Jean Philippe Giacomini, known as "J.P.", was born in France and later studied dressage with Master Nuno Oliveira in Lisbon, Portugal for a year and worked as an assistant trainer at the National Portuguese Stud of Alter Real for 3 & 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. Through his travels, he was fortunate enough to ride and "feel" horses trained by direct students of the great French luminaries, including Gen. Albert Decarpentry, Jean Persin de Lauret and other Baucher distant disciples, as well as horses trained by Dr. Guilherme Borba, Dr Filipe Graciosa and the late master Herbert Rehbein.
While living in England, Giacomini produced international champions in 3 day eventing, dressage and show jumping, including the Lusitano stallion Novilheiro, who was a Grand Prix dressage horse, an intermediate eventer and British Show-Jumping leading money earner in 1983. Giacomini also coached international event and dressage riders from England, Canada, the United States, Ireland and Portugal. This list includes the 1983 European 3 Day Gold Medallist Rachel Bayliss who, aboard her horse Mystic Minstrel, achieved the unique feat of competing internationally in dressage and eventing the same year. Giacomini is widely considered an expert at training piaffe and passage and is noted for his ability to bring long-lasting solutions to previously unsolved training or soundness problems.
In 1992, he founded the Trofeo Mundi Int'l Foundation aimed at promoting classical horsemanship, wrote over 100 articles on breed history, training and biomechanics, and led many horse study trips to Portugal and Spain. JP created a unique competition for Classical riders, called TM Manege™ and TM Versatility™. He is currently looking for organizers to volunteer their help in this project. JP is also the inventor of a revolutionary new training approach: Endotapping™ (also known as "JP's Relax Reflex Reward Technique™"). His educational website is soon becoming a model in distance learning and a trove of classical video lessons. JP was selected as one of the few American clinicians to give a series of demonstrations on the classical principles during the 16 days of the WEG 2010 that were very successful.
Giacomini travels for clinics and trains his five beloved Lusitano stallions (his 'living laboratory'), as well as select clients horses near Lexington, KY - USA where he breeds Andalusians and Lusitanos with his wife Shelley, a reputed equine photographer.
JP's way of presenting the information and exercises to me was different and very helpful. I tell you, the minute I got the jump right, it was a feeling I'd not had before...
Grand Prix Dressage RiderJP left us all with such concrete tools and philosophy that we cannot wait to have him back. My horse is working at Prix St. Georges, and JP produced movement in him that was far beyond what I imagined him capable of...
"Novilheiro's [JP's famous show-jumping Lusitano stallion] outstanding dressage training with J.P. gave him an instant start and a very quick rise to the international level of Show Jumping".
"Horseman of the Year""...By the way, JP, thank you for resolving the flying lead change problem on that really tricky horse my client sent you...He actually was champion of his division the last time out, which is a huge improvement."
Showjumper & InstructorAlong with Dick Stillwell [British show jumping Team coach and BSJA senior coach] you are the only rider who rides as he teaches: with complete simplicity in both basics and advanced movements...
It was very exciting to see how much your dressage work has to offer the western world and how well your methods apply to the events I am training for...
"The horses in the lessons responded, learned and became more relaxed and responsive." Following the 5 day clinic, the Stallion "Rituel" scored 77% to win the Australian Young Horse Championship, judged by Michael Klimke.
...I was very pleased with the results I achieved with my cutting horses during and after the clinic with JP... Everyone can benefit from his remarkable training methods.
During a clinic I participated in, the horses responded 100%, every time & stayed relaxed up to 40 minutes after their lesson. They all showed lengthened strides in all their gaits, rounded top lines and were chewing and licking...
Francisco Cancella D'Abreu, International dressage trainer & competitor, editor-in-chief "Equitacao Magazine", Founding Rider of both the Real Escuela Andaluza D'Arte Equestre (Spain) and the Portuguese School of Equestrian Art, Chef d'Equipe of the Portuguese Dressage Team, FEI International Judge Candidate & the finder of Baloubet du Rouet (world famous jumping champion). He said: "I have known J.P. Giacomini since the beginning of his distinguished professional career. I have been an interested witness all along to his successes in all the disciplines he practiced, particularly dressage. I strongly feel that his vast equestrian culture, hard work, versatility and imagination have contributed to the enrichment of the world's horsemanship".
Dr. Alexandra Dees, Doctor of Chiropractics, breeder of Sport Arabians, Warmbloods and Lusitanos, Registrar of the Int. Andalusian & Lusitano Horse Assoc.: "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. JP blends the best of the French and Portuguese styles with his own unique methods based on a thorough knowledge of sport horse management. As a chiropractic physician, I deeply appreciate JP's dedication to the well being of the horse, both mental and physical. I have never before worked with a trainer that has such ability to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the horses and riders he teaches. Every aspect of JP's method that I have seen is firmly based on the in-depth knowledge of the structure and biomechanical function of both the horse and rider. I can testify to the fact that my horses, after an hour of intense work in collection will exhibit no pain upon palpation of the para-spinal musculature. In fact, none of JP's horses that I have worked on [as a chiropractor] have ever shown the characteristic pain and tension patterns unfortunately prevalent nowadays with dressage horses. This is the most fundamental demonstration of the correctness of JP's method and philosophy."
