Visit prehistoric wonders during your horse riding holiday in France

CAVEPAINTINGHANDCDLA painting of an ancient hand in the caves at Pech Merle.

Have you ever wanted to walk in the footsteps of our prehistoric ancestors?

During your holiday in the Lot department, you can do just that – and you can see paintings they created between 16,000 and 25,000 BC.

Take a trip to one of the most awe-inspiring attractions near Château de Laumière, the Pech Merle caves.

The site is one of the few in France with prehistoric cave paintings which remain open to the public.

The cave system extends over 1.5km from the entrance, down into an area where a river once carved deep channels and where prehistoric people lived.

The cave entrance had been covered by a landslip until the 20th Century, giving the system an airtight seal.

Then, two teenage boys discovered the paintings in the deeper areas of the caves in 1922.

Henri and Andre David Dutetre had spent two years exploring the cave system, encouraged by local curate and amateur archaeologist Father Amédée Lemozi.

The caves opened to the public in 1926 and were classed as a historic monument in 1952.

In the seven chambers of the cave system, the walls show hundreds of breath-taking paintings of reindeer, woolly mammoths, bison, horses, and humans.

Some of the most touching images are those created when our prehistoric ancestors blew ‘paint’ over their hands using a delicate spitting technique, creating outlines on the wall which we see to this day.

Fossilised footprints of children, who once ran through the then clay floors, have been discovered more than a half a mile underground.

It’s believed the cave system was used for shelter during the Ice Age.

The area would have had a climate similar to that of the Arctic now, and its animal species were very different to those found in modern-day France.

The geology of the caves is also fascinating.

Visitors can see how they were formed and eroded by water over many thousands of years.

You’ll also marvel at the stalactites and calcite pearls in this amazing cave complex.

The number visiting the system is capped to ensure there is as little erosion as possible and that changes in gases underground caused by people breathing out carbon dioxide do not harm the beautiful cave paintings.

Visitors are advised to wear appropriate clothing and shoes for the conditions underground. The temperature is 12 degrees Celsius. There is also a discovery centre at the site. Find out more here.

 

Visit spectacular caves and drift along on an underground river

You’ll see more of France’s geological heritage at the Gouffre de Padirac, considered the most spectacular cave system in France.

There, a steep descent takes you 103m below ground to a boat trip on a turquoise underground river with spectacular views.

You’ll also discover a 60m high stalactite hanging ‘by a string’, and walk to find the most impressive cave ceiling in France in the Salle du Grand Dôme.

The awe-inspiring ceiling is 94m high.

Visitors are advised to book tickets in advance because it can become very busy and to be prepared for stairs and lifts. Discover more here.

 

Step into a lost world in an old mine

A former phosphorous mine is another underground wonder in Lot.

The Phosphatiere du Cloup d’Aural, Bach, has been colonised by some surprising vegetation since the miners left the site in the 19th Century.

There are giant ferns and up to 13 different orchid species. It feels like walking through lush jungle.

The site’s fossils have provided a rich insight into the area’s prehistoric past.

Researchers have found more than 500 animal fossils dating back up to 34 million years. Visitors will learn about the prehistoric mammal the caducothère, which resembled a rhinoceros.

Visitors are encouraged to take a 50-minute tour of the site.

Find out more here.

 

Is it time for your next riding holiday in the South of France? Contact us today about availability http://www.chateau-de-laumiere.com/enquire.php. There’s so much to see and do on your trip.

 

Two Upcoming Events for Riders

Own Your Own Horse Week – 27 May

14264993_1180888378635604_3308057664074503758_n

 

Do you ride regularly but not actually own your own horse?  Is it your dream or are you just curious as to what’s involved?  Well for week commencing Saturday 27 May you can make that dream come true for a week.  Take this opportunity to experience horse ownership in the most ideal surroundings with the reassurance that there is a knowledgeable team on hand to help if needed. Own a horse week enables you to to be as hands on with your four legged friend as you wish to find out what it’s really like to have a horse of your own.  img_20160503_084405

 

 

 

Training Week – 16 September

13873070_1138188146238961_6110901383858011906_n

Last year’s training week was a real success and we were asked to think about another one this year.  Well we did and scheduled it in for the beginning of May – it was full almost as soon as we advertised it and there has been interest shown in another one being added.  We have looked at the diary and can now say that we will offer this for week beginning Saturday 16 September.  If you’re interested do get in touch asap.

Some people mentioned that they were a little worried by the phrase ‘Intensive Training’ as they thought it meant it was only for very experienced riders so let me put your mind at rest over this because that really isn’t the case at all.  It’s more of a usual week with the opportunity to do extra training – riding, horse care, bonding with your horse or whatever you have problems with or want to do more of.  It’s for riders of all levels – horse owners or not – and as with all of our rides it’s tailored to you.  There is the usual morning ride then as an addition in the afternoons Tanya can help you to work on any issues that you would like help with.  She will talk everything over with the whole group at the beginning of the week and work out a program that fits and can be worked on through the week.  11870817_1787696334790436_6895041293615577366_n

Next Year’s Holiday??

