Written by Maya FREITAS

Journalism student

You have probably already tried walking, cycling, or even paddle boarding to explore the regions of Poitevin marsh. But have you ever done it on horseback? I tested for you a horseback ride in the Marais with the Equinoxe Equestrian Relay.

If you listen to me, you would already have reins in hand and bomb on your head! But one thing at a time. The hike proposed by the Relais Equinoxe equestrian center is open to all levels. Located near the small village of Saint-rémy, this equestrian center open for 28 years knows a lot about walks in the Marais Poitevin. I took the formula “a day in the Marais”, with meridian break.

A tasty program

It is therefore full of enthusiasm that I arrive at 9 a.m. at the riding stable. I am greeted by Equestrian Tourism Guides (ATE) who tell me what we are going to do during the day. In the program : bucolic and charming itinerary of the marsh. What's better to discover the surroundings?

Here I am off to meet my horse, Bidjy. Funny name but I feel confident. After preparing my horse, we go to the arena to adapt and learn the basics of horse riding.

To the rhythm of strides

A moment of sharing with your horse in the countryside.

A walk with increasing strides

That's it ! Here we go for an open-air ride. At a walking pace, we begin by crossing the limestone plateau, punctuated by the seasonality of the crops. After a little warm-up trot, here we are in the green and aquatic labyrinth of the Green Venice. 

For lunch, we stop at Roussille, on a large lawn surrounded by pollarded ash trees, where stewardship already awaits us with local products alot ! During the meal, Laurence, the director of Equinox Relay, tells us the story of Roussille, from its heritage to its landscape illustrated with water and greenery.

After one good fun and delicious break, our troop of hiking riders leaves towards the equestrian center. In the afternoon we walked along the towpath, where I was able to observe some fields of Angélique, the star plant of the Marais Poitevin. My horse Bidjy and I were captivated by the beauty of the habitats along this aquatic path.

Another, another!

Towards the end of the day, we arrived at the starting point. Nostalgic and at the same time amazed by this unusual day and full of memories. So I come down from Bidjy and grant him all the care necessary for the well-being of the animal. Because yes, I benefited but it is largely thanks to him and his habit of being outside. The care done, the equipment put away, I say goodbye to the equestrian center team and leave rejoiced by this equine discovery of the Marais Poitevin.

I undoubtedly recommend that anyone wishing to discover the Marais strap on their stirrups and gallop to the rhythm of the Sèvre and the flora.

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