Seeing a picture of yaks in the Museum of Ethnology in Hamburg in Germany, the Nobel Peace laureate said: "The yaks reminded me how much more confident I felt riding a yak in the mountains than a horse, because their hooves give them more stability."
The elderly monk visited the museum Monday to see exhibits on the life of Tibetan nomads, who are at risk.
The Dalai Lama was appreciative of the photographs depicting the nomads' way of life, traditions and the threats that put them at risk, according to a post on his official website.
He talked about the negative effects of deforestation, reckless mining for minerals and the forced settlement of nomads that ultimately leaves them at a loss.
Prompted by a photograph of Tibetan flags, he told the story of how Chairman Mao Zedong gave him permission to fly it.
He also noted another photo of imprisoned Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo.
The spiritual leader reached Frankfurt Aug 22 on a six-day visit. This is his 38th visit to Germany.