Juan Diego Garcia Trevijano, Olympic show jumping rider & classical dressage master: « Dear Jean Philippe, I congratulate you for the qualities of your stallions, as well as for the roundness of movement of Istoso and the brilliant of Hipogrifo in their respective pictures at the passage. Regarding your article on piaffe and passage, they are are very few authors who venture like yourself in addressing successfully the more difficult to describe, yet more interesting and educational aspects of piaffe, passage and transitions.»
Jacqueline Vine, Level 2 PNH rider from Australia said: "At Equitana, I was impressed by JP's credentials, brain, vision and how the test horses used in the demos reacted positively to his technique. I just finished reading JP's book on the Relax Reflex Reward System. It is a brilliantly concise, yet thorough, overview and understanding of horsemanship through our time, for our time... Watching JP teach is like watching Pat Parelli, Sally Swift, Willie Schulteis and Nuno Oliveira rolled into one!! He is a brilliant instructor and horseman.
Mary Jane Hall, a classical dressage enthusiast who owns Lipizzaners and Andalusians (Santa Rosa, CA) wrote: "JP is truly a master and I believe we are lucky to have someone of this caliber here in the 'States'. We need to hang on to him... I think his method needs to be kept as a national treasure and everyone should see and learn it, not just classical riders and trainers, but ALL disciplines of riding and driving."
Christine Adderson, a Level 2 Parelli Instructor, visited J.P. for a week from Canada and wrote: "From being in the company of JP and observing him with his stallions, I feel that he is simply a genius! I witnessed him using innovative methods in the training of specific actions while still respecting the principles of training in their simplest form. As well as his creative mind, his strong analytical skills served to isolate the issue that needed attention, find the answer, and then recombine it back into a whole."
Rahn Greimann, Managing Editor of HorseN Around & Southeast Equine Monthly. "I have spoken with numerous owners that had J.P. "fix" their horses' various problems; they think that the "man walks on air", because they can see an immediate (and lasting) positive change every time. Above all, the horses JP works with are always happy at the end of the session. Now, THAT is the best testimonial a trainer can get!"
Julie Williams, an attendant at the Minnesota Horse Expo Clinic Series wrote: "I had the privilege of seeing him at the Minnesota Horse Expo a couple of years ago. He's is a fabulous trainer and instructor and a great communicator. His content and teaching style are 5 star. I DO think JP is one of the most effective and sensible instructors I've run into, and I've seen a lot of them in our years of traveling the horse circuit."
Jennifer Truett, from Dancing Horse Farm, is a USDF Bronze Medalist and a former competitor at the North American Young Rider Championships. after her first clinic in Nov 2007, she sent this email: "JP, I just wanted to write to you to let you know how well Breezy is doing. Yesterday, I was doing cartwheels after riding her because for the first time since I've owned her, she gave me a place to sit in her extended trot! I can't believe the sudden transformation in her gaits from only three sessions with you. She is now thrusting with her hind legs and lifting and extending her front legs in impressive extensions that she can do over and over. Before this, I was lucky to get one or two really good extensions out of her in a workout.
The big difference is that she is now lifting her back and carrying me instead of hollowing away - I can feel it and my staff can see it. She is also now simply a piaffe superstar! The amazing feeling I got with you during the clinic this past weekend where, for the first time, I felt piaffe as it should be - in place, on a loose rein and requiring no aid from me, we have now repeated many times over by ourselves! I was so ecstatic with the fact that she now has "piaffe autopilot," that I put each member of my staff on her to experience the "high" that comes from riding one of the most difficult and challenging Grand Prix movements; they all walked around in a dream all day after that, as did I =) Thank you for showing me the way to unlock Breezy's potential. I am truly impressed with how quickly she has changed and the fact that the quality I always believed was in there, really is! Sincerely, Jennifer.
Andras Szieberth, breeder, owner & professional trainer of the Holsteiner stallion Lotus T. "Lotus started his training in 2001 and by early 2002 I have taken him to horse shows in both dressage and jumping. He was very easy to train and some of my students also rode him successfully. I sent Lotus T to participate in the 100-day stallion testing in August, 2002, which he successfully completed in 3rd place. During the final testing he exhibited some discomfort, rearing with some of the test riders, which was a very uncharacteristic behavior from him. After he returned to my farm in Florida, he started exhibiting neurological symptoms: unable to lie down to roll, to lower his neck and graze, to pick his feet up. These symptoms got worse by the day. When I attempted to ride him, he would refuse to go forward, and upon encouragement, he would rear up violently, them back up and tremble. I took him to several top veterinarians but the conventional western veterinary practitioners were unable to come to a diagnosis.
