Lusitano Dressage riding holiday in Portugal - Far and Ride
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Lusitano Dressage, Portugal


• Dressage Tuition



It was an amazing time with such friendly hosts, a trainer with great knowledge and amazing horses. Because of everything "around" was well organized and perfect it was possible to be totally focused on this great horses and your training. The trainer, João, was looking perfectly on the horses and the equipment. Everything was in a good condition - like these were your own things.

Raffaela K.
Joao and Susana were terrific hosts and we cannot fault any aspect of the holiday. As a rider, I was looking for a holiday where I could improve my riding skills in classical dressage and not a glorified trekking holiday or basic instruction in walk, trot and canter. Joao is a great instructor showing a great depth of knowledge of his subject and is English is excellent. He and Susana are also very good riders although Susana was confined to the kitchen most of the time cooking fantastic meals for us!

Helen D.
This was a great holiday. It was everything I expected and more. The reason for the holiday was to improve my riding skills and due to the expert tuition, I certainly did improve beyond my expectations. The horses are of an excellent standard and very well looked after which is important to me also. The Instructor Joao was the best trainer I have ever had. He was an incredible rider and horseman. He really knows his stuff and can read what is going on at every second and correct you from the ground with precision. He is not afraid to push you to get more and knows when to stop. He is outstanding and I have learned so much which I will take on to my next horses.

Sarah C. (April 2018)
Brilliant! Excellent instructor. Tack and Xisto (horses) were perfect. I had Lindo the first day, but found his action uncomfortable... When asked for a different horse the next day, they found the ideal one.

Jean M. (April 2018)
Very enjoyable experience. A very warm welcome from our hosts (Susana and João) and nothing was too much trouble. Made my 70th Birthday very special and memorable - cake & flowers.

Sarah & Owen W. (June 2019)


Type of horses:


Nature of horses:

Well-schooled and responsive

Height of horses:

c. 16hh

Weight limit:

100kg / 15 stone 7 lbs

Tack type:

Traditional Portuguese or Dressage saddles with simple snaffle or double bridles.


Travel Advice

Please ensure you read the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice before you travel.

Ride Description

Our Lusitano Dressage Centre is a brand new training environment which has been built around the Lusitano horse. The beautiful farm is just 30-40 mins drive from Lisbon and is situated in an area where you can "get lost in time" and feel the rhythm of a typical old Portuguese village surrounded by vineyards, gorgeous landscapes and Montejunto mountain views.

At our dressage centre you will ride Lusitano horses for both Dressage and Working Equitation as the horses have been well trained in both these disciplines. Classical Dressage needs no introduction, but Working Equitation is not a common activity here in the UK. The sport aims to show off and utilise the working capabilities of the Lusitano horse and competitors have to complete a gymkhana type event as well as a dressage test. In this event, rider and horse have to negotiate obstacles such as bridges, gates and jumps. At high levels and in team events, they may also have to work with cattle to split a specific cow from the herd.

Working Equitation lessons are available during the spring/summer whereas classical dressage lessons are available all year round. During the lessons you will have the opportunity to try riding Grand Prix exercises such as piaffe and passage on the schoolmaster horses. All lessons are of one hour duration and there is a maximum of two riders in each lesson.

No previous experience of classical dressage is necessary but those who already understand some dressage will get plenty out of this holiday. You do need to be able to ride already (walk, trot and canter) but your dressage experience can range from beginner to experienced.

The instructor, João Batalha, has been teaching classical dressage for more than 6 years in Portugal and other countries in Europe. After several years teaching in one of the most renowned schools and riding holiday centres in Portugal, he now shares his time between teaching exclusively at our Lusitano Dressage Centre and competing at national level in Portuguese Equitation and Working Equitation.

Cathy from Far and Ride was lucky enough to ride here in October 2017 and will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

See Programmes.


Food & Accommodation

You stay on-site at the farm where there are 4 tastefully decorated rooms. All have private bathrooms, TV, air conditioning and Wi-Fi. The rooms are all double/twin but extra beds can be added to rooms on request (at additional cost).

There is a swimming pool which overlooks the vineyard and is located in a quiet part of the farm, and beside the pool is a relaxing area with comfortable seating. There is also a comfortable terrace and a bar.

The dining room has a panoramic view across the Portuguese landscape.

