Natural Horse Power drives out of Traffic Trap

Conventional problems when dropping and picking up kids at school or kindergarten: congestion by private cars, peak consumption of fossil energy with stop-and-go traffic, air pollution. La Chapelle-Gaceline in Britanny, France, shows another way.

In 2009 Nayak, a tall, friendly draught horse, was set on duty, in order to route children of the nursery school up to school canteen near the city council and to see them out to school. But that was only the beginning. Today Nayak is a famous full-time ‘public service worker’, together with two council workers, he not only transports the children of the school to the canteen, every day since January, 2010, but to the multimedia library or for promenade as well. Further examples of nowadays horse aided tasks are watering of public green areas, cleaning, transport of waste, distribution of the local newsletter etc. For rests during their tours, rings were fixed in several places of the market town to allow the tie of horses. What had begun as an experiment, has led to a long-term engagement.

transport scolaire Chapelle-GaelineSource: Jean-Leo Dugast

Since in 2011, when UNESCO inscribed French traditional equitation as intangible cultural heritage, the Britanny Region, driven by the ambition to preserve the Breton cart horse, has become a platform of creative ideas around horse supported community services. Thereby the village of The Chapel Gaceline acts as a center of ideas and initiatives, based on its will to become a true équi-city.

But Chapel Gaceline is not the only French community using natural horse power for mobility and transport tasks. A number of communities have set up horse-drawn services, such as Saint-Pierre-sur-Dives, Maxéville in Meurthe-et-Moselle, Vendargues in Hérault, Thury-Harcourt and others. They have gathered experience in not only how to set up local horse-drawn ‘school-bus service’ but how to handle organisational, security and financial issues as well.

A 077Photo: Jean-Leo Dugast

For more details visit this FECTU blog from time to time and visit

Author: Therese Grosswiele

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Horse-drawn mobility in Europe – clean and sustainable

Starting from this year FECTU – as an alliance on European level dealing with natural horse power – wants to contribute to the EU endeavours to boost sustainability in mobility and transport. There is the admirable and stimulating campaign ‘European Mobility Week’ each year which was held as an urban campaign up to 2014.

Do the right mix‘Our streets, our choice’ – the EU slogan is valid not only in urban areas, but for rural areas and small cities as well. So we want to show examples especially from rural areas, where horses belong to the natural environment and where most of them are held. Their ability to draw all kinds of vehicles and equipment shall become a notable part of the ‘right mix’: the EU slogan ‘Do the right mix’ wants to help out of today’s car addiction and focus instead on combining different modes of transport – which choice wherever appropriate. Horses shall be part of it.

Taking this as a very inspiring approach we will use this blog to present solutions – all based upon natural horse power. Clean and sustainable.

So look up this page from time to time to find interesting stories about horse drawn mobility – transport of goods and persons – from various countries in the EU. They belong to the broad variety of non-technological actions in the field of energy efficiency and renewable energy sources in Europe.

We will start the series presenting a horse drawn school-bus in France.

Author: Therese Grosswiele

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Fectu at PferdeStark´15


PferdeStark7PferdeStark Mobility1
29 and 30 August 2015 in Wendlinghausen (Germany)
The PferdeStark is the European Version of the US Horse Progress Days.
Nowhere else in Europe you will find more modern horsedrawn machinery and equipment than at PferdeStark, and this not only in displays but also under realistic working conditions.
Read more:  (English, French, German)
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