Portugal, Lisbon - Dressage on Lusitanos
Only 45 minutes drive from Lisbon you will be welcomed by Francisco and Maria to their small-scale Lusitanos breeding farm. Francisco is passionate about horses and dressage. His philosophy is that you "must ride with the heart and not with the head." . The riding style is classical dressage. Normally, you ride with a snaffle bit at the start and move to a double bridle later in the week. The farm is a particularly nice place to stay and you eat your meals under the vines on the terrace. Between rides, it's nice to lounge by the pool.
The farm has been in the family's possession for several generations. It consists of 450 hectares (600 acres) of land. This is where they run their small scale Lusitanos breeding and where new foals are born each year. There is a riding arena (15 x 30 m; 50 x 100 ft) and an outdoor arena (20 x 60 m; 65 x 200 ft). You can take a taxi to the farm which is located just 40 minutes from the sea.
Your host Francisco has bred and trained horses for 30 years. He has trained with masters such as Nuno Oliveira. His focus is on classical dressage and having his horses ridden with a light touch. He has an excellent eye and can see exactly what riders need to practice and many feel that they develop more in a week here than they do over the course of years at home. He happily accepts riders of all levels, from novice up to Grand Prix, who wish to further develop their dressage and he travels himself around the world and holds clinics.
Francisco is happy to spend his time answering your questions, and his greatest wish is to get you to ride more with the heart and less with the head. If you want to go further in depth and see what happens when the horse is worked correctly, you can exchange one of the riding lessons for a lesson in how to work the horse by hand, which provides you with many insights that will benefit you in your riding.
Francisco trains all his horses from the ground for the first 2-3 months before he mounts them for the first time. This means that when he does ride the horse, it can perform advanced movements after just a few weeks.
During the week you will ride several horses. You ride in an English saddle and start on a plain snaffle bit and move to a double bridle later in the week. The lessons are usually private lessons (maximum 2 riders) and Francisco or his co instructor will give all the lessons. Here you have lots of possiblities to developed as a rider.
Accommodation and Food
You stay in a separate part of the house in double or single rooms. There are four rooms with private bathrooms (one of them has the bathroom outside the room), a lounge and a pool.
Single: It is possible to book a single room (price for single supplement available under Dates & Prices). If you are willing to share rooms, you do not need to pay the single supplement if you are allocated a single room.
All meals are eaten in the dining room or on the terrace under the vines. Both lunch and dinner consist of three course meals cooked by the family's talented cook. She has worked for the family for many years and her specialties include tasty homemade cakes. You will be spoiled with traditional tasty Portuguese fare served up with fine Portuguese wine.
A couple of times during your stay Fransisco will join you during the meal and share his knowledge and discuss the day’s riding. You will get the opportunity to get additional advice about what you should think about to improve your riding. If your body is tired, you are welcome to order massage.
Dressage on Lusitanos
In Dressage on Lusitano, you get totally 9 lessons, two lessons per day (usually private lessons) except on Wednesdays, when there is a lesson only in the morning. You ride one or more of the horses. They are trained to react to very light touches. On some of the horses, you even have the chance to try advanced movements such as piaffe and passage.
Dressage on Lusitanos Long Weekend
With its proximity to Lisbon, this is a perfect weekend destination. Over three days, you get six lessons on these excellent horses. This weekend will be a boost for your continued training at home. You ride your first lesson in the afternoon on the day you arrive. On Friday and Saturday, you receive two lessons per day. If you want, you can exchange one of the lessons for the chance to work the horse by hand. On Sunday, you ride a final lesson before it's time for departure at lunchtime.
There are about 10 well-trained horses at your disposal, some of them trained up to Grand Prix level. In addition, there are a number of younger horses and each year a couple of new foals are born. The stud has its own brand. The horses are handled meticulously, they will even wash out their mouths before riding so that there is no chance that even a piece of straw can hurt the horse. The horses are even vacuumed daily and they receive a nice massage at the same time to keep them relaxed. You can decide if you want to brush and saddle your horse or have it prepared and ready.
Ability description: Dressage level 3-5 >>
Included in the price: 6 or 3 nights, riding according to program, full board incl. wine, coffee/tea with meals.
Not included: Flights, transfers, personal insurance, drinks and extras not mentioned.
Travel: Book flight/rental car >> We help you book your flight if you wish.
Fly to Lisbon.
Transfer: Book in advance with HorseXplore and pay on spot.
From Lisbon airport.
Price: 60 EUR / each way / car 1-3 people.
You can share transfers only if you come on the same flight.
Week program: Arrival Sunday afternoon/evening, departure the follwing Saturday after 12.00pm after the last lesson.
Weekend: Arrival Thursday around 2pm for your first lesson, departure on Sunday after 12.00pm after the last lesson.
Season: All year
Credit card: Not accepted by riding center.