Thirteenth Classical Series Symposium!

Thirteenth Classical Series Symposium!

The dates are set! The reservations are pouring in…make your plans now! Harvest time is super busy here in Sonoma Valley, but it is also a beautiful time of year to visit. Click on the tab above for the Symposium October 2016 for all the details.  Stay tuned to the blog for announcements about the Saturday night entertainment, reception, and dinner. Dancing Horse Events will be catering again (always delicious) and we’ll have a special guest for entertainment, along with the horses and riders of Barbier Farm. As always, feel free to write with any questions. ( barbierfarm @ )


©Keron Psillas

Time of Thanksgiving

Here is our latest email blast. Have a look….and click on all the tabs above to discover what is new here at Barbier Farms. Debra and I are back from a wonderful, though rainy, trip to Portugal to attend the Lusitano Fair at Golegã. The rain kept everyone a little wet around the edges but did not dampen our spirits. It was wonderful to see friends…all a little older (aren’t we all?) but enjoying life with the Lusitano. Debra and I hope you will join us next time for all the fun and gorgeous horses!

Remember, the February Symposium will be here before we know it! We’ll take a little time off for family celebrations over the Holidays, but will be back at work preparing for the 10th Classical Series Symposium. It will be the most rewarding event yet! Click on the tab above to register.

Finally, there is still time to order your Saddle at the 2014 price. We haven’t changed our price for years, but we’ll be forced to do just that in the New Year….so don’t delay! Contact Debra to have your dream saddle arrive! (


Capaz do Mito

We are busy preparing for a scouting trip to Brasil, but thought we would share some images of our latest arrival: Capaz do Mito. From the moment Capaz walked into the barn he was at home and at ease.  He is super easy to work with, has a very kind demeanor, and is progressing in a very quick way. Now that I think of it, we must replace the “to work with” to a more appropriate “to play with”.

If you haven’t already, make your plans to come to Barbier Farms for the September/October Symposium. From September 30 through October 2, we will offer the third in a series of events designed to answer all your questions about enlightened Classical Dressage, show you stunning horses with correct movements, and teach riders and horses of all levels with plenty of question and answer time. Contact Debra for further information and click on the links for the Symposium and the California A’ La Barbier Week at the top of the page. Join us!  All the other events were great successes, each building on the other.  This promises to be the best of all.

Amities,  Dominique and Debra

A new Brazil trip and a "hold the date" announcement!

Debra and I are pleased to announce that we will be offering another clinic in Healdsburg from January 14th thru the 16th.  Our event in August was so well received, and sold out, so it’s time to plan the next!

There will be a particular emphasis this time on greater interaction with the auditors, opportunities for auditors to experience the work-in-hand techniques, more question and answer periods and a greater audio visual component. In other words, we want EVERYONE involved!  Send us an email right way to reserve your spot.  Many seats are already taken.  ( ).

And….coming up even sooner, we are returning to Brazil in late November.  We will depart the U. S. on the 26th of November and return on the 4th or 5th of December, whichever your commitments allow.  We will have a full three day clinic at the beginning of the trip on highly schooled horses in a beautiful setting, and then we will spend the next five days visiting the spectacular Lusitano horse farms.  You will have the opportunity to ride horse after horse, according to your ability and interest.  You will learn a great deal about the breed, see the finest the farms have to offer (only the most spectacular horses in the world) and enjoy a warm welcome of legendary Brazilian hospitality at each of the farms we visit.  Please contact us via email or phone (707-696-2828).  This way, Debra and I can be thinking of which farms to visit to show you horses that are most appropriate to your needs.  As readers of this blog will know, Debra and I visit many of the farms several times a year to follow the training progress of literally hundreds of horses.  We are confident that we can find your perfect horse.   For non-buyers, this trip will educate and enlighten riders at any level.  The temperament and functionality of the Lusitano breed make them the ideal horse with which to further your riding skills.

Click on the TAB above for NOVEMBER BRAZIL TRIP DETAILS! Here is a small gallery of images by Keron Psillas from our last trip and the clinic in August.  Then, for more images….simply scroll down the page.  You’ll see what a great time we have!

Amities….   Dominique and Debra Barbier

A trip report from Germany and some news from home

I’ve just returned from a trip to Europe to teach and to lecture.  I was invited to give a lecture at the Herrenhaus Borghorst by the kind invitation of Caroline Hatlapa. The hospitality was tremendous, the setting magical, and the guests intensely interested in riding in lightness.  I presented a lecture with a multi-media component and lots of question and answer time.  We had great discussions, open and direct, about true classical equitation, systematic training, and the need to ride with more compassion and care for the horses…..especially in a competition setting.

It was my pleasure to observe many fine riders and horses during the two day clinic that my friend Gerd offered at Borghorst.  As we were in the state of Schleswig-Holstein, there were marvelous warmbloods, BIG HORSES, in the clinic. Thank you, to Caroline and Helena Hatlapa, Maike Theiler and Dr. Gerd and Johanna Heuschmann for such a memorable visit to the north of Germany.  I am delighted to tell you that I’ll be offering a clinic at  the Borghorst later in the year, with full details soon on this blog and on the website and facebook clinic schedules.

Following my visit with Caroline and her daughter Helena, I went to Munich to give a clinic to a great group of riders assembled by my friend Isabella Sonntag. Isabella is the founder of Wu Wei Verlag and publisher of my latest book in German, Wege zur Leichtigkeit in der Klassischen Dressur.  Everywhere I go in Germany I am greeted by students that are absolutely hungry for a new way of riding and communicating with their horses.  I am deeply encouraged by this and hope to see this desire flooding into the competition world.  It gives me hope that we will all develop deeper compassion for our horses, our partners.  I’ll be back in Munich teaching in late September (around the 24th) and will post more info next week.  Thank you, to Isabella and Christina, and to all your team for a great clinic.

Immediately prior to my trip to Germany, I was with all my Chicago friends at Jill McCrae’s farm in Grayslake. It is such a pleasure to see all of the horses progressing so well.  At the end of the clinic I was treated to an advance performance of their upcoming Elegance on Horseback event.  Jill, Georgette, Betheny, and all their students love to ride and perform in costume on their wonderful Lusitanos.  If you are in the Chicago area, go check it out!  Thank you, Jill and Jeff, and all my friends for another great weekend…..and to Zorro the baby raccoon for all the entertainment…..see you in August!