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Posts Tagged ‘Dominique Barbier’

AlchemyFB

There’s been something missing from the news in general of late (and if your life is anything like mine, you can’t seem to escape that constant flow of “what’s happening”…all day, every day, yesterday, today, tomorrow). The problem is, it seems the “what’s happening” is all pretty dark, pretty frightening, pretty fractious, pretty upsetting. If you dig deep below the fold, you might find a story that dares flirt with sunshine, but that takes effort your weary self might just not have on tap.

Of course, there is a ripple effect to take into account here, too. Our glowering brow impacts everyone we come into contact with in the course of a day. Our frustration spreads faster than this year’s norovirus. Our anxiety transfers with a worried look or concerned cough. And not just to people—our mood wreaks havoc on our horses.

Over the past few years, TSB has published several books that highlight the importance of manning our mental ship and preparing ourselves emotionally in order to interact with our horses in a fair, calm, and positive way: Linda Tellington-Jones’ DRESSAGE FOR MIND, BODY & SOUL; Dr. Allen Schoen and Susan Gordon’s THE COMPASSIONATE EQUESTRIAN; and Dominique Barbier and Dr. Maria Katsamanis’ THE ALCHEMY OF LIGHTNESS.

“I think joy is the most important ingredient in everything we do, say, share, and experience in this world,” writes classical dressage master Dominique Barbier in THE ALCHEMY OF LIGHTNESS. “We see so many people who are so serious about things all the time. And it’s like the seriousness, the worry, the guilt—all that ‘fear stuff’—is killing the very essence of what they want to accomplish.

“Joy is a product of love, which is one of the two emotions I’ve described as having a direct impact on our riding. Joy and love are thus, in effect, the same. When we are happy and able to give happiness to others, transmitting our joy and love to our horses and to other people, we experience what has to be one of the most powerful feelings known to man.

“Constant perseverance means that we need to be dedicated to joy and the ‘giving’ of happiness to others. We need to make an effort, a constant effort. It is so easy to get up in the morning and find 500 good reasons not to be happy. We have only one real reason to be happy, and that is that we want to be happy. Therefore, we need to ‘practice happiness.’ We need to ‘practice joy.’ And we need to constantly remind ourselves to constantly be in that state of joy.

Click image to order.

Click image to order.

“There is always, in life, some kind of serious situation going on. There are some moments when we must see the ‘true face of life,’ and sometimes it is not very enjoyable. But I think that at the end of the day we have to count our happy moments and be satisfied. (Our horses will love us for it!)

“We have to make a decision about the ‘Happiness Factor’ before our day starts: Are we going to the ‘Depressing World’ or the ‘Happy World’? There are a lot of happy things, joyful things, happening all around us. Just the simple act of putting smiles on our faces can produce many smiles in the people we meet each day. A smile goes a long way.

“Remember, our mind can be our best friend or our worst enemy. We need to free ourselves from confirmed ego and from destructive emotions. This is the best thing we can do for ourselves and others. This is the best thing we can do for our horses.”

 

If you, too, hunger for the “Happy World,” you can make the Happiness Factor work for you. It is easy enough to take the first steps recommended by all the authors mentioned in this post: smile and breathe…and go spend time with your horse.

 

THE ALCHEMY OF LIGHTNESS is available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is always FREE.

CLICK HERE to download a free chapter.

 

Trafalgar Square Books, the leading publisher of equestrian books and DVDs, is a small business based on a farm in rural Vermont.

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We all crave that special connection with our horses.

We all crave that special connection with our horses.

 

We all crave “connection” with our horses—you know, that special “something” that made The Black follow Alec Ramsay off the island and swim out to the ship that would “rescue” them both from the lonely beach that had borne their friendship. Perhaps you spend hours trailing your horse around his pasture. Maybe at night you fluff up the shavings in the back of the stall and make a pillow for your head (you figure you need to be up early to feed anyway).

Our best horsemen give us some rather more practical tools that really can help us attain this dream. And how do you know when you’ve done it? Here are 5 ways TSB authors say you can tell you’ve truly connected with your horse.

 

1  It takes the slightest shift of your weight in the saddle, or the most subtle variation of thought to get your horse to move his hind feet wherever you want them. 

In the DVD series 7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN we see the very best example of this, demonstrated by Buck in front of a group of clinic attendees. “It’s not about training a horse,” says Buck. “It’s about getting a horse with you. It’s about becoming one mind and one body.”

