Josepha Guillaume

Josepha Guillaume

Monday, 13 June 2016 15:58

new vlog and other things

Bonjour Horse Peeps,

Owen and I under the weather
You have not heard from me in a while other than via facebook. If you have been following me via facebook, then you know I have been quite ill for the last several months if not longer. The good news is, the doctors finally found out what is wrong with me about two weeks ago. I suffer from a bad case of anemia. So, I have to take 105 mg of iron every day. Of course I have all the side effect and it will take at least two months to feel better, but I think I feel a slight improvement.
Then Owen, he suffered from COPD since I got him in 2003. with my herbs and oils I had that nicely under control and for the last 5 years, he only had a bit of problems in spring, but not bad enough to take medication. This spring however, he had severe asthma attacks, due to the pollen, that somehow are extremely present this spring. We had no choice as to medicate him with cortisone and ventipulmin. 

New Vlog
Both feeling slightly better, we took to a bit of work, with both our doctor's approval of course, of which you can view a video here, made by our wonderful new working student Ivanka Cuypers.
This is also the first entrance of our new Vlog! We hope you enjoy!
More exciting news will follow this week and a new Vlog next week.

With classical regards,


Tuesday, 29 March 2016 00:00

Student Portal

Thursday, 14 January 2016 00:00

Equus Universalis goes SRS

Dear classical dressage friends,

Talking about a Happy New Year!

The people who follow me on facebook or know me in real life as a trainer and instructeur, know that I am a huge fan of the Spanish Riding school of Vienna (SRS). Even as a child my grandfather told me that in general, real riding was only to be seen within the SRS, all else was just 'sitting on a horse'.
As all of you know, for many years I have been working very hard to bring back classical dressage, be it adjusted to the horse and riders and the problems they face, today. And, if I may say so myself, with huge succes! Equus Universalis is a concept now that stands on his own, gradually expanding its reach.

The last decade of my work mostly came forth from self study. The reason being that the Masters that taught at the time never had answers concerning the horses that simply could not or would not 'do it' other then 'buy an other horse'. The result was that starting then, my path largely concentrated on finding ways to help horses becoming healthy and happy enough to be able to work within classical dressage. Ironnically, the answer was classical dressage, but the means to work with those unable horses were completely new and different (of which years of my experimentation still can be found on the forum I co-hosted Helping horses from lameness or mental objection back to loose, light, healthy classical dressage horses appeared to be the missing link in todays horse world and I received an enormous amount of requests from all over Europe and even outside Europe. Wanting to help everybody led to a severe burn out in 2011. The good news is that this in turn led to the founding of the Equus Universalis Trainer and Instructor School in 2012, which already sprouted a range of very effective and knowledgable trainers and instructor graduates of which I am extremely proud, working the field within my training methods and philosophy.

Of course, learning about the rehabilitation of horses is a never ending process. However, now I study and take courses concentrating manely on additional therapies that can help as an addition to the equus Universalis rehabilitation exercise programme. For me personally though, I have landed my self and luckily my horses on the path that leads back to the pureness of the classical dressage itself. I do move forward with my self study, reading, then working in practise, with the constant feedback of the horses and my training partners, the riders of my riding school, of which mostly Caroline Godefroid who loyally trains with me every week. Nevertheless, I a looking round for someone to study with for some time now and even though there are many great and wonderful trainers out there, I haven't found one who boggles my mind. The only thing I ever find is recognition. So, no matter where I look and how I look at it, the SRS remains the only place that makes me want to study with. I have been playing with this idea in my mind for two years now and strange as some things go, as soon as I decided that I was going to study with the SRS, the opportunity arose within two days!

Monday October 31 and Tuesday November 1, Bereiter (can not get enough of saying that word!) Helmut Oberhausen is coming to Belgium to teach two days of clinics to me, my students and everybody else who wants to study classical dressage.
If everything goes well and as planned, I hope to make clinics with the Bereiters of the SRS a regular event in Belgium. Next to that I hope to be able to study the instructor course at Heldenberg, the trainingstable of the SRS in 2017. But for this year a theory course at the SRS is in my planning, next to the already awesome planned clinic with Bereiter Helnut Oberhausen.

The trainingcentre of the SRS, where the stallions have a paddock at their stables and go into the field and are also exercised in the forest, so they can enjoy and relax outside their annual vacation. For in the SRS there is no possibility for the stallions to be turned out.

