Portugal Showjumping & Dressage riding holiday in Portugal - Far and Ride
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Portugal Showjumping & Dressage, Portugal





Reviews



Overall, the gracious and amicable nature of the hosts and the friendly staff at this destination ensures that it is the perfect getaway for both individuals and small intimate groups looking for a relaxing experience with good company, great food and a welcoming atmosphere. I must admit that I enjoyed a rather short but certainly very sweet break here, where I encountered some of the highest class of hospitality from a riding trip and made friendships I shall not forget easily (both of the human and equine variety!). I would whole heartedly recommend this destination and hope to make a return venture in the very near future in order to further improve my riding and visit new found friends.

Natalie Garner, Far and Ride, Read review
Very Enjoyable. Beautiful equestrian centre, good horses, lovely accommodation and food. Hosts were very pleasant and welcoming. Location is very central in a very attractive and interesting part of Portugal. (Favourite memory?) Evening meals on the balcony and fascinating day trips taken to places like Tomar and Marvão. Horses were good and equipment was in perfect condition. Instructors are extremely helpful.

Noreen & Peter H.
IT WAS AMAZING!!!! Incredibly good, people were very very very nice, instructors, everybody! Very good food, very nice and comfortable rooms, super good horses... so I'm very pleased!! As I have a young new horse now I had the chance to practice the flying changes with a horse that can already do them very well, so now I'm ready to try with my horse in Milan!

Laura D.
It was Fabulous! None of us wanted to leave. Vitor was a pleasure to meet and made us all feel welcome at his beautiful facility. The accommodations were first class - modern, very clean and charming. The food was wonderful - every meal was special. Vera, the manager, could not have been nicer or more accommodating. Paulo was an excellent instructor - I feel I really learnt a lot from him. (Favourite memory?) Being able to ride a Grand Prix level Stallion.

Susan B.
This is a lovely facility with a homey feel. The equine centre is wonderful, with fabulous horses, great training and wonderful footing in the arenas. Everything was fabulous. The food was exceptional and Vitor could not have been a better host. The horses were lovely, they were well trained yet provided enough of a challenge to demand learning and improvement from the rider. Paulo (instructor) was very good. He was patient, but demanded we accomplish something with the horses.

Debra H.
Everything I'd hoped it would and more! Before we went I had a silly dream of riding a Lusitano stallion - not only did I get to do that (on the first day) I was thrilled to ride Grand Prix dressage movements on him! Holly's horse was absolutely perfect for her. All horses were clearly very happy and well looked after. (Favourite memory?) Riding a canter half pass on the schoolmaster stallion. Seeing my sister improve so much. Paulo the fab instructor - firm but fair. He clearly wanted us to learn and get something from all our lessons.

Jessica & Holly H.
 

Horses



Type of horses:

Predominantly Pure bred Lusitanos & Dutch Warmblood, with some Selle Francais, German Warmbloods (Oldenburg).

Nature of horses:

Well schooled & responsive

Height of horses:

15-16.2 hh

Weight limit:

None within reason

Tack type:

English

 

Weather



 

Ride Description

This is a small family owned equestrian centre with horses and instructors of a very high class. Having already been established as a venue for both national and international level competitions for the last few years it has now opened its doors to riders from all over the world. The centre is located approximately 150 kilometers (93 miles) from Lisbon in the central Portuguese region of Santarém. The area itself is known as a terrific producer of the fabulous Lusitano horses as well as fine cuisine, delicious olive oil and robust wines. The great river Tagus flows freely through the region and ensures a constant supply of fresh water to help crops, livestock and wildlife flourish. The centre itself is owned and run by Vitor and his wonderful daughter Filipa who has always had an interest in horses, as well as being a keen competitor on the Portuguese showjumping circuit. A very motivated individual, Filipa ensures the smooth running of events held at the equestrian centre, as well as welcoming incoming guests to the accommodation and teaching clients during their jumping lessons. She will be your primary point of contact and will be able to help you with anything you might need during your stay.