After resting him for 9 months, putting him on tranquilizers, I resumed his training - with very limited success. In February, 2005, Dr Judith Shoemaker, a veterinarian specializing in the treatment of neurological problems diagnosed Lotus T with a blunt trauma to the neck, withers and tail. After several treatments and extensive physical therapy, Lotus T started showing some improvement, but remained unrideable. Then, in August 2005, on the recommendation of Dr. Shoemaker, I took Lotus T to a clinic given by J.P. Giacomini, with major reservations from my part. After two days of work-in-hand, on the lunge line and with long lines, as well as using some unconventional techniques, Mr. Giacomini put me back on Lotus T - and the horse was moving forward, uninhibited and showed no signs of disobedience, after almost 3 years of refusing to do anything at all.
In the following months Lotus T showed steady signs of improvement, while being trained according to Mr. Giacomini's methods. In December 2005, another eastern practitioner, Charlie D'Oruso treated Lotus T and the result was a major decrease of Lotus T's neurological remaining symptoms. At this time, I still wasn't comfortable riding Lotus T in certain circumstances, e.g. riding him around other horses or outside the arena, so I asked and arranged for Mr. Giacomini's help again. During the 3 day clinic, Lotus T improved leaps and bounds and I have been enjoying riding him in the arena, in company, on the trails and in every imaginable situation. He has now started back on his jumping career with great success. I firmly believe that Mr. Giacomini's training methods, using Endotapping to create relaxation and focusing on the improvement of the biomechanical function of the horse's movement in great detail (in conjunction with the proper veterinary support), saved my badly injured stallion's career as a sporthorse".
Antonio Castro is an enlightened amateur of both High School and Natural Horsemanship from Portugal who rode his stallion without a bridle among the hundreds of horses of the Golega fair. He wrote: "I am writing you ….so I could have the pleasure to invite you to spend some time with us and have the privilege to learn from you, because your equestrian knowledge is immense. I had recently the opportunity to see you ride your latest horses in a video on your website and I must tell you, my friend, with your permission, that your advancement of the equestrian art represent a progress spectacular in its sophistication. As we say here "the older the Port wine, the better it is" …. I would like to have the possibility to visit you in a future trip to the States or see you in one of your clinics because, though I'm very found of natural horsemanship, [I believe that] the true "quintessence" of Equitation was reached in the Baroque riding period and you absolutely represent that tradition."
Kirsten Lee, event rider, rescues and "recycles" thoroughbreds from the track, she wrote: "It was wonderful meeting you, your beautiful family and your exquisite horses over Easter. The picture of your stallions now graces my refrigerator door, as an inspiration and a goal. I really enjoyed seeing a glimpse of your vision and look forward to learning more about Equus Academy. Your demo of Endotapping at the Horse Park was very powerful. I played with a very ad hoc version when I got home and enjoyed immediate results with a rescue mare who used to panic when closed in a stall. It is a great credit to your system that I was able to achieve success just off my notes from that day and a handmade "endostick!" Again, I searched the web for more information and came up empty. Is your "3Rs" still available? Any other information? I would love to be able to promote to my clients a system that has such an immediate, beneficial impact. Of course, I also want to build my own knowledge and proficiency! Now that my mother has moved back to Lexington I look forward to more frequent visits. Do you teach clinics in the area?"
Allen Pogue, horse trainer extraordinaire, equestrian educator and entertainer, specialist of liberty horses and foal education, said: "The Endo-tapping procedure is so revolutionary, so all encompassing, so simple and works so well, every time, be it with severe rehabilitation problems, newborn babies or older performers needing to improve. It is the most significant progress in horse training since man broke off twigs from trees to make horses go forward".
Melita & Louise Nieuwhof, auditors to JP's Demos at Equitana Australia, emailed: I attended your demonstration of the "The 3 R's of Riding" and the Endo-Aids™ at Equitana in 1999. Subsequently, I purchased your book and Endo-sticks™ for my daughter and myself. As my daughter, Louise had not been able to come with me from Tasmania [Australia], I recorded the use of the Endo-stick™ to show her. At the time she was working at level 3 Parelli Natural Horsemanship and encountering the problems you described in your account of 'The Phantom Nat'. The Endo-stick™ helped so much that since then it has been part of her training of any horse. As well, your analysis of the system of riding she was employing at the time clearly showed that her horse and the horses of the fellow students she observed really were becoming "uncontrollable martial art opponents". Since then she has aimed at that holistic approach you described: trying to incorporate natural horsemanship, clicker training, traditional dressage, vibrational massage and Alexander technique (the latter with help from 2 Tasmanian teachers). Training horses with pleasure rather than pain has been uppermost in her mind, a concept you promote. We were disappointed that it was not possible to get a group in Tasmania for a clinic when there was some hope that you might be available. We consoled ourselves with looking forward to your return to another Equitana but that wasn't to be. Now, I am writing to ask how we can obtain the videos of your course as well as any further books, articles, equipment etc. We would like to thank you sincerely for what we been able to learn so far. As a retired English teacher, I particularly enjoyed the poetry of your writing. Most of all, we appreciated the spirituality of your connection with the horse. Hoping that we can benefit further from your teaching.