 

2  You can ride “by the tips of your fingers.”

In THE ALCHEMY OF LIGHTNESS, authors Dominique Barbier and Dr. Maria Katsamanis say that when true “lightness” is achieved, the horse moves as if on his own, without the rider interfering. “I use the idea of holding the reins only with the ‘tips of the fingers’ because it makes it impossible for the rider to be strong, to pull, or to force,” they write. “Holding the reins, like they are ‘dirty,’ like something we do not want to touch…The reins should be something we don’t want to touch unless we have to….If we ride the horse lightly, he will be light with us—as light as we want him.”

 

3  You can just “be still” around each other.

In her new book 3-MINUTE HORSEMANSHIP, author Vanessa Bee says,”Horses seek quiet thoughtful people…Most of us are so busy planning the future we don’t give the horse our undivided attention…Just ‘being’ with a horse can be very relaxing and enjoyable.”

 

4  When you walk away, your horse follows you.

In the wonderful introduction to natural horsemanship for kids HOW TO SPEAK HORSE, authors Andrea and Markus Eschbach explain that through basic groundwork, you can teach your horse to understand that when your back turns toward him, it means you want him to follow you. “When the horse chooses to come to you at your invitation,” they say,”he has accepted you as his leader…You will realize how much fun it is to play with and train your horse as the invisible connection of your partnership becomes stronger and stronger.”

 

5  You sense how your horse is feeling—you just “know” what he needs or wants.

In BUILDING A LIFE TOGETHER—YOU AND YOUR HORSE, Frederic Pignon and Magali Delgado talk about how in the company of horses, we learn to listen to our intuition because our intellect and human experience do not always supply the answers. “When Templado [the famous white stallion, seen by millions of people in the hit show Cavalia] was near the end of his life, Magali and I both had the strongest feeling on the same evening that we should bring him home,” says Frederic. “As soon as he got into his stall, he began to recover his energy and his love of life. I know we were right in what we did.”

 

Find books and DVDs with the best ways to find the connection you want with your horse at the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT OUR STORE

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TSB Mothers Day

 

We never forget our mothers’ advice…

Thank you to all the mothers out there who read us horse stories,

held ponies in the dust, heat, chill, and rain,

and still remind us to lift our feet up when we trot.

Happy Mother’s Day from Trafalgar Square Books.

http://www.HorseandRiderBooks.com

Photo of mare and foal by Keron Psillas. Keron’s photographs are featured in the books THE ALCHEMY OF LIGHTNESS and MEDITATION FOR TWO, published by Trafalgar Square Books. See more of Keron’s fantastic work at keronpsillas.com.

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“Intent” is a bit of a buzz word around horses these days. Supplied with a variety of related definitions by Merriam-Webster, and the scientific and pseudo-scientific communities, it is most often used in reference to a rider or trainer “having the mind, attention, or will concentrated on something or some end or purpose.” Horses, by nature, survive by a keen awareness of “intent,” which may be due to the near constant exchange of energy that occurs between beings, each other, and their environment.

“Directed intention,” writes bestselling author Lynne McTaggert in The Intention Experiment, “appears to manifest itself as both electrical and magnetic energy, visible and measurable by sensitive equipment.”

 

Horses can be aware of our intent...before we are. (Photo by Keron Psillas)

Horses can be aware of our intent…before we are. (Photo by Keron Psillas)

 

“It is possible for a horse to be aware of our intent (our determination to act in a certain way) before we are conscious of it,” says classical trainer Dominique Barbier in THE ALCHEMY OF LIGHTNESS, the intriguingly philosophical book he wrote with Dr. Maria Katsamanis, recently published by TSB. “On the molecular level, transmission of intent occurs before our human consciousness is ‘up to date.’ I think that animals have the extraordinary ability to know ‘in the now’ when things are in the process of happening. Their security, their safety, is based on that knowing. In the wild, when the horse is not aware of the mountain lion’s proximity, he is eaten, gone. Therefore, he has developed a very important ability to be able to perceive another’s intent.

