Fashion

6 Equestrian Brands You Probably Didn’t Know Are on Amazon

NEWSFLASH- Today and tomorrow July 15th and 16th are Amazon Prime days. There are massive reductions on joining Amazon prime and massive savings for prime members. Be sure to check it out. Just click here.

I have recently become an Amazon Affiliate. It made sense for me and my blog. I chose to do this because I use Amazon A LOT! I enjoy the ease and convenience of it and let’s not forget the price is pretty hard to beat!

 

Shopping for my horse
Photo by Emily Cole Illustrations

 

However I think you may be surprised at what a good selection of equestrian clothing, tack, equipment, feed and horsey accessories they have on there.

Amazon is quick, easy and very convenient and they ship worldwide. For me in France this is a big plus. I can connect with brands that normally I would have to pay a lot in shipping when I order something and get it delivered here. 

Here are my top picks of the best equestrian brands you can shop for on Amazon. Just click on the picture to take you straight to Amazon to get your internet shopping fix!

    1. Ariat.

You will find a wide choice of Ariat riding, paddock and country boots at very reasonable prices.

2. Le Miuex

If you have matchy matchy goals, then Le Mieux is the go to brand. You can shop for your  horse and clothing for yourself on Amazon.

3. Kevin Bacon’s Hoof Care.

One of the leading hoof care companies around, Amazon have a large range of their products for your perusal!

4. Blue Chip Feed Balancer

There are many horse feed companies on Amazon including Dengie, Blue Chip, Allen and Page and Dodson and Horrell to name a few. How nice would it be to have your heavy feed delivered to your yard?!

5. Wintec Saddlery

There is a lot of  Wintec Saddlery products on Amazon, you can even buy a saddle on there!

6. Mark Todd.

Mark Todd products were a personal fav of mine when I had my own horse. I love Mark Todd and think his products are great.

**Putting it out there – These are affiliate links. This means at no additional cost to you if you click through and make a purchase I will receive a tiny bit of commission**.

Other posts that may interest you are:

Louise’s March Look Book 

Louise’s March Look Book 2 

Louise’s April Look Book

Copyright of In Due Horse and Louise Dando 2019.

Advertisements
Inspo Interviews

Inspo Interview #4 Poppy from Young Hip & Horsey

For this month’s Inspo Interview I would like to introduce Poppy from Young Hip and Horsey. Poppy is an Equestrian blogger & I have been following Poppy’s blog for a few months now and find her very inspiring. Poppy had a total hip replacement in June 2018 at the age of 26 and her blog is about her recovery and return to riding after her operation. 

Image-41.png

1) What inspired you to start your blog Young Hip and Horsey?

Strangely it was my mum who first suggested I start a blog about my hip replacement recovery.  We both thought that a record of the experience of having a hip replacement at such a young age with a view to getting back to an active hobby might be useful to other people who might face a similar situation. I also saw the potential for my blog to be of interest to other riders, perhaps those who, like me, only started riding as adults, enjoy coloured cobs or have dressage ambitions but are really starting from scratch! As soon as I started writing and creating images to use for my blog, I was hooked.  I was already keen on photography and my personal Instagram and Facebook accounts were full of pictures of my beloved Pea.  I had been keen on writing when I was younger, writing many many stories, but rediscovered my love for the written word when blogging gave me a purpose.  

2) Who do you look to for inspiration and why?

 When I decided that dressage was my chosen discipline I dived straight into the Youtube archive of Charlotte (Dujardin) and Valegro videos.  I feel like you can’t NOT be inspired by her success, she has changed the face of dressage in this country forever and has achieved so much at such a young age.  After reading her book I’ve been even more inspired by the journey she has been on to get to where she is today.   Another young, female role model I look to for inspiration is Olivia Towers.  She is a professional rider who creates very real videos, podcasts and social media content about the highs and lows of training her horses.  She is passionate about having a positive mindset and encouraging others to improve and develop.  I love that you can gain an insight into high level dressage through her content and she definitely offers tips and tricks that can be taken away even as a relative beginner in the riding and dressage world. 

