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12 March 2023
26 November 2022
Sarah who has been on 17 In The Saddle rides. Another wonderful few days at Monte Velho! | This was my second trip to Monte Velho this year. I learn so much there on their wonderful horses with great instruction. I really felt like I built on what I learnt last time and what I have been learning with my instructors at home.
13 November 2022
Ann who has been on 2 In The Saddle rides. Monte Velho, Portugal - Great holiday! This was our second time at Monte Velho and we enjoyed it just as much as last time. | I mostly had lessons and only one trail ride. Mostly I had Lorena as a teacher and she is very good. Sadly she is leaving, but there are other excellent teachers at Monte Velho.
20 October 2022
Elizabeth who has been on 3 In The Saddle rides. 3 days of trails | Excellent
1 October 2022
Maxine who has been on 3 In The Saddle rides. Fabulous week of riding | I had an amazing week at Monte Velho, my riding improved so much with some great instruction and superb schoolmasters.
[In The Saddle replies: Thank you for your feedback on Monte Velho. We're so pleased that you enjoyed your return visit.]
1 October 2022
Juliet who has been on 11 In The Saddle rides. Fantastic - as always | Super, well trained and willing horses. A great variety to suit all abilities.
I have had numerous trips here ( I’ve lost count!) and can always feel an improvement in my riding when I get back home. Emphasis on correct riding but also the opportunity to work on ‘the tricks’ too.
21 September 2022
Susan who has been on 3 In The Saddle rides. Absolutely superb! | The riding exceeded my expectations. I learnt so much in just 3 days. The horses were just amazing - well trained and an absolute pleasure to ride. My instructor (Lorena) was very patient and helpful - I really benefitted from her guidance (and did want to bring her back to the UK with me!).
[Abbie from In The Saddle replies: Thank you for your feedback. We are happy that you enjoyed your stay at lovely Monte Velho].
21 September 2022
Catherine who has been on 2 In The Saddle rides. A fabulous holiday | On the last trail ride, I felt a little out of my depth on the horse I was riding.
8 September 2022
Peta (this is their first In The Saddle holiday) Utterly perfect! | The riding more than met my expectations! The horses were incredible and the instruction was of the highest quality. I hadn't ridden at the level I was aiming at for thirty years (!), but am still on a high from what I achieved. I honestly can't wait to go back.
21 August 2022
Audrey who has been on 2 In The Saddle rides. Amazing from start to finish | 5 star. Can't wait to go back.
[Abbie from In The Saddle replies: Thanks so much for your feedback. We're so pleased that you enjoyed your holiday at Monte Velho.]
20 July 2022
Linda who has been on 6 In The Saddle rides. Monte Velho - nice time but uninspiring riding | I expected the riding to be much more challenging. In the whole of the week I must have done a total of about six flying changes and just a few minutes of passage. No piaffe at all.
All the instructors were lovely - calm, clear and professional. The problem was that they give personal tuition but there were always two people in a lesson. So, while one person was being taught the other person was doing nothing which meant that an hour's lesson was really only half an hour at the very most.
I could have quite happily done at least twice the amount of riding that I actually did.
16 July 2022
Penny who has been on 3 In The Saddle rides. Monte Velho - Fantastic accommodation and great horses | The horses were lovely and I was able to experience flying changes and Passage on a schoolmaster. It was July so incredibly hot, but the horses were willing and submissive.
The lessons were always for 2, taking turns and usually with a Bluetooth earpiece which made it easy to hear instructions. The only downside was that this meant for half the lesson you spent your time trying to keep out of the way of the other person, and I can imagine if there was more than one lesson taking place it would have been difficult.
The instruction was relevant and pitched to the right level. I got a lot out of them as did my daughter.
Riders were all expected to wear spurs so although they can be provided, best to bring your own.
[In The Saddle replies: Thank you for your feedback. We're so pleased that you enjoyed your stay at Monte Velho and gained so much from the lessons. Spurs are included as an item on our suggested packing list].
9 July 2022
Jo (this is their first In The Saddle holiday) Dream come true! | Great instructors for both lessons and trail rides.
15 June 2022
Sarah who has been on 17 In The Saddle rides. Wonderful, wonderful experience! | This was a really special experience. I am a very basic dressage rider and worried that Monte Velho would be too advanced for me. I needn't have worried because my instructor, Lorena, listened to what I wanted to work on and perfectly targeted the teaching for my level. The lessons were wonderful and I learnt SO much. What a privilege to ride such highly schooled horses. I came back from all my lessons grinning from ear to ear.
