A life for horses



Claudéa Vossbeck-L’Hoëst has been living in Médoc for more than thirty-five years. She came here searching for a place to live with horses where she could found the association «Action Centaur’ Aquitaine» specializing in giving distressed horses a new life… In some places there was just not enough grazing-land, elsewhere too many roads, too many people, not enough space to live in peace! … In the very heart of the Médoc Claudéa seems to have found what she needed and has finally settled in Saint-Yzans de Médoc: wide grasslands far from the madding crowd offering natural herd-living conditions for up to twenty horses of different breeds and all ages. Most of these horses have been saved from death or distress by Michel and Claudea.

Cludéa Vossbeck Nataraja, for example, had been save das a young foal, together with other survivors, in a herd of horses most of which had been found starved to death from hunger and thirst in the mountains of southern France. The French Association for the Protection of Horses (LFPC, Ligue Française pour la Protection du Cheval) entrusted the young horse to the care of Michel. Salvo, a twelve year old Arabo-Lusitano gelding and horse-ball champion revealed to have severe hoof-damages after the Aquitanian and French national championships. In spite of operations and long-lasting clinical treatments no improvements seemed possible and he would normally have ended up at the slaughterhouse. Thanks to Michel‘s and Claudéa‘s skills, intensive natural care and loving treatment Salvo has recovered so much that today he can even participate in gentle riding tours and be ridden by children! Naïa, an eleven year-old draught-mare was destined for slaughter together with her five months-old foal, once her owner found out she was not pregnant. Worst of all, she was about to be fattened beforehand in extremely painful circumstances in a narrow feeding-stall. Michel and Claudéa saved both, mother and foal, and took them home from the mountains in Southern France to give them a new happy life.

Love for all beings is what makes Claudéa’s heart beat; she has a strong personal relationship to each and every of her animals. All of them have a name, even the chicken, and she care for them like a mother for her children. Every horse receives special care according to its pathology and needs, thanks to the commitment of Dr Michel Larroche, surgeon, searcher, scientist and ethologist, who shares Claudéa’s life and passion. On her side, Claudéa is a certified educational psychologist, natural horse trainer and riding-teacher. She is committed to developing, employing and sharing improved ways to natural communication and cooperation between man and horses including bitless work with horses and natural hoof care without horseshoes. Besides care for the horses, the association that will soon change its name to «Equi-Energie Médoc» offers throughout the whole year workshops and visits especially for families with a playful approach of the horse and nature discovery tours with those that can be ridden.

2013 Gérard Segatti (Bégadan), translation: Claudéa Vossbeck-L’Hoëst