Image-40

3) What would you say is your biggest achievement to date? 

This is a really tricky one for me as I feel like since my hip replacement (in June 2018) each month has brought a new ‘biggest achievement’ in terms of both my recovery and my riding.  Ditching the crutches completely by 2 months post op and getting on Pea at 10 weeks post op were massive!  My first lesson with my new hip in November (and each lesson since then) was also incredible. If I had to chose just one achievement it would have to be the competition we did in January.  Even before my operation I had never been to a dressage competition away from home, I had never competed without people from my yard around and I had never competed in an indoor arena.  In January, for my first competition post hip replacement, I did all of these things!  I also did it relatively confidently and confidence has been a real issue for me in the past, particularly in terms of competing. 

4) What would be the best piece of advice you could give someone who is feeling a bit uninspired at the moment? 

I’m quite keen on inspirational quotes because I think sometimes we all need a reminder to be positive and a catalyst to motivate ourselves.  I post quotes on my Instagram every Monday so I have plenty of motivational messages and advice in my mental bank but I think the best piece of advice I could give right now is that ‘dreams don’t work unless you do’.  If you are feeling uninspired just think about what it is you want to achieve, then you can work out what you need to do to reach that goal and do it!  I think you always need something to work towards but equally, goals need to be achievable and measurable.  Breaking overarching goals into smaller pieces make them more manageable and therefore you are more likely to achieve.  Making goals is, of course, the first step and then the hard work starts! 

Image-43.png

 5) What are your plans this year & what do you hope to achieve? 

The equine flu scare has put a slight pause on my competing at the moment but this year I plan to compete regularly at prelim level.  I would like to go to lots of different competition venues to broaden our competition experience so that we are both more confident in different environments.  I hope to improve Pea’s suppleness and get her working from behind, over her back into a consistent contact as that is something that we really haven’t mastered yet!  I want to be able to improve her canter which, due to the discomfort associated with my hip problems, has never been great.  I want us both to be stronger and fitter and would really love to have more equal strength and flexibility between my left, historically bad side and my right, good side.    

You can follow Poppy and Pea’s progress on their blog http://www.younghipandhorsey.com and on facebook and instagram @younghipandhorsey

In case you missed last month’s Inspo Interview with Heather Wallace The Timid Rider click here to read it. 

 

 

 

This content is copyright of Louise Dando & In Due Horse. All photos are property of Young Hip and Horsey. 

Fun Ideas

5 French Riders You Need To Watch This Season!

I absolutely love living in France. I love speaking French and learning about French culture. I love the lifestyle here and the food and you know what France has some pretty bad ass horses and riders too! Here are the French horse riders that you need to know about this season.

1) Thibault Fournier.

42551951_2267494579959796_7898744427017928704_o
Photo from Thibault Fournier Facebook page. 

Thibault Fournier is an eventer, who won Pau 4* in October with Sinani de Lathus despite it being his first competition at that level. He is only 24 years old and is aiming towards the European Championships in August, 2019.  I saw him at Pau and he seems to absolutely adore his horse. He is definitely someone to watch for the future.

Fun Fact: Thibault is training to be a physiotherapist along side his riding career!

2) Astier Nicholas

44433012_1960663960681907_4190190160064806912_n

Despite only being 30 years old. Astier Nicolas has had a very successful eventing career already. He has competed successfully at all of the major events including Badminton, Burghley, Pau and Bramham, winning Pau in 2015. He is a double Olympic medalist after winning team gold with France and individual silver in Rio de Janerio in 2016.

Fun Fact: Astier has a degree in Equine Management from Hartpury College and lived in the UK for many years. He has now returned to France and is living in Normandy.

3) Thomas Carlisle

Thomas Carlisle is one to watch! He has been progressing very well over the last few years. Thomas’ BE results are impressive and consistent even though he only started to compete at high level competition a few years ago.  Despite this, and his mount Upsilon being the youngest horse in the competition, they won the Event Masters in Bleinham CCI*** in 2016 and they have been doing well since with their last win being Barbury CIC*** in 2018.

