January Symposium Report….other announcements!

The January Symposium was another great success in a string of wonderful events! We had participants from three continents and seven countries…all keenly interested in taking away a deeper understanding of enlightened horsemanship based in classical principles. We had wide-ranging discussions about choosing and beginning the training of a young horse, the classical description and application of Le Ramener, Le Rassembler, and lightness, and how to create positive change for horses in the face of many competing motivations in their training.

We had a very special visitor with us this time: Jolanda Ellenberger, award-winning writer and director of short films was here with her crew to film for several days. Debra and I met Jolanda in Switzerland last year at my clinic sponsored by Sandro Huerzeler near Bern. The quality of her work is wonderful, and the compassion for the horse is immediately felt. She hopes to debut the current film in Monaco next year. We’ll all be anxious to see the end product so stay tuned for details and announcements here! Here’s a small gallery of images from the Symposium. Enjoy!

Debra and I are very happy to announce that in addition to our Annual Expo trip to Brasil in May (see all the details on the tab above!), we are going to PARIS for the Exposition of the Four Classical Riding Schools at Bercy! We’ll be announcing the exact dates, but plan on ten days beginning October 1. Our trip to see the first ever performance of the Four Schools together in 2007 was a tremendous success.  We’ll return to a few of the places we visited, including Chantilly and several of the Equestrian theater productions….but we’ll have a few surprises too, including a trip to the Camargue in the South of France! We’ll be posting all the details very soon…..so keep an eye on the blog and in your email for the full itinerary.

And finally….but perhaps most important….the next symposium will be July 13, 14, & 15. As the event will be held over the Bastille Day weekend, we’ll have a decidedly French flair in everything we do! Join us for the three days of learning, fun, and fabulous food. We’ll be in the barn on Saturday night for an Equestrian Spectacle and French cuisine!  Mark your calendar and click on the tab above to reserve your spot! Bring some guests for Saturday night….and sign up early! It’s going to be a magical evening.

Amities, Dominique

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 aol.com)

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

Brazil trip report, part 1

Debra and I have just returned from a fantastic trip to Brazil.  We had so many wonderful things happening and we are very excited to give you this news….

We had a great start to our project with Mr. Jose Martins and Tribuna Lusitana. Tribuna Lusitana is an online TV show about Lusitano horses featuring interviews about the equestrian art and Lusitano breeding. It is now seen in 54 countries and receives more than 600 visits per day with that number growing daily and is already a Lusitano horse world reference.  Tribuna Lusitana highlights the well-being of the horse and how we should act to achieve it.  During our visit, we filmed three interviews that combine the history of classical horsemanship, the philosophy behind my teaching with respect to the Masters that have come before, and practical tips for starting your horse correctly, simplifying the work in hand technique, and lungeing.  It was a great pleasure to talk with Mr. Martins and expand our conversation to include some reminiscing about former riding Masters, including the Mestre Nuno Oliviera, and our mutual experiences with the heritage of classical riding in Portugal. I look forward to returning very soon.

Check back soon as we will be adding photos from our stay at Mr. Martins home, our clinic at the home of Mr. & Mrs. Tonico Pereira, and the fantastic reception that we had for the clinic and presentation at Manege Sant’Adelaide, featuring Dr. Gerd Heuschmann.  It was a very full 10 days!