28205 NE Tolt Hill Rd
Carnation, WA 98014
Click to READ MORE below or scroll down for a list of common questions.
Cartoon drawn by Philippe Karl. PK & his Hanovarian, High Noon.
"My goal is to provide a wide variety of horses and riders with a holistic training concept in which the respect and welfare for the horse is the top priority. The result is an intensive dialogue between horse and rider, with the horse responding to the lightest aids of the rider confidently, easily and at any time.
Before I could walk, I sat on horseback. As a child and teenager, I had FN lessons in dressage, quadrille and jumping. Looking for more horse-friendly methods, I rode classical-baroque and western competition where I passed exams and helped to organize house competitions as a ring steward. I mingled my knowledge and became an autodidact, with the pedantic support of my greatest teacher, my former Arabian horse Samosh.
Always in search of horse-friendly training, my path eventually led me (ca. 2001) to classical riding, taught by Philippe Karl. I participated in his Trainers' Courses, first as an auditor. From 2007 to 2010, I rode in the Trainers' Course with my Quarterhorse, Leroy. I completed the training successfully in January 2010, thus becoming a licensed instructor of the Ecole de Légèreté (Level 3).
To further improve my skills and provide horse and rider with sensible, healthy and biomechanically correct training. From 2012 to 2015, I studied at the holistic health centre, Equo Vadis, for equine osteopathy.
My curiosity prompts me to go on participating in various horse-related courses. Currently I am working towards a diploma in Equitation Science. Since 1989, I have been working with different riders and horses. Hence, I have been a student and teacher at the same time. I am an independent riding instructor and give clinics in five countries; Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and USA.
My riding method is the School of Légèreté. Feeling, knowledge about horses and common sense are central points if you want to train your horse in a way that fully respects its nature. And I am constantly striving to work on myself on these points.
Because I teach many riding instructors, among others, I had the idea to teach all of my students as if they were instructors. In fact, every horse owner is an instructor the moment they come into contact with the horse. I therefore try to teach my students how to act responsibly, independently and consciously."
Légèreté is the concept of riding with "lightness" and ease developed by Philippe Karl. It is intended for already experienced riding instructors in any number of disciplines to teach students of all ages how to ride while being completely respectful of the horse.
Légèreté is not a 1-2-3 trick system, nor is it merely a philosophical declaration; it is a return to classical principles underscored by today's scientific understanding of the horse. The method is humane and even the most ordinary of horses can achieve high levels without breaking them down. This is because the learning is logical and done step by step.
Now worldwide, Philippe Karl's School of Légèreté provides a comprehensive curriculum of study, both in practice and in theory. While only professionals are allowed to enroll in the School, auditing is open to amateurs. In addition, amateurs may ride in Légèreté Intro Clinics. Although not part of the School, these clinics are taught by a School Course Instructor and are being offered to expose Légèreté to newcomers.
Nichole Walters is in charge of the School of Légèreté at Cadbury Farm. Nichole is one of three School Organizers in the USA.
She is happy to give you information and answer any questions you have about any aspects of the School and her own program. Nichole is also enrolled in the School as a rider in the Trainers Basic Course. As such, she is permitted to teach her own students the Légèreté training methods she is learning.
Nichole invites you to participate in any way you can to learn about Légèreté.
Want to know what the School is all about? Talk to Nichole. As School Organizer, she's a valuable resource. In addition to describing the courses, she is available to help you with your application. She can explain what it takes to be accepted, help you craft your application, and guide you through the process so it is streamlined. Feel free to contact her here!
Légèreté Intro Clinics take place a few days before the Trainers Basic Course clinics and are open to all: experienced trainers interested in applying to the School, adult amateurs, focused young riders, and budding trainers. These 3-day clinics give any serious rider the chance to work directly with a School Course Instructor and experience Légèreté instruction on their own horse. If you don't own a horse, one can be provided.
Riders come from many different disciplines and ride a variety of horses, from OTTBs, Warmbloods, and Friesians to Baroques, Arabs and Quarterhorses, and all kind of mixes, too!
Cadbury Farm is excited to offer three Légèreté Intro Clinics each year for riders looking to learn more about this philosophy and practice. Auditors also welcome!
