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.

Mark Russell’s Sola – An Update

Sola is officially in the double bridle!

Says Bettina Drummond – “He’s coming along so well. He’s a credit to Mark Russell’s skills in bringing him up. It’s so funny that Sola is a chestnut gelding Hanoverian – a cross of everything I don’t normally choose – but I love him dearly!”

Bettina rode the shoulder-in one handed so she could provide a photo view from up top!

Notes from My May Trip to France

I recently decided to refresh my rider’s mind with a visit to certain écuyers in France during my May clinic run.



It had been a long while since I had been able to travel long distances and therefore had not been able to dialogue with any practicing Baucheristes, who like me, made a career in the current horse world whilst keeping true with our private pursuit of this methodology. It was lovely to be invited to watch the contact each rider had with their personal horse and reminded me in this swing career year for me of the particular pleasure it is to be at home with your horse, your conviction and your love for it all. I began my trip with a visit to my oldest student based in Rennes and got to ride my friend Ann Klrmenrz’s lovely young horse (I apologized for passaging and bouncing on his back but I was still in rehab from my February accident). Also, I pushed on a young horse of Brigitte Moreau who was overdue an upgrade to third level-ish movements (She insists that she will not push on if she has not had my guidance, a most charming kind of blackmail!) I had the pleasure of teaching a young professional – M. Ydris who had put some really nice touches on his horses and was open to the idea that lightness was not an extra. His client and owner of a tricky Dutch horse (are there any that are not??!!!) Cyril allowed me to have ground work half-school feel of this elegant grey and I particularly loved the loft of his flying change. All this in all a lovely group and all concerned with not harming the horses in a psychological level as much as a biomechanical one. That is the reason for my longevity as a teacher really! I walk away from teaching when the ambitions of the rider take away that integrity and honesty. This group always gets a return visit as they never let that ideal down.