There are some horse trainers so talented that it seems that they work magic with their horses. Such is the case of Jean Francois Pignon. Pignon is known for his breathtaking liberty performances with his horses. A performer in Olympia, Pignon is often referred to as a horse whisperer, a testament to his incredible talent and bond with his horses.
This video captures one of Pignon’s performances. Here, Pignon takes an entire herd of horses at liberty and has them perform intricate, difficult tricks and behaviors. It’s hard to control one horse without a rope and halter, let alone an entire herd, but Pignon does so easily. Watch how the performance flows, and how you can barely see some of the signals that Pignon gives. This is the mark of a truly talented trainer.
According to his biography, Pignon grew up in France and didn’t know anything about horses until his father brought home a mare named Gazelle. Pignon strongly bonded with the mare and began to explore training. He partnered with his brother and the two performed circus tricks with horses.
Pignon performed his first show, Cheval Passion, in 1991. He worked without tack and the show was a huge success. In 1993 Pignon started traveling internationally, performing his shows in countries including Germany, England, and more. As Pignon’s popularity grew, he was offered increasing opportunities. He’s performed at Equitana and continues to tour, bringing his show to audiences worldwide.
What makes Pignon’s work so important? His gentle, free training is a testament to the power of understanding the horse and communicating through body language. Pignon’s liberty work is breathtaking and reminds us of the true nature of the horse. Every show that Pignon performs is a work of art and an example of incredible talent and a strong bond with his herd.