Les Écuries de Milhac de Nontron first opened in 2005. It is affiliated with the "Fédération Française d'Équitation", and is officially classified as an "École Française d'Équitation, Poney club et Cheval club de France".
At our friendly stables, our main concern is the wellbeing of our animals. The horses and ponies at our centre benefit from the opportunity to graze year-round on our 50 hectares of pasture land. They live in herds, so riders at our centre can be sure our animals are calm, sociable and well-adjusted. This offers a guarantee of safety for those learning to ride at our centre.
All our animals are rigorously selected to ensure our customers get the most out of the joys of horse riding. We pick our horses and ponies according to their personalities and then train them specifically to operate in a schooling environment.
Children can start taking riding lessons from the age of eight and upwards. The programme starts with how to approach a pony on foot to allow the child to become accustomed to the animal before mounting it. Children will learn to get to know the animals, touch them, brush them and then saddle them. This all builds up towards gaining autonomy and confidence when handling ponies.
Ponies are selected from the herd according to the size of the child. For the first year, the lessons last around an hour, with most of the time dedicated to how to behave around ponies before they reach the stage of mounting them. Over the course of the year, more and more time is devoted to actual riding as the children become more used to the animals.
In our fenced riding pen, children begin to learn how to mount and ride the ponies, supervised closely by a holder of a state teaching diploma. Children progress throughout these lessons step by step. If they want to, they also have the option to take exams in horse riding. The first stage is the Bronze certificate, then the Silver and the Gold, and then they are tested on how to gallop.
Learning to gallop takes time as each individual animal's personal rhythm must be learnt and understood. All are welcome to come and ride every week, either just for fun or to train in preparation for their exams.
Step by step, they will become more and more confident and autonomous around horses and ponies until they can (still under supervision) ride with their mount out into the woods, or join us on one of our long summer walks. What could be better than going out for a long ride with friends in such a beautiful setting...?