🐴🇫🇷 9 Things to do in Normandy 🇫🇷🐴
by Claire Owen
Equestrian adventure awaits in Normandy, France's 'Home of the Horse', a perfect destination for equine enthusiasts. Normandy is renowned for its captivating landscapes, rich history, and deep-rooted equestrian traditions. With its rolling hills, lush pastures, and breathtaking coastal trails, this region is beautiful. Whether you're an experienced equestrian or simply fascinated by these majestic animals, Normandy offers an array of thrilling equestrian activities that promise an unforgettable experience. Here are our suggestions for 9 things to do in Normandy. We plan to visit the region again soon to add to this list!
Saddle Up - Beach
Saddle up and discover the beauty of Normandy on horse back. Here's a few rides that we've been on and can recommend:
Above: Beach Ride, Cabourg Les Ecuries De La Sablonniere
Above: Beach Ride, Equestrian Centre Blonville Su Mer
Saddle Up - French Countryside
Take a longer ride in the countryside - we rode with Ecurie du Vièvre and took a full day ride with a break for a French picnic lunch by a Ford along the circular route. The horses were very fit and agile over mixed terrain.
Stay at a French Stud
I can highly recommend Haras d'Ecajeul, a family run Racing Stud. The accomodation is absolutely beautiful with exposed beams and stable doors and full of rustic French charm and equestrian history. Upon returning from evening dinner at a local restaurant, candle lit lanterns lined the garden path. Breakfast was an incredible feast with local cheese, homemade bread, fresh juice, crepes and a delicious homemade caramel sauce. This picturesque, charming stud is well worth a visit.
Visit Haras National Du Pin
Haras National Du Pin is a splendid National stud farm where visitors can experience magnificent equestrian shows, explore the historic stables, and learn about the region's rich equine heritage. It is the oldest of the French National studs. National and International competitions are held throughout the year. I have visited the stud on more than four occasions and enjoyed the museum, equestrian shows and beautiful chateau. On my most recent visit we enjoyed watching the World Carriage Driving Championships for singles which was being held there. We were also able to try carriage driving in the beautiful grounds of the stud and had the opportunity to ride a beautiful Percheron stallion. Please check the website of Haras National Du Pin for seasonal opening times, available experiences and events.
Deauville is a charming seaside resort on the Northwest coast of France in the Calvados region of Normandy. In 1863, a starting gun signalled Deauville's very first horse race on the beach, now, the city is considered to be the equestrian capital of mainland France. Deauville hosts horse racing seven months of the year, auctions of thoroughbreds and trotters, International Polo, showjumping, dressage and carriage driving events. Even just taking a morning walk on the beach you will likely find horses in training. I was lucky to have the pleasure of watching a horseman liberty training five horses, trotters pulling sulkies (carts) across the shoreline and a ride of 50(!) Shetland ponies and children
Would you take a ride of 50 children on Sheltands to the beach?