Berengere Guillou: » my choices as a breeder, farmer, teacher in riding, and citizen … have meaning. In many areas, these choices are synonymous of Difference with the conventional thinking . »
My philosophy: the natural horse, or « original horse »
Whatever I do, I try to be as close as possible to the natural state of horse: the wild horse , and I make the smallest compromise I can to raise my Akhal Teke horses as real companions for us in leisure and competition :
- lifestyle : I respect their gregarious herbivore nature by having them live in herds in meadows all year long (those struggling to warm up during the first winter carry a blanket) .
- food : they graze our 50ha of meadows and sparse forest as there are enough grass, in winter they have hay at will, and very regularly they receive complement the spent grain from the distillery Domaine des Hautes Glaces , our partner (the spent grains are whiskey production residues before the alcohol phase). If they need it, I give germinated grains (barley and oats) and oil. They drink in our mountain streams.
- breeding: projection is released, each stallion lives with his mares herd of the year (according to the schedule of reproduction) and with their possible colts, birth is in meadows, weaning is late (1 year).
- cares : I use maximum alternative veterinary medicines: aromatic and herbal medicine, homeopathy, osteopathy, as the urgency
does not require allopathy, so I choose prevention rather than cure (importance of living conditions and careful observation of each individual).
- trimming : after having shod my horses for 10 years, I changed for natural trimming since 2008, in case of need I use hoof boots (Renegade brand) for endurance races.
- education, schooling and training : I work with ethological methods to achieve balanced and respectful companions, foals go with their mother and their herd during walks for changing meadows , reproductive horses have a breeding career and a sports/leasure career (endurance, family trekking), all horses are mounted for physical and mental.
My philosophy: ethology and academicism
traditional French riding methods mixed with natural horsemanship, in search of Lightness and mutual trust:
- I practice traditional French horseback riding but my whole approach of horse and dressage is based on natural horsemanship, I put almost no more bits to my horses, I lighten my indications to the maximum,
- foals are handled from first days: halter, tie, walk in hand, trimming of the feet, grooming, boarding the van …
- education of young horses continues with various equestrian exercises (neck – hips – shoulders disposals, going backwards, ground bars …) and discovery (desensitization: blanket, tarpaulin, mower, puddle, tractor …
- « breaking »: such horrible word!! schooling is just one more step in their education: saddle, be rided, moving on and slow down on demand…
- dressage, training continues, especially oriented towards outdoor riding.
My philosophy: athletic horses
I want my horses to express their physical potential, whatever their age, sex, race, background … I try to value them, to the best of my skills and theirs, on the spot and in competition: in endurance races, and outdoor riding mainly …
My philosophy: ecology and organic farming
My agricultural practices are the most possible in respect of ecology, the farm is in convertion to Organic Farming since 2015.
But for my husband and me, our ecological thinking also involves construction, energy, transport …