Summer round-up and some BIG NEWS!

It’s been a very busy summer for Debra and I.  This post is a sort of round-up of all the activities and a look ahead for the fall and winter.

I’m very happy to announce that Meditation for Two, my book with Keron Psillas, will be published in Switzerland and Germany, and then in Brazil!  I’ll post the information on this blog when the German and Portuguese language copies are available.

This past weekend we hosted a clinic at our home in Healdsburg.  It was a resounding success.  We had 30+ participants (riders and auditors) and three days of lessons, lectures, and great food. There were 35 for dinner on Saturday night and a great time was had by all!  What made the clinic such a success was this: all the participants were open and engaged.  What I mean is that we were able to discuss the deepest meaning of riding and how it impacts our lives and our horse’s lives along with all the steps, how-to’s, and discussion of technique.  We had participants aged 10 to 85 and in many ways, the youngest and the eldest were the most receptive.  It was a magical time.  I hope you’ll make plans now to join us in January (the 14th thru the 16th) for the next clinic here at home.  There are limited spaces so sign up early by sending an email to Debra to reserve your spot. (Barbierfarm at

Prior to the clinic at home I made a tour of the US with stops in Virginia, Florida, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Illinois. Ridiculously hot weather was the common denominator, but happy horses and riders was a close second.  It was great to be back in Virginia at Classicus after  a long hiatus, and it was good to see regular students progressing at all the other stops.  Keep up the good work! Congratulations are in order for the group at Jill McCrae’s farm in Grayslake, Illinois.  They performed a great show in late July. It had to have been pretty spectacular to see all the Lusitanos with their riders in costume.   We had a visit at Jill’s from Nancy at The Royal Lusitano with news of Larapio’s babies growing up and into their personalities! Best of luck to all the group for the World Equestrian Games appearances.

In early September I’ll be traveling to New Mexico for TWO clinics around Santa Fe with Ginger Gaffney and Lynn Clifford.  You can see all the contact info on the clinics page.  There are a very few spots left, but plenty of room for auditors. I hope you’ll join us if you are in the area….and tell your friends, too.  Then I’m off to New Jersey to Castlegate Farm.  Nancy Clark tells me that her new horse, Ataualpa has adjusted nicely to life in New Jersey (he hasn’t seen snow yet….).  And then after that, I am in Germany, Switzerland and Greece for a series of clinics.  This past July, we had a great clinic near Munich that was hosted by my German editor and publisher, Isabella Sonntag, and I am looking forward to returning to see those students and some new ones!  Then I travel north of Kiel (in the heart of Schleswig-Holstein)  to conduct a clinic for Caroline Hatlapa at the Herrenhaus Borghorst.  Caroline was my hostess in June when I delivered the Meditation For Two lecture to a very lively audience.  I’m happy to be headed back there to teach and to see many of the people I met in June.  I’m working on a few other clinics for October in Germany and Switzerland and will post the details here as soon as they are available.  Then I’m off to Greece!  This will be my first visit to the land of Xenophon and I am really excited.

I realize this post is rather long….but there is MORE BIG NEWS!!!  Debra and I will be leading a trip to Brazil in late November.  Reserve your spot now as we are bound to fill up very very quickly. Brazilian hospitality, delicious food, and of course, spectacular Lusitanos will create a once in a lifetime experience.  We’ve been doing this for many years now and because we have longstanding relationships with the finest breeders we can show you the best horses to suit your needs.  Debra and I will be your guides, whether you are looking for your perfect equestrian partner or the perfect equestrian vacation.  All the details will be available this weekend on the blog.

Here’s a gallery of images (courtesy of Keron) from a number of the clinics this summer and the clinic here at home this past weekend.  Enjoy! And check out Keron’s article in Doma Clasica (a Spanish magazine dedicated to the Equestrian Art).

Let us hear from you, and please, share the blog with friends.  We are gearing up for a tremendous announcement and we want as many dedicated equestrians involved as possible!


Dominique and Debra

Expo, Sao Paolo, the missing post

I had forgotten to post anything about the 23rd Annual ABPSL Lusitano Expo in Sao Paolo, so here it is!

After all the excitement of the Auction at Coudelaria Ihla Verde, visiting the farms to scout and ride horses, and the training and fun of our clinic at Manege Sant Adelaide, we were all ready to unwind and sit back and watch other horses and riders. There were many beautiful horses to see, performances to watch, and friends to greet ….. (and caipirinhas to be enjoyed.)

Four days of non-stop activity culminated in the awards for Champion Stallion and Champion Mare.  This year, from all the wonderful horses in the competitions, Jose Francisco Brito Eusebio took the Champion of Champions awards for both Stallion and Mare.  In the competition for Champion Stallion, both qualifiers, Xeque Mate de Top and Xama do Top,  were bred by our friend Tonico Pereira from Japu Top. Congratulations to Mr. Eusebio, his family, and his entire team,  and to Tonico and Tatiana and all the wonderful people at Japu Top!

The exposition is designed to show the beauty, breeding, and versatility of the Lusitano horse.  We were treated to a CDI*** Dressage competition with several of the Brazilian Olympic Team 2008 riders and their mounts with Axel Steiner among the judges. We watched working equitation (including the world champion rider) and saw many of the breeding classes.  It’s a great way to train the eye for seeing strengths and weaknesses in confirmation.  Of course we are looking at the best of the best, so it becomes more challenging to pick up a weakness.

I was able to reconnect with my friend Beatrice Bulteau and was presented with one of her fantastic drawings.  Check out her site, you will be amazed at the beauty and artistic sensibility.

I must say thank you, again, to our wonderful hosts in Sao Paolo: Haras Juliana, Japu Top, Rocas do Vouga, Coudelaria Ihla Verde, Coudelaria de Castanheiro, Interagro, and Manege Sant Adelaide.  We look forward to seeing you (and all the horses) in late November.

I have just finished a clinic in Indianapolis and am on my way to Springfield, Illinois, via Florida.  Check the clinic schedule for all the upcoming dates.  I’ll be back on the blog in a few days with a report from my clinic in Virginia at Classicus Farm and from Connecticut with my friends John Hurst and Rich and Kathy Buck.

There are still a few (Really…. a very few…) spaces available for the August clinic at home in Healdsburg.  Call Debra for information! 707-696-2828