The horses here are Lusitano, trained up to Grand Prix level in dressage, or Warmblood (KWPN and Selle Francais) that compete in jumping classes up to 1 m. During your dressage lessons, you will ride highly-trained Lusitano horses who are able to perform moves up to Grand Prix level. Similarly, on the jumping programme, you will have the chance to ride warmblooded horses that are experienced ex-competition horses and very capable of doing 130cm courses. The riding centre has begun a programme to breed many of its own Dutch Warmbloods (KWPN) on a small scale, using bloodlines imported from Holland. In addition to these, there are also French Warmbloods (Selle Francais), German Warmbloods (Oldenburg) and some crosses of Portuguese horses and many are at different stages of their training. The centre can cater for riders of a novice level right up to intermediate for show jumping and dressage, with a chance to experience many different types of horse. You will meet different instructors depending on your selected program and all speak very good English.

After your lessons, you may prefer to take a relaxing ride around the equestrian centre, in its surrounding pastures and cork woodlands. If so, it is possible to change your lesson for a hack instead and take a relaxed stroll along the banks of the Tagus or up above the centre, taking in the full panorama of the surrounding countryside. Between your lessons, you can enjoy the facilities on offer here and we're certain you'll enjoy the fabulous Portuguese food and wine.

LUSITANO HORSE SALES: For those interested in purchasing a purebred Lusitano horse, these stables can offer viewings and tailored sales advice to help you find the perfect horse for you. Please let us know if this is of interest at the time of booking and we can arrange this for you.

See Programmes.

 

Food & Accommodation

Accommodation is provided either in the modern, renovated guesthouse or one of two private cottages in the traditional style, which have all been finished to a high standard. 9 rooms are available in total and all are large, modern, comfortable double or twin rooms generally with en-suite bathrooms. Most can also be offered for single use and all are located around 200 meters (650 ft) from the riding centre itself - an easy 5-minute walk.

All rooms have wifi access, cable television, towels, linen and shower gel. Some have bathtubs with a shower head and others have only a shower. One room on the ground floor has been modified in order to accommodate guests in a wheelchair and includes an adjoining accessible bathroom.

Meals are generally taken in the comfortable dining room on the ground floor of the main guesthouse, or on the patio outside when the weather is good. Your hosts may join you for the meals and it is a great chance to get feedback on your riding lessons or to talk about the local area. Breakfast is usually served between 7:30 am and 9:00 am on weekdays, and later on weekends. However, later meals times can be arranged and discussed with your hosts on arrival.

The main house also has a swimming pool which guests are more than welcome to use when not riding.

The food is usually regional Portuguese cuisine, which is cooked at a local restaurant. Dishes typically include steak, pork and fish with seasonal vegetables and local produce. The menu will certainly depend on what is available at the time of year and vegetarian or special dietary requirements can be catered to with prior information. Evening meals will be served with local wine (usually one bottle per 4 guests) and other drinks can be ordered and paid for on site.

 

Activities

There are many facilities for non-riders including use of the Swimming pool, TV room with satellite TV and wifi available throughout the accommodation buildings. The surrounding area is wonderful for walking or jogging, with beautiful unspoilt countryside and quiet lanes. The riding centre's close proximity to the Tagus river means that there are a number of options for routes to enjoy bird watching and the local town of Abarantes features a delightful Moorish Castle which is well worth a visit. Bicycles are available to hire or if you preferred, cultural visits to nearby cities and castles can be organised. It is also possible to schedule cookery classes and wine tasting visits to local producers.

SUMMER ACTIVITIES:

During the summer months the days can be too hot for riding other than the early morning or evening. During the day your hosts can suggest a multitude of activities to entertain you when out fo the saddle. The following a few examples;

The Lakes: Visit a beautiful waterpark on the edge of a large lake and enjoy swimming, boating and a variety of watersports.

Boat Trip down the Tagus: Take a guided boat trip down the Tagus river with a picnic or restaurant lunch (as preferred). This offers a unique and phenomenal view of the region from the water.

Please contact us for prices and availability.

 

Further Details

Languages: English and Portugese

Health requirements: No special requirements.

Age limit: None within reason. Riders under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Tuition: Yes

Included: Riding as the programme and half board accommodation

Not included: Flights, transfers, extra drinks and any other activities not mentioned in the programme.

 

Travel Information

If you fly into Lisbon we can arrange your transfer by taxi (at an additional cost of approximately 200 euros for a 9 seater car and 170 euros for a standard car, each way). The journey takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Alternatively, it is very simple to take the train from Lisbon Oriente railway station direct to Abrantes. You will need to take the metro or a taxi from the airport to the trains station, which takes around two minutes. The train trip will take around one and half hours with a direct intercity service, or longer on a regional service and then you can be collected from the station or take a taxi to the guesthouse (approximately 10 minutes away).

