Loches
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Equestrian Afternoon

or, “when our afternoon in Loches felt more like we were living on the set of Downton Abbey”.

polishing poney

a last-minute polishing of the bridle before the judges have a look

Today we took in a horse-and-carriage competition held by l’Association Française d’Attelage in Beaulieu-les-Loches (the next town over, literally across the canal). Yesterday we caught a bit of the presentation of the entrants, where each participant was judged on the hitch, carriage, and dress of the horse. The carriages are pretty cool, many are early 20th century carriages, some even from late 19th century. The horses are of course beautifully raised and kept animals. I love the way the drivers and passengers are dressed, all very traditional and coordinated with their carriages and horses.

this is a

this is a “modern” sport carriage! note that the girls’ hat ribbons match both the carriage and the horse’s “socks”

It was all pretty out of our normal realm of entertainment, and the kids were semi-interested for a little while, then they pretty much just played around on the grass while we watched a few more horses maneuver through the cones and gates. All in all, it was a funny way to spend the afternoon. Certainly we are realizing that this town may be small, but it has a lot to offer in the way of events and spectacles in the summer!

traditional uniforms of the early-19th-century french equestrian club

traditional uniforms of the early-19th-century french equestrian club

I only had my phone with me, so the lighting and colours aren’t the best, but here are a few more shots.

more of a showy carriage

a more showy carriage

you can see the 10th century abbey in the background

you can see the 10th century abbey in the background. also, note the matching carriage, hitch + hats!

top hats and tails

top hats and tails

through the gates

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