Help us care for our equine family in Normandy, France

Country

France

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    9  

  • last activity

    Last activity

    06/12/2021

  • Last email replied

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  2021 

 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks

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  • Description

    Description

    Hi! We are Sarah, husband David and our dear friend Erica. We are very lucky to live on a beautiful farm in a picturesque part of south west Normandy, which we share with a herd of eleven rare Rocky Mountain horses. The farm is less than one kilometre from the village of Ger, and comprises ten hectares of undulating pasture and woodland and three large ponds - two with carp and one for swimming. We met in Devon, England, when Sarah and Erica’s children went to the same democratic school. Erica moved to France in 2017 with her horses, and now Sarah and David have joined her with their two, and co-own the farm. David is a healer and Erica a psychotherapist, and we all agree that La Volée, with its abundant natural life and peaceful hidden valley, has a special healing magic. We sometimes host groups who come for retreats with horses. We have hosted many helpers from around the world, both here and in our previous life in England, and love to share our home and get to know such a wonderful variety of people.

    Although we love working on the land and with the horses, it is too much for us (young in spirit but not in body) to manage without help. So we are needing people who love horses to help us to care for and train our equine family, and to help us with maintaining the land and the buildings. The horses are all individual characters and love to be with people. They are kept out at pasture in a natural herd, with access to shelter if they need it, and are ridden mainly western style, without shoes or bits, using Natural Horsemanship techniques.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    Gardening
    DIY and building projects
    Animal Care
    Farmstay help
    General Maintenance
    Help with Computers/ Internet

  • UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN goals
    No poverty
    Zero hunger
    Good health and well-being
    Quality education
    Gender equality
    Clean water and sanitation
    Affordable and clean energy
    Decent work and economic growth
    Industries, innovation and infrastructure
    Reduce inequality
    Sustainable cities and communities
    Responsible consumption and production
    Climate action
    Life below water
    Life on land
    Peace, justice and strong institutions
    Partnerships for the goals
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    We are all warm and friendly and love getting to know our guests and helping them to feel at home here. Erica is very passionate and knowledgeable about horses, and many other subjects too. Sarah loves conversations about different cultures and languages and is a qualified teacher of English as a foreign language. Both Erica and Sarah are happy to help guests (informally) with their English. David is a Craniosacral therapist and Reiki healer, and is always happy to give visitors a taste of his healing if desired. He also loves to share his bad jokes ;-(

    There are many things to enjoy at La Volée, including spending time in the beautiful valley and woodland, swimming (in the summer, unless you are very brave!) feeding the carp, sharing conversation around a cosy woodburning stove on winter evenings - and, of course, getting to know the horses. We can take you for visits to nearby towns (mediaeval Domfront is worth visiting) and there is good walking and riding (for experienced riders) in the surrounding countryside.

    We will spend time with you as you familiarise yourself with the horses, and although we are not qualified riding teachers, Erica and Sarah may be willing to help with some beginner’s riding, or if you are experienced we may be able to take you on rides out (please note that for various reasons we can’t guarantee that it will always be possible to ride).

  • Projects involving children

    Projects involving children

    This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.

  • Help

    Help

    The main help we need is maintenance and improvement of our land (clearing tough weeds to improve the pasture), gardens and buildings - and in the winter feeding horses and mucking out their shelter. This year we are training five young horses and would especially like to hear from helpers with some experience of ground work (you do not need to be an expert, but confident with horses and willing to learn). We are also needing help to finish our website (Wixsite). If you are an experienced rider, exercising our riding horses is a possibility.

    You will need to be physically fit and happy to help outside even if the weather is not perfect! Experience with driving a quad bike or tractor and using a large brush cutter would be appreciated.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    French: Intermediate

  • Accommodation

    Accommodation

    In the winter helpers will probably stay in our large comfortable guest house, which has a good kitchen, large living room with wood fired heating, five bedrooms and bathroom. There’s often at least one other person sharing the house. If the farmhouse is fully occupied, you might stay in one of Erica’s guest bedrooms, sharing her kitchen. Sometimes in the summer accommodation is in a comfortable caravan with easy access to kitchen and bathroom. Please note, no smoking in the guest house or caravan please.

    Regarding catering, we find it works best for us if helpers are fairly independent. We prefer you to prepare the majority of your own meals (we take you shopping and pay for your groceries), but we do enjoy sharing some meals together, and always pleased if you want to cook something for us! Although we eat (ethically sourced) meat ourselves, we are happy to host vegetarians and vegans.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    We can collect helpers from the station in Flers (about half an hour away). There are regular trains from Paris, which is 2-3 hours away. There are also buses and trains to Flers from Caen ferry port.

    Covid safety - we ask for proof of vaccination or a recent negative test. We are all fully vaccinated.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    This host can provide space for campervans.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    Two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week

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Host ref number: 289997876541