White Horses Over France

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Long Riders' Guild Press, 2004 - Biography & Autobiography - 176 pages
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This tells the story of a magical journey - and how, in fulfilment of a personal dream, the first Camargue horses set foot on British soil in the late summer of 1984. It is also a vigorous celebration of life on horseback, and in particular a tribute to two enchanting and affectionate characters who, bred for their stamina, intelligence and skill at working with bulls, proved to be scared stiff of cows - and even sheep. In a life filled with exotic explorations and adventures, Robin Hanbury-Tenison had always nursed one particular ambition: to bring home to his farm in Cornwall working horses from the famous wetlands of southern France. He and his wife Louella chose two horses and named them respectively Thibert and Tiki after the village where the finest Camargue saddles are made and the paddle steamer on the Petit Rhone. Their 1,000-mile route encompassed ancient forti¬fied towns in the Languedoc, rocky plains skirting the Massif Central, the beautiful gorge of the Aveyron, prehistoric caves, the Dordogne, the Loire and the waterways of Brittany. Camping and sampling the delights of country inns, Robin and Louella encountered a rich array of landowners, peasant farmers, blacksmiths, fishermen and cafe patrons. Any native inhibitions were quickly dispersed by Thibert and Tiki, who made friends wherever they went. They also took part in the ancient and spectacular running of the bulls in a small Camargue village. This book will be both an inspiration and a guide to travellers. The sights of France - the superb chateaux and the varied scenery - and the sounds and smells of the country are all the more sharply observed from the author's vantage-point a cheval. It is a travel book par excellence.

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