Anne Buchanan, Ph.D. Former Field Director for the Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP), Operation executive for the FEI Word Games 2010, emailed after her first lesson with JP on her rescued Thoroughbred racehorse: Obviously, a mere thank you, and some exchange of currency, can't begin to express the appreciation I feel for what you did for my horse [a thoroughbred retired from racing] and what I LEARNED from you! I have so often heard people talk about what a front or hind leg should be doing, but didn't have the slightest clue of what to look for. Tonight, everything you did with Cappy was transparent and understandable. I really, really appreciate that. Taking the mystery out of things I long to learn is so, SO gratifying. Thank you.
Maddrey Baker, Vet technician, experienced show rider, practicing Natural Horsemanship, wrote after a clinic: Thank you so much for the opportunity to work with you. After so many years of push and pull I had given up on ever finding a form of dressage training that both the horse and rider could truly enjoy. In watching your riding on your stallions, I regained hope for the first time in 12 years that there was still reality, love and relationship available in the area of classical horsemanship and dressage. Though it was quite a long trip to come see you, the drive home seemed so much longer, after seeing the rapid changes in my mare, I left craving for more instruction.
A while back, I had travelled to the Parelli ranch after following their system for 5 years at home and in clinics. During the 6 week course, my focus was on changing my mare's very difficult, stubborn attitude. Watching you work with her was astounding. In six weeks at the Parelli center I left feeling all of my mare's bad years of uncooperative attitude were all my fault and we had made no progress in achieving a relationship to speak of between us.
The groundwork you did with her exhibited such empathy, leadership and fairness that her attitude changed more in 15 minutes than in 6 weeks of intense training at the Parelli Center. I was worried about trying dressage again due to the brutal "training" my last horse had been subjected to and concerned that it might remove all the will and happiness from the horse I had coddled since a weanling.
Instead, you transformed her positively by simply and effectively removing the "wont" in her. She is now a completely changed horse, ready to work and happy to learn for the very first time. I never even knew that a chunky little quarter horse mare like her could lighten her front end to that extent and really start moving. I certainly never believed that it could happen in four days.
As for my riding, you have such a simple and distinct method of creating lightness, presented with such a clear message, that I now understand the meaning of "feel" for the first time, and this after 25 years of assiduous riding! It is really a life changing experience to suddenly find fruition to my longstanding aspirations and renewed inspiration in a method so thorough, progressive and effective that there is no room for the usual vagueness or for slipping into the brutality seen so often today.
I truly cannot wait to bring my mare and other horses back to you. Please consider us dedicated students, as we are now completely devoted to learning as much as we can absorb from you in the near future. Thank you again for your time, inspiration and direction, and the hospitality of your exceptional farm and family.
Michelle Peck Williams, AP World History, Arts & Humanities Dept. Chair Dunbar High school, and amateur dressage rider, says: I think I have learned more in the last 4 days than I have in the last 4 years. Thank you so much. I am looking forward to a GREAT deal of progress. Thanks again!
Jane Beshear, First Lady of Kentucky, event rider and fox hunter, emailed: JP - we had great weekend - mare finished 2nd - had good dressage test - much more relaxed, but comments were needed bigger steps - XC was very good as was stadium. Alston had good dressage and XC - but Louie bruised his front "elbow" and could not jump stadium. Just wanted you to know that I jumped table - one handed with whip in action!! Intend to continue working on this. Thanks for all your help!!
Jennifer Dodd, long time student of JP in Texas, emailed: I boarded at a barn where JP trained a few years ago, and the man is brilliant with horses. He's no nonsense and absolutely WILL get you and your horse working better together. My Andalusian gelding blossomed under JP's training, and I watched him turn a lot of so-called "problem horses" that other trainers couldn't help into solid citizens. Don't be afraid of the fact that he's trained Olympic riders. JP works with all levels of horses and riders and all disciplines.
Cindy Meens, a horse breeder for 30 years, e-mailed: "I have a colt that was a total 'nut case', preferring to launch himself against the walls of a stall rather than be touched. I tried everything I knew to do: let him run with nice foals, isolated him, nothing was working... After only 3 days of tapping sessions, I am absolutely amazed at the change in my colt! I now have a 'puppy dog' where there used to be a suicidal maniac. He is now out with the other foals and comes running to greet me. I can halter him, lead him, tie him, pick up his feet, introduced him to other people without a blow up. I can even lead him around with just a hand under his chin. In fact, he's the sweetest, friendliest foal on the place. I am in awe and I can't thank you enough for this. This Endo-tapping is the most incredible aide I've ever seen. Every horse on the place gets it now! Thanks! Thanks! Thanks!!!
Mary Jane Hall (Santa Rosa, CA) wrote: ...The Endo-aids are the most amazingly effective tool I have ever seen. Absolutely every horse, every breed, every age, every discipline of horse in the clinic welcomed it eagerly... Every solution to every problem became simple even for a novice to do. What I saw JP accomplish in 3 days with a beginner rider and her 30 year old Appaloosa was incredible.
