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Horses For

LIFE Feldenkrais MethodÂŽ for Riders

Steinbrecht The Study of Chevaler

Nuno Oliveira’s Contribution to the Iberian Breed Volume 59 Horses For LIFE

Keeping Up on Facebook, Blog And Twitter! Facebook provides us with a wonderful opportunity to keep in touch between issues. A place where we can share announcements from Horses For LIFE as well as pass on newsworthy announcements from other sources that we feel you should know about right away So then what about our blog? After so many years of publishing, we came to realize that we had created a monster. A wealth of material that is as valuable today as when it was published. Our blog gives us a place to share excerpts from some of our best articles. A great way for our readers to revisit or visit for the first time, the great educational material that makes up Horses For LIFE and our archives. It also gives us a place to share thoughts that we just don’t have room for in our magazine. Twitter is a new venture for us a way to give you a behind the scenes look at the daily escapades of putting out the magazine. Sometimes zany, sometimes frustrating. Here we share some of our favourite posts both from our blog and from our facebook page. 2

Keeping up on Facebook .

Status Update nEHV-1 Virus. As you may be aware there have been cases throughout North America of outbreaks of Neurotropic Equine Herpes Virus-1. Equine Canada’s Health and Welfare Committee is notifying horse owners that Neurotropic Equine Herpes Virus-1 (nEHV-1) has been reported in horses in the United States, with confirmed cases in Alberta (1) and suspected cases British Columbia (3). This is the neurological strain of Equine Herpes Virus 1 (EHV 1). Outbreaks of nEHV-1 are contagious and have a high risk of mortality. It is believed the initial cases were in horses attending a cutting horse show in Ogden, Utah, held April 29 to May 8, 2011, and that horses exposed to the virus at this competition have played a role in reported cases elsewhere. The horse in Alberta did not attend the cutting horse competition. The horses in British Columbia, which all reside on the same farm, did. Quarantine and biosecurity procedures have been established and no secondary cases have been reported at this time, on this farm. Please note that the nEHV-1 cases reported in British Columbia have not been confirmed by laboratory testing, but through clinical diagnosis. The three British Columbia horses that returned from the Odgen show developed neurological disease and are being treated intensively as if they had nEHV-1. Strict biosecurity procedures have been put in place to prevent spread of this disease from this farm. Update from Alberta There is one confirmed nEHV-1 case which showed neurologic signs on May 1, 2011 and was isolated at that time. This horse did not atHorses For LIFE

tend the Utah show but was in direct contact with the horses attending the above stated show before they left Canada. This horse has been under veterinary care and is recovering very well and is in no danger. The origin of the source of contact for this horse remains unknown. • As of May 18, 2011 there is one yearling confirmed positive for EHV-1 which showed only respiratory signs of the disease similar to normal influenza infections. This horse was in direct contact with tack from the horses returning from Utah. This horse is under treatment and isolation and is in no danger as this time. • As of May 18, 2011 there is an additional confirmed positive case of a horse returning from Utah which showed a mild transitory respiratory disease. This horse is under isolation and treatment and is in no danger. • There are six-eight tests pending on horses similar to the above horse, which have attended the Utah show and have experienced mild respiratory disease. We expect some of these horses to have a positive test and have taken this into account on our comments below.

Therefore, at this time, there have been no horses af-


fected in the province of Alberta or British Columbia that were not either at the Utah show or in direct contact with these horses, either before or after their return. The incubation period for this disease can be as long as 21 days but normally symptoms show within the first 10-14 days. Presently, we are within the 10-14 day timeframe.

Measures that have been taken • Competitions involving the horses directly affected by the Utah Show have been cancelled by the Cutting Horse Association until further notice. • All of the participants attending the Utah show have been notified and asked to isolate their horses. • The Chief Provincial Veterinarian is gathering all information, monitoring the disease and is looking into the epidemiology of EHV-1 in Alberta at this time. Ongoing recommendations • All horse owners have been asked to carry out normal biosecurity protocols which can be found on many websites, including that of the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association. • Any horse owner who has potentially been in contact with this group of horses should monitor the temperature of their horses

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twice daily for 14 -21 days post exposure and discuss any abnormalities with their veterinarian. • The protection afforded by vaccination is debatable and we recommend that horse owners discuss it with their veterinarian, as every horse is unique and requires a different vaccination protocol.

