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! (barbierfarm@aol.com)


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.  ( Barbierfarm@aol.com ).

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!

Brazil trip report, May 2010, Part 1

We have just returned from a great trip to Brazil.  We visited the farms, rode many many wonderful horses, saw old friends, made new friends, and enjoyed the best of Brazilian hospitality wherever we went.  Before I go any further I want to thank our dear friend Davi Carrano from Manege Sant Adelaide for all his hard work and organization. The success of the trip was largely due to Davi’s care and hospitality. I want to congratulate the proud new owners of some fantastic Lusitanos: Scott and Pam will be welcoming home Veneno, a Prix St. Georges stallion, and the lovely Bella, Laura will be ecstatic to meet Zaire, and Nancy will be reunited with Ataualpa, a fabulous young Interagro stallion!  All the pictures are in the gallery below.

This year’s auction was surprising.  The quality of the horses, as always, was top notch.  So one would expect that with the global interest in the Lusitano as the perfect dressage mount the prices would reflect the quality.  Sadly, this was not always the case…..but we were very happy to be able to find great bargains for our clients.  The event was certainly a success, with beautiful horses, plentiful champagne, the suspense of the bidding….and the movie stars and dignitaries arriving by helicopter adding a little extra excitement to the festivities.  Congratulations and gratitude to Victor Oliva and all the team at Coudelaria Ihla Verde for another fantastic event!

I’ll continue the Brazil trip report in just a few days, but there is other news looking ahead:

There are new clinic dates in the calendar including a return to Virginia in July to give a clinic at Linda Bertschinger’s Classicus.  Join us for a great clinic in a beautiful spot in the Shenandoah Valley.  There are spots available for the clinic here at home in Healdsburg in late August.  Reserve your spot now as they won’t last long.  This is your best opportunity to ride intensively, on advanced horses, and study with both Dominique and Debra.  You’ll be in Healdsburg for the very beginning of the grape harvest and can enjoy all the region has to offer at this special time. Contact us for all the information.

In less than two weeks I will begin another long trip that will find me teaching in New Jersey at Nancy Clark’s Castlegate Farm, in Chicago at Jill MacCrae’s farm, and then to Germany to offer a lecture (in a castle near Hamburg!) prior to a clinic with my friend Gerd Heuschmann, and then a clinic near Munich the following week. I offer my thanks to Isabella Sonntag and to Gerd for their enthusiasm and the organization of these two events.

Enjoy the photos…there are many more to come from the trip.  Share the blog with friends, please.  There are great topics coming up, including a report on my saddles by Dr. Solange Mikhail, DVM, MS,  using thermographic imaging to expose potential problems (or, in our case, the amazing balance and quality of the saddle).

Amities  ~ D Barbier