The sun is playing hide and seek with us, but I am happy to be home in California after a stretch of good clinics.  The wisteria is blooming and the buds are turning to leaves on the grapevines.

I had the great pleasure to work with some marvelous horses over the last 2 weeks and to talk with friends and clients about our plans for the rest of the year. As always, it is going to be a busy time, with clinics around the country and in Europe and Brazil.

But first, a recap of my clinics…. At one of my favorite clinic locations, Jill MacCrae’s farm near Chicago, we rode outside on Friday in gorgeous sunshine and warmth and then the next day we woke up to 6 inches of snow, but the chill was replaced by the warmth of the participants. All the Lusitanos AND non-Lusitanos were very very good.  In New Jersey, it was my great pleasure to see Quitaro do Top back in work after four, yes FOUR colic surgeries.  He is in fine form and happy, largely due to the efforts of his “Mom”, Nancy Clark at Castlegate Farm.  I rode Tzigano Dos Pinhais, owned by Paul Galisin, and had as always a great time.  Tzigano is a wonderful boy….even after a long quiet winter he is ready to work and happily willing.  Lesley Pettneati’s lovely Trakehner mare performed beautifully.  I must thank my friend Gary Maholic…riding his Belgian Warmblood reminded me that even the big big fellows can have a delicate, glorious, light piaffe.  My stop at Dan Rosenthal and Ann West’s Green Gallery Farm is such a great pleasure as I have five Lusitanos waiting for me there including Quemetico do Top, Orador Interagro, Marques do Retiro, and Osado (Coimbra). My only complaint, it was too short. I finished the trip with a stop at Melinda D’Amico’s (Paz Apparel founder along with her husband Dan Fries) place to ride my old friend Orador.  He is such a gentleman and a great pleasure to work with.  We finished the lessons with Orador and Melinda performing perfect pirouettes!  Thank you ALL for a great clinic series.

In May, we will be back in Brazil for the 13th International Lus0-Brasileiro Auction at my friend Victor Oliva’s Coudelaria Ihla Verde….and then on to the International Lusitano Exposition.  We will be holding a three day clinic at Manege Sant’Adelaide and riding the wonderful horses of Davi Carrano. You can see all those details on the Brazil Trip page on this blog.  It is not too late to make your plans to be with us for this very exciting trip.  In many ways it is the best trip of the year to Brazil as it combines the farm visits with the chance to experience Brazilian culture on many levels…but always in great comfort and with the hospitality the Brazilians are known for.

Before Brazil though I will be in Zurich, Switzerland for a clinic, then Dayton, Ohio for a new clinic location in the US, then New Jersey for a private clinic before taking off for Brazil.  You can see all the dates and contact info for the clinics on our Facebook Page/Profile (search Barbier Farm if we are not already Facebook friends.)

It has been the custom for many years that students come to Barbier Farms to spend a week to work intensively.  In the past we have scheduled for individuals around the times that I am at home so that Debra and I can teach together.  We are changing this.  Moving forward, beginning in the fall, we will have specific times that you are invited to come to ride with us, to ride the horses in our barn, and to audit all the lessons that go on through the day.  Later this week, on this blog I will outline the program for you.  We would love to have you join us.  As spaces will be very limited, we will encourage you to reserve your spot early.  In addition to riding and riding and riding on fantastic Lusitano stallions we’ll have some special meals and opportunities to visit the wineries and see the sites around Sonoma and Napa.  Details to come.

Debra and I wish you all a Happy Easter ~ Joyeuses Paques!