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Sketches of the Equestrian Art - Croquis de Dressage by Dominique Barbier & Jean-Louis Sauvat
Xenophon Press

Sketches of the Equestrian Art - Croquis de Dressage by Dominique Barbier & Jean-Louis Sauvat

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Seldom does a dressage expert embody the mutual skills of trainer, rider, teacher, author, advocate, and collaborator. Dominique Barbier, together with his friend and colleague artist Jean-Louis Sauvat have created a unique artistic synthesis of the essence of dressage in lightness. Barbier, a student of Nuno Oliveira, advocates the lightness principles of legs without hands, and hands without legs, maintaining the horse in self-carriage with natural animation. Dominique’s passion for kindness to horses and the civilizing effects of correct horsemanship on its participants comes through in his words, teaching, riding, and training.

Jean-Louis Sauvat needs no introduction and his legendary drawings capture the essence of the feeling and movement almost better than still photographs. We can feel the compassion and energy in his drawings.

These two artists have created a special album of inspirational messages and images that together can serve as powerful modeling for riders to come. 

From the Author:

"After decades of training and teaching, I feel more committed than ever to my original belief, inspired by Mestre Nuno Oliveira, in keeping the horse happy and light: “la belle légèreté à la Française.” Jean-Louis Sauvât is one of those rare individuals who feel the same commitment as myself. We are of the same school and share the same inspiration and I feel very fortunate to have met this wonderful artist.

The sketches in this book were all done by Jean-Louis during his visit to my ranch in Healdsburg in California. They are presented, together with my comments, in an order that follows, as closely as possible, the natural training progression.

Mestre Nuno Oliveira passed away over three decades ago. Years ago in Portugal, I met with Louis Valencia, one of Oliveira’s closest friends, and in our conversation about the need to fully preserve the classical tradition, we realized that Oliveira’s influence is even stronger and more relevant today. This book is dedicated to Mestre Nuno Oliveira. It is not only about horses, it is a book about life.

The demands of competition and the excessive drive to be a winner, sometimes make people forget the essentials. In this fast-moving world, too many people forget the calm and healing offered by the horse. They forget the magic of the centaur; the unity of man and horse. Fortunately all around the world and especially in California, many are returning to the essentials and are beginning to be more conscious that the well-being of their horse is as important as their own. What we call the New Age is a raised consciousness of the fact that we share the same world and that we must take an active part in building a better one. Without any doubt whatsoever, the horse will be an integral part of this better world. And if we treat him with love and respect, he will help and heal us.

Horses teach us how to ask without aggression, how to love without condition, and how to avoid the destructive side of perfection. They teach us to sublimate oneself through sharing, giving, and healing. They teach us to cherish every single moment for its novelty and wonder and to remain true to the best traditions of the past.

I hope this book will inspire and commit riders to establish between themselves and their horses a truly communicative relationship."

- Dominique Barbier

ISBN: 9781948717441

All-color hardcover

Dual language edition: English/French

11" x 8.5" landscape format art book

98 pages

About the illustrator:

Jean-Louis Sauvat is a French artist born in 1947 to a long lineage of artists. His great-grand-father was a painter and art critique. He lives and works in Illiers-Combray (Eure-et-Loir) and is an avid dressage rider. Since 1975, he has taught sculpture and drawing at Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts Appliques et Metiers d’Arts, Paris. Some of his works of art can be admired at the Grand Equrie of Chateaux de Versailles and his work is collected worldwide.

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