The following is a statement from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) Equine Herpes Virus (EHV) is a disease present in Canada and is not a federally controlled disease. Subsequently, in accordance with international guidelines, CFIA has no authority for requesting certification related to this disease from the United States Department of Agriculture when importing horses from the United States (US). Import conditions for all horses entering Canada from the US will not be changed in relation to the recent reports of EHV cases in the US. However, as always, imported horses need to comply with all current Canadian import conditions. In addition, arrival of unwell horses at the border can affect the import process.


Update re: Quarantine Length and nEHV-1. IMPORTANT-Releasing horses from quarantine, Concern re prolonged shedding of the virus. It has come to the attention of the veterinarians that one of the horses that had mild respiratory signs and fever that initially tested positive for nEHV-1 was recently retested positive for nEHV-1 on nasal swabs prior to being released from the 21 days of quarantine. In light of the potential for prolonged shedding of the virus, it is now the recommendation of the veterinarians involved on the call, all horses that tested positive for nEHV-1 be retested (and confirmed negative) prior to release from quarantine regardless of the time spent in quarantine. This need for testing has been confirmed in the most recent conference call. It appears that all of the cases and suspected cases remain in horses associated with the cutting horse industry. To address concerns for the upcoming cutting horse competitions, the group has created a list of recommendations for organizers of cutting horse competitions which is available at All other disciplines outside of the cutting industry continue at this time to be considered low risk. The decision to cancel competitions and shows in other disciplines should be made in partnership with their associated veterinarian to develop a risk assessment of each situation. Biosecurity is a key component to limiting spread of any infectious disease and all individuals in contact with horses should remain mindful of appropriate procedures. Released by Equine Canada Goto our facebook page.!/pages/Horses-For-LIFE-Publications/51217564556 Horses For LIFE

NEW* Horses For LIFE Magazine Store Site. With the advent of Volume 57, we have many new firsts. The first downloadable issue. The first time we can offer to sell issues individually. Even more exciting our new downloadable issue is now animated and video enhanced! This takes our magazine into an entirely new level of experience. Imagine, watching the incredibly glossy full page pictures of a magazine and with a rustle as the page flips the next thing you know you are listening to Mary DeBono as she explains and demonstrates the “Rock the Horse� exercise, or imagine as you are reading along as Hempfling explains in this exclusive interview how helpiing one horse brought him one more step to more clearly understanding how important space is to our horses and then you flip the page and you can watch for yourself as the horse absolutely refuses anything to do with this man but then you flip the page again and you watch a stunning reversal as it unfolds right before your eyes. A photo can be so incredibly powerful, words have changed the world and video presents another dimension again,


combine all three and the experience is one that can touch you in a brand new way in our new downloadable subscription. In celebration and to provide even better customer service we are pleased to announce our new site for purchasing our downloadable issues! Come visit us at You can buy individual issues, or subscription issues or even a gift subscription for your instructor, a student or a friend. Of course we continue to offer our regular online subscription at with our flip version of our magazine. Full screen enjoyment as you flip the virtual pages across your screen. Immersive and stunning. Whether you pick our downloadable or online subscription option both celebrate our horses and the riders and trainers who love them. Downloadable subscription is downloadable, animated and video enhanced. Our online subscription with easy and instant access to our page flip full screen version of our magazine.

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IN MEMORIAM: HENRI CHAMMARTIN (SUI), 19182011. Olympic and European Dressage champion Henri Chammartin (SUI) passed away this week at the age of 92. A legend in the Dressage world, he competed in five consecutive editions of the Olympic Games – Helsinki 1952, Stockholm 1956, Rome 1960, Tokyo 1964, and Mexico 1968 – winning a total of five medals. During his first Olympic participation in 1952, Chammartin was a member of the Swiss team that claimed team silver. He received his second Olympic medal – a team bronze – in 1956. Henri Chammartin became Olympic champion in 1964 and also won his second team silver that year. He rode the 13-year-old Swedish-bred Woermann which had travelled to Tokyo only as a reserve horse to his stablemate and reigning European champion Wolfdietrich, which was unfortunately lame. Tokyo 1964 was the first Olympic Games to which horses were flown by aircraft. The Swiss team departed from Amsterdam on 28 September at noon and arrived, with a stop-over in Anchorage, Alaska, on 29 September at 3pm.


