Check out the videos and photos from Islero and Oso’s first practice session with live musicians

Islero and Oso recently had their first outing to practice with live musicians. A thank you to Rivendell Dressage, Allison Kavey and Andrea Woodner for acting as hosts, to Ron Fayer for volunteering as horse transport and to the wonderful musical quartet that included cellists Christine Gummere and Loretta O’Sullivan, violoncellist Benjamin Wolff and Daniel Lee playing the viola da spalla. Bettina thanks all of you for volunteering your time to make it possible for Islero and Oso to have this important practice session. Click here to see the videos and photos from the day.

A Successful Outing for Oso and Islero

A big thank you to Kim Macey for taking all these great photos and for transporting Oso and Islero to Rivendell Dressage where Andrea Woodner kindly hosted us for a training outing. “It was Oso’s first outing and it was a success and Islero put out all he knew gently and powerfully. It was a tiring day but I was elated,” Bettina said.

A Gift of Creativity to Those Who Have Given in Support

Bettina and professional cellist Christine Gummere joined forces this week for a creative day featuring Islero and Formoso. The outcome are some “thank you” videos for those who have donated to help support the horses through Bettina’s illness. You can enjoy the results of the day in the videos below.

“This was a welcome opportunity for me to test out how much I am able to still attempt, while accustoming my two younger horses to these efforts gradually Christine donated her time for this practice as gracious gift that is much appreciated. I enjoyed letting her choose the music and riding in an improv situation to see how far the relationship of our training together would take us, said Bettina of the day. “

A Surprise Visit with Dominque Barbier

During a recent clinic trip to California, Bettina made a surprise visit to fellow Oliveira student Dominque Barbier:

“I landed yesterday in Santa Rosa, California to visit with Mari Austad Bourque, the owner of the excellent horse Nabucco (bred by France’s Dany Lahaye and that I broke in years ago), this before my new clinic in Nicasio. Mari mentioned to me that my friend Dominique Barbier lived ten minutes away! So we gave him a surprise visit as I wanted to congratulate him on the success of his memoirs of our time with the maitre Oliveira in Portugal. He was teaching a shoulder in session and when he looked up I said ‘you’ve told me to drop in for fifteen years so here I am.’

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.