Once upon a time in the Wild West Reunion, un cow-boy, a real. A former vaqueiros who set foot in the stirrup to offer horseback riding in Savannah. And to share his passion for western riding time for a sunset. In the saddle with Manou !
It is a chaotic path that leads us to ShaiEna, the ranch has mounted Emmanuel Bougnoux, said Manou,there are ten years. Why sur son quad, it gives drink to his horses, grazing peacefully in the shade of mango trees.
We are heading to the heart of the ranch : a large veranda bric-a-brac, with the objects of his life. Teddy daughter, the rocking horse of his son, the tip of the ski with which he spent his instructor diploma, his lassos South America ... Each object has its history. Manu is quick to finish storing the large tablequi hosted the previous evening a western dinner.
A cowboy seven lives
Manu is a tall dashing, friendly and welcoming, modest despite the success of its business (no less than a month and a half waiting for a ride !).He printed a true western atmosphere at his ranch. And for good reason : " towards 18 or 20 years, I went on to become British cowboys [guardian of cows, Editor's note]. It was in 1970 or 1971, a little after May 68. I did not have the tray, I wanted to travel but I did not want to go to Kathmandu as everyone. And then, My friend Anne Marriage, which organized trail rides, would make his first expedition Colombie.Je wanted to be there before it, and know how to speak Spanish and catch a cow before it arrives ! He smiles.
Manu stayed there a year, then he went to Mexico as responsible Windsurfing Club Méditerranée, was riding instructor in Mexico and Colombia, responsible ranch, ski instructor in Switzerland, responsible for laying in a corporate high rise stores in Lyon for 10 years, boss of a special work of society on cliffs in Reunion for 20 years…
The passion for horses
"My life has always been enamelled by horses, said Manou. Here, it has created oddly enough. At one point in my life, I did windsurfing at fairly high. My son asked me to take him but with my work, the time I found the time, it does no longer wanted.
So when my daughter asked me to ride, I did not hesitate : I bought right away his horse and mine. At first it was only rides with my daughter and friends, then gradually I built this ranch. In doing my work was a natural, when I sold my company about ten years ago ".
Today, « l’important, is that the horses are well,without this, I will not do it. I do the work that 2 hours a day because it's too hot. They never box, still free ".For this, Manu rents 4 ha of land : 1ha dedicated to horses and 3 must manguiers, where they can graze in the shade. "The horses are good about themselves because they live in tribe, and hard, he enthuses ".
And that's a lot of work. Every day Manu spent three hours caring for his horses : pick up the dung, the shower, check their feet, their chains, protect from flies, etc. "I try to give them a little comfort".
An air of wild west
A Quarter Horse and Appaloosa four (and soon two more) inhabit the ranch. "These are American horses are easy to ride. Basically, Appaloosas are the horses of the Indians and the US Army Quartershorsesceux. I chose them because they know live in hot countries, are not too fragile and are nice, what I need for customers ".
decidedly, it floats like a wild west air here… Also carried by the very name of the ranch : «'ShaiEna', it is the etymology of the word 'Cheyenne'. The Cheyenne are Canadian Indians took to the Sioux territory. They got along well but didn't understand each other : "ShaiEna" means "those we don't understand in the Sioux language" explains Manou, that leaves nothing to chance.
A desire to share
Manou open all year Reunion, English people, Chinese people, French people on vacation… "Lots of tourists", says he. It almost offers daily rides for two, three or four people. "It’s more like the locals going on couple walks, some even take the opportunity to make their marriage proposal ! In this case, I'm going away a little ... "laughs our cowboy.
With them, he travels in the savannah a circuit around 10 at 12 km, during which customers are not trying to, trot and, if they are good riders, at a gallop. For even good riders come to enjoy here, they are attracted by this unique and authentic western atmosphere.
"I prepare the horses soon 15 hours. I give appointment to the customers at my home between 16 and 16.30 hours and I will bring them to the ranch 4 × 4. I always start with a career initiation 15 at 30 mn, especially for those who can not ride for those who ride in traditional horsemanship. For the Western rises is different. The traditional horse is derived from the military and is a bit stiff. The western riding is a work horse, simplified, more natural, released heaps of gestures not necessarily helpful to keep cows. There are also fewer balance problems because the seat has a knob, we landed feet first, the position is more stable. The saddle is also much heavier (25 at 40 kg), but it is easier for the horse as it moves less. That's why I impose a weight limit. Some are disappointed by this limit but all come to understand : Here the paths are stony, go up, descendent, and we go night. Horses may make a misstep ".
This is also how the horse Manu lost her daughter ago 2 or 3 years : he was wearing a jumper rather heavy which makes backing into stones. He fractured the tibia and was Manou is forced to euthanize. « Affectivement, it was hard, for my daughter and for me ", coward he fondly.
Initially ranch, direction Saint-Paul viaduct by savannah, green this season. The scarlet cardinal perched on young mango, like small red fruits in the greenery. these trees, for the majority, are those that cultivate Manou to make a small change. "Mangoes grown in bio-carrot not to expose horses to pesticides, some banana and some citrus because horses do not eat, "he says.
"Then I head towards the ocean for a sunset break towards the Marianne rock. We quenches, we discuss, then back to the night ranch, between 19 and 20 hours. But customers have overcome their apprehension day, to go, and the horses see well at night ! Reassures Manou.
"Coming back from the ride, riders often give me a hand, they participate in horse care : they the dessellent, showering them if they are too hot, and feed them all ensemble.Puis we sit on the veranda, if they want to have an aperitif. They give me what they want. This money allows me to create a fund for the retirement of horses ”.
Poor, lonesome cowboy
"Some of my horses have 14 or 15 years, they can work even five or six years. I will not make them work too long, and when they are old I would myself more 70 years ! I hope to have enough money to keep the ground, for their retirement ". It is also for this reason that Manou offers "ranch meals" (chili wood fire, flank steak ...) for groups of at least 10 people.
When he thinks of the future, Manouse said he would pass on his business to someone who is in the same spirit, "Someone passionate, who likes to please people, not someone who seeks profitability at all costs ".
+262 6 92 88 70 00-
38 path vanilla, 97434 St Gilles baths
Horseback riding,book at least a month and a half in advance : 70 €/pers. for 3 or 4 people, 90 €/pers. for 2 people.
Ranch meal : Entrance, plat, cheese, dessert and wine for 40 at 50 €