Henri Chammartin won his final Olympic medal – a team bronze – in 1968 when he finished ninth individually. That year, he and fellow equestrian Gustav Fischer both became only the second Swiss athletes to have competed at five Olympic Games. Chammartin retired from international competition after the Mexico Olympic Games. As a young man Chammartin loved music and played the violin. Always the artist, he placed more importance on the expression of the horse’s movements, preferring it to technical precision. The FEI expresses its sincere condolences to the family of Henri Chammartin and to the Swiss equestrian community. FEI PRESS RELEASE Lausanne (SUI), 2 June 2010 IN MEMORIAM: HENRI CHAMMARTIN (SUI), 19182011 Photo caption: Henri Chammartin (SUI) and Woermann during their winning test at the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games

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Friends of the Horse: Controversy re Reining. With 135,000 views this video has created strong feelings in so many. There are those who see this as an attack on reining and then there are those that compare this to rollkur. I was sent a link to this video when only a handful had seen it and I paused... frozen almost ... as I truly didn’t know what to do. Struggling for almost a week, to try find what the best approach to make a difference. Spending endless hours wondering what was the best way to proceed. I didn’t just want to inflame the situation any worse then I knew it was going to be, I wanted to somehow figure out how could things be changed. You may have ideas on what the best response is? Is it to just share with as many as we can? What is most important - awareness? Letting people know this is going on? Is the most important thing to voice our opininons, spreading the spotlight on this issue, speak out on behalf of the horse? We’ve lived through the same events with rollkur in


the dressage world during the past five years. What have we learned from that process that can help us know what is the best way to proceed? There are those that suggest that we need to react in a more positive manner. To be the example of the change that we want to see. Is that enough to make a difference? The new has a blog post just on this question and has a few ideas. Friends of the Horse asks for your help. Your ideas, your suggestions, your assistance. Help be the voice that makes a change. The beginning of change on rollkur, was the process of awareness, education and information. Maybe that is a place to start from. That with your help, we can create a resource center that specifically targets the reining community that chooses to follow the same path that so many in dressage world have chosen. We want to hear from you. Maybe together we can make a difference. !

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STATEMENT ON FEI WORLD REINING FINAL, Bร–KEBERGS GARD, SWEDEN. The following is a statement released on 25 May 2011. Previously it had been reported that no verbal warnings were issued at the FEI World Reining Final, this latest release states otherwise. You might also want to note that The Reining Technical Committee Meeting took place at the FEI Reining World Final in Malmรถ. The three working group chairs presented an update to the members of the committee and it was agreed that the proposals in respect of the new rules, Competition Format and Education, would be circulated to the National Federations at the end of June for comment/feedback. ******************************************* STATEMENT from the FEI below The FEI is constantly reviewing and amending the rules for all its disciplines to ensure that horse welfare is maintained. Three working groups were set up in January of this year to conduct a full review of the discipline of Reining which will address all aspects of the sport, including rules and veterinary issues. The working groups have already reviewed the Reining rules and regulations, the competition format 14

and educational standards for all FEI officials within the discipline and will be giving their recommendations to the Reining Committee shortly. Also included in the review process are new Stewards’ guidelines and details of permitted training practices. Representatives from FEI HQ spoke to the Chief Steward in BÜkebergs Gürd and were assured that all practice sessions were fully monitored, that each training session was timed and that all practices were within the rules that are currently in place. However, a preliminary report from the Chief Steward has been received by the FEI which records that a number of verbal warnings were issued to riders about their training methods during the practice session. As part of the review process that was initiated in January, footage from the FEI World Reining Final and the resulting debate will be included in the file that will be submitted to the Reining Committee for inclusion in the review process. The new FEI Reining rules and regulations will be voted on at the 2011 General Assembly in November for implementation on 1 January 2012. As the international governing body for equestrian sport, the FEI condemns all training methods and practices that are contrary to horse welfare. Goto our facebook page.!/pages/HorsesFor-LIFE-Publications/51217564556 Horses For LIFE

