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Portugal Equestrian

Overview

Portugal Equestrian is a professional equestrian set-up offering top-quality training in showjumping, dressage and working equitation. Started by two brothers, Bruno and Joao, Portugal Equestrian has grown to comprise two riding centres, housing over 90 horses, and an international team of instruct…

Highlights

  • Dressage on Lusitanos trained up to Prix St Georges
  • Showjumping lessons on horses trained up to 1.35m
  • Amateurs always made to feel welcome
  • Beach-front hotel with daily transport to stables
  • Hosted lunches at traditional restaurants

Essential Facts

  • 3 itineraries available
  • Max 6 riders per group
  • Average of 2 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: 85kg / 187 lbs / 13 stone 5 lbs.
    more info May take 1 or 2 riders at 90kg - please enquire.

Description

Portugal Equestrian is a professional equestrian set-up offering top-quality training in showjumping, dressage and working equitation. Started by two brothers, Bruno and Joao, Portugal Equestrian has grown to comprise two riding centres, housing over 90 horses, and an international team of instructors, but has maintained its friendly, personal and welcoming feel. The stables are located outside the picturesque town of Esposende in the north-west of Portugal, meaning that guests have access to both the incredible riding facilities but also the beautiful beaches of the Atlantic coastline. They are positioned just 25 minutes from Porto so the airport transfer time is minimal and you are close enough to make an afternoon visit to this vibrant city.

The primary yard is home to a range of jumping and dressage horses with something to suit different levels of rider - whilst they have mounts for accomplished, competitive riders they also have superb horses for amateurs or those who are perhaps lacking confidence in their abilities. There are magnificent Lusitanos available for high-level dressage tuition and a range of breeds available for jumping, including warmblood types and even some Irish bred horses. The horses are fit and well-schooled but are also cared for to a high standard, including receiving daily turnout. In addition to tuition, Portugal Equestrian can sometimes offer guests a relaxing trail ride in place of a lesson and this can be arranged when you are there.

Guests are generally accommodated in a nearby hotel in Esposende, approximately ten minutes away by car, and your hosts collect you after breakfast. Lessons are given during the morning, with drinks and snacks provided at the yard, and then you are taken out for a delicious lunch in one of the typical local restaurants. The afternoons are free for you to visit the beach, to go exploring or perhaps to book an extra lesson as many riders do. Evening meals are not included so you can dine out at your leisure or choose to eat in your hotel if you prefer not to head out. The team can also organise a range of excursions and activities for you, everything from guided tours of Porto to a boat ride on the Douro River, wine-tasting or even scuba diving or paintballing!

Team member Holly visited Portugal Equestrian in 2019 and would be happy to tell you more about it.

Horses & Riding

Tack

English

Horses

There are magnificent Lusitanos available for dressage tuition and a range of breeds available for jumping, including Portuguese, Dutch, French and German warmblood types and even some Irish bred horses. The horses are fit and well-schooled but are also cared for to a high standard, including receiving daily turnout.

Riding

There are 3 itineraries:

  • Dressage Training Week is a based ride
  • Showjumping Training Week is a based ride
  • Intensive Training Programme (12 days) is a based ride

Ages

No specific age limit - there are some smaller horses for children.

Health

General good health

Weight

85kg / 187 lbs / 13 stone 5 lbs. May take 1 or 2 riders at 90kg - please enquire.

Food & Accommodation

Food

You will be on a half board basis, so breakfast and lunch are included but dinner is to your own account.

Breakfast will always be taken at the hotel where you can select from the continental buffet.

Mid-morning snacks are provided at the riding centre in case you get peckish between lessons.

Lunch is sometimes at the hotel but more often in local restaurants so that you can sample local dishes such as bacalhau, arroz de pato, piccanha etc.

Drinks are included with meals.

Your evening meal and drinks are to your own account, so you can choose to eat wherever you wish.

Accommodation

Accommodation is usually at Hotel Suave Mar in Esposende, just 10 minutes or so from the equestrian centre (transfers are provided each day). This hotel is around 200m from the Atlantic Ocean and faces the Cavado River. It has a good restaurant, outdoor swimming pool and gym and is within easy walking distance of the best local beaches.

In the event that Hotel Suave Mar is unavailable then an alternative of a similar standard will be used.

Itineraries

Dressage Training Week Standard accommodation.

Showjumping Training Week Standard accommodation.

Intensive Training Programme (12 days) Standard accommodation.

Other Activities

Non-riders are welcome and there are many activities on offer in the local area, besides just relaxing and using the hotel facilities/beach.

The city of Porto is an interesting visit, as is the local town of Esposende.

Just to the north of Esposende is the natural paro of the north coast which is famous for its wetland areas and coastal sand dunes - during the migration period in spring/autumn this is a prime spot for bird watchers.

You can also book kite surfing, canyoning, wine tours and boat trips.

Travel

There are plenty of low-cost airlines flying into Oporto from regional airports across Europe. The airport is approximately 30 minutes from the equestrian centre and hotel so you may wish to hire a car in order to explore the area.

Alternatively, we can offer an airport transfers service at a small additional cost which is paid locally on arrival. Transfer costs are dependent on the number of passengers and include travel in both directions. **Please note that there is an additional surcharge for transfers required before 8 am and after 8 pm each day.

