Reviews
80 reviews    1 2 3
Monte Velho - Portugal
Experience Level

Monte Velho

5 star rating   29 June 2019

I have a prelim/novice level understanding of flatwork so was slightly anxious that I would be out of my depth here. I needn’t have worried though as after a week of lessons and trail rides on so many different horses my riding had improved significantly. Lorena’s teaching combined clear instructions, encouragement and sensitivity regardless of who she was teaching (and I watched many other lessons). However, I would advise anyone to communicate what you want to achieve from each lesson and to question an instruction if it is not clear to you. The outcome of the experience depends on all concerned after all. Which brings me to the trail rides. Personally I had a great time and long collected canters through beautiful countryside are my idea of heaven, but Cesar who leads the rides is a very dry and somewhat brusque character at times. I found him hilarious, but I think if you are nervous or a beginner he can be a bit daunting. So to précis, keep an open mind, a sense of humour and you will appreciate what these well schooled, hard working horses and people have to offer. I will definitely be returning.


Monte Velho - Portugal
Experience Level

Monte Velho

5 star rating   23 June 2019

I was very satisfied with the overall standard of the horses, I was satisfied with the tack apart from one saddle which was split on the seat, this was not so comfortable to ride on - I was lucky that I only had to use this saddle the once, but even then it had caused a rub & sore spot on my right butt cheek which then needed ‘managing’ for the rest of the holiday - thank god for sudocrem!!!


Monte Velho - Portugal
Experience Level

Monte Velho

5 star rating   12 June 2019

I had specified before arrival that I am older (62) and hadn't ridden for over a year. However, I don't think this was taken on board in my initial horses for lessons and hacking. Once I had explained to staff on the ground I was very satisifed but horses I rode on the first day were too much for me in my non-riding fit state.


Monte Velho - Portugal
Experience Level

Monte Velho

5 star rating   8 June 2019

There was just one horse that maybe wasn’t a great match but one had gone lame and he was ok and they did look after me.


Monte Velho - Portugal
Experience Level

Monte Velho

4 star rating   29 May 2019

The weather was quiet hot and I saw a little to much of Virtuoso not an easy horse to motivate in the heat, but then I had Regalo most days, swings and roundabouts I guess. Would have liked a few more different horses with more of a change of instructor as well


Monte Velho - Portugal
Experience Level

Monte Velho

4 star rating   26 May 2019

It was nice to have been recognised and I think they remembered the standard we were at. But it would have been nice to have been asked if there was anything you wanted to achieve.


Monte Velho - Portugal
Experience Level

Monte Velho

5 star rating   26 May 2019

Had been before so did know what to expect this time, still great horses and instruction.


Monte Velho - Portugal
Experience Level

Monte Velho

5 star rating   25 May 2019

Coralie and Cendrine were extraordinary instructors.


Monte Velho - Portugal
Experience Level

Monte Velho

5 star rating   23 May 2019

The horses are well trained and we had a brilliant time with the trial rides


Monte Velho - Portugal
Experience Level

Monte Velho

5 star rating   14 May 2019

When I go to Monte Velho I am not interested in the trail rides, I am going only for the opportunity and experience of riding experienced dressage horses. So my aim is really to improve my riding but also to get the feeling and experience of what the lateral work, flying changes, piaffe, passage, extensions and collections should feel like on a horse that had the capability to do them, so that I can then have a better understanding of what I am trying to teach my horse.

Unfortunately, there is no discussion with my instructor as to what, if anything, you want to get out of the holiday and from each lesson.

You are allocated a horse for each lessons and I don't know the rationale, if any, behind the allocation. You then do as the instructor determines, there is no consultation/discussion as to the plan for the lesson. I don't mean that it has to be anything lengthy but just for example "this lesson we are going to work on medium trot or flying changes".

I do enjoy and learn from the holiday, but I know with a little bit more structure I could get so much more from it and all my expectations would be met.

Likewise, we are interested in the breeding programme, what stallions they are putting to which mares, how the offspring are being produced, the schedule for bringing young horses on etc is fascinating and very interesting but there is nobody there to provide information or discuss this with.

These aren't meant to be negative criticisms as we do love the place and we appreciate that you can't please everybody, but if these elements could be addressed it would significantly enhance our Monte Velho experience.


Monte Velho - Portugal
Experience Level

Monte Velho

5 star rating   11 May 2019

Excellent


Monte Velho - Portugal
Experience Level

Monte Velho

5 star rating   10 May 2019

From show jumping to dressage was a struggle for me personally. But everyone else had fun for sure.


