Monte Velho - Portugal

Monte Velho

5 star rating   9 May 2019

SKK who has been on 2 In The Saddle rides. 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.

The Riding

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5 star rating
How would you rate the variety of riding, pace or terrain?
3 star rating

The Accommodation

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5 star rating
How would you rate the standard of the food?
4 star rating

Before Your Holiday

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Plan and prepare for your holiday?
5 star rating
Feel comfortable about your transfers and what to expect?
5 star rating

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How could we improve the way we handled your booking and payment?

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Do you have any other feedback for us?

Diogo offered all the visitors a trip around the breeding programme which was wonderful and enlightening. We met all the mares and foals, and he explained the Monte Velho ethos and successes, of which he is rightly proud.

Monte Velho is such a special place.