Love The Place You Live: Haras du Pin

August 20, 2012

Not long after we moved here, when we’d driven around a bit, we noticed signs that said Haras du [fill in the blank], all over the place. When we inquired about them, we were told they indicated horse breeding farms, and that the horse-breeding capital for all of France was right here in the town of Argentan. It’s called Haras du Pin. (You can pronounce is Huh-rah-do-pan.)



I can’t wait to tell you about our visit, but first, I need to apologize. I intended to write about William the Conquerer’s Castle in Caen for this post, because we spent Saturday in Caen running errands. But I didn’t get any photos! Not one. So I’m sharing our visit to Haras du Pin instead. It happened one year ago this very month. So the good news is: at least the photos look seasonal. : )

We weren’t sure what to expect when we arrived, but we bought tickets, entered the beautiful grounds and immediately joined a guided tour. It was in French so I didn’t get a ton out of it, but the tour took us around the buildings and into the stalls where we could see the horses.


The stalls were clean and the horses were very well tended.

Some stalls had labels indicating prizes (at least I think that’s what that is. Hah!).

And every stall listed the horse’s parents. The sign above is for Hannah Hill Kemo Sabe (rad name!), who happens to be an American horse. I’m so curious: do they get here by boat or by plane?

After the tour, we were invited to wander the grounds. At first, we thought the grounds were simply a large courtyard surrounded by buildings, but then we got a longer view:

After our visit, we all wanted to go home and watch Secretariat and learn more about horses. It definitely felt like I was visiting a world I know nothing about! Everybody know that young-girls-obsessed-with-horses is common stereotype, but I think I missed that phase. I feel much more curious about, and respectful of horses now as an adult, than I did as a child.

How about you? Did you ever fall in love with horses? Do you love them still?

One more fun fact: Last fall, Maude and Ralph participated in their school’s track and field program, and the regional track meet took place at Haras du Pin! Isn’t that a riot? Ralph also said another fun thing I should mention is that the athletes were served hot cocoa and cake. : )

Friends, I hope Love The Place You Live is helping you get out there and explore your communities. I LOVE reading the reports about your adventures. It’s so fun to see the column grow!

The next Love the Place You Live post will be Monday, September 17th. I encourage you to do something local between now and then, because I’d love to read your writeup! I’ll try to remind everyone a few days before.

Love The Place You Live: August 2012 Linkup

Do you have a Love the Place You Live post you’d like to share? Adding your link is super easy!
-Click the “Add Your Link” button below.
-Copy in the url of your blog post.
-Name your link anything you like. For example, I would name mine “Gabrielle – Design Mom: Haras du Pin”.
-Add your email address. it won’t be visible to other readers, but you’ll get a confirmation email that your link was added successfully.


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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Valerie {all mussed up} August 20, 2012 at 9:18 am

Very cool! What an fascinating niche.

I’d love to link up with my own local adventure but am not seeing the form as usual — is this just me?

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2 Grace @ sense and simplicity August 20, 2012 at 9:32 am

I can’t link up either. I love the horse farm – what a fun outing.

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3 Design Mom August 20, 2012 at 4:01 pm

Thanks for letting me know, ladies! Should be all fixed up now.

Excited to read your posts!

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4 Suzanne @ The Wine{a}be August 20, 2012 at 5:44 pm

I love this! I love horses too…always have! Such a beautiful place.

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5 DeAnn August 20, 2012 at 5:52 pm

My sister ships horses by plane to Europe from LA for a living. We call her the equine travel agent. She was one of those consumed by the horse-loving phase. It missed me too.

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6 Diana August 20, 2012 at 7:46 pm

That’s a really neat place.

Not only do horses travel by plane, but in the U.S. (I don’t know about abroad) miniature horses are recognized service animals and with proper documentation support/service horses can be taken in the passenger cabin just like support/service dogs.

I’ve yet to see one, but think it’d be rather neat to be on a flight with a service pony.

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7 Jenny August 20, 2012 at 10:02 pm

What a beautiful place! I wonder if you took the link form down, but here’s my post if you’d like to see:

http://bubysplace.blogspot.com/2012/08/love-place-you-live.html

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8 Jenny August 20, 2012 at 10:10 pm

Scratch that! I see it now. What fun links! Thank you.

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9 Laura Lee August 21, 2012 at 1:40 pm

We visited William the Conqueror’s castle last month when we were in Caen. It was lovely; I would so enjoy to hear (and see!) your take on it!

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10 sofija August 22, 2012 at 7:41 am

Thanks for sharing, Gabrielle. I apologize for linking up twice. I messed up on the first one. Could you please delete number 23? Thanks so much.

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11 Sarah G August 30, 2012 at 4:18 pm

For the olympics, horses flew from the US to London via FedEx! Super interesting story here: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2012/03/07/148085883/how-do-you-ship-a-horse-to-the-2012-london-olympics

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