Monte Velho - Portugal
Experience Level

Monte Velho

5 star rating   10 May 2019

We had a brilliant time. Rode horses of a high standard of training under expert instruction. The instructors were very good, enthusiastic and friendly.
We had three different trainers - all excellent! All were good but particularly liked Cendrine who was really enthusiastic and encouraging. The whole experience was great - the horses were very well cared for and turned out to a high standard. Diago was attentive as ever - took us on a really interesting wine tasting session tour of the stud and explained the breeding programme. His parents had lunch with us one day and were equally friendly and good company - explaining the history of Monte Velho. We also had the chance to see some of the young horses in the schooling sessions.


Monte Velho - Portugal
Experience Level

Monte Velho

5 star rating   9 May 2019

Hmmmm. After last year's exceptional time at Monte Velho I was surprised at the slightly chaotic arrangements for trail riding this year. Lessons were fine, and I was well-matched with horses and the instruction was excellent - Sandrine, Coralie and Leana were all great teachers. I felt I really progressed in the ring and built on my novice skills, gaining confidence - a real necessity for me.

However the trail rides were a bit of a mishmash. There were beginner riders (4 lessons only in once case) on trail rides, and the matching of riders to horses was haphazard, with experienced rider guests intervening and rearranging the mounts to accommodate the beginners as the staff seemed to have no real idea of individual capacities. There seemed to be a limited range of trail horses and juggling became an issue.

Also, the leaders were mixed. Beatrice was fine but there were difficulties with Cesar, who is new to Monte Velho. He is a real horseman, and has very fixed ideas about how the rides should be managed which resulted in one of our fellow guests (not a beginner) losing all confidence and wasting two days before a lunge instructor could be found for her and her beginner companion. I found his lack of teaching skill and fixed views on what constituted a collected canter a bit bullying. A fellow (very experienced) rider confided to me during this ride that he felt that Cesar lacked the psychological insight to handle the situation. I felt humiliated and was relieved that he left after my second ride out for an operation.

Having said that, my hip was giving me problems and so I dipped out of the last two trail rides I was booked for in order to preserve myself for the fabulous lessons.


Monte Velho - Portugal
Experience Level

Monte Velho

4 star rating   9 May 2019

The whole holiday was great fun and a wonderful experience, with lovely people, both the staff and owners of Monte Velho and our fellow guests.
The one caveat is that more attention should have been paid to the organisation of the rides, particularly the trail rides. It was silly that my wife's name was on the riding lists and not mine: it was always clear in the booking and run-up that I was riding and she was not.
More importantly, we all filled in competency forms, and it made no sense that experienced and adventurous riders were paired with novices. Thus limiting what they could do. Nor did the trail-ride leaders seem properly briefed on our relative competency: before two of my three rides out, horses had to be swapped around after relative novices were paired with more fractious horses, in one case quite frighteningly, which introduced an unnecessary level of tension.
That said, it was a beautiful setting, we had a brilliant time, and would happily do it again.


Monte Velho - Portugal
Experience Level

Monte Velho

4 star rating   22 April 2019

There were excellent horses, but I did not get a chance to ride those. Only two times (of all together eight times). Some lessons were very basic with the horses with no energy to move forward, and that kind of exercises and horses I can everyday ride at home also with much cheaper price. So some riding lessons I would have been glad to skip.

[In The Saddle comment: We have spoken on the phone about your holiday and understand that you did not discuss these issues with your instructor. We do always recommend that each guest talks to their instructor about what they would like to achieve from their lessons to ensure that your goals are met].


Monte Velho - Portugal
Experience Level

Monte Velho

5 star rating   28 March 2019

Would have liked the lessons more matched in ability as the more experienced riders were doing more technical moves which took a lot of the lesson.

Would love to have early morning stretch class of some sort before lessons.


Monte Velho - Portugal
Experience Level

Monte Velho

5 star rating   28 March 2019

A very positive riding experience. The horses were so highly trained it was a pleasure to ride them and easy to learn from them. They knew their job both for the lessons and for the trail ride. The tutors were excellent, both extremely knowledgeable, sympathetic and also encouraging to riders at all levels. It exceeded my expectations in all ways.


Monte Velho - Portugal
Experience Level

Monte Velho

5 star rating   21 March 2019

Rode three different horses, sometimes a bit “busy” in the arena with 4 horses and 2 instructors when there are riders who are not aware of riding etiquette. I would like to have had a chance to do the lateral work without having to avoid other riders.

