The most important
Animal cravings are attractive again. In the Thurrow family and farmhouse, this practice is taught in horse training courses. A very useful working tool in the vineyards.
“When a horse is about to turn, you have to be careful not to step on it with your trunk,” recalls Jean Furnols, professional speaker for the Family and Country House (MFR) in Terra. On Tuesday, several young students meet at the equestrian field to practice animal pulling. According to the program: work on a long rein or even skidding (transportation of timber after felling). There is no question of carrying real trunks here, the students practice with tires.
Bring the horse back into everyday life
Since 2016, Eric Schermett, Director of MFR, has been developing the Animal Traction Module as part of various equine training courses. New this year: the opening of the CAP barbershop. This year, six young people from the MFR will take part in the first competition for the title of the best student in France in equestrianism. Hoping for the same frank success Terra, as at the Salon of Agriculture in Paris.
The idea of developing animal traction is, first of all, to introduce it to 120 young students. Animal energy is part of the future: “This is a very important issue,” says Eric Czermette. “The goal is to reintroduce the horse into everyday life as well as into agriculture.”
In fact, animal traction can be used to collect garbage or transport school buses, as well as for various leisure activities such as horseback riding. At MFR, young people train in an escargoline, a horse-drawn carriage specially designed to enable people with disabilities to ride horses in complete safety.
Horses in the vineyards
In agriculture, many niche activities fall on the shoulders of the horse. This applies to horticulture or viticulture.
Thus, Natalie Male, at the head of Dada du jaja and with the help of her six horses, has been working in the vineyards since 2020. Her husband’s vineyards are at Le Vent des Jours in Villesec, as well as several other surrounding estates, mainly for organic or biodynamic producers such as Mal del Périé or Clos Troteligotte.
Natalie and Emir, the youngest of his horses, a Breton horse, got up early on Wednesday 6 April to come and tidy up the Villesec estate or “scratch it”. The horse has another use in the vineyards: it puts on and takes off shoes, and even helps in harvesting. Little Emir, who is only 4 years old, is a little stubborn in his work. “This is his first season. He may have had problems following orders, but eventually they will be resolved,” explains Natalie Mallet.
So no mechanical noise, give way to the clatter of hooves. “Tractors, for example, do not drive everywhere or break a lot of vines,” the leader notes. At the end of March she went to Gaillac in Tarn to cultivate two hectares with Emir. “We only broke one leg,” she says. “The tool is placed between us and the animal, we can better see what we are doing,” she says. The observation is clear: horse-treated vines are much greener and healthier.
Natalie Mallet’s horses sometimes get a little help from another animal. This is Malbec, the former sommelier’s dog. “It helps the horse concentrate. If the Malbec runs and slides over the vines, the horse stays focused. But if she starts barking, the horse will stop, sensing danger, ”admits Nathalie Malle.
This summer she will develop a new activity thanks to her horses: wine tourism through walks from vineyard to vineyard.