“In our case, it is the ‘picture’ in our head that he sees perhaps even before we do. He grabs it instantly. This is why in my book Dressage for the New Age I talk about the ‘two minds’: the mind in the front, which the horse can read, and the mind in the back that the horse cannot read. For instance, if we think that we would like to have the horse do a flying change in the corner after the short side, generally the horse does it immediately rather than waiting for the corner (of course, not all horses but most). This is why it is very important to ‘separate’ our two minds. In order to perform the flying change as we wish, we must have our front mind say, ‘I will keep my normal canter,’ while in the back of our mind we know that we will be asking for a flying change. When we do not learn to separate our two minds, horses (generally) will execute what we want them to do in the moment.

“This brings us back to why we must learn to be instead of do. For those people who have limited awareness of self and of energy, the horse definitely gets it first. When we are not present, we are not even part of the picture. In riders today, this is often the case…and that is why most horses look sleepy, or bored, or both.”

 

Enjoy this lovely inside glimpse of horses that are clearly neither sleepy nor bored at Barbier Farm:

 

CLICK IMAGE TO ORDER

CLICK IMAGE TO ORDER

Ready to explore the power of your intent, and the many other physical, spiritual, and emotional connections that occur between horse and rider? THE ALCHEMY OF LIGHTNESS is available at the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is always FREE.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER

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The Trafalgar Square Farm horses, enjoying the fields this past summer--we already miss those long days of sunshine and late evening rides!

The Trafalgar Square Farm horses, enjoying the fields this past summer–we already miss those long days of sunshine and late evening rides!

 

Sometimes, it feels good to just remember why we love horses. On this Friday, enjoy a few photos that capture why we all work so hard to have horses in our life and do right by them.

 

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–The TSB Staff

www.horseandriderbooks.com

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Tribuna Equestre is an online television channel dedicated to all things equestrian in South America. The “Masters Series” features prominent riding masters, including Dominique Barbier, who co-authored MEDITATION FOR TWO with photographer and writer Keron Psillas. The episode featuring Dominique Barbier was filmed in Cotia, near Sao Paulo, Brazil. You can see the introductory interview with Dominique, where he discusses his passion for keeping equestrian art alive and promoting nonviolent methods of training dressage horses throughout the world, as well as his book MEDITATION FOR TWO, in the video clip below (the interview begins about two minutes in and is subtitled).

Keron was so generous as to share some of the wonderful photos she captured during their day filming the episode. “We always have fun playing in the shadows at the end of the day!” she says. Watch for Keron’s article on revered dressage master Luis Valenca in the September 2012 issue of Dressage Today magazine, which hits newstands in early August.

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MEDITATION FOR TWO is available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is always FREE.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER YOUR COPY OF MEDITATION FOR TWO TODAY

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Last year I drafted a similar retrospective of the year’s accomplishments in print, and I remember at that time feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number of titles Trafalgar Square Books had managed to release in 2010. This year I’m similarly impressed (albeit admittedly biased, seeing as I’m heavily involved in the production of our list!), and perhaps even a little prouder, as I do honestly believe 2011 saw some of our best content, by our best authors, come to life in very exciting ways.

In case you missed them, here is a look back at TSB’s year in books and DVDs—there’s a little something here for everyone! All our books and DVDs are available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is always FREE!

February 2011

CONNECT WITH YOUR HORSE FROM THE GROUND UP by Peggy Cummings with Bobbie Jo Liebermann

Peggy really does have a very different way of handling and working the horse from the ground that can have a significant impact on his way of going under saddle. The before-and-after case studies featured in the book are astounding proof of just how much good her work can do.

March 2011

HOW GOOD RIDERS GET GOOD by Denny Emerson

I don’t know that I can find sufficient words to describe the value of this fantastic book. Denny’s brilliant, no-nonsense advice is what we all wish we had when we were just starting our competitive riding careers. For some, his book will jumpstart a faltering riding habit. For others, his writing will inspire true dedication to the sport they love. Whoever you are, whatever your state of equestrian latency or possibility, this book is the Magic Mirror sure to tell you whether you really are giving it all you’ve got. And, Denny’s truths are easily applied to more than just riding and horsemanship.

April 2011

JANE SAVOIE’S DRESSAGE 101 by Jane Savoie

A special new edition of Jane’s phenomenal CROSS-TRAIN YOUR HORSE and MORE CROSS-TRAINING, which are no longer in print. The only book you need on dressage basics and flatwork, whatever your equestrian discipline.