Sadly though Tom posted on Facebook last week that their 2019 season has not started well.  Upsilon has contracted a nasty virus which had left him fighting for his life. So we are sending good thoughts and really hoping Upsilon is making a speedy recovery.

Fun Fact – Thomas Carlisle was born and lives in France but has English parents. He went to school in Toulouse and a friend of mine knows him!

4) Penelope Levropost

Photo by thomasreiner.pro

Penelope is a successful French show jumper and has had a very successful career competing in numerous World and European championships, including winning a silver medal in the World Cup in Las Vegas in 2015 and winning olympic gold at Rio de Janerio in 2016 to name a couple of her achievements. She also has her own boutique Penelope-store.com that sells riding equipment for horse and rider and is a single mother to her daughter Eden.

Fun Fact: Penelope has become a bit of an internet sensation with a following of 142k on instagram!

 

5) Morgan Barbancon Mestre

Grand Prix Dressage rider Morgan was born in France but actually rode representing Spain until May 2018. Her father is French and her mother is Spanish but she actually lives in Switzerland. Morgan represented Spain at the 2012 Olympic Games, 2014 World Equestrian Games, 2015 World Cup Finals and 2015 European Championships on Painted Black, but has chosen to represent France to continue to compete at the higher levels of competition. That successfully started with Morgan winning the French Grand Prix Championship in 2018.

Fun Fact: Morgan was born in France, lived in Germany, Holland and now is hoping to develop dressage in the french speaking part of Switzerland. Talk about being European!

Remember to follow In Due Horse on Facebook & Instagram @induehorse

Copyright 2019 http://www.induehorse.com

Fashion, Reviews

Louise’s March Look Book Part 2 – Dreamers & Schemers socks

This week my look of the week goes to Dreamers and Schemers socks!

I received a pair as a Christmas gift and I love them! They are like long pop socks really, as they don’t have any seams. They are thin and comfortable and they have such cool patterns on. I picked this pastel pattern with unicorns and rainbows on, but there are all sorts of funny designs you can choose from avocados, goats and boobs just to name a few!

To grab yourself a pair head to the Dreamers & Schemers website you won’t regret it!

Let me know what design you choose if you do get a pair!

Louise XX

Equestrian Events

Everything you need to know about Jumping International de Bordeaux

Since Thursday the Bordeaux Exhibition Centre has been full of Equestrian sport’s top riders and horses from around the World. I was planning to go in person as it is not far from where I live in Toulouse, but then I planned to go skiing today instead. Then my car broke so I couldn’t do that either! So I think its fair to say I was destined not to go anywhere today. However I still felt that you needed to know about this amazing event. Running from February 7- 10th it is happening right now. So sit back and relax and I will tell you all about it!

Photo credit: Artiste Associé

Jumping international de Bordeaux has a lot to offer. Tonight (Saturday) it will host the penultimate leg of the Longines FEI Showjumping World Cup. Forty of the top show jumpers are competing tonight before the final in Gothenburg in April. I am sure it is going to be an exciting night of competition. I am hoping to catch some of it online, as my favourite french show jumper Penelope Leprevost is competing as well as Scott Brash and Michael Whitaker for GB.

After that this evening is the FEI World Cup Driving final. This is where the six best four in hand drivers compete against each other to be the world champion.

Last night, saw the Devoucoux Indoor Derby. A competition for event riders, the course consisted of 20 jumps in total 12 fixed cross country style jumps at the height of 1m10 including a bank, an eye, some skinnies, corners and a brush fence. There were also 5 showjumps in the course set at a height of 1m30 and course was set with an optimum time. Eventing favourite German Michael Jung won on Corazon.

Photo Credit: HR BRICOT

Another highlight is the `Nuit Iberique’ A show made up of The Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art from Spain, The Portuguese School of Equestrian Art from Lisbon, The Cadre Noir from France and a family run circus troupe Hasta Luego. The show pays hommage to the Iberian breed using Grand Prix dressage moves of which the breed excels at and a circus ballet with horses is performed without reins or other forms of restraint! Sounds very cool!

