The Alchemy of Lightness

What Happens Between Horse and Rider on a Molecular Level And How It Helps Achieve the Ultimate Connection

Dominique Barbier and Dr. Maria Katsamanis



Within these pages lies an ambitious study of the interplay of mechanisms put in motion when man and horse meet, communicate, and ultimately become one. Dominique Barbier and Dr. Maria Katsamanis examine how "lightness" is generated, using the simple and elegant basics of the universe—atoms and molecules—which exist all around us. Scientific findings and theoretical underpinnings allow us to better understand how lightness with a horse occurs—and how to harness it.

Discover practical guideposts for the mechanics of "riding in lightness," including:

  • Five common misconceptions about riding and horses
  • Seven keys to meeting the challenges we so often face when working with horses
  • Four elements necessary to ensuring the horse's comfort and willingness to join us in "the dance"

Additional Information

Author: Dominique Barbier and Dr. Maria Katsamanis

Format: Hardcover

Page Count: 160

Illustrations: 36 photographs, 10 illustrations

ISBN: 9781570766190

By Dominique Barbier and Dr. Maria Katsamanis

Dominique Barbier cultivated his riding skills at a number of highly regarded facilities throughout Europe, following various disciplines, including show jumping, eventing, dressage, and steeplechasing. Dominique then based himself in Portugal for two years studying with the legendary Mestre Nuno Oliveira. This experience was a defining moment that inspired Dominique's belief in keeping a horse "light and happy." Since immigrating to the United States, Dominique's teaching and passion for the "Art of Dressage" has reached many thousands of people throughout the country, as well as North Africa, Europe, Asia, and Brazil. His avantgarde philosophy, focusing on the importance of mental communication and the understanding of the horse's nature, has been practiced now for over 40 years. Dominique is also the author of Dressage for the New Age, Meditation for Two and Riding with Oliveira with Keron Psillas, which are also available from Trafalgar Square Books (

Dr. Maria Katsamanis has received worldwide recognition as a horse trainer, clinician, exhibition rider, and author. She holds a doctoral degree in clinical psychology. Maria’s early equestrian career included working as an exercise rider for a French racing barn and had the privilege of participating as a display rider in Queen Elizabeth’s II Diamond Jubilee at Windsor Castle. She founded a nonprofit foundation called Friends for Pegasus. She and her Marwari stallion, Bahadurshah, champion equine wellness and ethical training methods around the world. She resides in the United States where she maintains a training barn in Hopewell, New Jersey (

Practical Horseman Says:

“Inspirational photographs, quotes and stimulating questions.”