A short film of JP enjoying his personal horse Orion (age 6). On this particular day Orion is learning piaffe, passage and pirouettes. Relaxation and obedience are top priority to JP as he teaches his young horses new movements.
"I started riding 'by the seat of my pants"..... " I rode those colts under the eye (and the scary voice) of the Master Nuno Oliveira. There was no time for explanations. It was rather: do that and do it now! Push the horse forward, ride straight into the corners, keep the head stable on a semi-loose rein and maintain the energy during the whole ride. These lessons have become the most cherished part of my apprenticeship because they taught me how important early forwardness is to the entire training process. After that intense phase, everything became easy. Shoulder in, halts, the contact, all came effortlessly because the horses were in balance and forward." JP.
~ Jean Philippe (J.P.) Giacomini was born in France where he started riding under the tutelage of French Cavalry officer Hubert Clauzel. Later, he studied dressage with Master Nuno Oliveira for over a year and at the Portuguese National Stud of Alter Real where he was assistant trainer for three-and-a-half years. He rode many green colts, raced in a few steeplechases, evented, show-jumped and trained the first of 15 Grand Prix dressage horses when he was 17 years old.
"I have observed Jean Philippe Giacomini on several occasions while he worked with great finesse and a perfect mastery ..............his young horse works with an obvious and joyous spirit of cooperation, a high level of impulsion and in a remarkable balance."
Christian Descomps, Grand Prix Dressage rider and trainer.
"Respect for the horse's long-term integrity, both physical and emotional, Practicality of the method, Realism of the training goals. Though I have to assume an unquestionable position of leadership with the horses, I pay the utmost attention to the roundness of their topline because it is the indispensable condition for carrying the weight of the rider without undue stress to the horse's lower joints and tendons." JP
JP is widely considered to be one of the few true masters of training Piaffe and Passage [the most difficult of the Dressage movements], and is noted for his ability to bring immediate (AND long-lasting) solutions to previously unsolved behavior or soundness problems hindering performance.
JP is a rare find: a horseman capable of thinking outside the boundaries of the current equestrian platitudes, yet is still committed to the true spirit of the classical riding of the masters."
Dr. Alexandra Dees, Doctor of Chiropractics and Sport-horse breeder.
"First, are you in the right emotional state to establish your AUTHORITY with enough COMPASSION? Is the horse WILLING to pay you attention/respect? Is he ROUNDED in his topline? READY to move on request? SYMMETRICAL in his actions & responses to rider's demands? SELF-CARRYING and SELF PROPELLED (meaning that there is enough energy and the balance to control it)? Are you equipped technically and emotionally to use RELAXATION to resolve the problem at hand?" JP
His method has a definite European flair, yet he has adopted both Western and Native American approaches when appropriate. His sessions radically improve the emotional behavior of his equine students, yet JP relentlessly works at enhancing the horses' biomechanics, as often demonstrated by spectacularly better soundness and performance. J.P uses the Classical Gymnastics Scale, Natural & Sport horse training concepts and behavior modification techniques by blending them into a state-of-the-art approach to horsemanship.
".....outstanding dressage training with J.P. gave him an instant start and a very quick rise to the international level of Show Jumping".
John Whitaker, Olympic Showjumper
"You are the only coach who rides as he teaches: with complete simplicity in both basics and advanced movements. I have watched you for 3 days, working with a range of horses that included a draught horse, an Iberian, a Standardbred, a Selle Francais and a Thoroughbred and I noticed that you worked always in the same method, yet differently in each approach, zeroing in on the horse and rider's primary problem so instantaneously that we all got the impression you had always known them."
Lily Simic-Vramic, Professional Show-Jumper and Instructor
JP has published over 100 articles on the history, training and the philosophy of horsemanship and dressage. He is currently preparing a practical guide to french dressage doctrine and another book that is a unique contribution to the training process in 3 different languages.
"...Unlike other more innocent dances, Tango and Dressage do not worship the insouciance of youth, but glorify the value of time spent learning and wisdom earned in sorrow. Difficulty confers to those elusive endeavors a deeper beauty: the painful apprenticeship, at long last, turns into effortless self control and frees the partners unto the privilege of inspired improvisation, while giving them the responsibility to refine the secular rules...
... God looks upon the ephemeral results of our struggle kindly and, through his blessing, turns the best of the Dance into a precious gem glistening in the mythical memory of mankind."