You may prefer to hire a car as car rental is fairly cheap in Portugal. Hiring a car will enable you the flexibility to explore further in this wonderful area when you are not riding. Driving directions and GPS location can be provided on request.

Airport: Lisbon

 

Programmes


Showjumping Programme



During the Show jumping programme, you will have the opportunity to try a one of two Dutch KWPN horses, three Selle Francais and a German Oldenburg during your lessons. These horses are also at various stages of their training and can jump from 80 cm -  1 m or more with varying degrees of difficulty. During the lessons, you will be taught by Filipa who as well as managing the riding centre and accommodation is also a very experienced showjumping instructor and keen competitor. She speaks near perfect English. 

The programme options include a week long, six-night stay including 10 lessons, arriving on a Sunday and leaving on the following Saturday. Or, it is possible to have a long weekend programme of three nights, with 5 lessons, arriving on a Thursday at around midday and leaving on a Sunday. Stays of other durations can also be accommodated.

A typical riding day will include two intensive one-on-one (or small group up to a maximum of 2) lessons with your instructor, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. You will be able to learn the basics of the correct jumping technique through groundwork, use of ground poles and eventually small fences and courses. Once the techniques are established you will be able to push yourself and the horse to jump larger courses (up to 1 m) and progress to more technical and challenging obstacles. For those wishing to try, there are horses available at all stages of their training, from high level competition horses who have done this all before, to young inexperienced ones who are still learning.

The preference is for individual, private lessons but there are some situations in which instruction will be given for two riders of a similar level at the same time. Multiple lessons may take place at the same time in different arenas and it's certainly possible to have a programme combining five jumping and five dressage lessons. If you wish, an afternoon may also be exchanged for a trail ride or you may even wish to pay for extra lessons or trail rides locally.



Minimum group size: 1
Maximum group size: 5
Ability description: Novice to advanced level.
Type of ride: Lessons but trails are possible
Total riding time: 10 lessons on week long programme, 5 lessons on weekend programme
Departure dates: Dates to suit all year round, including Christmas and New Year.
 
Pricing: 2017:

6 Night Programme: (10 lessons)
Low Season (November - March) £1055 double occupancy £1187 single occupancy
Christmas & New Year (23rd -31st December) £1143 double occupancy £1275 single occupancy

3 Night Programme: (5 lessons)
Low Season (November - March) £505 double occupancy £571 single occupancy
Christmas & New Year (23rd-31st December) £549 double occupancy £615 single occupancy

Non-rider: £97 per night (half board)

Full board is possible and will cost £22 per meal.
Extra lessons/trails can be organised at an additional cost £44 each.

2018:

6 Night Programme: (10 lessons)
Low Season (October - March, excluding Golega & Christmas/NY) £1055 double occupancy £1187 single occupancy
High Season (April - September, Golega (early Nov) and Christmas/NY) £1143 double occupancy £1275 single occupancy

3 Night Programme: (5 lessons)
Low Season (October - March, excluding Golega and Christmas/NY) £527 double occupancy £593 single occupancy
High Season (April - September, Golega (early Nov) and Christmas/NY) £571 double occupancy £637 single occupancy

Full board is possible and will cost £22 per person per meal, including wine.
Extra lessons/trails can be organised at an additional cost of £44 each.



Dressage Programme



During the Dressage programme you will have the opportunity to ride one of the centre's beautiful Lusitano horses. These horses are of differing training levels, but range up to Grand Prix. Depending on the level of the rider you will be allocated a horse to suit your standard. Paulo Amaral is a young instructor and dressage rider, regularly competing in dressage events, as well as competing at the Regional Dressage Championship for the third year. He is a very experienced rider and ensures the continued education and training of each of the riding centre's horses. He speaks English fluently.

The programme options include a week long, six night stay with five day riding (including 10 lessons), arriving on a Sunday and leaving on the following Saturday. Or, it is possible to have a long weekend programme of three nights, with two and a half days of riding, arriving on a Thursday at around midday and leaving on a Sunday. This option includes five lessons - two a day starting on Thursday afternoon.