All meals are included. Lunch and Dinner are usually two courses and include a starter followed by either fish or meat, together with accompanying salads and vegetables. The meals are typically Portuguese and include coffee or tea, water and juice. There is also local wine included with the evening meal (approximately one bottle between two people).

Additional alcoholic and soft beverages are paid separately and there is a bar so you can choose what you wish to drink.



The farm is situated within the Western Wine Route, and your hosts are developing partnerships with some wineries where you will be able to go and taste some typical Portuguese wines.

If you have your own car, then in your spare time, you can visit the beautiful Santa Cruz beach, which is only 30km away.

In addition to the area surrounding the farm, which has some typical villages to explore, you can also visit some of the following tourist areas:
Mafra - 33 km
Ericeira - 45 km
Lisbon - 45 km
Portuguese School of Equestrian Art - 45 km
Óbidos - 50 km
Sintra - 53 km

Additional information on these areas is provided in the rooms. The farm's driver is available to take you to these sites if you haven't hired a car, and this can be booked and paid for locally (although please book when you first arrive so you are not disappointed).


Further Details

Languages: English and Portuguese

Health requirements: General good health

Age limit: Riders must be 7 years or older, although there are no ponies, so children must be happy on horses.

Tuition: Yes, according to programme

Included: Accommodation, meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner), wine (1 bottle per 2 persons, per meal), water, cookies and seasonal fruits always available in the dining room, Dressage lessons according to the programme, swimming pool.

Not included: Flights, travel insurance, airport transfers, off-site tours, optional photoshoot with Rita Fernandes - Lusitano World


Travel Information

There are many flight options to Lisbon from the UK with both TAP (Air Portugal) and British Airways flying regularly from London. Alternative options are EasyJet from Liverpool as well as other regional airports.

Transfers from Lisbon airport are available at an additional cost of 70 euro per vehicle each way (max of 4 people) payable locally.

Check-in at the farm is between 2 pm and 6 pm each day - if your flight is delayed then please let the farm know so that they can make arrangements. Check-out on your departure day is midday.

Alternatively, you may wish to hire a car at the airport and we can provide driving directions.

Airport: Lisbon



Dressage Tuition

Depending on your chosen programme, you will have either one or two lessons each day. If opting for two lessons, then this will be one in the morning and one in the afternoon. If having one lesson a day then this will usually be the morning so you have the afternoon free to relax or explore the area, but this is flexible.

Lessons are one hour duration and there is a maximum of two riders in each lesson.

During spring/summer it is possible to have Working Equitation lessons, which includes negotiating obstacles such as bridges, jumps and gates. Classical dressage lessons are available all year round and could include trying grand prix movements such as piaffe and passage. Your instructor will tailor the lessons depending on your ability and wishes.

It is compulsory to wear a helmet when riding.

There are a few special programmes which include visiting Lusitano events - if you wish to visit at these times then please contact us for more information:

April 2019: Horse Auction at Alter do Chao - there is a typical stallion grading before the famous Alter Real stallions and mares are auctioned.

May 2019: Expoegua at Golega - a number of competitions including Working Equitation and Dressage as well as showing for mares and foals and lots of displays.

June 2019: International Lusitano Horse Show - the most important Lusitano event in Portugal where stud's compete and show their best progeny as well as competing in dressage and working equitation.

Minimum group size: 1
Maximum group size: 3
Ability description: All abilities can be catered for, but you should be comfortable in walk, trot and canter in an arena.
Type of ride: Instruction
Total riding time: 1 or 2 hours each day depending on programme
Departure dates: 2019:
Dates to suit. Open all year around except 24 December until 1 January.
Closed 1-14 November for Golega Horse Fair.
Pricing: 2019:

Intensive Programme (six nights; two lessons each day; ten lessons in total)
£1289 per person in single room
£1181 per person sharing double room

Normal Programme (six nights; one lesson each day; five lessons in total)
£1019 per person in single room
£912 per person sharing double room

Non rider: £642 for six nights (sharing with rider)

Short Intensive Programme (three nights; five lessons in total)
£754 per person in single room
£700 per person sharing double room

Short Normal Programme (three nights; three lessons in total)
£647 per person in single room
£593 per person sharing double room

Non rider: £431 for three nights (sharing with rider)

Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding.

All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.