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Posted on November 23, 2016
In this blog post we take a look at the beautiful Lusitano and three of our Portuguese dressage centres where you can experience riding these wonderful horses for yourself.
Closely related to the Andalucian, the heritage of Lusitano can be traced back to 900 B.C. and the primitive horses of the Iberian Peninsula.
Lusitanos were originally used for farm work and as a cavalry mount. But the breed’s bravery, intelligence and athleticism mean that the Lusitano is also a popular mount for dressage and the traditional discipline of working equitation.
If you would like to ride a flamboyant Lusitano in its native land, then why not consider one of our Portuguese dressage holidays?
A firm favourite amongst In The Saddle guests, Monte Velho is dressage paradise in the heart of the Alentejo. Your host Diogo Lima Mayer and his team, will ensure you enjoy your stay so much, that before long you’ll be planning a return visit.
What sets Monte Velho apart are its incredible Lusitanos, excellent instruction and first-class accommodation.
The semi-private lessons are delivered by experienced instructors who compete regularly. This means that any bad habits are quickly picked up on, to ensure you gain those few extra marks in your next competition, or simply get more out of the horse you ride at home.
Take a break from instruction with a relaxing trail ride through the cork oak plantations, passing the mares and foals along the way.
Recline by the pool with a glass of wine as you gaze out over the lake, or watch the instructors working the competition horses. This is your holiday and you can spend your time exactly as you please.
You can read more about Monte Velho here. You may also wish to read my blog here.
Quinta do Rol
New for 2017 is Quinta do Rol, a family estate just north of Lisbon which is dedicated to rural tourism, wine production and the noble art of dressage.
Here, pure-bred Lusitano horses live like kings in an impressive purpose-built equestrian centre.
Once you’ve seen the horses you won’t be able to wait for your first lesson, because they are well-muscled and so beautiful to behold; definitely not your ordinary dressage schoolmasters!
Lessons at Quinta do Rol are always on a private basis, so you have the luxury of being able to concentrate wholly on what you wish to achieve.
The resident instructor is Pedro Teixeira Farto, whose creative, passionate and clear approach to teaching will ensure you see great improvements in your riding.
Accommodation is in three spacious guest cottages with private bathrooms. Each cottage has a terrace or garden area, where you can relax between riding sessions.
When not riding you are welcome to make use of the swimming pool and tennis court. Or perhaps you’d like to watch other guests having lessons or the horses being worked from the comfort of the luxurious riders’ lounge.
You can read more about Quinta do Rol here.
Alcainça is a long-established and very well respected centre offering quality classical dressage training. You are sure of a warm welcome from senior instructor Georges Malleroni and his team.
The pure and part-bred Lusitanos are trained to a high level and are able to do shoulder-in, half pass, flying changes, piaffe and passage. Riders are split according to their experience level, with between two and four riders in a lesson. It is possible to pay a supplement for private tuition if you prefer.
Whatever your level, your teachers will be keen to see you improve. When you are not riding, you can relax by the pool or in the lounge area.
If you are keen to explore a little of your surroundings, then you could visit the Portuguese School of Equestrian Art at Queluz; go to Mafra or Lisbon.
You can read more about Alcainça here.
For more information or to discuss any of these great holidays, please do call me on +44 1299 272 239 or email email@example.com
We look forward to arranging your next riding adventure!
I appreciate you helping e learn more about Lusitano horses. I love the white/gray color of their coat in the first photo. I never knew they were originally used for farm work as well as cavalry.