Ariège: Antoine and Marine have launched their first initiation course into life in a caravan
A real-life project, the caravan seduced Antoine, a professional coachman, several years ago. Recently, with his partner, they launched their first real initiation course into this nomadic life by meeting the villagers of Ariège.
There are those who need walls to feel at home, then others who prefer a lifestyle, let’s say a little more nomadic. With his blue trailer pulled by his three horses, Antoine, a professional coachman, has chosen a life on the roads for more than three years.
Since last autumn, with his partner Marine, a hippotherapist, they have been crossing the villages of Ariège to meet the inhabitants. “I have been talking about Ariège for several years. It has always attracted me with its mountains, its alternative projects and also because there is water and grass. They said it was green here!”, explains Antoine with a smile.
“Recreate this link with my gypsy origins”
This Wednesday May 10, 2023, in Laroque d’Olmes, they are accompanied for the first time by two trainees, Manon 25 years old and Pauline 34 years old. In their small 4-metre house, completely renovated, the couple introduces them to this bohemian life for a week.
Meeting the horse in a different way, learning how to build a caravan, cooking over a wood fire, this is what seduced the two young women who discovered this initiation course on the networks. “I immediately had a flash”, slips Manon who already has her horse. So she jumped at the chance to find out if this lifestyle might be right for her. “I don’t have a house, so when I saw the ad, it was the first time I started imagining what I could build when I wasn’t very handy! Create some magic with these kids looking at us and waving at us.
For Pauline, it was when she saw a retired Belgian couple go on an adventure with their caravan that she had this famous trigger. “For me it is important to do it to recreate this link with my gypsy origins”, explains the young woman who did not know her grandfather and therefore part of her family history. The two trainees know it: this project, if they carry it out, often requires several years of learning between the idea of leaving and the moment in which it is possible to travel safely.
This need to go towards each other
Adapting to the slower pace of the animals allowed the foreman to slow down his daily life as well, with a profound search for meaning. “Here’s what I missed on the journey, this need to go towards each other to land nearby, to get wood. Today you can only leave by using your mobile phone and without contact with people.”, points out Antoine. This experience is a bit of a mix between “I’m going to sleep at your place” and “naked and cheeky” also jokes the trailer.
During their journey, the couple also offer soup kitchens by picking vegetables from the market gardeners, then preparing a meal for the villagers. And to brighten up the evening, the two professionals planned everything in their little trailer: using a simple paper and a projector, the couple broadcast their web series about inspiring characters they meet on the street.
“It allows people to discover other ways of living and to realize that we are not alone in having crazy ideas,” laughs the trailer, before adding, “We are also developing an equestrian show that combines freedom on horseback, accordion and guitar.” Representations they want to offer in villages and castles to support another way of being with animals.
Above all, this lifestyle allows Antoine and Marine to get out of material comforts and save money at the same time. Because no more rent, diesel or electricity bills. “We spend a maximum of 200 euros a month on food. This allows us to meet our investment of 10,000 euros for the trailer, the horses, the basic equipment,” explains Antoine.
Resource outings for the sick
In the near future, the pair even plan to visit nursing homes and medical educational institutes (IMEs) to connect these circles with horses.
In this context conducive to returning to oneself, professionals also wish to offer equine therapy, animal mediation and daily walking in parallel to adults in transition, questioning, cancer remission, depression, burnout, anxiety. , as well as young people on children’s well-being.
Ambitious projects and a lifestyle that nomadic families like more and more. “Some people want to learn to drive a trailer to be able to be with their children rather than send them to school”, concludes the young coachman who intends to continue his journey on the Ariège roads for a while before considering another destination . .
If you are tempted by the adventure, you can contact them at the following email address: [email protected], or follow them on their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/laroulottequiballote/?locale=fr_FR