here - la voute life


here - la voute life
Carriage courses 'a La Voute'
,( \
t La Voute Life, our aim is to ofler
personal introduction to the basics of
carriage driving, with a fun and educational
approach limited to two clients per week.
We moved to the Charente, south-west
France in 2004, having bought a small farm,
and after several years ofrenovating we opened
our gite business in 2006. We also ofer a horse
drawn wedding carriage service as well as
carriage rides; we even had a call one day to take
some children for a drive, surprisingly they were
Brad Pitt and Angelina lolie's children!
Having been involved with carriage driving
for over 20 years, competing in the UK and
having been trained by well known British team
drivers, one being the UKcc Level2 coach, Jo
Remison who successfully competed with
mypony, Mere, for five years. Following the
construction ofour sand school and some
obstacles around our farmland last year, we are
now ollering residential carriage driving courses.
Our introductory course is designed for
complete novice drivers or those wishing to see
if carriage drMng is a suitabie sport for them
and covers all aspects ofhorse
management, harnessing
and ofcourse driving. This
is mixed with a flavour of
living in France, you will also
sample the local cuisine, wine,
markets and the wonderful countryside.
We are involved with our locai attelage
club and have successf,illy competed in
driving trials, Endurance driving and driven
Le Tiec over the past six years. Fortunately
we have won several club events and finished
third in the Poitou-Charentes regional final
in 2010.
I am now happy
training schedule.
That night Mark and )o took us to a great
local pub for a meal, which was a lovely
welcome to our stay; the food was excellent.
In the first weekwe drove the ponies as
singles in the mornings. Our ponies have
diflerent attitudes to life: Sparlcy, Laurtom Gold
Spark, a l5-year-old gelding is experienced
in indoor trials - having won the open pony
championship in ]ersey in 201l. He also excels
in outdoor trials, having had manywins. He
is very fast and sharp and has lots of nervous
on my experience
new people into our fantastic sport
carriage drMng.
We have been involved in the tourist
industry for several years and offer quality
accommodation and friendly hospitality,
combined with home produced or locally
sourced ingredients in all the meals provided
well of course the wine from a local vineyard!
Fenix Carriage Driving Centre
J write to tell you about the excellent
hospitaliry advice and training given to
us by Mark and fo Broadbent on our recent
visit to Fenix Carriages. When we arrived, we
had a very warm welcome from )o Broadbent
and were shown the stables for our two Welsh
Section Cs, which we wanted to be put together
as a pair. What a lovely, organised yard.
We parked up the lorry, in which we would
be staying for our two-week busmans holiday.
The same day we arrived, Mark drove the
ponies individually to assess how
theywould behave, so we could plan their
l"o pass
and knowledge and help to encourage
If you would like any more information, please
look at our website: or
email: [email protected], or call us on
00. 3 3. (0) 5.45.6
1.72.23. We look forward to
welcoming you to our home here in France.
lohn andPaulaLiddon.
Anna, Glyncoch Miss Anna, is a five yearold mare. She has only been drMng for a year,
has done some novice indoor trials, indoor/
outdoor and a little showing. She has a more
laid back approach to life, taking most things
in her stride.
Mark advised us how to help get the best
out ofour ponies - by driving them separately
- encouraging Anna more forward into her
work. Sparlcy: working him slow, steady and
relaxed, to improve their compatibility as a
pair. He also showed us how to fit the pairs
harness correctly.
In the afternoon Mark drove them each
in turn with his pony, Topper, a Fell, who is
only a youngster and has not been long in a
pair himself. He is Such a good mannered and
steadfast pony, helping to teach ours the ropes.
It was amazing watching Mark at work
with the ponies and the results he was getting.
They took to being with Topper quite well, and
by the end ofthe weeh both were going along
nicelywith him.
The second week we worked them single in
the mornings for the first few days. Mark then
drove them as pair in the afternoon. The first
time together they were a little uneven and
unsure, but with a few minor alterations to
the reins set up they soon settled. Mark drove
them around his fields and down the lanes,
which are excellent for training with many
hills and spectacular views - great to get them
fit and used to working together properly.
By the end of the week Mark had me
driving them around the fields, down the ianes
and main road, through the cones course
and through a couple ofthe six fantastic
permanent obstacles he has on site. By the end
of our stay I felt comfortable and confident,
having had great encouragement, training and
support from Mark.
The facilities are excellent at Fenix
Carriages. Mark is so professional and such
a great ambassador for the sport; he takes
great pride in encouraging and teaching the
art of carriage drMng, from single, novice,
pairs, tandem to teams; covering all aspects dressage, cones, obstacles; whatever you want
to do.
The quality ofthe vehicles and carriages he
makes on site are to the very highest standards
and finish. Using his experience to make and
renovate some excellent carriages, and coaches
- old and new - can be seen in his carriage
house on site. While fo Broadbent will be one
to watch with her up and coming young team
of Welsh Section C ponies.
It was a great experience; I just felt I had to
let other drivers know about Fenix Carriages
and the lovely people - Mark and
Jo Broadbent.
|ulie Chalker and Deen Bownes, )ersey
lanuary 2012