Jacqueline Vine, Level 2 PNH rider, saw JP at Equitana in Melbourne, Australia: During a clinic I Participated in, the horses responded 100%, every time & stayed relaxed up to 40 minutes after their lesson. They all showed lengthened strides in all their gaits, rounded top lines and were chewing and licking. The Endo-Stick is a very effective tool, well designed & it created no negative response or fear. The clinic was outstanding.
John Whitaker, one of the World's leading Showjumpers since 1975, said: "Novilheiro's [JP's famous show-jumping Lusitano stallion] outstanding dressage training with J.P. gave him an instant start and a very quick rise to the international level of Show Jumping" closer! .
Carol-Lynn Mc Ardle, long listed for the US 3 Day Eventing Team for The Olympic Games of 88 & 92 and the WEG of 90, Grand Prix Dressage rider, wrote about a clinic with JP (Dec 2002) she attended in Seattle WA: JP gave a clinic in Seattle (December 4 - 8, 2002) and it was an overwhelming success. Not only did all the riders and their horses reach new heights in communication and understanding, but unlike so many clinics where the clinician goes home and leaves everyone to struggle with what was changed, JP left us all with such concrete tools and philosophy that we cannot wait to have him back. My horse is working at Prix St. Georges, and JP produced movement in him that was far beyond what I imagined him capable of. Most importantly, it has stayed and I can now produce it myself. Now Grand Prix feels much closer! .
A few days after JP left, one of my students was preparing her horse to work when he was spooked by a dog. Within seconds he was uncontrollable, and quite dangerous. She picked up one of JP's long Endowhips and started tapping him wherever she could reach in his frenzied spinning. Within a few minutes he had stopped spinning and relaxed not just to a workable state, but completely! He snorted, chewed, lowered his neck and completely "let go"! He became ready and willing to work, when a few moments before he was completely "out of control". This student (a beginner) had been helped by JP once during the clinic and had been concerned that she could not continue to produce the same results once JP was gone. Now she knew she was in control and her progress has been staggering in just one week. Two other students of mine who also participated in the clinic can't stop talking about their horses movement and progress since JP's help. They are also teachers and have been so excited to share JP's philosophy with their own students. Why has it taken us so long to get his help? Well now that we have he will have a difficult time getting rid of us.
Peter Pletcher, World Champion Hunter Rider & Chronicle of the horse 'Horseman of the Year', said in his editorial column: "...By the way, JP, thank you for resolving the flying lead change problem on that really tricky horse my client sent you. He is much easier to ride in the ring now and I finally can take him to the shows and be competitive. He actually was champion of his division the last time out, which is a huge improvement. I will let you know if I have another one who needs your "fixing" magic".
Monty Bruce, National Reining & Reined Cow Horse US Competitor, Clinician, equestrian TV personality: "…I sincerely thank you for letting me come to ride with you. I had a great time and learned a lot.
It was very exciting to see how much your dressage work has to offer the western world and how well your methods apply to the events I am training for: it seems to really prepare the horses to perform much more easily. The proof it works: I had shown the sorrel mare I brought to you several times in the Cow Horse event and never placed on her. After I left your place, we went directly to a NRCHA sanctioned event & I placed Reserve among top competitors. Her left spin used to really be lacking, it is much better since our visit. I am looking forward for the opportunity to ride with you again soon.
Lily Simic-Vramic, Professional French Show-Jumper and Instructor, wrote in her letter to JP after a clinic: ... "Along with Dick Stillwell [British show jumping Team coach and BSJA senior coach] 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. I presented you with 3 horses that had nothing in common: a big Selle Francais gelding, a very hot, small Thoroughbred mare, and a 'laid back' five year old stallion. You did find, instantly with each of them, the detail that was nagging me and prevented me from progressing in their training. Your explanations, (contrary to many I have listened to before), were clear and simple. Allied with your cordiality, this made the clinic very enjoyable for me..."
Mary Hanna, Australian Olympic Dressage rider, brought Limbo, Londoner and Rituel to a clinic at her Melbourne stable. Kyra Kyrklund & her Australian student Mary Hanna became interested in the 3R's at Equitana 99 and Mary held a private clinic at her place: "I learned a lot about long lining and found the Endo-Stick a very interesting idea: it helps relaxation & stretching down...The horses in the lessons responded, learned and became more relaxed and responsive." Following the 5 day clinic, the Stallion Rituel scored 77% to win the Australian Young Horse Championship, judged by Michael Klimke.
Allie Untiedt, Morgan owner, driving competitor, said: Since then [3 day clinic] I have won all my Morgan show driving classes, as well as the first open driving class I've competed in. That's results!! I can say without any reservations, any horse and rider will benefit from working with JP and his clinics are WELL WORTH the money and time invested.
