I left off yesterday when we were in our hotel in La Bouille, France, getting ready to head out to see some more ponies and then head to dinner. Earlier in the day we saw the stallion Usandro, owned by Elevage Alias (Milèna). Now we were headed out to the other farm where all of the other Alias sportponies live.
I have to say, I wish we had the niche for these kinds of ponies in the US. These aren’t fat, lazy little plugs that tote Susiekins around the 2’6″. These are basically pony sized showjumpers. In Europe they put kids on these little Ferraris that are talented, forward, athletic, and sometimes a bit cheeky. They’re fast and can JUMP, and these kids are pretty great little riders. I’m not sure I’d have the balls to gallop a pony around 1.15m courses with the pedal to the metal, but they do. Such a different world, with how they bring up their young riders. These ponies are NICE, and there is a solid market for them here. Lots of pony-only jumper classes, even pony-only Grand Prix. We totally need to get on this bandwagon, both for kids and for smaller adults.
Aside from the very fancy ponies and adorable babies, the barn itself was so charmingly European. Stone wall barn with straw-bedded boxes, a nice little arena, covered walker, conditioning track, and this, my favorite feature:
After our tour, and meeting all the ponies and babies (omg poneh bebehs)
we had some nice rosè at the farm before heading into town for a fantastic dinner: steak, gratin dauphinois, and a salted caramel macaron for dessert. So much yaaaaas. Milena from Elevage Alias was a fantastic host, we had a great time! But by that point we’d been up for like 42 hours, so we collapsed back at the hotel and got a good solid 7-8 hours sleep.
This morning we drove back into Belgium to Bruges. Nothing horsey today, just being tourists in a really freaking COOL gothic-style town. I absolutely love it here and MUST come back when I can stay a bit longer.
Tomorrow we’re back on the road headed east toward Germany, with a stop or two along the way to look at some more stallions.
This is so fun, y’all.