Quarantine – 19th Century style

La Cabane (the Old Barn field) 

This evening the sun came out after the showers of the afternoon, so I disregarded all the 101 things I should be doing and went instead for a walk over to the Old Barn field: ‘La Cabane’

Heading out through the archway:


I took the long gangway which leads directly to La Cabane, a secluded place right at the end of this track:


I didn’t want to disturb the mares and foals who are grazing over there. Horses don’t like visitors to their fields in the evening, when the light is fading and the ancient fear of predators overrides any recognition that it might be only me. So I turned left halfway along the track and walked up through La Chêne (the Oak tree field), adjacent to our neighbour’s arable farm, to a vantage point where I could see the old barn but remain unseen myself. You could see the almost full moon already high in the sky:

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La cabane is in a quiet sheltered place used in previous centuries for quarantining poorly horses and nursing them back to health in peace and quiet:


I wondered if any of the lads in this early 20th century picture of the Haras cared for any of their thoroughbred equine aristocrats in this tranquil place of splendid isolation? I can imagine them leading them mournfully down the gangway when they were ill and leading them back when they  were recovered. Then , as now,  it’s natural to get attached to our equine friends who share our lives on a daily basis.

Early 20th century Carte postale Haras du Gazon