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In Méry-sur-Cher, a ranch with horses in semi-freedom will open in September 2022

It was in Méry-sur-Cher, just 350 meters from the Berry Canal, that Élodie Maton, 27, decided to build her dream. The Ranch de Montévry covers 5.25 hectares of land, part of which is forest, around a pond. It will initially be a stable of owners, which will open its doors next September. In a second step, the young woman plans to open an educational farm.

For the stable of owners, the reception will be voluntarily limited to ten horses. “I want to take the time to take care of them,” explains Élodie Maton. Feed them, take care of them…” Because this stable will not be like the others. It will operate on the principle of Paddock Paradise, created by James Jackson, a former American farrier. “The principle is to reproduce the natural state of the horse, explains Élodie Maton. He lives in a herd. We recreate tracks with different floors for the hooves. And points of interest for drinking or playing are installed. »

The Val d’Arnon stud farm approved for embryo transfer, at the Horse and Donkey Pole, in Lignières-La Celle-Condé

Thus, the horses will not be shod, they will be “barefoot”. They will be able to stay as much as possible outside rather than in the box. “A box, on a human scale, is as if you were locked up without a square meter”, indicates the young woman. Concretely, tracks will be laid out, where the horses can roam as they please. And small areas will allow them to drink or eat.Élodie Maton, manager of the Ranch de Montévry with Bloom, an eight-year-old pony and a goat.

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The Ranch will be self-sufficient in energy: solar panels, drilling…

The stable will first include a round pen which, as its name suggests, allows the horses to turn in a lunge. There will also be a quarry, an outdoor enclosure where horse riding is practiced. Finally, boxes will be set up in case the horses are sick or injured. The Ranch de Montévry will be self-sufficient in energy: solar panels, drilling… “We try as much as possible to be green”, explains Élodie Maton.

The second step should be, in the spring of 2023, the creation of an educational farm. It will be open, on weekdays, to schools and leisure centres. The weekend will be for the general public. “There will be the possibility of eating on the spot, of riding ponies, of carrying out activities around animals, nature”, underlines the passionate about horses. A vegetable garden should be set up.

Above all, the educational farm will welcome goats, sheep, donkeys… “There will be a lot of animals, assures Élodie Maton. It will be a haven. We will recover abandoned, mistreated animals. They will be able to come and end their lives peacefully. All animals will be offered for adoption, except ponies. In addition, the educational farm will offer fitness trails for children, as well as activities around nature.

Arrived in 2017 in Levet, Anne-Laure Clément succeeded in developing her stables: “this area is the dream of a lifetime”

To finance her educational farm, the young woman will rely on paid entries (5 euros), pony rides, and donations or sponsorships. “With the stable, this will allow us to provide for all the needs of our animals. To run her ranch, Élodie Maton will be able to rely on Sébastien Maire, her spouse. And within a year, she hopes to benefit from the help of her niece who is preparing a Professional Certificate in Youth, Popular Education and Sport (BPJEPS) in Vierzon. The latter could give riding lessons to the owners.

Élodie Maton’s passion for horses and animals goes back to her childhood. “At the campsite, with friends, I was already sleeping with dogs,” she recalls. And they were Beaucerons (sheepdogs). She holds a professional baccalaureate in horse breeding and promotion. Following a fall from a horse, she turned to activities around horses (communication, etc.) and trained as a canine educator. After various trades, she decided in 2020 to live 100% from her trade by acquiring the Ranch de Montévry plot.

For the time being, Élodie Maton and her spouse still have work to do. If the round pen is already ready, it still remains to arrange the career. And especially to build boxes and shelters. To encourage them, ponies, goats and other sheep took their places around the pond. Animals that will then be positioned in the area reserved for the educational farm. “What we want to highlight is the freedom of horses and animals. »

Benoit Morin

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