FEI Inquiry into World Reining Final Training Practices. The FEI is continuing its inquiry into allegations that breaches of its Rules and Regulations occurred during training sessions at the FEI World Reining Final in Bökebergs Gård (SWE) on 20 May 2011. Findings from the inquiry, which was launched following receipt of a communication from Danish website Epona TV on 23 May, will be incorporated into the ongoing review of the discipline of Reining initiated by the FEI in January of this year. Despite two formal requests from the FEI, Epona TV has refused to supply a copy of all footage filmed during the training sessions at Bökebergs Gård on 20 May. Combined with the reports from FEI officials on duty at the event, this unedited footage was expected to play a vital role in deciding what further steps the FEI could potentially take against individuals regarding these allegations. “We are extremely disappointed at Epona TV’s refusal to provide a copy of the unedited footage and find it difficult to understand their attitude”, FEI Secretary General Ingmar de Vos said. “We are trying to establish the facts as part of the ongoing inquiry, but while Epona TV profess to be upholders of horse welfare, they will not assist the FEI so that we can properly undertake a full and impartial inquiry and act accordingly. “Epona TV defend their position on the grounds that its jour-


nalists are independent and do not want to get involved in an investigation, but many reputable news organisations have given unedited footage under similar circumstances to the relevant authority. Edited footage without authentication from the source is considered to be inadmissible evidence from a legal standpoint and Epona’s refusal to provide the unedited footage means that the FEI now has to proceed without a key piece of evidence.” The FEI will take whatever action is necessary based on the findings of the inquiry. The findings, which will be based on reports from FEI officials on duty at the event and the edited footage available on Epona TV’s website, will also be used to further improve the FEI Reining Rules that are currently under revision, as well as review the FEI’s stewarding policy with regards to enforcement of the FEI Rules and Regulations. Three working groups were set up in January of this year to conduct a full review of the discipline which will address all aspects of the sport, including rules and veterinary issues. The new FEI Reining rules and regulations will be voted on at the 2011 General Assembly in November for implementation on 1 January 2012. It is FEI policy to fully investigate any allegation of rules violations. Horse welfare has always been and will always remain the FEI’s top priority. Further updates will be issued as soon as the inquiry has been completed. FEI Media FEI PRESS RELEASE Lausanne (SUI), 17 June 2011

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A Flaw in the Abuse Rules - Article 142. It appears the rules need to be clarified to be enforced and maintained. Any omissions seem to be leaving a loophope that the stewards seem unable to enforce. The following are from the Stewards Manual from the FEI FEI General Regulations (Article 142 Abuse of Horses) 1. No person may abuse a Horse during an event or at any other time. “Abuse” means an action or omission which causes or is likely to cause pain or unnecesarry discomfort to a Horse, including without limitation to any of the following: ■To whip or beat a horse excessively; ■To subject a horse to any kind of electric shock device; ■To use spurs excessively or persistently; ■To jab the horse in the mouth with the bit or any other device; ■To compete using an exhausted, lame or injured horse; ■To “rap” a horse.


â– To abnormally sensitise or desensitise any part of a horse; â– To leave a horse without adequate food, drink or exercise; â– To use any device or equipment which cause excessive pain to the Horse upon knocking down an obstacle. 2. Any person witnessing an Abuse must report it in the form of a protest (Article 163) without delay. If an abuse is witnessed during or in direct connection with an Event, it should be reported as a protest (Article 163) to an official. If the abuse is witnessed at any other time it should be reported as a protest (Article 163) to the Secretary GEneral for refferal to the FEI Tribunal. The flaw of course that while one rider rides on a loose rein and quickly takes and releases the rein could be seen as abuse in the form of jabbing the mouth, while another rider permanently pressing the horse against the bit has no such restriction. Also one must consider that in the western world when the riens are normally released how are we to differentiate between a normal quick take such as a request for halt versus what maybe seen as jabbing the horse in the mouth. We have seen that if the rules are not complete and specific the maintenance and enforcement of any rules appears to be impossible. We want to hear from YOU!! To Read - Comment or Share on Facebook Horses For LIFE