May 2011

WHERE DOES MY HORSE HURT? by Dr. Renee Tucker

Spiral-bound, fabulously illustrated, Dr. Tucker’s guide to 27 body checkups YOU can do to determine if your horse hurts, where he hurts, and whether you need to call the veterinarian, farrier, chiropractor, or saddle-fitting expert is one of the most useful books I’ve seen in my years at TSB. You can do your horse a lot of good with this book.

June 2011

MY HORSE, MY FRIEND by Bibi Degn

A terrific kids’ starter book, offering a guide to cultivating a gentle awareness when handling and riding horses through world-renowned bahaviorist Linda Tellington-Jones’ TTouch and TTEAM methods. Absolutely fantasic photos in this book.

TEAM ROPING 101 by Kayla Starnes

Endorsed by the USTRC and featuring tips from champion ropers Speed Williams, Rickey Green, and horse trainer Clinton Anderson, this book has all you need to get started in this fast-growing, family friendly sport.

July 2011

THE SMART WOMAN’S GUIDE TO MIDLIFE HORSES by Melinda Folse

People always say they can come back to horses, and when women hit 40, or around there, give or take, it seems they are finally finding the time to invest their money wisely…in a horse of their own. Melinda’s bestselling book provides all the returnee or first-timer needs to find her way to the barn at last, with lots of laughs along the way. Melinda’s book is a huge e-book seller (available in both Kindle and ePub formats via Amazon.com and ebooks.com).

September 2011

RIDER & HORSE BACK TO BACK by Susanne von Dietze

Susanne made a name for herself with her terrific bestselling book and DVD BALANCE IN MOVEMENT. Now she’s back in a big way, with this new book, the DVD by the same name, as well as BALANCE IN MOVEMENT 2 on DVD. Susanne presented at the USDF Symposium in San Diego at the end of 2011.

RIDER FITNESS: BODY & BRAIN by Eckart Meyners

This book is about REAL rider fitness—this isn’t some generic workout packaged to look equestrian-specific. The exercises are deceptively easy, and hugely rewarding when it comes to improving your ability to ride well and communicate with your horse in an accurate and efficient manner he can understand.

October 2011

TEX by Dorie McCullough Lawson

A personal favorite, this completely adorable kids’ picture book brings the mystique of the cowboy and the hard-work-equals-good-work mentality to life for the under-five set. Authentic photos make it a crowd-pleaser, and the main character falling asleep at the end make it a parent-pleaser. You can’t go wrong with this one.

ANNE KURSINSKI’S RIDING & JUMPING CLINIC by Anne Kursinski with Miranda Lorraine

We’ve brought this great classic back in print, this time in paperback. Anne’s exercises on the flat and over fences, introductory and advanced, are beautifully spelled out. This book promises to be used well, and used often.

November 2011

MEDITATION FOR TWO by Dominique Barbier with Keron Psillas

A lovely book—gorgeous photos and deep thoughts for the thinking rider. Certain to appeal to the dressage rider, the classicist, or the city-dwelling horse lover with a nice coffee table and a little time for reading on quiet evenings…

RIDING FREE by Andrea and Markus Eschbach

As proponents for riding horses with minimal tack, Andrea and Markus do a marvelous job explaining how to prepare your horse with proper training so you can ride him safely without a bit, without a bridle, without a saddle, or even without all three! Inspiring reading with practical applications for those who dream of being with their horse in as natural a way as possible.

BEYOND HORSE MASSAGE by Jim Masterson with Stefanie Reinhold

Jim’s groundbreaking Masterson Method, now explained in this spiral-bound book and the DVD by the same name, has people talking. The pictures of the horses he’s worked say it all–they are obviously more comfortable after he has worked on them. Now, he tells you how YOU can give your horse the same level of comfort and release he can.

December 2011

THE HORSE AGILITY HANDBOOK by Vanessa Bee

This introduction to this exciting new horse sport is by the founder of the International Horse Agility Club. You may have seen the recent excerpt in EQUUS Magazine—we are all really looking forward to seeing Horse Agility take off as a super-fun alternative to riding competitions!

THE ULTIMATE ENGLISH/SPANISH DICTIONARY FOR HORSEMEN by Maria Belknap

A terrifically useful resource with over 10,000 common words and phrases.

Here’s to a great year ahead, with dreams chased and dreams fulfilled, in horses and in life.

–Rebecca Didier, Senior Editor

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