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Free-Roaming Horses Meet Domestic Horses

1 - How can learning about Przewalski’s horses inform the way I deal with my own horse?
2 - Available options
3 - Available dates
4 - What will we cover?
5 - What makes our herd unique?
6 - What does a typical day look like?
7 - Why do we appreciate your visiting Takh?
8 - Who can participate?
9 - Where does it take place?
10 - Where could I stay?
11 - Pricing



1.How can learning about Przewalski’s horses inform the way I deal with my own horse?

You may find it hard to believe that horses running free across 1,000 acres of wild land have anything to do with old Pokey. But have you ever seen your TB bite a foal, or your friend’s cute little pony tenaciously chase a mare away from a water source? Does your show horse shy away from other competitors? Why is active stabling trending? Why bother with haynets? Why does your horse seem to hate being turned out? The list goes on and on. Strangely enough, free-roaming horses (our Przewalski’s as well as their foreign feral counterparts) can indeed help us find the answers to our most basic questions. Visiting the Center for Przewalki's horses in France won’t make you a great rider but you will most certainly come out a better horse(wo)man. Come join equine ethologist Hélène Roche to perfect your knowledge of horse behaviour and, better still, master the kind of observation skills that will help you catch a glimpse of what is going on in your horse’s brain.

Testimonials (Takh Immersion)

Fantastic! Exceeded all expectations” Gwen, 45, from Ireland.

I’ll never forget what I’ve learned from Takh horses. Observing them was a privilege and I feel so much more knowledgeable about their natural behaviour.” Claire, 32, from France.

"I have many ideas and good information to process!" Rio, 54, from the United Kingdom.

This clinic is the reason why I started to become increasingly interested in equine ethology and welfare. The clinic was a wonderful way to spend several days out in the open air along with other curious and friendly participants and with a teacher like Helene that has a deep knowledge of the subject matter. She has known these horses for many years. This allows her to share the story of each horse with the group, thus making the experience so engaging, personal and interesting. If you really want to understand horses, then I highly recommend you take part in this clinic.” Aleksandra, 38, from USA (Texas).


2.Available Options

Immersion
Four days,
Days 1-2-3 from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm - Day 4 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm,
Lunch break 1,5 hour.

Discovery and Discovery +
If you can’t get away for a full 4-day workshop, consider going through the Immersion curriculum over two week-ends.
Saturday from 9:30 am to 6:30 pm and Sunday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Lunch break 1,5 hour.

Passion
Those of you who can never get enough of Takh can come back for a 3-day workshop
Days 1-2 from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm and Day 3 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
Lunch break 1,5 hour.


3.Available dates
An Immersion session in English is scheduled in July 2022 - 26th to 29th (Tuesday to Friday).


4.What will we cover?

Discovery and Immersion, Days 1 and 2
You will learn:
• What Takh and its conservation project are about - reintroducting Przewalski’s horses into Mongolia
• What makes Przewalski’s horses special
• What it is like for a foal to grow up in a wild herd
• How horses behave in the wild, and what true equine welfare looks like
• That the social lives of horses are rich and varied: you will witness behaviours seldom displayed by domestic equines
• Which techniques are suitable to observe horses

Discovery + and Immersion, Days 3 and 4
Get ready to delve deeper into:
• Leadership and dominance, from myth to reality
• Hierarchy and affinity
• The life of a wild mare (portraits)
• The life of a wild stallion (portraits)
• Observation techniques

Passion, Days 1, 2 et 3 (for returning enthusiasts)
Expect to find out about:
• What’s been happening with Takh in the last 12 months, in and out of France
• The life of the herd, both in France and in Mongolia
• A few commented scientific articles
• Some horses’ portraits
• Observation techniques


Testimonials (Takh Passion)

Everything was personalized, I learned even more about each horse and their life story. It felt like I was part of their world.” Laura, 28, from France.

I loved going deeper into the life of the herd, watching foals grow, relationships develop, etc. Things evolved a lot between July and September and it helped me look at the bigger picture.” Claire, 32, from France.

Watching individuals horses change and groups restructure is just awesome!” Thérèse, 46, from Belgium.

The second workshop made me a keener observer and a better learner. See you next year!” Sophie, 64, from France.



5.What makes our herd unique?

• There is no other place in France where you’ll get to see the real thing - a herd made up of several family groups and bachelor herds - since most people will only allow one stud stallion around mares and foals.

• We watch all our horses closely from the day they are born and the history of our herd goes back 25 years, whereas very little data is available as regards individual feral horses.

• Our horses being used to people hanging around, they are easy to observe from a short distance.


Testimonials (Takh Discovery and Takh Immersion)

Don’t miss out on that workshop, it’s one of a kind in Europe!” Marlies, 64, from Germany.

Being able to get that close to the horses is just magical. I got to witness an incredible number of behaviours.” Pascale, 57, from France.



6.What does a typical day look like?

Get ready to learn the most incredible things about equine behaviour from ethologist Hélène Roche, alternating between indoor lectures, slide shows and videos and in situ investigation. Hélène will help you start to look at horses from a scientific viewpoint through guided exercises and on-the-spot observation paired with a running commentary. Given the low number of participants (10 maximum), group sharing will be easy.


Testimonials (Takh Discovery and Immersion)

"The teacher was excellent and very knowledgeable." Rio, 54, from the United Kingdom.

Hélène is just great. Her sharing skills and scientific background make her the best teacher ever.” Alexandra, 30, from France.

Thank you, Hélène. Your open-mindedness, your scientific approach, your expertise and the way you catered to every student’s needs made this workshop very special indeed.” Sandrine, 49, from France.



7.Why do we appreciate your visiting Takh?

You will be contributing to a wildlife conservation project that goes back nearly 30 years. By attending one of Hélène’s workshops, you will help her collect invaluable data on equine behavior and pursue ongoing research. We can never thank you enough.

8.Who can participate?
No previous experience is necessary. Anybody who owns/loves horses will greatly benefit from my workshops. Non-riders are welcome since no handling is involved. Children aged fourteen and older only.

9.Location
Our horses live in southern France, in beautiful steppe-like Cévennes National Park on Causse Méjean - Le Villaret, Hures-la-Parade, 48150.
Finding the location

Planning your trip:
By rail: SNCF will take you to Millau or Mende by train + bus. It’s then a 1 hour-drive to our Centre.
By plane: fly into Toulouse (international flights) (+ 3 hour-drive), Rodez (from UK and Ireland) or Montpellier (+ 2 hour-drive).

You’re advised to bring your own transport if possible. If not, we will arrange to pick you up.

10.Accommodation
Many options are available, from camping to B&Bs.
Food is not included - please arrange for packed lunches.
Dinner with Hélène will be organized in a local restaurant if you’d like to join her one evening.
Download Suggested Accommodation

A few tips
Make bookings as early as possible due to rooms being hard to come by from July through August. Vegans please advise your host.
Other practicalities are covered in the downloadable file.
Download Practical Tips

11.Pricing

Immersion (4 days): €590 Early Bird or €680 Full Pricing

Fees cover: lectures, hand-outs and field trips with Hélène Roche.
Travel and lodging are not included.

Early Bird deadline is 26th June 2021.

Registration
Go to Registration Form or email Hélène for any question at helene@heleneroche.fr