Sunlit days


Photo by Ashlyn Brown


Isn`t she/he beautiful!! This lovely animal is fortunate enough to live in a town where no one hunts. The wild animals run free and humans fence in their gardens or plant unappetizing plants. Yes, they are a nuisance, but I feel strongly that we need to learn to live with the wildlife. I spent a beautiful month in this town. Sometimes it seems the world is going mad and the stories of cruelty abound, making me want to stay in my corner of the world. I am so very happy that I pushed myself out, and onto the airplane. Although I was uneasy about traveling, especially in winter, my joy in spending time with my daughters and friends overshadowed all else. They live in an absolutely heavenly place! And, of course, a huge thank you to my sweet husband who took care of everything while I was gone.

I came home to my own paradise where very little had changed other than the results of a tremendous wind storm that blew down ancient trees. Mother Nature had been cleaning house with a vengeance! We took Vanille out for a long ride, mostly just walking and talking. It was the first time Bella accompanied us. This was a training session for her as she must stay behind the wagon. When we were on the paved road, she hopped aboard for her safety. She loved it and she did great! She has unlimited energy and although our outing lasted 3 hours, she still had plenty of energy to spare and was not in the least tired the next day.

Notice the gravel road. Vanille showed no sensitivity which is a big improvement over last year. Notice also her “side window”. Jean François clipped an area on both sides to help her not to overheat. The Comtois has a difficult time with heat and this was a very warm day for the month of March.

We had one small bit of excitement on the way home. Just before arriving at the entrance to our lane, while we were very relaxed and Vanille was practically dozing, a horse in the nearby field came to the fence just beside the road. We saw the other horse and it seemed Vanille had seen it also but something happened, we`re not sure what. Vanille bolted violently and took off at a gallop. Jean François grabbed the reins out of my hands and we finally came to a stop but it was a rocky ride. Mark was in the back and used his weight to balance the wagon as we went up on a slope for a quick moment. Mark says his experience in sailing dingys was helpful. Jean François explained that it is not good to tighten up on the reins in this sort of instance so I learned a valuable lesson.

We`re starting our training rides earlier this year than in the past. It is such a huge pleasure to be out in nature after the winter. There are tiny wildflowers and buds on some of the trees. The birds are singing of spring and there is a haze of green over the fields. Nature always gives me such hope, especially at this time of year.


About Suzanne

American living in France. Artist and lover of nature, gardening, all living beings. Married to the love of my life, mother of two wonderful daughters and grandmother.
This entry was posted in Art, attelage, barefoot draft horse, Community, Comtois horse, Gypsy wagon/Roulotte construction technique, Horse drawn vehicles, Lifestyle, Roulotte, Small living spaces, Travel, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Sunlit days

  1. Ann says:

    I can feel how happy you are. Knowing you and where you live and how you live is a gift to me.

  2. N2 says:

    Always nice to see your posts! Happy to hear that your journey to visit the daughters went well. I’ll be around in mid-April and will give you a call to catch up. x0 N2

  3. Morwen says:

    Great pictures, lovely story. It’s not very visible on the pictures so excuse me if I’m saying something unnecessary. I own two horses with thick fur and I’m so happy when I see drivers who have a horse with normal winterfur instead of blankets that are never optimal for the actual temperatures and body heat of the horse! I always make sure that when the horse is getting a little haircut, we do it so that the thick fur stays on where the harness, ropes and reigns, it just adds a little extra protection layer against any kind of rub on the horses skin. Just something I’ve learned in my years of dealing with horse hair! (You can sometimes see it on horses with competitive drivers during their indoor season.)

    • Suzanne says:

      Thank you so very much for your comment. I’m always wanting feedback! Vanille is a mountain horse. She suffers terribly with heat and it’s dangerous if she’s working. Wére very careful that nothing is rubbing on the clipped area. She is starting to lose her heavy winter coat. Where are you? What sort of horses do you have?

  4. What a wonderful post. And, I love the Neruda quote. Thank you for sharing your amazing journey.

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