Equestrian Principles and Approaches
in The Art of Classical Horsemanship
There is no greater joy than working a horse according to the true equestrian principles and approaches as written by the classical masters in search of perfect balance and synchrony in nature and art. It is the ability to ride and school horses with a sympathetic understanding and awareness of his personality, physical and mental abilities.
It is a wonderful journey in working as a partnership with the horse to enhance his natural elegance, beauty and exuberance through logical gymnastics. A horse that reacts to the slightest change in your body, a horse that feels your every breath and muscle, and happily gives his utmost willingly whether you are working with him in hand or when you are riding him. Here at Dos Olivos we follow these principles.
In his book “The Art of Horsemanship”, Xenophon already recommended a good riding position being essential to help the horse remain in balance.
As teachers and trainers we know it can provide you with a better perception of your own body, and how much it can affect the horse. If we can ride with this awareness and sensitivity, we help our horse to be comfortable and balanced beneath us – not to mention happier!.
We complement the classical principles with Centered Riding, Natural Horsemanship and un-mounted exercises for the development of horse and rider, as we have found they assist us logically and clearly.
Rather than restricting the horse’s energy, classical equitation will help you to liberate it through poise and balance in mind and body. This harmony is not achieved by force, but by the relaxation of tension in ourselves and in us recognising the wisdom of self-discovery..
Instruction and Learning
Our goal is that each rider achieves the clearest understanding of both mind and body of horse and rider, and to discover the joy of a mutual dialogue with simplicity and clarity. We invite you to watch other riding lessons, join in conversations, observe the horse training sessions and take pleasure in all aspects of a private yard. We have additional learning resources in books and dvds, and others of like-minded interest who come to stay.
The atmosphere is relaxed, informal, peaceful and open to all who have pleasure with horses. Age is not important. You are encouraged to ask questions as this offers a greater opportunity for learning.
You can choose an intensive course of 6 days duration, combined with a week in the Andalusian sun. You may also consider an extended period where students study the practice and theory of horsemanship, riding and schooling Spanish horses in the classical tradition.
Whatever your level or discipline, you will be met with enthusiasm and clear sympathetic instruction from experienced and qualified instructors. Your personal objectives are referred to throughout the course. For this reason lessons are given individually or in reduced numbers – to ensure maximum personal attention.
While the horses teach you, we guide you to feel them...
Sought after and respected throughout the history of equitation, Spanish horses are characterised by their gentle yet flamboyant nature, their strength and agility, their acquiescing intelligence and cheerful, noble bearing which makes it a pleasure to work with, and a joy to learn from.
Their fluid and expressive movements and compact frame enable you to refine the use of your seat, and to feel more accurately the movement and responses of him beneath you. Due to their natural abilities, collected, lateral and elevated movements are easy for them to execute giving you the feeling of lightness, balance, cadence and rhythm. Riders are amazed at how light and gentle aids achieve excellent results on our Andalusian horses. They discover a new, simplified and clear natural harmony with the horse.
Johanna Beattie Batista
Instruction and schooling of the horses are led by Johanna. Born in Bangkok, Thailand, she has been dedicated to horses from a very early age. She is a qualified Instructor from England and Spain and is a Level III Centered Riding Instructor/Clinician.
Her knowledge of classical riding has been gained from wide sources over many years of intensive training, study and continued practice with highly respected trainers including Nuno Oliveira in Portugal, The Cadre Noir in Saumur and Michel Henriquet in France. She spent four years at the Royal School of Equestrian Art in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain where she was able to observe and learn all aspects of the classical art at its highest level.
Additionally Johanna has supervised numerous riding centres and competed at national level. She has worked in different countries including Morocco and experienced many aspects of the diverse cultures and the differences in their horsemanship practices. She travels widely and holds clinics internationally on a regular basis.
“We shall take great care not to annoy the horse and spoil his friendly charm, for it is like the scent of a blossom - once lost it will never return”
~ Antoine de Pluvinel