Every year until this year I was really struggling to get through the grey, wet and cold winter days in the Netherlands. This year, having found new freedom to go wherever I want, I decided to go to southern France. I arrived at D-Ranch Equine Living Centre in November 2019. The original plan was to stay a few weeks, but I enjoyed being there so much, that I ended up staying three months. The people running D-Ranch, Jan-Ide and Astrid, aim to help people with personal and business development, with the help of their animals. As they write it on their website:
“D-Ranch was founded by Astrid Stijger as a dentist, initially to bring happiness and dental health in the lives of people who do not go to the dentist because of their fear of dentistry. She does this with the help of horses. That’s how equicure started. In the meantime, this company has grown into a centre where people can heal from countless other psychological or emotional problems, and also for people who want to grow in their personal lives, relationships or work.”
During my stay there, I got to know the family and the many animals as though I have known them for years. It’s been a few weeks since I left that place and it feels like I left my home. I miss going outside at 8 AM, immediately being surrounded by all the (hungry) cats and being called by the donkeys. I miss starting the day between the hay, horses, and donkeys and I miss the view on the full range of the Pyrenees I had while doing so. I miss having a very slow breakfast near the woodfire in the kitchen and my walks around the estate with the dogs. I guess you can tell that I really want to go back whenever I can and be reunited with my many (furry) friends there…
I will try to give you an impression of my time in France by showing you my favourite pictures from the many I took during my stay. If you want to know more about what amazing things Astrid and Jan-Ide do at their estate, visit their website (it’s too much to fully describe here).