Posts Tagged ‘Dr. Gerd Heuschmann’

I’ve just returned from a trip to Europe to teach and to lecture.  I was invited to give a lecture at the Herrenhaus Borghorst by the kind invitation of Caroline Hatlapa. The hospitality was tremendous, the setting magical, and the guests intensely interested in riding in lightness.  I presented a lecture with a multi-media component and lots of question and answer time.  We had great discussions, open and direct, about true classical equitation, systematic training, and the need to ride with more compassion and care for the horses…..especially in a competition setting.

It was my pleasure to observe many fine riders and horses during the two day clinic that my friend Gerd offered at Borghorst.  As we were in the state of Schleswig-Holstein, there were marvelous warmbloods, BIG HORSES, in the clinic. Thank you, to Caroline and Helena Hatlapa, Maike Theiler and Dr. Gerd and Johanna Heuschmann for such a memorable visit to the north of Germany.  I am delighted to tell you that I’ll be offering a clinic at  the Borghorst later in the year, with full details soon on this blog and on the website and facebook clinic schedules.

Following my visit with Caroline and her daughter Helena, I went to Munich to give a clinic to a great group of riders assembled by my friend Isabella Sonntag. Isabella is the founder of Wu Wei Verlag and publisher of my latest book in German, Wege zur Leichtigkeit in der Klassischen Dressur.  Everywhere I go in Germany I am greeted by students that are absolutely hungry for a new way of riding and communicating with their horses.  I am deeply encouraged by this and hope to see this desire flooding into the competition world.  It gives me hope that we will all develop deeper compassion for our horses, our partners.  I’ll be back in Munich teaching in late September (around the 24th) and will post more info next week.  Thank you, to Isabella and Christina, and to all your team for a great clinic.

Immediately prior to my trip to Germany, I was with all my Chicago friends at Jill McCrae’s farm in Grayslake. It is such a pleasure to see all of the horses progressing so well.  At the end of the clinic I was treated to an advance performance of their upcoming Elegance on Horseback event.  Jill, Georgette, Betheny, and all their students love to ride and perform in costume on their wonderful Lusitanos.  If you are in the Chicago area, go check it out!  Thank you, Jill and Jeff, and all my friends for another great weekend…..and to Zorro the baby raccoon for all the entertainment…..see you in August!

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We have just returned from a great trip to Brazil.  We visited the farms, rode many many wonderful horses, saw old friends, made new friends, and enjoyed the best of Brazilian hospitality wherever we went.  Before I go any further I want to thank our dear friend Davi Carrano from Manege Sant Adelaide for all his hard work and organization. The success of the trip was largely due to Davi’s care and hospitality. I want to congratulate the proud new owners of some fantastic Lusitanos: Scott and Pam will be welcoming home Veneno, a Prix St. Georges stallion, and the lovely Bella, Laura will be ecstatic to meet Zaire, and Nancy will be reunited with Ataualpa, a fabulous young Interagro stallion!  All the pictures are in the gallery below.

This year’s auction was surprising.  The quality of the horses, as always, was top notch.  So one would expect that with the global interest in the Lusitano as the perfect dressage mount the prices would reflect the quality.  Sadly, this was not always the case…..but we were very happy to be able to find great bargains for our clients.  The event was certainly a success, with beautiful horses, plentiful champagne, the suspense of the bidding….and the movie stars and dignitaries arriving by helicopter adding a little extra excitement to the festivities.  Congratulations and gratitude to Victor Oliva and all the team at Coudelaria Ihla Verde for another fantastic event!

I’ll continue the Brazil trip report in just a few days, but there is other news looking ahead:

There are new clinic dates in the calendar including a return to Virginia in July to give a clinic at Linda Bertschinger’s Classicus.  Join us for a great clinic in a beautiful spot in the Shenandoah Valley.  There are spots available for the clinic here at home in Healdsburg in late August.  Reserve your spot now as they won’t last long.  This is your best opportunity to ride intensively, on advanced horses, and study with both Dominique and Debra.  You’ll be in Healdsburg for the very beginning of the grape harvest and can enjoy all the region has to offer at this special time. Contact us for all the information.

In less than two weeks I will begin another long trip that will find me teaching in New Jersey at Nancy Clark’s Castlegate Farm, in Chicago at Jill MacCrae’s farm, and then to Germany to offer a lecture (in a castle near Hamburg!) prior to a clinic with my friend Gerd Heuschmann, and then a clinic near Munich the following week. I offer my thanks to Isabella Sonntag and to Gerd for their enthusiasm and the organization of these two events.

Enjoy the photos…there are many more to come from the trip.  Share the blog with friends, please.  There are great topics coming up, including a report on my saddles by Dr. Solange Mikhail, DVM, MS,  using thermographic imaging to expose potential problems (or, in our case, the amazing balance and quality of the saddle).