So, what do you admire about the SRS so much, is a question I receive a lot lately from people who mostly point out the bits, spurs or side reins, wondering if this fits within my filosophy. Personally I find that a bit of a strange question for the SRS is the SRS and Equus Universalis is Universalis, and there is no reason why we should use the same equipment really. What matters to me is the sustainable riding art that is so lost in Europe. the SRS shows all the proof that sustainable riding art is and has always been the core of their work. So what is the proof of this sustainable riding art you may ask?
Oh, I most surely will tell you! These points are the very same points that are brought forward by the European Equus Universalis Foundation (EEUF):
1. Correct breeding: hello, the lipizanner, enough said
2. Correct socializing of the foal and colt: which results in excellent enjoyable and trainable horses. 74 stallions constantly within reach of each other without so much as one peep, that's amazing? Well, No actually, that should be (and was for a long time) the normality.
3. Correct selective procedure: you can have the best training all you want, of your horse does not have the mindset or physical ability for which you intend to use him, you will run into problems at some point.
4. Correct start and education
5. Proof of sustainable riding art at the SRS: The stallions work very hard from age 6 or 7, performing exercises and school jumps that would cripple many sport horse for even trying. Yet these horses retire at age 27 and not because they are worn out, no Sir. Because at that age they still can enjoy a fantastic retirement, which most stallions do way in to their thirties.

Especially point 5 is what it is all about within Equus Universalis, sustainable riding art. A healthy and powerful horse who is able to present the task asked of him with ease is a happy horse within my experience. I hope that explaines why I choose the SRS to study under now that I am presented with that chance.

I really have a hard time sleeping the last couple of days from sheer excitement and I obviously have a lot of planning to do. But I just can not wait to find out all that I will learn and incorporate into Equus Universalis. And judging from the many excited messages I received, neither can you!

With classical regards,


Tuesday, 21 July 2015 12:04

Estonian interview

May 2015 Josepha has been interviewed by Estonian horse magazine Oma Hubo.

This article is written for the German magazine 'Hofreitschule'

The soft cavesson, the Classical bitless bridle anno 1500
Josepha has been interviewed for the Bückerburger Hofreitschule in Germany. 

Pictures of the interview in the magazine will follow soon. You can order the magazine here: 

Tuesday, 21 July 2015 11:16

book Problemlos Gebisslos

Published in March 2014 by Europe's largest Equine publish house, presented by the author and her students at Equitana, Europe's largest Equine fair, reached target sales within the first two monts after publishing!
This beautiful and practical 95 page book is written in German and expected to be published in English in 2015.

You can order the book here or via Amazone

Equus Universalis™, taking the noble classical riding art to the 21st century
The super horses and trainers of the past
In PRE 1800 times there was a Riding art designed to create horses who not only performed to their maximum, on the lightest of aids but also up to high age! 30 to 35 wasn’t old age for a horse back then and horses would perform admirable up to 25 or beyond. The secret of these well trained, for nowadays standards, almost super horses was not only their training but also their breeding, socialisation  and time to grow up before handled and trained.
The rise of ‘consumers Equestrian sport’
Starting mid-1800, together with the rise of the industrial revolution, the need for these super horses got lost and with them the secrets and knowledge of the ultimate training and breeding. The new era of Equestrian sport was born. Horses suffer the consequenses by being trained incorrectly, hence often being injured, lame and ready for retirement at ages between 6 and 18.
The new sustainable era
Anno 21st century, we have reached the start of the sustainable era. Sustainability finds his way back to everything including the Equestrian world. Some seek the answers to a more friendly and sustainable training in the classical period from the pre 1800 eras. And indeed, many answers can be found there. Alas, many riders find that the techniques and systems found there are designed for the horses, bred and kept as people did then. The knowledge displayed in the classical works is written for already very knowledgeable riders with the best of horses, horses fit for Kings! 
The problems we find with today’s horses and their current faulty training are never described by the classical masters, as they never came across those problems then.
Even more so, thru the centuries our awareness of animals have evolved and the standard tack of the past eras does not fit modern animal friendly standards anymore, nor are most of today’s riders experienced enough to use this within training, without harming their horses.
How to rebuild and educate our current horses, with our current riders knowledge and experience? How to achieve lightness, good sound, collected and quiet work, with horses that are not bred or build for the Haut Ecole and /or have been injured or rendered unwilling to work by past damaging training?
How to ride for the benefit of your horse as much as your own? How to train and ride injured horses back to health or educate young horses to become powerful, happy and very healthy,  working up to at least 25 years, and live beyond 30?
Josepha Guillaume and her Equus Universalis School have the answer for you!
Forward and down or long and low: The story of the nuchal ligament
Online School student Åsne Arnestad from Norway asks the following question:
“I wondered why down and forward movement is considered so imported in dressage, when  transferring weight to the hindquarters also is “the point” of a lot of the exercises?”
Wednesday, 04 December 2013 12:32

Human manners

Human manners 
Many horse trainers' website or book is full with the concept of 'horse manners towards humans' and how to teach them. But what about human manners towards the horse?
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