7 June 2022
Carole (this is their first In The Saddle holiday) Monte Velho | I had an awesome experience on fabulous horses who make you feel completely safe. I never ride without my air bag in France but in Monte Velho, I took it off, in full confidence.
The coaches are full of energy and living the ride with you. The owner is showing you his property explaining the history and the horses.
The food is just so good, people there are so nice.
I can't wait to go back to Monte Velho next year.
Thank you Abbie for your perfect organisation.
5 June 2022
Kate who has been on 3 In The Saddle rides. Monte Velho - Fantastic |
The horses all exceeded my expectations and were an absolute joy to ride.
The main large arena seems to be the preferred choice for the trainers. There can be up to 6 people riding in the arena at any one time (including instructors) which makes it very difficult to keep out of each others way. We would have enjoyed it far more if we had been able to have our lessons alone in either the covered or outdoor arena.
The next time we book we will also ask to have our lessons (husband & wife) at different times so that we can watch each other and take photos and videos of each other.
4 June 2022
Julie (this is their first In The Saddle holiday) Wonderful relaxing break | In general the riding was good - however I found the hack sub standard - we were taken out and taken down a track which resulted in turning round a tree and coming back the same way!! I would have liked to have hacked around the grounds.....we then cantered back at full pelt which resulted in one of the group dramatically falling off as he was not experienced enough to deal with the pace. It was very irresponsible and when I asked for us not to canter again on the way home I was ignored. I didn't pay for a hack to a tree and back - it was all about going out for a fast ride and not about seeing the sights and the grounds. Completely misjudged in my opinion and was the only bad point of the holiday. If I go again I won't be doing a trail ride.
(Abbie from In The Saddle replies, "Thank you for your feedback on the trail ride you joined at Monte Velho. This is very unusual and we are looking in to what happened. We appreciate you highlighting this to us.)
12 May 2022
Sarah who has been on 5 In The Saddle rides. Monte Velho - third time back & still as great as the first | The horses are all very well schooled at Monte Velho, with superb manners. The instructors are clear & precise with their teaching & also spend time with you until you get things right.
Lovely to see some riders experiencing flying changes, piaffe & passage for the first time, their big smiles said it all.
10 March 2022
Barbara who has been on 8 In The Saddle rides. Monte Velho Portugal - wonderful horses, fantastic accommodation and lovely hosts | As on my previous four occasions at Monte Velho, the holiday met all my expectations.
24 February 2022
Jessica (this is their first In The Saddle holiday) Monte Velho - Portugal | Monte Velho certainly exceeded all of my expectations! As my first riding holiday, to have such amazing facilities, truly fantastic horses and experience a huge variety of dressage Lusitanos in the lessons. Accomplishing wonderful dressage movements throughout, from tempi changes, to canter pirouettes, the whole thing was utterly brilliant. With everything twinned with lovely people and really friendly atmosphere along with great trail ride across the beautifully scenic surroundings I cannot recommend Monte Velho enough.
26 November 2021
Lucy (this is their first In The Saddle holiday) Monte Velho - Riding experience of a lifetime | The school horses were amazing. I experienced GP dressage movements that I had always wanted to do (two time changes, piaffe) on horses that were so generous to a rider who was new to these.
25 November 2021
Brian who has been on 3 In The Saddle rides. Great holiday | Great lessons, but gets a bit crowded when 4 in arena
23 October 2021
Mickaela who has been on 3 In The Saddle rides. An Equestrian Delight | My only comment would be that I would like to have progressed more but that possibly is more to do with my riding ability than the instructors.
7 October 2021
Elizabeth (this is their first In The Saddle holiday) Gorgeous venue and beautiful part of the world... with even more beautiful horses! | It was an absolutely beautiful venue with well cared for horses and excellent facilities. I was well looked after (particularly in terms of food) and the level of instruction was great. Anyone, whether a dressage rider or not could leave there and know they have solid things to work but also know they have achieved something in their riding. I specifically chose to focus on lessons but other riders commented on the beautiful trail rides.
24 September 2021
Juliet who has been on 11 In The Saddle rides. Dressage in stunning scenery | Excellent training.
Only comment would it would be nice to have a bit more continuity of trainers.
Excellent range of experienced schoolmaster horses.
