Riding with Oliveira: My Time with the Mestre - Forty Years Later
The true Mestre is a person who directs and changes your life. Renowned champion of classical equitation principles and bestselling author Dominique Barbier names the revered Portuguese equestrian Mestre Nuno Oliveira as his. “Through great discipline, scholarly, serious inquiry and analysis, and a nonstop relentless passion, he formed his understanding of the Equestrian Art,” says Barbier. “As any student of Mestre Nuno Oliveira will know, he was anything but a simple man.”
Over several years Barbier had the unique opportunity to form an intimate relationship with Mestre Oliveira. In this deeply personal book Barbier chronicles their time together. Beginning in a tiny, dimly lit riding hall in Póvoa de Santo Adrião, Portugal, where seminal moments of Barbier's riding education dawned under the watchful eyes of many luminaries of the European riding elite, the book then explores what came later when Barbier studied with the Mestre in Avessada and traveled with him to Belgium. Barbier's recollections are complemented by those of three other equestrians who learned from the Mestre: Dany Lahaye, Bettina Drummond, and Luis Valença. The result is a remarkable and insightful retrospective of one of the most extraordinary horsemen of all time.
Dominique Barbier cultivated his riding skills at a number of highly regarded facilities throughout Europe, following various disciplines, including show jumping, eventing, dressage, and steeplechasing. Barbier then based himself in Portugal for two years studying with the legendary Mestre Nuno Oliveira. This was the defining experience that inspired Barbier's belief in keeping a horse “light and happy.” Since immigrating to the United States, Barbier'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 practiced now for over 40 years. Barbier is also the author of Dressage for the New Age, Meditation for Two with Keron Psillas, and The Alchemy of Lightness with Dr. Maria Katsamanis (dominiquebarbier.com).