Priscilla Hoback, Artist, Arabian breeder, "TTeam" practitioner: "...When you started this schooling, your understanding of Arabians, their strengths and weaknesses have allowed more development than I thought possible. I would love to see more Arabian horses developed athletically and mentally by your methods. They become so catlike and light - I feel you bring out all the horse has in him - to a level that I can ride and perform - not just watch a professional ride my horses for me.
Mr. Larry Mahan, 5 Time World Champion All Around Cowboy & Cutting Competitor, after a clinic with JP said: "...I was very pleased with the results I achieved with my cutting horses during and after the clinic with JP… Everyone can benefit from his remarkable training methods."
Laurietta Oakleaf, a para-equestrian rider hoping to qualify for the Hong Kong Paralympics (the Olympics for handicapped riders that will happen just after the Olympics). "I have done very well this year in competition and will be one of the few on the Advanced Riders list. I will also be working towards going to Australia to go to an Olympic qualifier, so that I can have a chance to get asked to go to the US Selection Trials and try out for my lifetime goal, the Olympics. I want to thank JP for all the help he gave me at the show I went to at his farm in KY.
I met him while he worked one of his Lusitano stallion in the indoor arena, doing a piaffe using nothing more than a leadrope around his neck. I was in amazement of the lightness that this horse possessed. I asked if he would be willing to help me with my Andalusian stallion before my classes. The result was amazing. After less than an hour of him helping me warm up before my classes, all my scores went up by 5-8% and my horse became much lighter and rounder. He worked with me a couple more times that day, and each time, things got better. I was amazed in how simple things really can be. I am hoping JP were closer, as this would make it possible for me to come down and train under him and learn these skills so that I may learn to ride the "true" dressage with lightness and self-carriage. He amazed me with his coaching skills and at how clear he was in his explanations, so I really understood what he was wanting me to do. JP didn't treat just like a disabled rider, but like a real dressage rider! My goal in life is to learn to ride, not just like a disabled rider, but like a dressage rider and to one day show Grand Prix. JP helped me realize in just one day that he worked with me, that this could become a reality. JP, thanks you again for all your help! I hope that in the near future I may have a chance to work with you on an ongoing basis.
For his efforts in supporting the Lusitano breed, JP received the 25th Anniversary Commemorative Medal of the Portuguese School of Equestrian Art from the hands of its director and his life long friend, Dr. Joao Filipe Graciosa, during the May 2006 Brazilian Lusitano Championship. Also in 2006, JP became the Chair of the Luso-Spanish Commission for IALHA, with the difficult task of defining, promoting and marketing this important bloodline of the American Studbook.
Mr. Arsenio Cordeiro, Multiple Champion Lusitano breeder, author of "Lusitano, Son of the Wind", past President of the Portuguese Breeders Association and the Lusitano Stud-Book, International Judge:"Jean Philippe Giacomini is one of the world's great enthusiasts of the Lusitano horse and of Baroque Horsemanship.... Portugal is in his debt for the discovery and training of Novilheiro... thanks to him this stallion became the most famous Lusitano horse in the world of equestrian sport ever."
Linda Crull, long term IALHA director wrote about JP's plan of action: "I feel that overall it is a big step in the right direction and that JP is a person with the clout, the conviction, the knowledge, the connections, the personal and professional agenda to make it happen." [For the Luso-Spanish horse]
Jorge Cruz, Spanish Breeder of Lusitanos, wrote: "It is obvious that you are a master who favors flexibility and the swing of the back. Your name is a part of the history of our breed and your work honors equestrian art."
Gareth Selwood, Judge, Past Regional Director, Past Association Secretary, past Show Chairman of the International Andalusian Lusitano Horse Association (IALHA), past US Equestrian Federation's Breeders' Committee Chair, past Chair of USEF Andalusian & Lusitano Committee, Multiple Champion Trainer and Breeder. "I have known Jean Philippe (J.P.) Giacomini since 1984 when I got involved with the Andalusian breed. His reputation as a horseman spans 3 continents, but I will only refer here to his work in support of the Andalusian and Lusitano breed in America.
Since 1992, JP has written numerous and fascinating articles for many American and European publications, including our own "Andalusian Magazine", about the breed's history, breed standard and other important issues of the moment. Several of these articles can be currently found on the association website. He has been instrumental in making the American public more curious about our horse and our members more aware of the high standards to which it is bred in Europe.
As an elected official of our successive associations, he was elected Vice-President of the American Andalusian & Lusitano Horse Association and was instrumental in convincing the board to adopt the word Lusitano in its masthead. This was a very important step for the stability and economic development of our breed, yet a highly contentious issue at the time. He was the main architect of a very difficult merger between the American Andalusian Horse Association and the International Andalusian Horse Association in 1995, resulting in the formation of the current IALHA, an amazing feat considering that the two groups had 12 years of fighting and legal problems. He strongly supported my efforts ever since that time to obtain the recognition of our breed by AHSA (now known as USEF) & the creation of a committee in that national organization. He now serves as a member of that committee.