The Trainers Basic Course of Philippe Karl's School of Légèreté offers experienced riding instructors/trainers a 3+year course of study to learn the philosophy, theory and method of Légèreté. Students apply to the School and once accepted begin by attending the 4-day course clinics offered 3 times a year. A student may attempt their final exam during the 10th clinic if they are ready. If not, they continue to participate in course clinics until they pass their exam. Riding in the School is by admittance only, however auditing is open to all.
As an auditor, you will observe eight professionals at a time working towards passing a comprehensive four-part exam to become certified Légèreté Instructors.
To read more about the Trainers Basic Course, click here.
Foremost, Légèreté engages the horse in a riding method that supports both its physical and mental wellness. Because of its classical nature, Légèreté is an apt training method for most horses and equestrian disciplines—dressage, show jumping, eventing, western dressage, working equitation, natural horsemanship and many more.
For trainers, its progressive teaching tools create a very clear path to training the horse and organizing lessons to teach students. Any dedicated student may excel, even with a perfectly ordinary horse, to high levels of performance.
The School of Légèreté is a school for riding instructors, but professional and amateurs alike can benefit from participation. It teaches both riders and auditors how they can approach their training and why—all with a respect for a diversity of disciplines. Its comprehensive curriculum provides an in-depth education with both practice and theory.
Successful course students receive certification as ‘Riding Instructor of The School of Légèreté,’ that allows them to officially teach this riding method in the name of Philippe Karl. As this training concept is legally protected by patent against plagiarism, distortions, or arbitrary, unauthorized use, no one may refer to the School of Légèreté or the lessons of Philippe Karl without being enrolled in the School or having received certification.
Légèreté Intro Clinics run from 8AM-6PM with snack and lunch breaks. Riders have 60-minute private sessions with a School Course Insrtuctor. Auditors observe the progress of around 8 riders over the course of 3 days. An evening potluck and lecture by the Course Instructor are part of the program.
Trainers Basic Course clinics run 4 days from 8AM-6PM with 8 riders in 45-minute private and group sessions. Auditors observe professional riders on a variety of horses with greatly varied backgrounds. An evening potluck and lecture by the Course Instructor is part of the program. Auditors may also watch a pedegogy session or a student undertaking a part of his or her final exam, if scheduled.
Auditing is open to all for both Légèreté Intro Clinics (3 days) and Trainers Basic Course clinics (4 days). You can audit individual days, audit a whole clinic, or become a full-course auditor.
This is a commitment to attend a full 10-clinic series of the Trainers Basic Course. Benefits include:
To become a Full-Course Auditor click here.
Légèreté clinics are expensive to produce because this is a certified School program with specially qualified Légèreté Course Instructors brought in from Europe. Unfortunately, the United States has a very extensive and expensive visa process these days. The Course Instructor's travel and accommodations, USA Visas, and other costs associated with running the School are covered by auditor fees. The Course Instructor receives 100% of the Riders' Fees; School Organizer Nichole Walters does not receive compensation.
The School essentially runs on auditor fees and the volunteer time of the School Organizer and others dedicated to the program. Once you come and experience a clinic and understand everything that goes into it and what it stands for, you'll appreciate that while it isn't cheap, the delivery of this training in your backyard makes it possible for you to have access to this game-changing work.
Consider your monitary contrubution as:
Légèreté Intro Clinics are a great way for everyone to get involved in Légèreté. All are welcome to ride—no experience required!
The Trainers Basic Course is offered to experienced riding instructors only. However, auditing is open to all.
In order to participate in the Trainers Basic Course, you must apply to the School and be approved by Philippe Karl. This is a 3+ year commitment for those who wish to receive certification as a Légèreté Instructor.
Amateur rider, Jennifer Lewis, introduces her horse to clinician and Course Instructor Bertrand Ravoux.
Fantastic! The process consists of submitting a formal application to Philippe Karl in France and then passing an audition riding the horse you plan to use throughout the duration of the course. This audition involves riding in a clinic as a Selections Rider under the instruction of the School Course Instructor.
School Organizer and Course Rider Nichole Walters is a wealth of knowledge on how to apply and what the Course Instructor and Phillipe Karl look for in an applicant. She encourses you to call her for guidance and support.
If you would like to apply as a rider in the Trainers Basic Course, you can get information you need here.
Course Riders run their own boarding & riding programs. While enrolled as Students-In-Training in the School, course riders are allowed to teach Légèreté to their own students. If you are interested in riding with a student-in-training, see Our Course Riders here. If you are not from the Northwest, please visit Légèreté USA (LUSA) here for options in California and Pennsylvania.