Overall a brilliant experience for two days riding with four lessons. If I was going to be there for a longer time, I would have liked to have ridden the same horse to establish more of a relationship.


Monte Velho - Portugal
Experience Level

Monte Velho

5 star rating   16 March 2019

Excellent


Monte Velho - Portugal
Experience Level

Monte Velho

5 star rating   28 February 2019

Great lessons on a variety of horses with fantastic instruction which really helped me develop my riding over the course of the week.


Monte Velho - Portugal
Experience Level

Monte Velho

4 star rating   23 February 2019

Monte Velho is a beautiful property in tranquil rural Portugal. Hanging out and relaxing was half the fun. I particularly enjoyed the light trail rides through the farm, with dressage horses doing a very collected canter over terrain. I'm not an expert dressage rider so I was matched with school horses for the dressage training component and found them very responsive which helped me work on my skills and position.


Monte Velho - Portugal
Experience Level

Monte Velho

4 star rating   21 February 2019

The 1st horse I rode was fine but the instruction was weak and therefore I did not get much from the 1st lesson. The 2nd session was on a different horse and with a much stronger instructor and that was very good. I rode the 1st horse a couple more times but the good instructor said it had a sore back and she would find me something else. The 3rd horse I rode we had to stop after half an hour because that was also "not right". Finally the 4th horse I rode was very good but by this time I'd gone back to the first weaker instructor. So overall a bit variable


Monte Velho - Portugal
Experience Level

Monte Velho

5 star rating   15 February 2019

Hi
We really enjoyed the holiday
All the people were friendly and welcoming and horses were well turned out, nicely behaved and good to ride
I think the training could have been managed better, assessment of your riding and your expectations including a plan for the training during your stay could have improved the experience further


Monte Velho - Portugal
Experience Level

Monte Velho

4 star rating   9 February 2019

Monte Velho provides both dressage lessons and trail rides. So, second answer above relates to trail rides.I had specifically enquired about these before booking but found the first one very disappointing. Any canters were very slow and in a very collected pace. This turned out to be because horses had been little ridden and so were very fresh. It would have been preferable to be told this beforehand not after one has questioned it! This is likely to be an annual issue and I-t-S might like to warn clients considering riding out in the first week or 2 of February. The other trail ride I did was much better.

The dressage lessons were good with an interesting range of horses. It is worth noting that you will need to explain your goals to each instructor. None will ask and info does not seem to be shared between them.


Monte Velho - Portugal
Experience Level

Monte Velho

5 star rating   1 February 2019

The riding more than met my expectations. The horses were wonderful - talented, patient and safe and the tuition was exceptional - all teachers had a slightly different focus which was really helpful.


Monte Velho - Portugal
Experience Level

Monte Velho

5 star rating   22 December 2018

Absolutely outstanding. This is my second trip to Monte Vehlo and, again, it surpassed expectations.
The horses are beautifully schooled to the highest of standards and the instructors top notch. It is very rare to find somewhere where one can ride horses of this quality. All my lessons were brilliant and by the end of the week i had done half-passes, passage and piaffe on my favourite horse Regalo. Will be going back again and again i hope.


Monte Velho - Portugal
Experience Level

Monte Velho

4 star rating   29 November 2018

I was definitely bottom of the class! but positively showed how much I have to learn. Had a different teacher each day and each did have their own approach/preferences but all was useful. I think they had a lot more they could have taught had I been more advanced


Monte Velho - Portugal
Experience Level

Monte Velho

5 star rating   25 November 2018

The riding at Monte Velho was amazing. During lessons, I was well matched to my horses and the tuition was excellent and very encouraging, with good focus on strengths and areas for improvement. I liked that different instructors focused on different areas. The horses were beautifully turned out every time and cared for to the highest standards. I also enjoyed two trail rides where I was able to ride the same horse both times, and there were good opportunities for cantering and exploring different areas across beautiful countryside.


Monte Velho - Portugal
Experience Level

Monte Velho

5 star rating   7 November 2018

Wonderful instructors and perfectly turned out and well looked after horses.


Monte Velho - Portugal
Experience Level

Monte Velho

5 star rating   6 November 2018

Fantastic horses for both lessons and trail rides which provided for a great and varied experience. Horses were turned out to a very high standard and clearly very well cared for.


Monte Velho - Portugal
Experience Level

Monte Velho

5 star rating   18 October 2018

Yes, some variability in trainers, but we were swapped over to our preferred trainer when we expressed reservations


80 reviews    1 2 3