Drawn by the outdoor and endless landscapes, Hanna, Juan and Laura, 3 international riders embarked on one of the last transhumances in Europe.
During 3 days, Hanna, Juan and Laura rode along with 30 Merens horses from the highlands of the Pyrenees to the milder valleys.
After a trek on foot climbing over 1 km in altitude, we finally meet the horses at the Col de Cassaings. We have to gain their trust before we were able to share with them the journey down to the valley, which was 100kms and barely 6000m elevation gain over the next 3 days. We make it to the Cirque de Campuls where we spend our first night under the tent… and under the rain.
We spent long hours rediscovering horses far from arenas, in conditions that pushed us out of our comfort zone. Tiny paths were the way we crossed the mountains, sleeping in between bivouacs through mist and wind until we reached the calm of the Bispou summer pasture.
Beyond the landscapes, the encounter with the herd, it is about our relationship with the horses. Like them, we have no control of the elements. A return to the roots of our passion.
Merens horses are used to these mountains. They know the rough terrain, the altitude, the rocky passages and the vertiginous apics. They seem, unlike us to be insensitive to vertigo.
I had to learn to trust my horse completely. Within a few minutes, I went from a show jumping rider, mastering every gesture, to a novice forced to rely entirely on my horse.
I finally rediscovered mutual trust with horses.
The first instants already plunged us into an unknown situation because life in a herd is far from our daily competition rider’s routine. We have to learn how to deal with the dominant, the young and the older horses differently.
We no longer focus our attention only on our horse, our position or the fence in front of us. We must understand the herd as a whole, as one single horse that we must guide through the mountains.
Dressage is a precision discipline I have always been passionate about. Initiated by my father, I have always dreamed of a gold medal at the Olympic Games.
This trip to the mountains with the Horse Pilot team was one of my most memorable equestrian experiences. I had to learn how to ride again, to let myself be carried by a horse that knew better than me what he had to do. I rediscovered the instinct of horses, the confidence I had in them.
Through this journey, I finally rediscovered the origin of my passion for horses.