Cool idea! Retests.. I recently came across this idea that is just too cool. A test-feedback-retest format. It takes longer per rider but it has real possibilities in being incredibly helpful for riders and perhaps returning dressage tests back to their original concept. A way for riders to get professional and hopefully unbiasesd feedback on how they and their horse are doing. One format that I have heard about is you ride, spend a few minutes talking to the judge and the judge provides you with feedback on the test. The rider then gets a break, say 15 minutes to work on the judge’s suggestions. Other tests can be run while the rider works on the judge’s suggestions. Then the rider gets a chance to do a retest followed up with a quick follow-up on feedback with the judge. What do you think about the idea? Any suggestions? Maybe pass the idea along so we can see more shows incorporate this idea.


How Judging Effects Breeding. Just how important is it, how much of an influence is judging on our equestrian world? A recent article came to my attention where they readily admitted that we now see horses that to the naked eye no longer have a diagonal beat in trot. That instead have a four beat trot that is being rewarded in the show ring. How did this come to be? When the judges reward certain movement, the breeders and trainers are quick to follow. Their livelihood, their ability to support their families depends upon pleasing the judges. So ask yourself how important are the marks of the judge? Not just upon one moment in time, not just for that season, or that year but upon everything that comes afterward.

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The Movie Buck. I had the the opportunity to watch a screening of the movie Buck. Thanks to the film makers for sending this to us. Of course anytime I watch anything on horses I look for what I can learn. I was struck by one exercise. He has one person on the end of the lead rope and jerks, once, twice, three times. He has the clinic participants note how the human braces without thinking, each time he gives the lead rope a jerk. Buck then just moves the rein and the human... the human braces!! No jerk just a slight move of the hand and the human just can’t help himself. Even when the human is made aware he continues to brace, he just can’t help it! It made me think is what we do to the horses without thinking? Every jerk that we see is only making a horse brace. Buck is being released in LA & NY today. Would love to hear what others think of the movie!!/pages/HorsesFor-LIFE-Publications/51217564556


Photo Credit: Cindy Meehl A Sundance Selects Release

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The Greatest Damage: Loss of Faith in the FEI. The absolutely saddest point in this entire debacle that we have seen with the recent outcry on footage from the World Reining is how we see what has happened to the relationship we now have with the FEI. Epona wrote: “We couldn’t care less if the riders we have filmed at a single event are investigated or even sanctioned by the FEI. That won’t help the thousands of horses who are trained this way – and worse - every single day, partly because the FEI turns a blind eye, and passively perpetuates the general acceptance of such methods. As we have made clear in the first editorial, this story is not about Craig Schmersal or any of the other riders we have filmed. It’s about the FEI itself. The launch of another retrospective investigation is just the FEI’s way of trying to cast itself as one of the good guys. We will not play along with this charade.” Unfortunately history supports this statement by the actions of the FEI over the past couple of years. Where was the FEI in 2005 when there were a few individuals who were reporting about rollkur? The FEI was silent.


Where was the FEI at this same time as the practice continued in the warm-up rings under their stewardship? The FEI chose to do nothing. Where was the FEI in October 2005 when St George reported on the issue and came under attack? The FEI was silent. Where was the FEI in June 2006 when Horses For LIFE issued the double issue with video and photos of the damaging practice and all around the world riders could see for the very first time that the pictures they had seen was not as they had been told just a moment in time in warm-up arenas all over the world? The FEI was silent. Please note that all articles marked with an asterisk * are free to read for registered users. Information that we wanted to make sure was freely available to everyone.