After a hiatus, he returned to public service as a director for his region in 1999 and traveled extensively to help our then President in obtaining the exclusive representation of both the Spanish and Portuguese Studbooks for IALHA.
This Official Protocol was eventually signed with the national institutions of those countries. He served as the founding chairman of the newly formed Lusitano Commission, as the Chairman of the Education Committee (in charge of the Breed Standard for the Judges Education Program) and gave numerous educational seminars on our breed, either privately or on the association's behalf.
He volunteered again in 2004 in order to help the clarification of our breed standard and proposed a way to reform our inadequate judging system. This is another extremely delicate high priority task that will certainly require the use of his extended qualifications, quite unique in our country. His influence has been considerable for the promotion of our international status, for the practice of dressage and high school within our group of riders, for the renewed acceptance of the Lusitano and Luso/Spanish bloodlines by US breeders and for the promotion of the breed in the horse-world of the Americas."
Don Angel Peralta, world famous rejoneador (mounted bullfighter), president of the Cartujano's Breeders Association, after a training demonstration by JP at his breeding farm in Sevilla, dedicated one of his books to JP with these words: "To Jean Philippe, with my admiration for the understanding and compassion he demonstrates in his training of horses and with the love that we both share for them."
Col. Juan Llamas, retired official of the Spanish Cria Caballar (National Horse Breeding Services), artist, International Judge & Celebrated Author of Seminal Books on the Spanish Horse, referred to JP Giacomini as: "The world renown ecuyer whose talent for creating collection guides his High School horses to achieve the uppermost limits of classical sophistication".
Robert Duvall, Oscar Winning Actor, "Gus" from "Lonesome Dove" (based on the Pulitzer winning novel by Larry Mc Murtry): ..."Thanks for all your help. Because of your introductions, we had a tremendous time in Spain. What great contacts you have to a world we never knew existed! Cowboys doing classical dressage, what a combo!"
Barbara Driscoll, Ph.D., Iberian horse enthusiast, from LA. After attending a seminar on the training of Iberian horses, she wrote to the Editor of "Andalusian": "...As an introduction to classical dressage training methods and as a terrific commercial for the Iberian horse, the seminar was overwhelmingly educational and thought provoking, well organized and presented just right. There was a wonderful flow of ideas and each session built very well upon the previous session. One felt as if one was figuring things out for oneself, rather than being rather skillfully taught."
Maribeth Engen, a new enthusiast, read some of JP's published articles on the Iberian breeds, she emailed: "I cannot begin to thank you enough for all the amazing information you have sent me. You are a wonderful ambassador for the Iberian horse. It is an absolute pleasure to have found someone with this depth of knowledge and the heart to share it with others, honestly and without the usual marketing 'fluff'. There are not enough good things I can say. I am an avid reader and am really enjoying going through all the material you have furnished."
Patty Jacobs, breeder of Champion Andalusians and Chair of IALHA's PRE commission, wrote this after auditing a seminar: "...What we read in books of Portuguese & Spanish horses was clarified before us: docility counter-balanced with brilliance, domination laced with trust, suppleness, rhythm, balance... Dancing horses, beauty in motion, a unforgettable experience."
Mary Marshall, journalist for 'The Bloodhorse', 'The Quarter Horse Journal' and many other equine publications: "….Just wanted to send you a note with a resounding THANK YOU for spending time with us on Sunday! What a great experience it was to meet you both and watch your incredible Lusitano boys go through their paces! I am intrigued by the beauty, intelligence, personalities, and obvious athleticism of your stallions. Our visit just left me with an embarrassment of choice for which of your stallions I should breed to my paint / warmblood mare."
Mrs. Allie Rhodes, Resource Teacher, Camp Dick Robinson Elementary wrote: "When JP came in to talk to me and a couple other faculty and staff members, we were having a difficult time communicating with and disciplining a student. He explained his way of approaching a difficult situation with a child. It involved creating steps of mutual respect and establishing authority over the situation. I was able to take this advice and apply it the next day when working with one of my students. I am very appreciative to JP for sharing this advice with us here at Camp Dick Robinson Elementary School.
Mrs. Margaret M. Pfeifer, Teacher of Exceptional Education Students, CDR School, Garrard Co, KY, recently wrote to us: "I have found JP's tips on education to be useful and helpful in my primary Special Classroom. His insistence on [the teacher] having authority, declaring it and following through is so important in training young people in our society. I would recommend JP's techniques to other educators who are dumbfounded at the lack of respect shown by our students in today's world."
Dennis & Ginger Vosburg experienced US Andalusian/ Lusitano breeders, wrote:
"The only thing that gave us the courage to proceed with the purchase of an unseen animal was to know that the horse would be selected and evaluated by JP. He was available and helpful prior to and during the auction, payment process, obtaining insurance and transport. Whenever a question arose, JP immediately was on the phone to retrieve answers for us. The filly is awesome in every respect, with no disappointments or surprises. For future purchases, if a trip abroad isn't convenient, we wouldn't hesitate to enlist JP as agent. Thank you, JP and Shelley, for being a part of making this dream come true!"