Photo credit: HR BRICOT

There are many other competitions at Bordeaux too. Including the Coupe des Clubs where young show jumpers from different riding clubs in South West France compete against each other.

90 stallions from studs all over South West France are presented in hand or compete in the Bordeaux Young Sires Masters showjumping classes with classes for 7 year olds and 8 year olds as part of the Bordeaux Stallions Show.

There is also an equine health forum, bloggers meet-up, demonstrations, Le Pony Club offer rides for children and there are clinics too!

Photo credit: Artiste Associé

But lets not forget one of the most important things! Shopping! In the Salon de Cheval there is everything an equestrian could want tack, equipment, clothing, saddlery, new technology for horse and rider – whatever your equine discipline you find everything you need here! And of course being in France you will find a fab restaurant or two as well.

I think you agree this just sounds fantastic, and if you do get a chance to go in the future you definitely should! I’m imagining a French non festive Olympia sort of vibe. So, anyone up for going next year?!

Tickets and updates on results from the competitions are available online at http://www.jumping-bordeaux.com

Inspo Interviews

Inspo Interview #2 Krystal Kelly

For the second edition of our Inspo Interviews about inspirational women in the equestrian industry I had the pleasure of interviewing Krystal Kelly.

Krystal Kelly is a California Girl, joining us from her current base in England for a talk about her life as an Equestrian Adventuress traveling around the world on the back of a horse. She is currently the ONLY FEI II Showjumping Coach from the USA and offers jumping and dressage clinics, yoga for horse riders, and even helps to promote horse riding adventures and holidays around the world. She organizes groups to off-the-beaten path destinations with her own travel company Krystal Kolumbus Travel (like her upcoming trip to Bhutan!) She talks with us today about her life abroad and what it’s like working in 14 different countries with horses and traveling to over 50+ countries including Iraq, Bhutan, Romania, India, Egypt and more!

1) What inspired you to do what you do?

I have always wanted to work abroad with horses. I never felt like I belonged in America to be honest and I felt since I was very young that I needed to go and see the world. I was always fascinated to see the Olympic Showjumping on the television. Seeing top riders from around the world gather in one place to share their love for horses has always been something that drove my passion to seek “unique destinations” and countries most people would never think of going to ride horses! I just recently returned from Iraqi Kurdistan where I got to ride some gorgeous showjumping horses and also meet a few local men who breed Arab and Kurdish horses. They welcomed me like I was one of their family members and treated me to local tea and even gifted me a golden horse statue which now sits on my dresser. I love exploring countries, but exploring different cultures and countries because of a shared love for horses…that is an opportunity unlike any other!

2) Who do you look to for inspiration and why?

I am too busy making my own lists of things I want to do and where I want to go that I don’t have much time to think about what others are doing. Especially because my goal of seeing every country causes a lot of anxiety to others (try telling someone whose never left their hometown why you took a secret trip to Yemen…) and you will realize that you often times have to be the source of your own inspiration. In order to drive yourself to step outside of your comfort zone, take the leap and trust your own judgement and gut, sometimes you have to take inspiration from any means you can whether it be scrolling through Instagram, reading other’s blogs or watching documentaries. I take my inspiration from many outlets and its difficult to pin it down to one specific person. I will say that any woman challenging the system and conquering her goals (whatever they may be) in a male dominated sport / business / culture etc. is always a key source of inspiration for me! I love seeing women “stick it to the man” and empower other sisters around the world to follow in their footsteps!

 

3) What would you say is your biggest achievement to date & why?