24 September 2021
who has been on In The Saddle rides. An excellent riding holiday | The horses and facilities were amazing and all the horses were in excellent condition. they were beautifully groomed and washed off after riding. my only comment would be that the nosebands and curb chains were very tight.
24 September 2021
who has been on In The Saddle rides. Monte Velho - Instructional, inspiring and refreshing | Instructors ensured that I worked on areas of my riding which I considered most in need of improvement. Also allowed me to experience movement above my current level of riding. Lorenna was excellent especially in visually explaining instructuin which kept the lessons clear and fun.
17 September 2021
Sarah who has been on 3 In The Saddle rides. Fantastic teaching, beautiful place and lovely people | I went to learn and work on my own competition capability along with some different work for younger horses. I was able to ride horses I learned a lot from including the Grand Prix work. Joao, Lorena and Nuno are excellent and I realy did learn a lot that I have been able to bring home and use in my own training. Will be back asap!
My one recommendation would be around the mix of lessons and people in the arena. It is not so easy to work and really concentrate with 4 in an arena when 2 or 3 are inexperienced riders. I totally understand they need their space and to enjoy their lessons but it does affect the quality of time in arena. Riding with the MV riders or another experience rider is completely fine and normal as we all understand how to do that. But I also know it was intimidating for some of those who were learning to ride to find themselves with 2 of us doing more advanced work and them feeling crowded.
18 August 2021
Kristin who has been on 4 In The Saddle rides. All in all, I had a wonderful trip. There was a ride out, which only took place in walk due to different rider levels. However the following day, the riding instructor adjusted the level according to the riders ability.
12 March 2020
Janet who has been on 3 In The Saddle rides. Dressage and Trail riding with beautiful Lusitano horses and expert instructors in fabulous surroundings. | Fantastic to meet the brood mares, to ride very well trained dressage horses and enjoy the fabulous accommodation and beautiful landscape. Everyone at Monte Velho were very welcoming and helpful.
6 March 2020
Polly who has been on 5 In The Saddle rides. Lovely relaxing week at a friendly location. | The riding was excellent, and the quality of teaching and horses very high.
22 February 2020
Zarum who has been on 2 In The Saddle rides. Great Experience. | This family-owned and run property shows how this wonderful family took a raw canvas 25 years ago and have painted a masterpiece of a property and resort for lovers of dressage and the Lusitano horse. We were attracted to the combination of old world feel and modern accommodations when we first researched the property. The Owner is an architect who has seamlessly blended the transformation of the ruined farmhouse they started with and the modern pods that house the bedrooms. One of the first things you come across when entering the property is the brilliant views in all directions. As you drive up to the parking area you are surrounded by dressage arenas and stables housing some magnificent horses. Further views of the surrounding fields yielding an array of pregnant mares. In fact, one night after arrival we were blessed with the sight of a foal who the day before we had walked amongst its pregnant mother. The experience of standing amongst this newborn, its mother and the other one and two-year-old Lusitanos was one of the highlights of the visit. We checked into our spacious and modern room with a sweeping view off the balcony. The dining room was a warm, and welcoming room where we dined three times a day on some great food surrounded by other wonderful guests. The conversations almost always revolved around each person's dressage lessons that day or their trail ride around the property. Adjacent to one of the room pods and across from the dining room is a common space in the form of a very comfortable and spacious living room with an honesty bar that is available to guests 24hrs. From the sliding doors of the common living room, you step out onto patios which look out to the swimming pool and acres of stunning scenery laced with the famous Portuguese cork tree and a small lake where you can take out a canoe. Also in that area is the gym, sauna, and massage room. The staff is all exceptional from the kitchen staff who greet you and cater to your appetite to the riding staff who work with you to better your dressage level. We can attest to the fact that after a week we left far better riders than when we arrived. The property is also a breeding facility where currently one of Portugal's entry into the upcoming summer Olympics in Tokyo and his stunning steed are training. One suggestion I would make to future guests is this. If you are a fairly new rider or you want the full attention of the instructors during your lesson, make sure you book the lessons in that manner. Otherwise, you may find that you will have one instructor to two people and they have to balance the time of the lesson between the two. Other than that, it was a great week and we hope to be back in the future. You won't be disappointed at Monte-Velho whether you are a rider not.
[Imogen from In The Saddle says: It’s wonderful to hear that you enjoyed your time at Monte Velho and that you gained so much from your lessons.]
Imke who has been on 2 In The Saddle rides. Fabulous | Excellent