The Emperors’ Horse Ranch
At the time of Emperor Hirohito of Japan, Taiwan was well under the colonial thumb. Railways had been established, cities birthed and yet one thing was missing… a lack of good steeds for its population. In 1937 the office of Taiwan Governor-General established Houli horse ranch as a horse breeding center. Following World War Two, the ranch continued as a combined stud farm and home for the island’s military needs until 1997 when the site was bought by Taiwan sugar and opened to the public. Houli is still Taiwan’s foremost horse-riding training center, though today it’s more an attraction than anything else.
What to Do
While there are still 100 horses stabled on site, a plethora of other non-related activities detract from the core focus of horse-riding. Visitors here can meet and greet with the equines, take riding lessons or simply wander the large 10 hectare site. They may also do archery, ride in go-karts, camp, ride a horse & cart or meander the annual flower show held there. The sprawling ranch is clearly divided into public and private areas. Many of the stables are sealed off from the public, though there are still several equines out at pasture for the crowds to enjoy. As with most places in Taiwan, it can get crowded here especially on the weekends. However, the chance to see a piece of Taiwan’s martial history is as good a reason as any to stop by especially for horse lovers.
At time of writing, Houli Horse Stables are closed until further notice while the site is being prepared to host the Taichung World Flora Expo in 2018.
41 Sishan Rd, Guangfu Village, Houli Township, Taichung County (后里馬場，台中縣后里鄉廣福村寺山路41號)
Call: (04) 2556 2531