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Help us care for our equine family in Normandy, France

  • France
  • Favourited 360 times
  • Last activity: 21/01/2023

Availability

  2023 

 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks

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Details

  • Description

    Description

    Hi! We are Erica and friends Sarah and David. We are very lucky to have 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. Erica moved from England to France in 2017 with her horses, and Sarah and David later joined her. They are currently based in the UK again but very much attached to our place. We all agree that the farm, with its abundant natural life and peaceful hidden valley, has a special healing magic. With the help of our Belgian friends Kris and Elisabeth we 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 farm and get to know such a wonderful variety of people.

    As Erica is managing on her own for much of the year, we are needing help from mature people (preferably over 20) who love horses and nature to help with horse care, work on the land and house cleaning. 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
    Help around the house
    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. Kris and Elisabeth visit regularly - Kris can teach you various farm skills. David is a Craniosacral therapist and Reiki healer, and when he is here he is happy to give visitors a taste of his healing if desired. Particularly during the summer there are various interesting visitors staying here who come to enjoy the land and the horses.

    There are many things to enjoy, including spending quiet 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 or a hillside fire in the summer - and, of course, getting to know the horses.

    Erica will spend time with you as you familiarise yourself with the horses, and although she is not a qualified riding teacher she may be willing to help with some beginner’s riding, or if you are experienced she 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).

  • Help

    Help

    The main help we need is maintenance and improvement of our gardens and land (clearing tough weeds to improve the pasture), and regular mucking out of the shelter and paddocks. In the winter there is additional muck clearing and feeding the horses. If you are an experienced rider, exercising our riding horses is a possibility. In addition to our reliable older horses, we have four young horses who are getting used to being ridden, and would especially like to hear from people with some experience of bringing on young horses

    We prefer helpers who are mature in experience and attitude and able to take initiative, work independently and happily spend some time on their own. You will need to be physically fit and happy to work outside even if the weather is not perfect (and not afraid of some mud in the winter). 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

    Most volunteers stay with Erica in her house, sharing her kitchen. She is happy to share meals but expects you to be able to prepare your own food some of the time, and to join in with washing up and cleaning the house. Sometimes in the summer accommodation is in a comfortable caravan with easy access to kitchen and bathroom.

  • 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.

    We can take you for visits to nearby places (mediaeval Domfront is worth visiting) and there is good walking and riding (for experienced riders) in the surrounding countryside. Please note that there is no public transport apart from the Flers train station which is half an hour's drive away - so if you come without your own vehicle you will need to be content to spend most of your time enjoying the beautiful local surroundings (we have a bicycle).

    Covid safety - we may 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

    There is a parking space near Erica’s house with easy access to electricity, shower room and kitchen.

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    Two

  • ...

    Hours expected

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

Host ref number: 289997876541

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