Holiday Report: Portugal Showjumping and Dressage | Far and Ride

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Holiday Report: Portugal Showjumping and Dressage

Portugal Showjumping and Dressage, 2015.

Natalie Garner, Far and Ride.

In September this year I travelled back to Portugal for a long weekend in order to visit our wonderful partners at our new Portuguese Showjumping and Dressage destination. Located just ten minutes from the town of Abrantés, right on the banks of the river Tagus in the very heart of Portugal, the riding centre is a very professional outfit owned and run by Vitor and his wonderful daughter Filipa. Along with their hard working and dedicated staff and instructors, the centre is a great location to practice your riding skills and learn some new techniques, as well as regularly playing host to National and International competitions.

Instructors Jorge and Paulo are both professionals in their respective fields and are happy to share their vast knowledge and experience with their pupils. By the end of the first session, their kindness and gentle encouragement really help me to feel at ease, relax and enjoy my time in the saddle. By the end of my stay, I am confidently jumping small courses of showjumps, as well as performing advanced dressage movements such as half-pass and piaffe with great familiarity. But of course, the horses are of the utmost importance and those whom I have the privilege to ride are all comfortable and pleasurable to deal with. For my dressage lessons I enjoy the company of two beautiful Lusitano horses and in the jumping no less than three fantastic and dynamic warmbloods.

During my stay I am accommodated in the main guesthouse which is built and furnished in the traditional Portuguese style with a touch of modern elegance. Located just a short 5 minute walk from the riding centre, on the outskirts of the local village, my room overlooks the Tagus river and the stunning and vast surrounding country beyond. The accommodations provide several different room options and all are finished to the same high quality, with ample room and great appointment to take advantage of the views. Most also include an en-suite bathroom. Over the road, the family’s farmhouse includes two further suites and a swimming pool which is free for guests to use. Our meals are typically served in the traditional dinning room on the ground floor of the guesthouse, or (I’m told) on the patio outside on warm evenings, looking out over the valley beyond.

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 my 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.

Read more about the ride here: Portugal Showjumping and Dressage.


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