I have many. I’ve started the only horse riding program in the country of Bhutan, and now organize group expeditions there! I’ve fundraised to send a Yemeni girl to University. I’ve driven a junky car SOLO from England to Mongolia and back again. I met my husband in Azerbaijan (he’s German) and taught him to ride horses—where we now own two lovely horses in England and play polo, compete in Endurance and many other horsie-activities. I completed a 1,000 kilometer race on semi-wild Mongolian horses across the Mongolian steppes… I guess you could say there are a number of achievements I am proud of, but I also have quite a number more to cross off my list! I’m a big list maker so whenever I do cross something off I usually replace it with another equally challenging goal.

 

4) What is the best piece of advice you could give to someone who is feeling a bit uninspired at the moment?

I think many people when they meet me, often tell me, “Wow, your life is amazing! You’re so lucky!” But the real secret is, I am not doing anything anyone couldn’t do. To be honest, back in 2010 when I first left America to work at my first international job for an Olympic rider in Belgium, the only thing I did that others didn’t was: I got on the plane. Many of my adventures, jobs and goals started with simply committing to getting on that plane. It didn’t matter if I didn’t have much money or I didn’t know where I would end up or how I would afford a return flight should the job not work out etc. It didn’t matter because I knew it would all work out. I would be able to handle any situation I came up against and I had faith that things would all work out in the end. And you know what? It has. So many doors of opportunity opened up for me simply by having the guts to get on that plane and take a chance that I never could have dreamed would be possible.

You don’t need to have all the answers, you don’t need to have everything planned. All you need is the will and a way will be shown. And if the people in your environment or life are opposing your internal goals and wishes and desires then STOP INTERACTING WITH THEM! Reach out to people with similar goals who’ve actually achieved them and start surrounding yourself with people that will lift you up (even if it’s only virtually on the internet for a while!) In this way the internet is really your biggest ally as there are so many inspirational women and horse lovers out there that are happy to talk and inspire other—and even offer them a job or a free bed for the night or a coffee! So get out there and start networking!

 

5) What are your plans for this year and what do you hope to achieve?

I have a few trips lined up for this year which I’m still looking to fill. I have several open spaces for people to join me on a once in a lifetime chance to visit the country of Bhutan —my all-time favorite country—on the back of a horse! Last year I took a group of 8 ladies and we had such a wonderful adventure that I’m excited to bring another group this year. I also have a few other trips in the making and my filming projects are beginning to pick up. I hope to release a youtube series soon about various Equestrian Adventuresses around the world so please join my Facebook group to keep up to date with the different adventures and projects I am planning as well as getting your horse travel inspiration and contacts from like-minded ladies in the group!

Thank you to everyone at In Due Horse for the feature and I am very happy to continue to follow along on your adventures!

Feel free to follow me on Instagram (https:// http://www.instagram.com/kryskolumbustravel/channel/) or check out my websites: https://www.kryskolumbustravel.com

https://krystal-kelly.com

In case you missed it click here to read the first Inspo Interview with The Sand Arena Ballerina.

Copyright of http://www.induehorse.com 2019.

Equestrian Events, Fun Ideas

All the Queen’s Horses in the New Years Day Parade.

Photo by Getty images

It’s January 2019 – how did that happen?! I don’t know about you but after the festivities of Christmas and the new year are over I find January a bit miserable. However this year I am determined to change my frame of mind about that and how better to do that? By learning about a parade of horses walking through London! I know that would cure my post New Year’s Eve hangover for sure!

The first New Year’s Day parade was in 1987 and it has run every year since. It features marching bands, cheer leaders and street performers. It was intended to bring joy to an otherwise dull day in London as traditionally all the shops and restaurants are shut on New Year’s Day. All the Queen’s horses are a small part of this big parade but obviously they are my favourite bit. The horses have been included in the parade since 2012, when they were first invited to join the parade because of the Queen’s diamond jubilee and the olympics that year. The horses proved to be so popular they have been invited back each year since.