Here’s a look through our photo album to show you what we all get up to.  For next year’s holiday why not come over and join in too.  It’s great fun.  We’d love to see you and if you book before the end of December you will bag next year’s holiday at this year’s price.

Starting with the welcoming committee at the gate through to Tanya looking for next year’s rides

How about a super Christmas present for that very special person.

We are looking forward to seeing you

16993_925890170802094_5775362184930388847_n 1545014_649179281806519_1635172859_n 10380274_776506655740447_6928160740406120708_n 11012197_925887497469028_6195195092973568389_n 11181187_921988467858931_1176936242712376937_n 11667444_925887937468984_4338658493098443110_n 11402962_925888354135609_689994848389364886_n 11219227_955465991177845_360917435073299790_n 223498_496058040451978_860520747_n 22087_925887157469062_1043533643760452559_n 379634_484240401633742_44550108_n 379634_484240394967076_1067366623_n 544315_501672536557195_1730903002_n 10392018_1010597948997982_2875050417054423073_n 544315_501672543223861_994028605_n 1385936_607839089273872_1033875627_n 11204865_926283667429411_4314508691119726478_n 11951906_955466367844474_1230129361532810686_n 12193605_982973575093753_2937361927356309779_n 12241578_989827601075017_186657185578043772_n 13151656_1086448464746263_2114495297101470448_n 13179282_1086398788084564_4133936418814844247_n 13394121_1106625236061919_4644504117388704930_n 13394178_1107333389324437_8985573876292132100_n 13406709_1108404949217281_4363321499573450578_n 13413508_1105684476155995_8665810639924074999_n 13445372_1110906005633842_1930649391509921958_n 13680934_1139075299483579_8822844270314089772_n 14222166_1180894381968337_2304227513482899259_n 14264993_1180888378635604_3308057664074503758_n 14581533_1206771716047270_7865089231661738431_n 14591597_1213955878662187_7463538518690565056_n 14937418_1235884319802676_336982996637697267_n 15085714_1251715658219542_3800440687004560100_n 15109377_1254649507926157_7491437777255099200_n 15181466_1254648694592905_5938741971495281237_n 15317864_1269918536399254_7607479752274778432_n 11242071_925886730802438_2324700248955532510_n

Early mornings

When it’s blue sky and around 25 deg later in the day here is a look at how the early morning looks – Atila & Tonnerre coming to meet you out of the mist

Hold on, here we come
Hold on, here we come

and a little later when the sun first starts you can often see these cobwebs in the Rosemary before they get disturbedcobwwebs 1

cobweb 2

Trevor

As many of you know we retired Trevor earlier this year due to a serious illness.  Brave trooper that he was he kept fighting but there came a point when he just couldn’t do it any more so very sadly we finally had to say goodbye on Wednesday afternoon.  He’s given lots of people some very happy memories and is now off galloping free with his best friend Boysie.

Bye Trev xxx
Bye Trev xxx

 

Meet the new guys in the team

Just to bring you up to date, we’ve been busy around the country adding new members to the team for this year.  Here goes –

Some of you will already have met our first arrival who came in September last year but for those of you who came earlier in the year meet Atila taking his first look around at his new home as he came out of the box

DSCF6578He travelled well and was very calm after his journey of around three hours.  Off to his paddock for a rest and then hopefully ready for a light workout in the school tomorrow.

DSCF6660He took it all in his stride and he and Tanya got on very well together

Love this guy-Tanya & AtilaWhat a star and Tanya’s face says ‘I just love this guy!’

He’s gone on from here and they have competed very successfully in several dressage competitions through the winter season.  He’s up and going and ready to accompany rides this summer.

Our second new arrival came just before Christmas.  Tanya and Chris set off at 5.00am with the trailer for what ended up as a 15hr trip to see a very big boy to join the team, namely a Normandy Cob.  During this epic journey they passed through the volcanic mountains of the Massif Central and here is one of the shots that Tanya took from the motorway

JpegWhen they finally got home it was too dark for photos so here he is saying good morning to Atila over the fence this morning – Tonnerre.

2It’s quite amazing what a big horse can do – here’s Chris mounted for the first time in ages and out enjoying time with Tonnerre after only a few days of getting to know him.  He’s settled in really well and is now waiting to meet you all soon.

DSCF7327

For number three we all set off for the day on a trip to look at several horses that we had seen.  Sun was shining and a lovely lunch followed by finally seeing a really beautiful girl.  Having ridden her and talked over Tanya and Chris set off next day yet again with trailer and when they got back Ursala had arrived.

DSCF7203Out of the trailer and looking around

DSCF7214Starting to fit in with the team working with Chloe

DSCF7319These new guys are now getting along very well with the existing team and as usual everyone is looking forward to seeing you all very soon

Hi fans…….

Just to keep you posted, after a spate of illness and unsuccessful treatment this winter the team have decided that I’ve earned my retirement so here I am enjoying it in the field.

I’ve had a chat with Ursala and she’s getting ready to fill my hoof prints

With love to you all Trevor xx
With love to you all Trevor xx