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When they did finally meet under public pressure, what happened, what changed? Nothing. They renamed rollkur to hyperflexion. The FEI Veterinary Committee made a statement on their position towards the Rollkur, also called hyperflexion, at the FEI bureau meeting in Interlaken, Switzerland, April 10, 2008. The following statement was adopted: “There are no known clinical side effects specifically arising from the use of hyperflexion, however there are serious concerns for a horse’s well-being if the technique is not practiced correctly. The FEI condemns hyperflexion in any equestrian sport as an example of mental abuse. The FEI states that it does not support the practice.” They condemned hyperflexion as “mental abuse”, This in 2008 and since then.... When they met in a closed door meeting where no minutes have ever been released to the public from the February 9th 2010 meeting. The outcome was one we protested vigorously From the annex FEI Stewards Manual Dressage - New


Annex XIII: “3. Extreme flexion In assessing the position of the head carriage the Steward will be mindful of each horse’s natural conformation, especially in relation to native breeds or ponies, and will therefore use discretion in determining this. Deliberate extreme flexions of the neck involving either high, low or lateral head carriages, should only be performed for very short periods. If performed for longer periods the steward will intervene (refer to diagram and photos for examples of extreme head and neck positions).” Let me quote that one more time for you. “Deliberate extreme flexions of the neck.. should be... performed....” We suggested that it is not the job of the FEI to change the existing rules set up to protect the rules and the standards of dressage from generation to generation.

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We asked that everyone pass this on and make everyone aware what the FEI is doing. To not let them try to sneak this past all of us and that everyone join us in protesting - by signing the petition in support of Article 401 and insist that the FEI follow the rules as set out in Article 401 by generations of horsemen before us.

They said rollkur was bad but Low, Deep and Round was okay. So in essence they renamed rollkur first to hyperflexion, then renamed hyperflexion to Low, Deep and Round. In protest we developed the video that we posted to YouTube for all equestrians hoping to provide information on this issue and debilitating effects of rollkur on the horse:


We have lost faith. Sadly many see the acts of the FEI as only political posturing. Do you still believe in the FEI? Do you think they will do what is best for the horse? Can the FEI repair the damage to the loss of faith experienced by riders all around the world? The FEI should take this issue at hand very seriously. The loss of faith experienced by the FEI is damaging, potentially, at a level that they obviously don’t seem to see or appreciate. I know many who have given up. Who see no point in even interacting on this or others issues with the FEI. The latest that we see today now in 2011 in the show and warm up rings is merely a continuation of the ineffectual posturing of the FEI on this issue, whether we are talking about the dressage or the reining arena. We want to hear from YOU!! To Read - Comment or Share on Facebook

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The Damage OR Horses For LIFE Video Channel


Inside Related Video Article

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Cavalia: A Treat For All the Senses. It is Friday night/Saturday morning, just after midnight. I just got in from a photo shoot with Cavalia in Calgary for which I want to say a very special thank you to David-Jean Pelletier for his graciousness and all the time he spent with me answering questions. I just wanted to share one of the photos that for me captures the spirit of Cavalia. This from a piece that is called Reflections. There were points in the beginning of the piece where you almost could believe there was a mirror on stage. Next they move on to Quebec with only 6 more show dates in Calgary. If you are in the area, you will want to see this show before it leaves! And it pays to get the rendez-vous. They treat you to wine, sumptous food and deserts before and during intermission. I feel totally pampered and spoiled. Next week I am interviewing three of the riders for an upcoming issue of Horses For LIFE. Let us know some of the questions that you would like us to ask!


I do know it take 100 trucks to move the show. And that doesn’t include the horses. It takes 9 semi’s just for the tents. Each time they set up, everything is always set up exactly the same way. This way the horses always feel at home. One picture I couldn’t get is the thirty foot high ghostly apparition of a beautiful white stallion walking across the stage. Between the horses, the special effects and the amazing talents of the rest of the crew, one can’t help but feel amazed by the creativity that is brought forth in this show. I got a heads up that another show is already in the works. A Cavalia 2. No idea what it will be called, but it will be about the message of the bond between human and horse that we treasure so much.

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Cavalia: A Treat For All the Senses


Horses For LIFE

The Great European Schools of CLASSICAL DRESSAGE by Alain Laurioux and Guillaume Henry Reprinted with kind permission from CADMOS and Trafalgar Square 36


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