Quinta do Rol - Portugal

Quinta do Rol

5 star rating   24 June 2019

Bronwen (this is their first In The Saddle holiday) Six days of magic! | The first lesson was challenging, because the horses and riding style is different from the German style I am more familiar with. However, the horses were patient with my mistakes and tried so hard to interpret my requests. By the third lesson it all clicked into place and it was the most amazing holiday I have ever had. I really recommend taking two lessons a day, and although some days, my body didn't feel up to the challenge, the rate of improvement was worth every ache and pain! By the last ride, I was accomplishing moves I had only ever dreamed of, and with enough confidence I believe I now know the 'feel' to find on my own horse.

There are inevitable 'lost in translation' moments, but the instructors were amazing and again, after a couple of lessons, my ear was better tuned in to the words and less mistakes were made. 🙂 All three instructors - Pedro, Carlos and João, brought different personality styles to the lessons and I learned from each of them. There is definitely a high level of energy and animation from the instructors, and I can understand why some participants struggled with that. However, the intent is so good and with such a drive for you to improve as a rider, that I wasn't bothered by the volume and passion. There was also an amazing amount of fun and laughter. I can't remember when I laughed as much as I did with these wonderful people.

All the horses I rode were incredible. Some were more complex to ride than others, but of course, that simply helped me to improve my sensitivity and skills. I did feel that each horse I was paired with was a good match for my ability and I never felt over-faced. The horses know their jobs and are excellent teachers. Considering they have different riders at different levels all the time, I was impressed with their kindness and willingness to try.

If you have the option to try working equitation, I strongly recommend it. It gives you an opportunity to put your dressage skills to practice in a very different environment, sometimes at speed. I had 2 WE sessions, and after each one, it felt like I had champagne sizzling through my veins and I had the biggest smile on my face.

The Riding

How well were you matched with the right horse for your ability?
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How would you rate the variety of riding, pace or terrain?
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How would you rate the overall standard of the horses, tack and stables?
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The Accommodation

How would you rate your room(s) for comfort and facilities?
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How would you rate the standard of the food?
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Do you have any comments about the accommodation and food?

The accommodation and all the facilities are top class. Every thing has been planned for your comfort. The Casas are gorgeous and ours had a lovely patio with lounge chairs for recuperation between rides. There is also a lovely pool area. We spent a lot of time at the riding center watching other students riding so we could absorb as much as possible. The viewing area is wonderful and perfect to have a friend video your rides for additional learning opportunities.

Food was wonderful and perfectly proportioned. Compliments to the chefs!

The staff were amazingly kind and made sure every need was met. We were also fortunate with our fellow visitors and often talked late into the night with new friends that I hope to see again. We all cheered each other on with each new skill and accomplishment and the sense of camaraderie was phenomenal.

Before Your Holiday

Did you have all of the information you needed to:

Plan and prepare for your holiday?
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Feel comfortable about your transfers and what to expect?
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How could we improve the quality of pre-holiday information that we send?

I can't think of anything - it was all very complete.

Do you have any other feedback for us?

I can't wait to go back!