Photo by lnydp.com

Each year there is a different theme and on average each rider spends around £1000 on their costume for themselves and their horse!! The theme this year was ‘London welcomes the world’ which was a little ray of light in the time of brexit negotiations (or lack of) bringing the country down. The parade features 60 horses and their 200 handlers and helpers and were lead by a 32″ tall Falabella stallion called Azlan, who is an old pro as this year was his 3rd parade. The parade marches through central London from Piccadilly to Parliament Square with around 500,000 spectators. The parade includes horses and riders from all over the world including the USA, Spain, Norway, Holland and Germany. All different breed of horses are included Clydesdales, shetlands, ex racehorses and Dales to name a few. The youngest rider was 3 years old and the oldest 74 years old.

Photo from http://www.allthequeenshorses.co.uk

So, when it comes to horsey festive fun it seems London is the place to be. Following shortly after Olympia it seems London knows how to throw a horsey party! I have yet to see this for myself but I definitely want to now! You can contact the organisers of ‘All the Queen’s Horses’ part of the parade and ask to take part if you and your horse want to get involved, via http://www.allthequeenshorses.co.uk and you can spread a little joy yourself. Personally I’m not sure Mya would be too keen though!

Photo from http://www.allthequeenshorses.co.uk

So when you are feeling down this January forget your January blues and just think of horses parading around London dressed up in silly costumes! I know I will. Happy New Year everyone and I hope that 2019 brings you everything you hope for.

Uncategorised

Merry Christmas Everyone!

I am writing this when I really should be cleaning my flat and packing my bags. As I am heading back to Bristol today to spend Christmas with my family.

I just wanted to say a big THANK YOU to everyone that has supported In Due Horse since it started in September. Starting In Due Horse has made me so happy and I am so glad that I have been able to get back to riding again.

I have a few exciting ideas for the blog for next year and just wanted to say thanks again for your continued support.

Now, time for a glass of something fizzy!

Merry Christmas

Love from Louise xx

And the rest of the family James, Mya & Ziggy AKA Team In Due Horse xxxx

Lifestyle

Festive Fun With Our Furry Friends.

I don’t know about you but I absolutely love Christmas! I just love everything about it, the Christmas trees, caroles, presents, family time and of course all of the food and drink! But do you ever have amazing ideas that don’t turn out the way you imagined? Here is my comical guide to Christmas with our furry friends.

The Christmas ride. Now I attempted this once with my horse Stanley. I decorated his bridle & I had my Christmas jumper on. We went for a hack & I thought it would be all fun & festive. How wrong was I ?! Firstly Stanley found the tinsel so scary that he didn’t want to move when it was touching him. I did finally drag him out of his stable to go for a lovely ride but of course I was wrong again. Stanley was already very tense because of the scary tinsel but now everyone we passed in cars & on foot stopped to admire us & every time I waved or said something to anyone Stanley took as a que to try and run home. It was also very cold and my Xmas jumper was really itchy.

One Christmas I lovingly prepared a stocking for my horse Cassie. I got my mum to drill through a swede so we could hang it in her stable so Cassie could spend hours playing with it. I bought Cassie a salt lick to put in her new stable too. Both of which she did not get at all. Like no clue. She sniffed them both then ignored them for the remaining weeks I left them in the stable for her. I bought her some treats as well but she only wanted the mint flavoured ones and wouldn’t eat her dinner if I put other flavours of treat in her bucket.

Olympia. When I lived in the UK I loved going to Olympia before Christmas. It was lovely and festive. But my mum & I used to go and spend all of our Christmas money before we got it & then didn’t tell my dad how much we spent.

Donating to a horse charity. Lots of people I know donate to charity during the festive period instead of sending Christmas cards. So why not donate to a horse charity? Well I have sponsored a horse before and was basically taken hostage by the horse I adopted. Because I am far too soft! I would get newsletters and photos of the horse and hear all about how badly he was treated before he was rescued. Then, every time I tried to stop donating as I needed money for my own food, I ended up renewing my adoption but paying more than I originally had done before. I think at one point I ended up sponsoring 2 ponies, bought dog toys for the local dogs home as well as giving £2 a month to cancer research and running a half marathon for water aid! But in all seriousness donating to charity is a good thing if you can afford to do so.

