Riders from Europe, Canada, Great Britain and the US gathered in Healdsburg for our twelfth symposium. Though we had a bit of rain on Friday, the weather cleared and gave us beautiful California sunshine for the rest of the weekend.
We had good questions from the young riders, reinforcing our commitment to education. People want to know what good riding, what good partnership means. People want to know how to ride with compassion, with sustainable methods, with enlightenment and honor. This tells me that we are following the correct path for our students, for our horses, and for the people who want to find a better way to BE with their equestrian partners.
Our overall feeling that everyone wants to know more about the role of the horse in our growth and compassion was reinforced. They are seeking a greater understanding of partnership and relationship, as well as the relationship between the mental and spiritual connection that our horses offer us.
Of course we had fabulous food from Dancing Horse Vineyard Catering! Thank you, Tianna! Marvelous music from Ramana Vieira…took us right back to Portugal. And as always, a huge thank you to Debra and her tremendous staff in the barn for the organization and work to make it all happen so beautifully!
Join us next time for the fun, for the learning, and for the camaraderie. It’s a wonderful event filled with insights and revelations…with the added gift of our magical Lusitanos.
Coming up soon: A new clinic in Germany! I’ll be in Toppenstedt, GERMANY, with Mr. Heiner Putensen contact: phone +494173500144, email: email@example.com on March 11, 12 & 13. I’ll be offering a lecture (on the morning of Friday March 11) in addition to the clinic which will give all new attendees a deeper understanding of the methods and philosophy that have guided me this last 40 years. There is still space available for a rider and of course space for auditors! I hope to see you there! Check the clinic schedule tab above for all the latest dates.
Thank you to Staci for the photos!
We are thrilled to let you know that Ramana Vieira, internationally recognized vocalist, will be joining us Saturday night. She’ll enchant us with her interpretations of her favorite Fados. You don’t want to miss this….and bring a friend! There are auditor and guest spots still available. Click on the February Symposium tab above to reserve your spot. See you soon!
Hurry! There’s less than 24 hours left to get a fantastic rate at the Dry Creek Inn, Healdsburg. They’ve extended their great pricing to us until midnight tonight, Pacific Time. Click on the Symposium tab above for all the information. And don’t forget to ask for the Barbier Farm rate! Here’s the number: 1-800-222-5784 or 707-433-0300
Topics for the 12th Classical Series Symposium include:
~When does a horse ‘give’ his back
~All the steps in canter from starting the young horse to pirouettes
~Are you imparting your psychological stress to your horse?
~Understanding the Barbier Extreme Shoulder-In
Reception and Dinner on Saturday the 20th…in the barn, weather permitting. Don’t miss this great event!
Our intention has always been to create a transformative experience for horse and rider during clinics or the Symposium here at Barbier Farm. We are happy to have this proof of what we know happens here…. Join us for our next event in February 2016. Click the link above!
~Amities, Dominique and Debra
At his clinics Dominique Barbier shares his insights and examples of enlightened horsemanship in a format and learning environment designed for seeking and discovery. The symposiums are set apart by their complement of riding clinic and lectures on diverse topics, with abundant space for questions and answers. A light happy horse in constant partnership and communication with its rider is the goal of this training and what you will likely observe in the clinic portion, where horses from all walks of life perform exceptionally and in relaxation. As a participant in one of the symposiums, I found that Dominique’s expansive response to a single question about my horse’s behavior led to a lasting change in my relationship with that horse, from one of mutual inattention and mistrust to one of quiet confident partnership. Another participant, who rode in the symposium on a Barbier Farm Lusitano, was so moved by the stallion’s generosity that at the close of his ride he was brought literally to tears, and the entire audience with him. This is classical training that synthesizes the theoretical, practical, and empathic, a unique experience that can be truly transformative. Not to be missed.” ~ Jane Otto, New Jersey
We’ve finished our TENTH Symposium, and though I’ve said it before, they just keep getting better! Here is the announcement for the 11th Classical Series Symposium, this September in Healdsburg. Dates are blocked at the Dry Creek Inn for the best possible rates…..Rooms are limited so call soon! All the information is on the Symposium tab above. Debra and I and all the team will be looking forward to welcoming you to Barbier Farm!
The horse in the photo below is Raja (MAC), whom I visited at Torres Vaz Freire, the breeding farm of Mr. Carlos and Mr. Marco Torres in the Alentejo region of Portugal. Raja is a Larapio son and has the most horses in the Lusitano studbook in Portugal with gold medals and scores over 80%. You can see the refinement passed on by Larapio in this beautiful portrait.
We’ll have a full Symposium report up in the coming days. Some other important dates to keep in mind:
Brasil trip with Auction, May 21 – 31, and our trip to Golegã, Portugal, November 9 – 19. Click on the tabs above for full information.
~ Amities, Dominique
I am very sad to note the passing of one of the best ecuyers of our time. Mr. Michel Henriquet died December 8, at home in France. Debra and I extend sincere condolences to Catherine.
Michel was not only a refined rider, he was a great teacher. He was the author of many books on French Classical dressage and was an early promoter of the Lusitano in France.
After being a student for many years of Mestre Nuno Oliveira, he went on to coach his wife, Catherine Durand, and achieved some success in using and adapting classical methods in competition.
Michel and Mestre Oliveira exchanged letters for years about l’art equestre. Those letters, along with Michel’s diaries, create a day-to-day peek into the life and practice of the great teacher and an accomplished student who would become a master. He was part of an era when many disciples were passionate about the art and exchanged letters, experiences, techniques and books. Along with Dom Diogo de Bragança, Professor Da Costa, Dr. Borba and Monsieur Baccarat (who translated the Mestre’s first book) they were the core of the students who would follow the teachings of Mestre Oliveira and take that knowledge to their students via their riding practice and the books they would write. It is, sadly, the end of an era. There are very few original students left.
Sometimes I have a great deal of nostalgia (saudades, longing) for this time.
Looking ahead, as we must and as it is all we can do, we see the art of riding becoming less physical and more mental. Riders are slowly becoming more conscious of the well-being of their partners and because of this we are making some progress in the right direction.
With gratitude for all the Masters gave us in the example of their finesse and dedication to l’art equestre, we look to the New Year with renewed commitment to the health and happiness of our equine partners. Let us always have in mind these four questions when we are working with our horses:
Are we being compassionate?
Is our practice sustainable?
Is our practice honorable?
And is our practice enlightened?
Amities, and Best Wishes for a Healthy and Happy New Year!
Dominique and Debra Barbier