Research shows that the climate in western Tibet has been steadily changing over the past millenium, and that man has been on the losing end of an age old battle with nature.
Areas that were once moist and relatively lush are now dry and have become deserts, and in Guge this process is all the more intensified,
it's because it's located in the range shadow of Asia's greatest mountain ranges.
Evidence of this ongoing force known as desertification comes from satellite photographs of once arable fields now abandoned,
but not all of them moved away, in the middle of desert like conditions that surround modern Tsaparang, there are still a few places with enough moisture to grow barley, the fall of the Guge kingdom might not have been triggered by just one major military campaign,
but rather from a long term sustained assault from mother nature herself,
even today 400 years after the fall of the citadel, nature is still battling with the remaining few farmers struggling to eke out an existence from the land,
the farmers explained to John that they have been trying to grow barley in these fields, during the time the Guge kingdom they said the water levels much higher than it is now,
but the lack of water has now driven them to the lower areas right next to the river, the demise of the Guge kingdom was the end of line of Tibetan monarchs that stretch from 1630 back to 200 years AD,
but the legacy of Guge lives on in festivities like this annual horse fair, as they would centuries ago,
Buddhist monks are on hand to bless the jockeys, wishing them a successful and safe endeavour, participants dipped their fingers into beer and flicked it heavenward, a sign of gratitude and an offering to the divine.
But it is when the races begin, that we are reminded of the lenient of these hardy men.