Go to your local boxing day hunt meet. Its nice to see all the horses and riders dressed up ready for the hunt on boxing day. Its particularly nice to go watch them but then go back home and curl up in the warm when they head off! As when I went once it was basically a lot of very posh drunk people on horseback. I honestly don’t know how a lot of them managed to not die that day. Either by falling off their horses or drunkenly driving their lorries home! I’m really hoping that many of them had someone else driving them home.

The Yard Christmas Party. A very important social event as it maybe the only time of year you see the other owners at your yard dressed like normal people. You might not recognise them without straw in their hair or when they are not wearing jodhpurs. Someone you least expect will probably get blind drunk and cause a scene. But at least you can spend one evening looking and smelling nice and have a few glasses of fizz together. Then the next day you resume to being covered in horse poo and ignoring each other whilst mucking out as you are terribly hung over.

And finally going to the stables with your family, Christmas day is a weird day that everyone has more time (unless you are making christmas dinner for everyone) so I like to go to stables with someone that I don’t usually. So that basically meant that I’d go with my dad or my husband and freeze my socks off mucking out alone, while they sat in the warm car telling me to hurry up every time they saw me struggling to carry something heavy past their warm clean car. After mucking out as I was already dirty, I was always nominated to walk the dog too, and without a doubt he would either run off and be lost temporarily while I stood in the field alone in the rain or rolled in something that smells disgusting. It was never exactly what I had in mind!

So there you have it. Do you have any funny festive stories about your horse? Any festive plans with your horse that were more successful than mine?

Remember to join in our #induehorseparty and send me your Xmas pics to post on my Facebook & instagram story, so we can spread some festive spirit. Just tag me using @induehorse.

Have a very merry Christmas everyone and I hope that your festive plans do go to plan with your horses!

Places to Visit, Visits

My Visit to The National Stud of Vendée

This is the second stud that I visited on my summer travels this year in France. It is situated in the centre of La Roche Sur Yon, roughly an hour away from La Rochelle.

Built in 1665 by Napoleon to breed horses for the military, Le Haras de la Vendée is now used for cultural and tourist purposes.

We explored the grounds when we were there and there is a lot to see. We were able to see the stables and grounds and see the ‘ exposition de voitures et hippomobiles’ which are the old cars and carts. You can see them displayed with information about when and why each one was used. My hubby liked this part!

The grounds were pretty and you would never think you were in the middle of the city. There were pony rides available all day for children (some in costumes) . Guided tours are available 3 times a day, which I would have liked to go on. You can also go on a pony & cart ride. There were also many educational talks and tours available on specific days including an old photo exhibition, how to tack up a horse , working sessions with commentary, question and answer sessions and a saddlery workshop. How very educational!

In the summer there is a ‘Grande Spectacle’ each day at 17.00. With a multitude of scenes in costumes, to music telling the stories of horses through out the times. The horses pirouette and jump and the reviews I have read say it’s brilliant. There is also Cachou the circus horse, which is a funny show aimed for kids.

If you get a chance to visit one of the National studs in France I would recommend it. There are 22 National studs around France, which make up along with the National riding school the Institut Français du Cheval et de L’ Equitation. It’s certainly something I will try to continue to do as I luckily stumbled across the studs in Tarbes & & Vendée and enjoyed both visits. Both I have visited have been very informative and interesting but good fun too. I would say the stud in Vendée is not as grand as the stud in Tarbes, but both have a lot to offer. Both centres are used for tourism but also for research in the continuation of breeding and for shows, competitions and education. Both were really child friendly too. Entry was €5 for the whole day which included everything I mentioned above including entry to the spectacle. It’s really good value!

Do you know of any horsey places or events I should visit in France? If you have stumbled across any gems whilst on holiday etc let me know as I am always looking for new horsey places to visit. Please let me know in the comments if you do.

Also don’t forget the In Due Horse Christmas party is going on at the moment on Facebook and Instagram. Send your Christmassy pictures in to feature on the page. Just remember to tag @induehorse & use the hashtag #induehorseparty.

Bonne Weekend everyone! 💕