In July 2014 a new client registered with us wanting some help with a rather specific brief. They wanted long term house sitters to help them in France. Never wanting to turn down a challenge we said yes, and then we asked what she needed! Her requirement was to find a couple of long-term house-sitters who are experienced with horses, and were ready to move to Normandy in Northern France, within the month. And here’s the story of the couple of long-term house-sitters who were lucky enough to secure this house-sit in France with horses.
Vladimir and Zuzanna come from Slovakia, where Vladimir worked on a horse farm and Zuzanna was completing her degree. They saw the advertisement for long-term house-sitters with horses advertisement online and decided this was just the opportunity for them to travel in Europe in an affordable way, doing something that they both loved, working with horses. They asked some questions about the responsibilities of a house sitter and then decided that yes, this was for them. It was important that they understood what is a housesit so I spent a little time explaining the main requirements and options.
Here’s Their House-sitting Story
We spent a lovely time here from August 2014 to June 2015. Sandra and David are very kind and friendly people. We were recruited as long-term house-sitters mainly to care for the horses. However, there were dogs so some dogsitting was needed too.
Our job is mainly to help with the horses with the stables and their horses. Some of the horses are warmblood dressage horses. We had to care for a Totilas foal for example. Our daily work included leading the horses to the fields, feeding them, mucking out, rugging, watering, and cleaning stables. The foal had a special diet and needed extra care and attention.
With the foal we had to be very gentle and particular about her care. It was important to change the appropriate rugs depending on the different weather conditions. We had to feed her with special milk every two hours. Everything had to be kept very clean and disinfected. Sometimes we washed the horses in hot water and special shampoo.
Feeding and Grooming
We also had to prepare the haylage, wash the horses and do some maintenance work on the farm.
Other house sitter duties
Apart from the horses and the pet-sitting there were many other duties on the farm and the stables as the long-term house-sitters.
Usually, we worked 4 hours a day for 4 days each week with extra paid work when we were available. As long-term house-sitters we were given one week off in 5 which meant we could travel a lot which was terrific. Sandra and David would also take one week off in 5 so they could take a break to attend events or visit family in Britain. During our house-sitting week we took care of the house, the dogs and cats. When we had free week or days we used to travel around Normandy and Brittany. There was so much to see and do. It was a real exploration it hardly seemed like work at all.
Time off to discover France
There are so many beautiful towns, beaches and scenery in the forest that we never ran out of ideas, and we did develop some favourite places. We love Mont St Michel, St Malo and Granville.
Final thoughts on being long term house sitters
We really enjoyed our time as long term house sitters in France. And we loved our location. The surrounding area is very tranquil, lush and green. The people here are very friendly. We were really happy to stay here for the whole year housesitting in France. It meant we could travel at a pace we could afford, and we could spend a long enough period in one region to really appreciate it. This is a landscape which we love. And of course, the food was really European and reminded us of home. Best of all, the horses were fantastic, we both love working and spending time with horses. They are beautiful and hot blooded so they are lively and very playful so it was very interesting and fun as a job.
By Vladimir and Zuzanna
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