Notes from Recent Visit to France’s Cadre Noir

Bettina traveled to France in late February, where she first worked with Bernard Sachsé in preparation for his participation in the upcoming April Interactive Arts Workshop hosted by the Association for the Promotion of the Art of Horsemanship in America. After tme spent with Bernard, Bettina visited at France’s Cadre Noir for friendly consultations. Below are notes from her trip:

A Student of Bettina’s Offers a Different Perspective on the Treatment of Lyme Disease and other Immune System Disorders

Living with chronic Lyme disease can be a challenge for both humans and horses, as both Bettina and her Quarter Horse stallion Vousy know. Once in the system, Lyme can easily reoccur resulting in a constant battle to keep the effects of the disease in check.

Bettina’s student Christian Gundermann has just published an essay titled “Equine/Human Lyme Embodiments: Towards a Feminist Ecology of Entangled Becomings” that argues for a different perspective in the treatment of Lyme disease for humans and horses.

Latest Book by Dominque Barbier is Another Good Winter Read

An enjoyable trip down memory lane was Dominique Barbier’s latest book, Riding with Oliveira: My Time with the Mestre – Forty Years Later, revisiting his couple of years spent in Avessada with the Maître , now as Mestre Nuno to his students in Portugal.

It brought back the ambience of that amalgam of artist fervor and displayed and discussed technique , which made the time there so different. I also recalled the several instances of Dominique’s great kindness to the child I was, struggling to adapt from a very lively French family life to a colony of adults, all mesmerized around collective endeavor to equestrian higher education.

Bettina’s Lecture on the French System of Riding in the U.S. is Focus of Recent Article in Jours de Cheval

In the fall of 2018, while in France attending a colloquia at Saumur and coaching riders at the Cadre Noir and at Allege-Ideal, Bettina delivered a lecture at the Cadre Noir on the history of the French system of riding in the United States. It was also during that trip that she received the designation of “Honorary Écuyer” of Saumur with the Cadre Noir at the French National School of Equitation in Saumur, France.

I Encourage All to Read This Book


It was my great pleasure to receive as a late Christmas gift the very book published by Xenophon of my fellow Oliveira student Miquel Abrantes known as Miguel Tavora to his Australian students (his publishing name is Major Miguel de Lancastre e Tavora). The book is Dressage Principles and Techniques: A blueprint for the serious rider.

Reprinted from the Danbury “News-Times”

Equestrian Earns Distinction – Washington woman 2nd American to receive honorary title

Washington — Bettina Drummond remembers watching renowned equestrian Nuno Oliveira on horseback, suspended in the air with the sunlight streaming on his face.

“It was like seeing a great dancer,” said Drummond, 55, and a noted equestrian herself. 

She now teaches others in the art of dressage. Her instructional work and skill earned her the honorary title of “écuyere,” making her just one of 26 at the Cadre noir, 

Bettina Drummond Named Honorary Écuyer with Prestigious Cadre Noir

Bettina receiving the award of Honorary Écuyer. (Photo by Alain Laurioux)

Bettina Drummond has been named “Honorary Écuyer” of Saumur with the Cadre Noir at the French National School of Equitation in Saumur, France. The honor was bestowed on Bettina while in France attending a colloquia at Saumur and coaching riders at the Cadre Noir and at Allege-Ideal. Bettina is only the second American to receive this honor. The other is George Morris. She is also only the second woman to be named Honorary Écuyer. The other is French Olympic dressage rider Margit Otto-Crépin.

On the Passing of Indian Horseman Tootoo Imam

Tootoo Imam

The country of India is mourning the loss of one of its most interesting and well-known horsemen. S.A.H.A.A. Imam, better known at Tootoo Imam, passed away on January 5 at the age of 97. He hailed from a well-known, prestigious Indian family that played important roles in the political development of India in the early 1900s. Iman was a passionate horseman who authored several books on horses, including the The Centaur, which was one of the first books on horsemanship written by an Indian author.

Bettina and “Mimi” Honor the Late Jean-Marie Donard

Jean-Marie Donard, former dressage rider, trainer and head stable manager with France’s Cadre Noir, passed away in August at the age of 69 from a heart attack. Donard was with the Cadre Noir for 25 years. During those many years he held numerous positions including that of being responsible for training many of the Cadre Noir dressage horses. Donard also represented France in international competition in both eventing and dressage. He retired from the Cadre Noir in 1995 and spent part of his retirement years working on his book, “Le Guide de Dressage,” which was published in 2013.