Horse sitting service and livery

Hi all,
After several years of waiting and planning we will actually be moving to Charente early 2018! We are moving to the Charente region around Champagne Mouton. I am hoping to offer a ‘horse sitting’ service once we are are settled in. This will involve caring for people’s horse when they are going away and have no one to look after their horses. This could be on their own premises or possibly even bringing them to our premises. It would be very much a tailor made service whereby I would follow the horses usual routines, turning out, mucking out, rug changing, bringing in, grooming, feeding, etc, etc. I would also like to offer a stable or two for permanent livery.
My question is, would this be a welcome service in the area (roughly 20km radius of Champagne Mouton. Also if anyone knows if I would require qualifications to offer this service any advise would be welcome, I don’t intend to give lessons or do any sort of training (not for now anyway.) I do however have more than 28 years of equestrian experience and owned my own horses for more than 25 years.
Many thanks,

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You need to sit a course in french (no translator allowed) 5 days work and sit a 3 hour exam to get a certificate of capacity. which covers you for dogs cats ferrets horses etc. (there is not one just for horses as the horses is an addition to the cats and dogs 1 day extra. You will have to answer question on animal welfare, medical questions and such.

Myself and my wife have one for dogs cats ferrets, rabbits etc but not horses for our Pet vacation home.

also make sure to book as early as possible as the waiting list for the courses are 6 months plus depending on the region where you will sit the exam.

Thanks again for the info. Have just had a quick read. So even though I only want to deal with horses I still have take the qualification covering dogs, cats, ferrets, etc, etc? Is that correct?
I have worked as a practice manager in a rural vets practice for the last 11 years so the contents of the course will be familiar to me but seems OTT to have have to cover all species when I only want to deal with one??
Am I reading it correctly?

essentially the course covers all animals but the 1 or 2 days extra covers horses but the first 3 days is about animal care health nutrition etc.

Its an insane amount of work too and very fast so hope your written and verbal french are good and able to read it and listen at same time.

the exam is good as if you fail you can resit it after lunch and a bit of extra cramming but alas its a totally different set of questions.

Harry… how did you cope with all the work involved and then the exam itself ?? or did they make allowances for your dyslexia etc

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Thanks for asking this Stella, I was wondering that too.
My French isn’t bad conversationally at the moment (obviously it will improve once we move) but I certainly wouldn’t be up to a written and verbal exam!! Eeeek!
I am a trained Animal Medicines Advisor here in UK but only want to offer routine care for people’s horses whilst they are away! The depth of the course seems somewhat OTT. But I suppose it is good to know that France won’t allow just anyone to offer these services.

@Kate_Soldado … I’ve sent you a private message.

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You have hit the nail on the head. France is more regulated than the UK, if you are a roofer you fix roofs, if you are a plumber you do plumbing etc where the British believe in a jack of all trades. It’s the same for animal care, they want to be sure that people are experienced and qualified to provide the services offered.
There were posts about a month ago from a British couple moving to Champagne Mouton with their horses.

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Thanks David, yes it does make sense. Any ideas who the other couple are? I’d love to make contact with them. Or indeed anyone to make some friends before we arrive. We are a couple of 36 (myself) and 44 (hubby) years old with a soon to be 5 year old daughter and two horses in tow!!
If anyone else wishes to make contact with us, please do.


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The posts were by Rod Webb. Do a search. He mentioned Champagne Mouton in a post about broadband around October 22nd.

Will do, thanks again David.


no they did not unfortunately. We have a licence through my wife who is part of our pet sitting business also and while I do not need to as we have licence I am taking a much longer route to get my certificate. (about another year which include visits and lots of verbal questions. )

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It would be helpful if you could give us the link to the Site which deals with the Animal Courses…

Your wife took one course… and you are going to take another, longer course… so both sets of info would be interesting…


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yes I sent it to her already with the pole emploi link.

I am working through a vet related course which is 3 years. That is all down to school work lots of verbal stuff and with our vets.

The other course is just ask pole emploi for the Certificate de capacity local provider. it varies area to area.

Hello Harry
Sorry but there is a little something I am not sure about. You did say in an earlier post on this subject that you and your wife have a certificate of capacity for dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits etc;
Now I see that you say you are talking about a longer route to get your certificate. I am totally confused as to what certificate you are now talking about.
To be honest does one really need a certificate for rabbits?
I did think that for horses one had to pass by the Ministry of Agricultre, and maybe Centre d’equitation/Harras, not at all to be confused with ‘small animals’. If it’s confusing for me, and I do speak and understand French, then how can others cope with this.
Not to be rude but you have said that you have dyslexia, how on earth then do you cope with all the work involved ?

Hi Ann,
Thank you for your input. I was just wondering if you had any advice for me on the subject? You mentioned the Ministry of Agriculture and Centre d’equitation which would seem to be more relevant to what I am hoping to do. In fact, before Harry mentioned the certificate he had to obtain, I was thinking more along these lines.
I know a bit about the ‘Galop’ qualifications, which I know you need if you want to compete, etc, is this the same sort of thing? Any further advice greatly appreciated.

You actually need a certificate of capacity for most animal care (Domestic animals, rabbits hamsters ferrets etc.)

The certificate is a proof yu are aware of how to handle and care for animals and while often OTT it is a legal requirement here in france for anyone (even old businesses going for 20 years to hold one of these.

What I am doing personally is more of a shut up to those minority of people who chose to call me arrogant for using my wifes certificate, what they fail to see is that when doing written work especially in a different language I find that after a period of 10 to 15 minutes that I am unable to function. I often make mistakes such as referring to this year or last year or next year. (which I was recently pulled up on by another member)

This is the one im working on: started this year 2017.

Let me put up a few links to other info:

Non domestic:

You can also get info from for local contacts for your local office.


I don’t cope that is why I am doing what takes other max of 5 days over a 3 year course.

Its a bloody long winded process and as to your other question over why one would need to have a certificate of capacity for all animals I cannot answer that and as for horses, if you were doing sday a riding school you dont need one but if you are looking after peoples horses like a pension for horses or even pet sitting yes you do. In reality even pet sitters who pet sit for you at home are actually required to hold a certificate but only 1 pet sitter I know actually holds one.

Its actually a rather sore subject on the point that many places operate without a certificate.

Hope that answers a few questions. had to make many edits to get this looking good so I am off for the night (well off to look after my paying customers for their final business before bed time)