Typically your day will include two lessons, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. You will be offered the chance to establish the basics of lateral work and straightness, before developing towards the collection and extension of paces. Paulo will encourage you to use your seat and legs in the most effective and subtle manner in order to achieve harmony with your horse. The emphasis is placed on the correct and classical training of horse and rider in order to achieve a balanced, supple and relaxed partnership. You will then be able to enjoy the pleasure of riding a well schooled Lusitano horse

The preference is for individual, private lessons but there are some situations in which instruction will be given for two riders of a similar level at the same time. Multiple lessons may take place at the same time in different arenas and it's certainly possible to have a programme combining five jumping and five dressage lessons. If you wish, an afternoon may also be exchanged for a trail ride or you may even wish to pay for extra lessons or trail rides locally.



Minimum group size: 1
Maximum group size: 5
Ability description: Novice to advanced level.
Type of ride: Lessons but a short hack is also possible.
Total riding time: 10 lessons on week long programme, 5 lessons on weekend programme
Departure dates: Dates to suit all year round, including Christmas and New Year.
 
Pricing: 2017:

6 Night Programme: (10 lessons)
Low Season (November - March) £1055 double occupancy £1187 single occupancy
Christmas & New Year (23rd-31st December) £1143 double occupancy £1275 single occupancy

3 Night Programme: (5 lessons)
Low Season (November - March) £505 double occupancy £571 single occupancy
Christmas & New Year (23rd - 31st December) £549 double occupancy £615 single occupancy

Non-rider: £97 per night (half board)

Full board is possible and will cost £22 per meal.
Extra lessons/trails can be organised at an additional cost of £44 each.

2018:

6 Night Programme: (10 lessons)
Low Season (October - March, excluding Golega & Christmas/NY) £1055 double occupancy £1187 single occupancy
High Season (April - September, Golega (early Nov) and Christmas/NY) £1143 double occupancy £1275 single occupancy

3 Night Programme: (5 lessons)
Low Season (October - March, excluding Golega and Christmas/NY) £527 double occupancy £593 single occupancy
High Season (April - September, Golega (early Nov) and Christmas/NY) £571 double occupancy £637 single occupancy

Full board is possible and will cost £22 per person per meal, including wine.
Extra lessons/trails can be organised at an additional cost of £44 each.




Combination Programme



This option is perfect for those wishing to combine some high level dressage tuition and improve their show jumping technique. You will be able to take advantage of a combination of lessons and learn either on a one-to-one basis or as part of a small group.

The programme options include a week long, six night stay with five days of riding (including 10 lessons), arriving on a Sunday and leaving on the following Saturday. Or, it is possible to have a long weekend programme of three nights, with two and a half days of riding, arriving on a Thursday at around midday and leaving on a Sunday. This option includes five lessons - two a day starting on Thursday afternoon.

The preference is for individual, private lessons but there are some situations in which instruction will be given for two riders of a similar level at the same time. Multiple lessons may take place at the same time in different arenas and it's certainly possible to have a programme combining five jumping and five dressage lessons. If you wish, an afternoon may also be exchanged for a trail ride or you may even wish to pay for extra lessons or trail rides locally.



Minimum group size: 1
Maximum group size: 5
Ability description: Novice to Experienced riders.
Type of ride: Lessons but a short hack is also possible.
Total riding time: 10 lessons on week long programme, 5 lessons on weekend programme
Departure dates: Dates to suit all year round, including Christmas and New Year.
 
Pricing: 2017:

6 Night Programme: (10 lessons)
Low Season (November - March) £1055 double occupancy £1187 single occupancy
Christmas & New Year (23rd - 31st December) £1143 double occupancy £1275 single occupancy

3 Night Programme: (5 lessons)
Low Season (November - March) £505 double occupancy £571 single occupancy
Christmas & New Year (23rd-31st December) £549 double occupancy £615 single occupancy

Non-rider: £97 per night (half board)

Full board is possible and will cost £22 per meal.
Extra lessons/trails can be organised at an additional cost of £44 each.

2018:

6 Night Programme: (10 lessons)
Low Season (October - March, excluding Golega & Christmas/NY) £1055 double occupancy £1187 single occupancy
High Season (April - September, Golega (early Nov) and Christmas/NY) £1143 double occupancy £1275 single occupancy

3 Night Programme: (5 lessons)
Low Season (October - March, excluding Golega and Christmas/NY) £527 double occupancy £593 single occupancy
High Season (April - September, Golega (early Nov) and Christmas/NY) £571 double occupancy £637 single occupancy

Full board is possible and will cost £22 per person per meal, including wine.
Extra lessons/trails can be organised at an additional cost of £44 each.