Since December 2021, we have enthusiastically changed our small farm in the mountains from an organic berry, jam, nut and vegetable farm to a horse farm. Of course, we still provide ourselves and our guests with delicious products that the land and nature give us. But our professional activity now consists of keeping beautiful Mérens horses. A very rustic mountain breed. Which finds its origin in the upper valley of the southern French Ariège, the Pyrenees. Almost extinct in the 70s. The breed can be traced back to the wild Magdalenian horse breed recognisable in the cave paintings of Niaux some 13000 years ago. The Mérens is a small, black, very strong mountain horse (1.45- 1.55) Broad, muscular, with long manes. The hooves are hard-wearing, broad and black. The legs and joints are very well developed. The Mérens horse breed is very rustic, which the extreme mountain climate has demanded of them over the centuries. They can withstand both snowstorms on the high plains and the summer heat in the south of France without any problems. They have no problem eating very sparsely on windy plains. The temperament of the Mérens is very calm and thoughtful. Sweet and affectionate when domesticated. Any thoughtless movement can be fatal in the rugged mountains. They will therefore place their hooves carefully at every step, first viewing and assessing the situation before acting. This makes them a very reliable breed for trekking in the mountains. They have been used for this since time immemorial. Transporting people and goods along narrow mountain paths, helping with farm work on plateaus. They were brought from summer to winter pastures in large herds (transhumance). On Fargassa we have now started to form a beautiful natural herd on part of our 60 ha mountainous terrain. We will work with them, train them (as close to nature as possible) make beautiful mountain trips and every now and then a foal will rejuvenate the group.
We are happy to share our enthusiasm, love and care for our horses and this rustic breed of horse with you. Below we will introduce them to you.
PRINCE ( Mérens: “Le prince noir d’ariège”) gelding, (July 1992) 30 years old!!! and at Fargassa for 23 years. The oldest in the herd. Rescued 2 years ago by the fire brigade from a deep ravine under a waterfall, unharmed. Despite his old age arthritis, he still stands his ground. Unfortunately for him, he is no longer accepted as a leader. Quickly jealous, he is motivated to participate in everything, preferably in the lead 😉
ROC D’EN GARCIE, gelding (June 2005) 17 years old, since 7 years at Fargassa. Pure pedigree Mérens, raised in a very rustic wild herd in the Pyrenees. Trained with a lot of care. Calm and very reliable. Stable and dominant in the herd. For the moment the leader.
ECLAIR DE BERGONS, we call him “BASCO”, Full stallion, (May 2014) 8 years old, since January 2022 at Fargassa, the natural protector of the herd. Wants to be treated with respect, affectionate. Very present in the herd, but not dominant. In the meantime in training to be able to take familiar walks with the guests and our children.
HIMALAY, gelding (May 2017) 5 years old, since March 2022 at Fargassa.
A truly beautiful Mérens with long curly hair, young and leading. Dominant and fresh. Affectionate and intelligent, curious and very jealous. Loves to play in the water. Still a bit careless on the mountain trails and a bit jumpy. We will work with him in confidence, to build a bond and desensitise him to touches, unexpected noises and movements .
IKIGAÏ D’OUREA, gelding (May 2018) 4 years old, at Fargassa since March 2022. Still very playful when loose in the mountains, little sweet boy in behaviour 🙂 but the biggest and slimmest of the herd, lowest in rank. Very affectionate. Super well behaved, quiet and very docile on walks. Fresh young in trot and canter. We will carefully in confidence desensitise him to make him familiar with unexpected sounds, movements and touches.
MADRAS, Stallion (March 2022) foal, Autumn 2022 at Fargassa.
Bred with care to preserve the most original line in the Mérens breed; small, sturdy, long mane, very robust, thoughtful with a social temperament… A happy, playful, mischievous and affectionate foal. We will socialise Madras with love and care in our natural herd, surrounded by children, dogs, sounds and movements…teaching him to follow us and the herd along the narrow mountain paths.
Madurai, Stallion (March 2022) foal.
It is a tragic story with a very special course and hopefully a wonderful sequel…. after a difficult birth, Madurai lost his own mother very soon after birth. Dear Franck and Anaïs, who have a beautiful mountain herd of 50/60 Mérens horses, have very lovingly asked Saïan, the mother of Madras, to please also accept and adopt Maduraï as a second son. It is very rare for a mare to accept an extra young and decide to feed and protect him as her own young. It seems to have worked after much care and sleepless nights. So far Saïan gives enough milk to feed both stallion foals, also very exceptional! If necessary we will give extra bottles. We take care of the trio on Fargassa and share our beautiful place with them. The mother will return to her own herd after the suckling period. Madras and Madurai will join our stallion/ gelding herd as brothers at Fargassa in the mountains.