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Val de-Dagne: shared passion for horses

The series “A farmer, a village” draws portraits of breeders, winegrowers, market gardeners, arboriculturists… Women, men, families attached to their land, to their farm, to their production, to their village. They tell their daily life, their story and that of a sector that has seen many (r)evolutions. Today, meeting with Alizée Niemans at the equestrian center of Plo.

The Plo horse farm is located in the Val de Dagne, in the heart of the Corbières, in a breathtaking landscape. This is where throughout the year, Alizée Niemans welcomes amateur riders, beginners, experienced riders, for a day trip, a hike, a discovery tour of Cathar Country.

The young woman took over the business from her parents. Michel, the father, had created the farm in 1966. With his wife Dominique, he had developed the tourist component of the farm in the 90s. Alizée has been riding since she was very young. Taking over the family farm was obvious to her, even if the young woman took the time to do and see something else. After her baccalaureate, she took a year of history and art history courses at the faculty of Toulouse. Then she chose to travel. For this, she worked as a seasonal worker in the Alps, in Corsica, on the Côte d’Azur. An experience that she uses today to enrich the tourist offers of the farm (opposite). Back in the Aude, she obtained her professional certificate in charge of agricultural business (BPREA) at the Charlemagne high school in Carcassonne. She also won a federal diploma as an equestrian tourism guide. And she starts. With passion, calm and determination. On 60 hectares, between communal pastures and scrubland cleaning, she takes care of around twenty horses, some of which work and others are boarders or simply retired.

A foal shows up at the farm about every year, and the oldest in the group is 21 years old. Alizée has stopped the production of cereals to concentrate on the equestrian tourism part which it wishes to develop. It offers one-hour walks, hikes that can last up to 6 days. “It’s a super interesting job. The organization part is sometimes the most attractive. I’m the only guide on a hike, and it’s important to know how to form a group”.

THEMA ARGI MONTLAUR 2 Alizée Niemans, Plo equestrian center

Alizée Niemans is an equestrian tourism guide.

During itinerant or “daisy” hikes, Alizée builds its own circuits, with a common thread: to favor short circuits and social cohesion in its territory. Thus, it can offer vineyard walks, or circuits that go from a local producer to a farm, with the discovery of a restaurant owner, a region, a trade. “It’s a life project that I also pass on to the people I support. It’s not always easy for those around you, you have to be ultra-present on the structure, not leave or be absent. I I am often outside. My partner is a lumberjack. We have adopted a way of life. My vacation is when I go out to scout for a new hike to create, or when I bring people on horseback. And the village is in an ideal location, between Narbonne and Carcassonne, there is always something to discover, in all seasons”. Alizée likes to discover the territory with outings adapted to each level and each desire. She creates tailor-made. “The Val de Dagne is rich in history, landscapes, and local productions. I can organize stays that combine hiking and local meals, or visits to vineyards and tastings”.

“A life project”

Alizée Niemans is an equestrian tourism guide. During itinerant hikes or “ in daisy “, she builds her own circuits, with a common thread : favor short circuits and social cohesion on its territory. Thus, it can offer vineyard walks, or circuits that go from a local producer to a farm, with the discovery of a restaurant owner, a region, a trade. It is a life project that I also pass on to the people I support. It’s not always easy for those around you, you have to be ultra-present on the structure, not leave or be absent. I am often outdoors. My companion is a lumberjack. We have adopted a way of life. My vacation is when I go on location for a new hike to create, or when I bring people on horseback. And the village is in an ideal location, between Narbonne and Carcassonne, there is always something to discover, in all seasons “.Alizée likes to discover the territory with outings adapted to each level and each desire. She creates tailor-made. The Val de Dagne is rich in history, landscapes and local productions. I can organize stays that combine hiking and local meals, or visits to vineyards and tastings “.

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