-being of his gifted horse. He was quoted as saying, “I’m very excited to hear how ‘Thundering Hooves’ is doing now and whether he still remembers me.” This interest piqued the Mongolian President Ukhnaa Khurelsukh’s curiosity, who ordered his staff to visit the horse along with a photographer, intending to document the horse’s life post the gift.
During his two-day state visit, Steinmeier was presented with the results of this documentation. It was revealed that “Thundering Hooves” was leading a semi-wild life in the vast expanses of Mongolia, about 620 kilometers east of Ulan Bator and seemed to be content with his life. However, his journey had not been entirely smooth. The stallion had lost his herd in a fight and spent two and a half years wandering alone aimlessly. But, showing resilience and strength, he had recently formed his own herd, with four mares standing by his side.