For a while now, my horses and I have been living in the south of France, near the Pyrenees mountains. I absolutely love riding horses on our equestrian meet-ups around the world. However, getting to spend time with my own horses in nature every single day is also an absolute dream come true! Riding over the seemingly endless trails and galloping through all the surrounding fields makes both myself and my horses very happy!
Currently, we (my horses and I) live in a stunning little hamlet, surrounded by rivers, rolling green hills and lots of horse trails leading all the way to national parks and the Pyrenees. I live in a beautiful cabin with lots and lots of windows. It might not be very luxurious, but getting to see my horses as soon as I wake up is all the luxury I need! The horses stay in a large field that leads from a small river all the way up to the front of my house. They can graze and have access to hay 24/7 and they are the happiest I’ve ever seen them. One of my horses is quite new. I've had him for a few months now, and he is truly living his best life here!
Also read: Benefits of 24/7 turnout for horses
My day starts when the sun comes up, and the first thing I do is go out to feed the horses their luzerne. They know the drill and will already neigh before my alarm goes off and I’m still inside the house. If their hay is almost finished I refill the hay net, and I pull water from the well into their watering trough which is all the way at the bottom of the field. They always follow me to the water through and race back and forth, bucking and rearing, they love it here.
Getting hay here for the horses is quite a mission. I buy large round bales from a farm a few kilometers away where they also keep horses. Out of the 7 other people that live in the same hamlet as me, there is one lovely man with an old trailer and a small Peugeot. When it’s time to get a new bale, which is one to three times a month depending on the grass, we drive over to the farm to pick up the bale. It takes about an hour to get everything sorted. The trailer is way too small for the bale, and the bale is way too heavy to pick up, even when we are four people trying as hard as we possibly can. Once loaded, we slowly drive back to the hamlet and pray that the hay bale doesn’t jump out of the trailer when we accidentally hit potholes. It’s an adventure!
Also read: Living with horses in the French Pyrenees
As most of you that have horses or work with horses know, a lot of your life in the equestrian world revolves around manure. My horse field is about half a hectare big, which means I have to rotate the horses in order to keep the grass from being overgrazed. When I switch the horses over to their new area, it means it’s time to pick poo for the entire day in the area they were in before, yay! I actually don’t mind it so much, as I get to be with my horses and the views are simply amazing.
The riding and horse trails here are incredible, and the ponies are always happy to go for a ride. Now that the weather is getting hotter and we are getting less and less storms, there are more trails that are accessible as the rivers get low. We’ve been exploring a lot, especially in the early mornings and late afternoons when the temperatures are pleasant.
Also read: Moving to France with my horse
Of course, in between riding, spending time with my horses, and caring for them, I work on Hooves Around The World. I have a very comfy chair that I hang from a tree in the horse field, and there I write my blog posts, answer emails, and plan trips! Bats and Sukur will nap next to me, or munch away on their hay by the next tree. Every day I have to pinch myself, this is really my life now!
For more horse riding holidays all over Europe, click here.
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