As bad as the weather was last year, this year entirely made up for it! Wow! Sun and warmth and just the right cooling off in the evening kept us all, and the horses, comfortable! We had wonderful days of touring medieval castles, monasteries and Abbeys, some Sopa da Pedra in Almeirim (among many delightful meals), stayed in some marvelous pousadas and a castle or two, and even met the brother of a dear family friend from Healdsburg. It truly is a very small world.

One of the most touching moments of the trip was watching Mestre Luis Valença on horseback after an hiatus of many years. Everyone in the crowd was moved. Parabens, Mestre! He was flanked by two of his daughters and two of his grandchildren, Ines and Luis, both doing very well as young riders in Portugal, both for the family spectacles and in European dressage competitions. Congratulations to the entire family.

Riding for Mestre Luis and the Centre Equestre de Leziria Grande, Paulo Sergio Perdigao gave a wonderful long reining demonstration that was also a crowd favorite. Paulo Sergio is a long-time rider with the Portuguese National School of Equestrian Art. We have had the pleasure to watch him on both occasions when the Four Schools performed in Paris.

The champion three year old stallion was shown in hand by our friend, Carlos Oliveira, for owners who are friends from France. The champion, Hippus, was bred by Manuel Braga at Sociedade das Silveiras. Parabens para tudos!

And the best part? Faisao Vaz Freire, a grandson of Larapio, was Champion of Champions for Golegã 2015. And…another Larapio grandson was ridden to second place (72.39%) in the Grand Prix Kur by Rodrigo Torres of Torres Vaz Freire…and yet another Larapio grandson, Zimbro, took fourth place in the Kur, ridden by Maria Amaral, with a score of 67.80%. Congratulations to our friends at Torres Vaz Freire for a marvelous showing.

Enjoy the gallery of images from Keron Psillas…and make plans to join us next year. We can’t guarantee the weather, but we absolutely will guarantee a marvelous experience! Thank you to Rita Fernandes and Jose Neves for two of the photos below.


We are already thinking about our May trip to Brasil. Each day, when we go to the barn to work with our newest breeding stallions, Bailado do Top and Xihao AR, I am reminded of the wonderful horses that are available in Brasil…especially with the dollar at an historic high. Make plans now (perhaps a special Christmas gift to yourself???) and join us in the warmth and hospitality of Brasil. Lots of riding, beautiful farms, lovely people….all combine to make this a marvelous trip. Click on the link above for Brasil in 2016 for all the information.

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


It was another stellar event! Though we were concerned about our neighbors who have suffered terrible losses from the fires, we were, thankfully safe and sound. Here are a couple of images from the three days…all showing engaged riders, happy horses, and Dominique in fine form.

Make plans to join us in late February on the 19th, 20th, and 21st, as we hold our 12th Classical Series Symposium. They get better each time with greater depth and participation. Join us! Click the link here!


It’s going to be a tremendous event….lots of demonstrations, hands-on learning. And come see the new stallions! The harvest is nearly finished in the Valley, but there is lots to do and see, beginning with all the lectures and teaching from Dominique. This is a unique opportunity to greatly increase your depth of understanding of in-hand technique and how that works to improve all your riding objectives. Compassionate, sustainable, honorable and enlightened horsemanship. That’s our goal, our mantra, our raison d’être! Join us! Click on the links above to register….and then plan to join us in Portugal for Golegã. There are just a few spots left. Amities, Dominique and Debra

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On the Road!

With demonstrations, lessons, and two multi-media lectures each day, this is the best opportunity to access knowledge, inspiration, and understanding of enlightened principles (locally) for training your horse. Join us to expand our vision for the world we create with our horses! The ON THE ROAD Series is designed to complement and provide the foundation for the ongoing CLASSICAL SERIES SYMPOSIUMS at Barbier Farms. So make plans to join us either here in California, or somewhere closer to home. You will come away inspired and informed, ready to partner with your horse on a much deeper level!

Topics for the FIRST ON THE ROAD SYMPOSIUMS include:

What is Enlightened French Classical Dressage…and what is it not?

Purity of the Gaits, development, preservation, and refinement

Toward a Deeper Understanding of Mental Communication

Work In Hand and Longeing, the Foundation for All

The Shoulder-In, First and Last Movement for Training and Refinement

Molecular Equitation, What is really happening when we choose consciousness and partnership?

Contact us for more information and click on the Clinic Schedule Tab for all the local contact information.

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.



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