Born in France in 1950, Dominique Barbier began his equine career at a Jesuit school in Poitiers, and at the age of 15 attended Crabbett Park Equestrian Centre in West Sussex, England where he certified as a British Horse Society Assistant Instructor (BHSAI). In 1972, Dominique returned to England to attend the renowned Talland School of Equitation in Cirencester under the instruction of Mrs. Molly Siveright, FBHS, DBHS. For the next eight years, he sharpened his riding skills at a number of highly regarded facilities throughout Europe, following various disciplines, including showjumping, three-day eventing, dressage and steeplechasing. Dominique then based himself in Portugal for two years studying with the legendary Mestre Nuno Oliveira. Through his internship with Oliveira, Dominique’s riding skills were enhanced by perfecting his “mental and physical attitude.” This experience was a defining moment that inspired Dominique’s belief in keeping a horse “light and happy,” known as “la belle légèreté a la Française.”
In Portugal, Dominique purchased Dom Pasquale, Dom Giovanni and Dom Jose – the three Lusitano stallions he first trained to “high school” levels. Remarkably, Dom Giovanni also learned to canter on the spot and backwards!
Since emigrating to the United States, Dominique's teaching and passion for the "Art of Dressage” has reached many thousands of people throughout the country, as well as North Africa, Europe, Asia and Brazil. His avant-garde philosophy, focusing on the importance of mental communication and the understanding of the horse's nature has been practised now for over 40 years.
When it was first published, his critically acclaimed book, Dressage for a New Age, was revolutionary within the dressage world, with its analysis of a horse's psychology and well-being as the cornerstones of training. Now in its fifth edition, Dressage for a New Age has also been published in French, Portuguese, and German.
Published in 2005, Dominique's Dressage Training Companion placed first out of over 600 newly released books, and continues to be the handbook of choice for thousands of riders of all levels.
New for 2009, a magnificent collector's edition entitled Meditation for Two – a joint collaboration with writer and photographer Keron Psillas – a voyage of enlightenment that transcends simple horse training.
His next literary undertaking, an updated Souvenirs (first published in 1994), will capture his on-going years of knowledge, illustrated by images of horses he has trained and notes from his teaching.
Unable to ride with him? Dominique's award-winning series of training videos/DVDs has positively impacted thousands of riders who have been able to begin their journey to the “light side of riding.” Apart from teaching worldwide, Dominique also spends time in Brazil, where his association with Lusitano breeders has allowed him to foster another of his life's passions – the Lusitano horse. He shares this passion with others by organizing trips to Brazil and importing carefully chosen horses for clients.
Downloadable Dominique Barbier Biography