Amities  ~ D Barbier

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As there are so many changes taking place in the Equestrian world, I thought it would be good to finish our Brazil Trip reports with our clinic and lecture with Dr. Gerd Heuschmann.  Mariana Castro and Hilda Maria Toledo Piza graciously arranged the Lecture and clinic at Manege Sant’Adelaide and invited Dr. Gerd Heuschmann to take part.  It was a resounding success and has encouraged us to begin to work together to eliminate the Rolkur/Hyperflexion training methods, as well as others, and to impress upon Equestrians everywhere the need to go back to the classical methods, indeed to understand and follow the existing rules of the FEI for dressage, and to connect with their horses using compassionate, caring training methods.

Clinic participants were treated to Dr. Heuschmann’s lectures on two days and practical demonstrations of the Biomechanics of the horse’s movements while being ridden correctly and incorrectly.  A special thank you to Davi for allowing us to ride his beautifully trained Lusitanos.

Dr. Heuschmann and I developed a strong friendship during the course of the clinic. Teaching, riding, and working with the participants in a manner that emphasizes the well-being of the horse, rather than the use of the horse as a way to win or to gratify the ego, or to commercialize/capitalize on them, has always been deeply meaningful to my students and points the way forward for the work to be done. With the situation in the equestrian world as it is, with over 60% of high level competition horses dying before age 8, we must answer the call from the horses.  We must say to the riding public now is the time to make your voice heard. Join with us to continue to speak out and speak loudly in defense of the horses and against inhumane training practices.  Let’s begin now to give back the love and partnership they have given us for such a long time!

I will be creating a DVD going point by point through the FEI rules to illustrate the correct movements and to explain why they are there and how they illustrate the correct/gentle/systematic training of the horse.  Check back with the blog for progress reports and dates for upcoming lectures and events.  Thank you…   ~ DBarbier

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I would like to share with you some photographs of our time at Mr. José Nogueira Martins’ home while filming for the latest interview on Tribuna Lusitana.  It was such a pleasure to spend time with Mr. Martins for we share the same regard for the Masters of Classical Dressage. His hospitality for Dr. Gerd Heuschmann and I was gracious and warm.  Dr. Heuschmann had just returned from Lausanne where he took place in discussion with the FEI committee on banning the Rolkur/hyperflexion training method.  I offer my congratulations and gratitude to Dr. Heuschmann, who with the help of Isabella Sonntag and WuWei Verlag collected over 42,000 signatures on a petition to present to the FEI to ban the Rolkur training practice.  I hope you’ll share the link for Tribuna Lusitana with your friends, it will help us to share our mission to preserve the heritage of the Lusitano and promote the well-being of ALL horses.

I’ve included some images from our clinic at Japu, the home of our friends Tonico and Tatiana Pereira.  It was our great pleasure to spend time with them and to share in the celebration of Tatiana’s birthday.  Tonico and Tatiana graciously opened their home and allowed people to ride their fabulous horses.  The weather was perfect but was eclipsed by the quality of the organization for the participants.  This clinic was truly international.  We had a French father and daughter riding, a group of Brazilian men, and the stars were Sophia and Thomas, the children of our hosts. They were astute and intensely interested in learning as much as they could. Thank you, Davi Carrano, for the great pictures!

In my next post, I’ll have images from our clinic at Manege Sant’Adelaide and from the symposium with Dr. Gerd Heuschmann. The comments section is now available to our blog readers and we welcome your remarks.  Join us, won’t you, on our quest to improve the well-being of the horses?

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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!


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This weekend Debra and I travel to Brazil to begin several new projects.  I’m so pleased to announce that I’ll be working in collaboration with Mr. José Nogueira Martins, founder of Tribuna Lusitana.  Mr. Martins has created a marvelous collection of interviews with many of the top people in the Lusitano and the larger Equestrian worlds. Together we hope to create a series of video lessons with the highest production values.  Mr. Martins has an elegance and refined aesthetic that is a perfect compliment to the thought and energy of my work with the horses.  I am deeply gratified to have this opportunity.

While I am in Brazil I will be meeting with Dr. Gerd Heuschmann, the veterinarian and author of the acclaimed book Finger in Der Wunde, published in the United States as Tug of War – Classical versus “Modern Dressage”. It is such an honor for me to meet Dr. Heuschmann and it is my deepest wish that we can bring science, intellect, energy, refinement, and our great love of the horse to influence training methods in practice today.  It is time to turn away from hyperflexion and compression of the horse and truly focus on his well being, in body, mind, and spirit.

During our stay I’m pleased to be holding a clinic at Japu, the home of our great friend Tonico Pereira, founder of the famed Do Top stud, and breeder of the Olympic horse Oceano Do Top.  Please contact Davi Carrano for information and scheduling.

We’re taking reservations now for our May trip to the Lusitano Auction and International Expo.  Please email or call if you are interested.  We will be posting all the details of the trip on this blog and sending an email to those of you that are signed up for notifications.  If you are not, now is the time to send US an email so that you can stay informed and hopefully, JOIN US for the trip of a lifetime.  During our May trip I will be offering a three-day clinic at the beautiful Manege Sant’ Adelaide, the home of our dear friend, Davi Carrano.

Please click on the links to follow the latest news.  I’ll have an update on this blog from Brazil.  Thank you for checking in!


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