top of page
Stéphanie Durand


Contrada Maggiore 30

6616 Losone



+41 79 409 90 76

The horse learns more from relaxation
than contraction. Everything has a reason, and can be explained with reference to balance,
not force.”


Philippe Karl

  • Horse and human relationship: horsemanship
    On the ground first:

    • Communication skills

    • Awareness of mental, emotional patterns

    • Strategies to change or improve

    • Relaxation and harmony

  • Liberty work (with good basics of communication)

  • Classical lungeing and work in hand (Ecole de Légèreté principles)

  • Riding according to Ecole de Légèreté principles

    • Hand–mouth relationship

    • From the basics to high school

    • Seat lessons with the idea of balance and harmony

  • Jumping

    • Confidence horse and/or rider

    • Gymnastics

    • Course: regional/national level

Equestrian vita

  • Started to ride at age 11, learned to start young ponies and horses naturally, in riding out, work on the flat, jumping and cross country

  • 1991: Start of training in the south of France to become a riding teacher

  • 1992: Four weeks at the French national riding school (ENE) in Saumur

  • 1993: Qualification as a riding teacher of the Fédération Française d’Equitation (FFE). Teaching and competing in the three disciplines

  • 1996 to 2013: Responsible of riding stables with 35 horses and a riding school in Ticino, Switzerland

  • 2003: Start of interest in Parelli Natural Horsemanship. Studied with Berni Zambail and Michael Wanzenried. Then with Karen Kohlf (dressage naturally), Mike Bridges (Californian riding, vaquero style) and at the Parelli Center in Colorado

  • 2009: Start of basic training course of the Ecole de Légèreté in Switzerland

  • Since 2021: Master Teacher of the Ecole de Légèreté

How and why I came to riding in Légèreté with Philippe Karl

I knew Philippe Karl’s book “Long reining” in 1992 before its author, because even during a stay at the French national riding school (ENE) in Saumur, it was not common for young trainee teachers to approach the famous Ecuyers of the Cadre Noir!


When I became a conventional French riding teacher, I had a lot of horses to ride, I went on competing, but I realized that I wasn’t improving neither my equestrian knowledge nor my riding skills… I was feeling pain, tensions and frustration instead of harmony, lightness and motivation – exactly like all the horses in the barn…


That was a completely opposite sensation to the one I had as a little girl when I was starting ponies and horses on the fields, cantering in the woods or on the beach. I decided to reject the official, conventional way of riding and study Parelli Natural Horsemanship.


For years, I learned about horse psychology, riding and jumping without a bridle and taught all these basics to my students, even with school horses. At that time, I was very uncomfortable in my profession, questioning myself: How can we ride with a bit, still respecting the horse’s mouth and being as honest as possible with them?


Then, as the Buddhist quote says: “When the student is ready, the Master appears…” One day in 2007, I saw the four DVDs “Classical Dressage” by Philippe Karl in the media library of my Parelli Instructor and I started to apply the principles of Légèreté on my own for two years. I had a beginning of an answer!


As soon as I knew that Mr Karl had created his School and was giving a teacher training course in Switzerland near Zurich, I sent in my application and I had the privilege to be accepted. Since the first hours spent with Mr Karl, my riding has been evolving into a completely new understanding of the physical needs of the horses, a higher degree of awareness of what, why and how we do things always respecting their nature…


No other trainer I met before Philippe Karl could answer ALL questions about riding or propose strategies to try with difficult horses or in difficult situations with any kind of horses. His knowledge, his experience and his passion for horses and teaching are simply unique. Both his lifelong study and deep understanding of the ancient riding Masters and his loyalty to horses convinced him to keep alive the best concepts of French traditional riding in his philosophy. We only have to add his benevolence towards his students to recognise all the qualities of a great Master!


Thank you, Mr Karl, I am honoured to be part of your School and, as a Master Teacher, I am committed to transmitting your philosophy.

bottom of page