Christmas Gift Guide 2023

Christmas gift ideas! Need a little inspiration? Look no further…

💫 The Bison Deluxe Barbier dressage saddle. Elegant, comfortable, and designed for the maximum connection between you and your horse. The Cadillac of Saddles.

💫 An Intensive at Barbier Farm. Come solo, or bring your own horse for even more of an impact on your riding! Choose your duration of stay to fit your needs and ride twice daily with Dominique!

💫 Breeding to one of the marvelous Lusitano stallions standing at stud for a top quality foal of your own! Take advantage of Debra’s breeding passion and expertise, coupled with the very best bloodlines. (Pictured here, Larapio DB, bred by Debra Barbier; sired by her stallion Bailado do TOP, standing at stud at Barbier Farm).

💫 Sketches of the Equestrian Art by Dominique Barbier and Jean-Louis Sauvat. Ideal gift for someone who appreciates art, even if they are not so equine-inclined. Beautiful sketches by Sauvat that demonstrate the training progression, as described by Dominique.

💫 Meditation for Two: another work of art that will inspire even those who do not ride. A book of beautiful photographs and musings dedicated to the horse and to the essence of the equestrian art.

💫 A trip to Barbier Farm for symposium! Join us and make new friends in a whirlwind weekend of learning, dancing with horses, and a fabulous catered dinner in the barn (with wine grown from the farm’s vineyard)

💫 The Alchemy of Lightness: What happens at the molecular level to help horse and rider achieve maximum connection by Dominique Barbier and Maria Katsamanis. The title says it all.

💫 Antique prints curated by Dominique! Limited collection still available.

💫 A Lusitano of your own! Join Debra and Dominique in Brazil to visit the best breeding farms. Enjoy the hospitality, scenery, and the horses to bring home your dream partner.

Thoughts from a working student

The following essay is written by Ashia Sanders, the current Barbier Farm working student

It’s been nearly four months since I arrived at Barbier Farms as a working student. I will stay for another two months before heading back home to Canada and I hope that those two months move slowly. I am writing this review with an immense amount of gratitude towards the Barbier family and team, who have graciously shared their home, their horses and their knowledge with me.

Ashia and school horse, Romeo, moving together in lightness

I have done two other working student positions, both at Olympic-level barns in Europe. They are what you expect in a working student position: full days of cleaning stalls, feeding, blanketing, turning in and out, hand-walking, grooming, preparing horses for riders, etc. Maybe once or twice a week you receive a lesson, if there is time after the day is finished and if a horse is available. These positions were valuable as they created international connections and prepared one for a stable hand or groom position – but your skills as a rider are secondary.

working in hand with Romeo

Barbier Farm is different. The focus here is truly on you as a rider – and the art of riding and working horses in the classical style. Every day involves riding, lunging, working in hand, watching other riders, reading, and discussion. What an honour to receive (beginning on the very first day) such respect, dedication, and commitment to my development as a rider. The horses, the farm, the team – words can’t describe how wonderful the experience is. I will be leaving Barbier Farm with a profound change in my understanding of the relationship we, as riders, share with horses and a passion to continue the study of this art for the rest of my life.


Barbier Farm has an upcoming opening for a working student. Send your resume to Debra Barbier at to apply.

For more details on the program, visit our Working Student page.

Reminiscing of Portugal

All photos courtesy of Keron Psillas from previous trips to Portugal
article by Katherine Howard

Portugal has always been a traveler’s delight, offering a perfect blend of rich history, stunning landscapes, and warm hospitality. For the equestrian traveler, the National Horse Fair in Golegã stands out as a true celebration of equestrian culture and is not to be missed.

Every November, Golegã transforms into a captivating spectacle during the National Horse Fair, or Feira Nacional do Cavalo. This event, dating back over 400 years ago, is a celebration of Lusitano horses in all their glory.

Stepping onto the cobblestone streets marks your travel back in time; you will pass by riders sitting on their horses outside of the bar, elegant fur-lined capes and hats that pay homage to when fashion and class went hand-in-hand.

Horses are everywhere. I remember watching a child who could not have been more than ten years old executing flying changes to canter pirouettes over and over in the middle of the track around the arena. He looked like a bullfighter, only his stirrups hardly reached down his horses sides. Nobody paid him much attention, as antics such as these are normal.

During our time at the fair I witnessed the Portuguese School of Equestrian Art perform, a performance by the daughters and granddaughter of Luis Valenca, along with an appearance by M. Valenca himself, working equitation competitions, riders in bullfighting getup, Dany LaHaye work her horse (while we dined above the arena in true luxury), driving competitions, and so many beautiful (and maybe some slightly less beautiful but no less loved) horses.

And when you (or more likely your travelling companion who is not as equine-enthused as you) tire of watching the endless Lusitanos from backyard to ridden by Manuel Veiga himself, you can visit the artisan tradestalls, shop for beautiful handmade tack, and sample traditional Portuguese delicacies that will have you considering permanent relocation. Believe me when I say that you will be extremely well-fed on this trip.

In Europe, anyone who is anyone to be associated with Lusitanos shows their face at Golegã, and the chance to delve in with someone like Dominique who was so deeply impacted by his time there is one that you should be chomping at the bit for (forgive the horse pun, it could not be helped).

Whether you’re captivated by the equestrian world or simply seeking a unique cultural experience, Golegã promises to leave an indelible mark.

Dominique and Debra will be back this fall in Portugal, and you are invited to join in the fun!
Take a look at our Equestrian Tours page for more information – keep in mind that deposits made before August 15 will receive a discount!

Special Equestrian Tour to Spain this Summer!

Join Debra and Dominique at the end of June for what is sure to be an unforgettable experience in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain.

The highlight of the trip is a special anniversary performance featuring all four of the equestrian schools:
Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art
Cadre Noir
Spanish Riding School
Portuguese School of Equestrian Art

AND presenting a new fifth school, Abu Dhabi Royal Equestrian Art (ADREA), that will be performing for the first time!

When traveling with the Barbiers, you are sure to travel in style; luxury accommodations, fantastic food and wine, and will see the best the country has to offer in terms of equestrian attractions. Debra and Dominique have already put together a list of excursions that are sure to delight, from flamenco dancing and sherry cave tours to Carthusian Horse Tours and Alvaro Domecq horses and Brave Bulls in Freedom.

Join us! Trip dates are June 28 – July 6.

Email Debra Barbier at and reserve your place!

Trip prices – includes hotel, transport once in Spain and all attractions. Travelers will be responsible for lunches, dinners, and airfare to and from Spain. 

Single occupancy $US5700

Double occupancy $US4900