Maribeth Engen, bought a Luso/Spanish, 3 year old stallion, on JP's recommendation. While searching for the ideal horse, she emailed this: "It means a lot to meet people such as Shelley and you who are interested in more than just a quick sale. Again, please accept my deep-felt gratitude for the patience and help you have shown me so far and will hopefully continue to show in the future. When I first talked to you I must admit that I had been feeling a little pushed around and discouraged with the whole process of finding the right horse. It had not been a very pleasant venture up to that point. Thank you so much for helping re-instill some of my confidence in the quest to find the best horse for me."
Then, a few months after taking her new horse home: "Just a note to update you on Raja. Thank you so much for helping me to find him. He is a delight! I can take him on the trail and out with mares and he always remains a perfect gentleman. He, of course, is also great fun in the arena and I hope to start competing at training level with him next summer. "Raja" is so well mannered that people are shocked to see that he is a stallion.
So, in short, in spite of doubts that I had when I purchased him, he has turned out just as you said he would. He has continued to fill out and gain strength with maturity. I was concerned about some of his more extreme angles and lack of muscling through the hip but you assured me that these would improve and they have. I appreciate the advice and educated eye that you have learned and continue to share with me and look forward to working with you in the future. I hope to bring him down for more training later in the year. For now, I would like to come for a weekend session so I could do some lessons with you? I must admit that I really hate the idea of parting with him for even a little while. I've attached some photos which are about a month & 1/2 old so you can see how he has changed."
6 months later: JP, I just wanted to let you know that Maharaja is doing awesome. My boy with the pacey walk got rave reviews for his ground covering 4-beat walk at a clinic this weekend. He moved entirely through from the rear legs, stayed uphill in the front and stretched down and into the bit in the front. His back was free and swinging and he totally kicked butt... including the warmbloods. She had us ride entirely from the seatbones with no leg and a butter soft contact. He did amazing leg yield and shoulder-in. I am going to go back and try to get him this soft and through all the time. The weekend was like an epiphany for me. People actually followed us back to his stall to find out more about him. I made sure to tell them who found him for me. I have just started hauling him to clinics and he has been a perfect gentleman both times. People are amazed that he is a stallion. I just wanted to let you know how grateful I am that you found him for me!! He is so patient, responsive and kind. He also is incredibly talented… more so than I ever thought he could be. I really think if I get and keep my act together that we can do really well. Thank you so much!!! I just feel so lucky to have this horse. I really do lovehim…. The bad news is that we are going to put up an arena at home this summer so I can't afford to bring my mares down to breed. And trust me, as much as everything you said about Raja has proven true, I wish I could breed to the stallions you picked for my mares. Hopefully next year will work out. Anyways, if anyone ever wants to know how great you are at picking the right horse, just have them contact me. Raja is ten times the horse I ever would have thought he could be. I was just so focused on his rear conformation that I couldn't see his potential. I need to send you photos. Even though he still is sickle hocked, he stands up entirely different than he used to. It doesn't negatively affect him at all and is much less extreme than it was originally. JP, YOU are the man when it comes to judging horseflesh!!!
Ray & Victoria Morris, from Don-E-Mor Farm, acquired mares in the US and Brazil selected by JP, they later wrote: On our honeymoon trip, we discovered JP Giacomini who showed us the rare and wonderful Lusitano horses at his and Shelley's Baroque Farms USA near Lexington, KY. Since this first exciting contact, JP has helped us put together a Lusitano breeding operation in North Carolina which has replaced our Arab / Morgan breeding program. In the nearly two years we have been associated with JP, he has guided us though the difficult process of acquiring and importing a herd of 6 exceptional mares from sources both in the United States and overseas.
As a consultant, JP has tirelessly advised us on selecting pedigree and conformation as we developed the Donemor Farm breeding program aiming at producing animals with optimum disposition, performance ability and genetic value. He is always willing to share his considerable knowledge and breeding experience.
In breeding our mares to all four of his stallions, JP and his wife Shelley have been very responsive at shipping semen for A.I. when it was needed within a few hours of our veterinarian calling. He also advised a live cover at his facilities in Lexington for an older mare that was having difficulty getting pregnant through A.I.. His stallion had her confirmed pregnant in less than three weeks.
He has found time in his busy clinic schedule to come to our facility and help us with all kind of logistic issues such as early training of the colts. Now that our first babies are on the ground, he is communicating with us constantly to adjust future breeding, selecting and marketing decisions. We are looking forward to his next visit to review the conformation and disposition of all the great babies already born.
JP has spent over 40 years immersed in the Lusitano breed on 3 continents, developing lifelong friendships with all the major breeders. He is passionate about the Lusitano and has taken to promoting the breed as his life's mission. From breeder to trainer to historian of the breed, he can be considered THE Lusitano resource in America!
We are looking forward to continue using his stallions, training ability and marketing services for years to come.