The first time I drove up the winding dirt road to visit La Fount Del Bosc, I felt as though I was about to arrive to a very special place. And I was right!
The ranch itself is nestled between small trees along the south side of a low lying mountain range in Argeliers. Horse corrals line one side of the road and along both sides of a smaller road leading into the stables. The ranch is home to beautiful, healthy, happy horses and ponies.
We came here to sign-up Angelina for horseback riding lessons. On one of her earlier visits with friends, the owner had said Angelina is a natural around horses and has no fear. She is tiny for her age, which could make horseback riding a long term activity for her, probably one of the few things where being smaller might work in her favour.
What happen next surprised me. Over the course of the last month, between the ideal location of La Fount Del Bosc, the fresh air of the great outdoors, the tame horses and the lovely staff and owners; something sparked my daughter’s natural love of horses and turned it into her passion. I know she’s only 9, but up until now Angelina has never had a passion. It has been remarkable for us to watch our little girl take something so seriously.
Angelina wakes up early on Saturday morning. By the time I come downstairs to find my morning coffee, she is already dressed in her horseback riding gear, has tied her hair back, made her lunch for the day and fed herself breakfast. She quickly finishes up her homework for the weekend so she can take extra time at the ranch. Her one hour of horseback riding lessons start at 10:30am with a small group of girlfriends that she has know for the last four year. They are her besties, even closer since learning to ride together. What they do before and after makes these girls feel a part of something much bigger than themselves.
As ranch hands they are responsible for their horses. They bring them from their pens, secure the electric fence, put on the bridle, and bring them to the grooming station. Here they brush the horse, and learn how to place the proper saddle on their back. Next they lead their horse to the teaching corral, a large fenced area under their teacher’s supervision. Here they learn how to control their horse, walk, trot and gallop. They learn the proper positions while riding. After they are responsible to take their horses back to their field.
The girls eat their lunch together on the ranch in the common area where there is a sink, couches and tables.
Then they visit and play with the ponies.
They often clean up after the horses and ponies, and feed them. Yesterday when I gathered the girls, they were mopping up the common area and Angelina was scrubbing the sink. They take such pride in being part of the ranch. The students can stay as long as they want, often I retrieve her well past 17:00. She is completely tired, covered in dirt and horse hair ready for bed when I arrive, yet does not want to come home. ‘Just one more visit to the ponies Mommy.’ I usually give in so they can say goodbye until the next week.
My little girl takes so much pride in her lessons, and I have watched her confidence grow.
At home she reads about horses online, she collects anything with horses on them, and it is all she talks about. Her love and compassion for animals grow, and the person she is becoming, is something I am very proud of. It has been an amazing experience.
If anyone in the region wants to share in this experience, the contact information is below.
The following photos are of the ‘La Foire au Poulin’ ‘The Fair of the Foal’ at La Fount Del Bosc their yearly fundraising event, and also a welcome party to new families and students. There was music, dancing, piles of delicious food from paella to sandwiches, beer and wine and desserts. They also sold tickets to a draw and gave away a full trimester of lessons, as well as a new baby filly named Flocon to one lucky family!
Our children ran around the ranch helping the staff feed the horses, cleaning up after them, and took little kids on pony rides. Angelina’s favourite moment was when they brushed the baby horses. They felt so important, it was a fabulous experience to take part in this special event.
The community here has been encompassing, and I feel very lucky to be part of this amazing ranch. I highly recommend La Fount Del Bosc for anyone interested in horses.
Centre equestre- La Fount Del Bosc Argeliers en Minervois 2 rue Armand Jean Argeliers – La Fount Del Bosc TEL: 04 68 26 12 80 PORT: 06 67 17 88 57 / 06 63 96 12 62 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Valerie Martinez has her equestrian diploma for youth and sports training. The ranch also specializes in tourism, taking visitors on horseback walking tours through the beautiful countryside and even faster trotting and gallops for more experienced riders. Another popular activity is to have birthday parties here. In the future they plan to build a gite complex so people can enjoy the ranch for longer stays.
They also offer internships, animal husbandry, and paddocks with and without shelter.
Estimated Costs for Lessons
Annual license 25€, plus for children below 13 years old 160€/trimestre 1 lesson per week or 290€/2 lessons per week
La Fount Del Bosc is a beautiful place to learn about and enjoy horses in the Minervois.