Keron has just launched a funding initiative on Kickstarter and with just two days in has received enormous support. We are proud and happy for her success! Take a moment and visit her site, and please, share with friends. Though the work is unrelated to horses, it is filled with compassion, integrity, and an enlightened understanding of how we might dispel darkness.
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
Is our practice sustainable?
Is our practice honorable?
I’ve been meaning to post this lovely email that we received for Alchemy. Better late than never, right? (I’ve blocked Linda’s email address for her privacy.) We really appreciate the email, Linda!
I am a rider from Holland and I just want to send you a message to thank you for having written the book ‘The alchemy of lightness’!
We are pleased to repost this review from horse-journal.com. Thank you to Karen Havis for the review and to all the readers who have made this book so popular! And a special thanks to Trafalgar Square, Horse and Rider Books! Take a moment to read the review? And then order your book here, by clicking on the link above. And then….sign up for the February Classical Series Symposium. We’re taking topics from the book for in-depth discussion along with all the demonstrations, lessons, fun, food, and legendary Saturday night dinner! We’ll be back with more news before the Holiday Season is over…but until then, peace and joy to all our readers and riders. Amities ~ DBarbier
Media Critique: The Alchemy of Lightness
Dominique Barbier and Dr. Maria Katsamanis give us the impetus we need to seek joy in our lives and in our horses.
November 21, 2014
This article from the November 2014 issue of Horse Journal.
Dominique Barbier is best known for his doctrine of “lightness” in a dressage horse, and he makes good use of it here. His co-author, Dr. Maria Katsamanis, brings a doctorate in clinical psychology into the mix, which meshes well with her own riding and training experience. Together, the authors present a philosophy of life and riding that is both inspiring and captivating.
Their theories revolve around “energy.” The authors believe all living beings are connected through a field of energy, one that can cause measurable molecular changes as well as observable behavioral changes. (Think about how humans influence each other using energy from thought, love, or intent.) Frankly, training approaches based on energy are far from new – consider Tai Chi, Reiki, Masterson Technique, and TTEAM, all popular methods.
You will find some of the hypotheses presented here familiar, such as how our mood directly impacts how we interact with our horses. Which one of us hasn’t experienced the change in our horse when we ride in an angry, tense state? The horse usually mirrors those emotions, becoming restless and edgy. And if we ride in a Zen state . . . the horse often reflects that as well.
Proper breathing is discussed here, too, with a reminder of its powerful impact on ourselves and our horses. Short, shallow breaths cause anxiety and fear in our horse. Deeper, slower breaths can relax both us and our horse. “If we are calm and centered, the horse will likely pass through resistance or disturbance much more easily. He will happily partner with us,” the authors state.
Barbier stresses the power of visualization, a technique used by many sports psychologists. “What we imagine, we can create,” he states. “What we believe is happening shapes our reality. What we visualize for our riding, for our horse, is well within reach.” If you’re a dressage rider, you might have a vision of Edward Gal in your mind when you ride.
You’ll recognize other widely accepted terms, too, such as “clear intent” and “centering,” which are core concepts in many martial arts and in Centered Riding. And, of course, every rider learns one day how powerful the concept of “less is more” can be when trying to elicit a behavior from your horse.
But other points challenge conventional wisdom. While you may have experienced some of the concepts discussed in the book, the theories presented by the authors may surprise you. That said, they readily acknowledge how little research is available to truly explain the connection between horse and rider.
The photography is stunning, and the pictures of Barbier riding portray true harmony between horse and rider. Indeed, he can create what he discusses.
Bottom Line: I truly appreciated Barbier’s emphasis on the importance of energy gained from joy and happiness in our lives. He insists we should constantly remind ourselves to look for that childlike innocence so long gone. “Horses are not intellectual beings,” he explains. “We need to be in this simpler, more innocent, childlike space with them.” Since some of the happiest moments of my life involved horses, this made perfect sense to me. And reading this book helped me think of ways to improve my state of mind and thus my relationship with my horses.
Best suited for: Those who have studied an approach such as TTEAM, Masterson Technique, Tai Chi, Alexander Technique, or Centered Riding or are open-minded enough to consider the theories presented.
You might be disappointed if: You are looking for a traditional “how to” riding manual.
A note from Dominique….the ‘stunning’ photography is by Keron Psillas.
Posted in classical dressage, Classical Dressage Symposium, Holiday products | Tagged Alchemy of Lightness, classical dressage, Dominique Barbier, dressage, horses, Lusitanos for sale | Leave a Comment »
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! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Posted in blog information, Classical Dressage Symposium, Equestrian Tourism in Portugal and Spain, Holiday products | Tagged classical dressage, Dominique Barbier, Golegã Fair, Lusitano, Lusitano for Sale | Leave a Comment »
Debra and I have just returned from Brasil where visited all the breeding farms and attended the International Lusitano Expo in Sao Paulo….at a new venue! The facility at the Hipica Paulista was tremendous, but it was even better to see old friends and the progression of the young horses we saw last year and the year before. Rocas do Vouga was named Best Breeder for the 5th year in a row. Congratulations to Manuel, Thereza, Raul, Carlos, Edneu, and all the team for Rocas do Vouga!
After a clinic in New Jersey, we’ll be headed to Portugal with our guests for the Festival in Golegã! Click on the link above to see what you will be missing. This way you’ll be sure to plan to join us next time!!!
We’ve added dates in December for our clinics….have a look at the Clinic tab above. I’m looking forward to seeing friends old and new in Chicago, Colorado, and Minnesota! If you are interested in hosting a clinic for 2015, please be in touch! Dates are limited and the calendar fills quickly. And we have announced the date for the February Symposium…our 10th in the Classical Series. Click the tab above (February Symposium) for all the information.