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The Transhumance

Each year in June herds of Merens and other livestock are taken up to pastures high up in the Pyrenees for summer grazing or ‘estives’. The transhumance, as this is known, takes place over three days. Starting at the village at the furthest point, horses are collected from village to village as they make their way up the mountain tracks. By the time the highest village is reached the herd can hold up to five hundred horses and sheep.

 

The horses are then released into the mountains for the summer where it is said, they learn their surefootedness and thus ensuring they keep their hardiness and true nature. In October they are then rounded up and taken back down to their respective homes. It is said that the only true Merens are ones that have spent at least one summer at the estives.

 

Holidays can be taken accompanying the transhumance.