Testimonials

Cindy H., Oct. 24, 2023

Portugal Equestrian was a beautiful equestrian centre. Our trainer, Miguel, was experienced, placed us with horses that matched our riding level and disposition, and helped me to improve my riding. Miguel went above and beyond as the non-rider in the group had a dental emergency and they located a dentist and made all the arrangements for an appointment. Hotel Suave Mar was wonderful - clean, great staff, the swimming pool was extra special and the beach was across the street with a boardwalk that you could walk 3+ miles and back along the beach.


Francesca H., Aug. 3, 2021

I had a wonderful time at Portugal Equestrian on their week long showjumping programme. Whilst I
have been riding for 21 years, I have always ridden at a riding school and never had the
opportunity to really focus on my jumping. I found the tuition at Portugal Equestrian to be excellent
and was fortunate to receive 121 tuition and feedback on my riding throughout the week, which
really gave me the opportunity to work and build on my flatwork and jumping skills. We progressed
from smaller fences and sorting out my position at the start of the week to then more complex
courses, lines and bigger fences at the end of the week. Most importantly my confidence grew
throughout the week and this was largely due to the selection of horses I was given to ride. I
trusted the instructor’s guidance when it came to selecting the horses for me to ride and so when I
was given a horse that was more ‘hot’, I did not feel nervous or worried. All of the horses I rode
were well-mannered, beautifully schooled and it really was a privilege to ride them. The facilities
were also outstanding and it is clear to see that the owners take pride in what they do and how
they run the establishment.


Sarah C., July 17, 2019

Very good holiday which was exactly as I would have expected. The training was excellent and the horses were well looked after. The place was well run and the people were all lovely. I was picked up every day and dropped back to my hotel so no worries about travel. It could not have been any better organized.


Itinerary & Pricing

Day 1 - Arrival

Riding: No riding.

Arrive and relax at your hotel.

Days 2 to 6

Riding: 2 hours

Each morning you will be collected from the hotel and transferred to the riding centre. Lessons are usually scheduled for the morning so that you have the afternoon free to enjoy the hotel or beach or to add extra activities.

Classical Dressage lessons are on highly-trained Lusitano horses up to Prix St Georges level, with only two riders in each group. Lessons last c. 45 mins - 1 hour.

Each day there is time to discuss your progress and you can choose to change your instructor and intensity of the lessons if you wish. You can also swap lessons for a trail ride if you prefer.

* The package includes 10 lessons as standard (2 per day) but additional lessons may be arranged depending on availability.

Day 7 - Departure

Riding: No riding.

Depart after breakfast

Accommodation

Each night will be spent at a local 4* beachfront hotel, with private bathrooms.

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

Intermediate to Advanced riders - some knowledge of dressage would be useful.

Minimum group size 1
Maximum group size 6
Departure windows

At any time during: Jan. 1, 2024 - Dec. 31, 2024  (Dates available to suit, with arrivals on a Sunday & departures Saturday.)

Pricing

2024
Rider, sharing, Low season (Jan-Mar & Nov-Dec)
£1365 $1735 €1600
2024
Non-rider, sharing, Low season (Jan-Mar & Nov-Dec)
£640 $810 €750
2024
Rider, sharing, Mid season (Apr-May & Sept-Oct)
£1445 $1830 €1690
2024
Non-Rider, sharing, Mid season (Apr-May & Sep-Oct)
£715 $910 €840
2024
Rider, sharing, High season (June-August)
£1520 $1930 €1780
2024
Non-rider, sharing, High season (June-August)
£795 $1005 €930
Included 6 nights accommodation, half board meals (breakfast and lunch) and 10 lessons.
Not included Flights, personal travel insurance, airport transfers, dinners and drinks, additional lessons, tips and other personal expenses.

Extras

2024 - Extra Lesson £68 $87 €80
Paid to Far and Ride
Cost is per lesson (where available, must be requested in advance)
2024 - Porto Airport Transfers £47 $60 €55
Paid to Far and Ride
Costs are per person, each way. * There is a 5€ (euro) surcharge for each additional passenger sharing the same transfer.
2024 - Single Supplement £128 $163 €150
Paid to Far and Ride
Payable by anyone requiring a single room.
2024 - Upgrade to Private lesson £26 $33 €30
Paid to Far and Ride
Upgrade to guarantee a private lesson, cost is per lesson (subject to availability)
2023/2024 - Child Discount 150 Euro discount for children under 11 years old
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.

Day 1 - Arrival

Riding: No riding.

Arrive and relax at your hotel.

Days 2 to 6

Riding: 2 hours

Each morning you will be collected from the hotel and transferred to the riding centre. Lessons are usually scheduled for the morning so that you have the afternoon free to enjoy the hotel or beach or to add extra activities.

Showjumping lessons are on Dutch, Portuguese, French or German Warmbloods who are jumping heights up to 1.35m. You will have a combination of flatwork and jumping tuition so can ask to ride one of the classically trained Lusitanos for a dressage lesson when you are scheduled for flatwork, if you wish. There are only two riders in each group and lessons last 45 mins - 1 hour.

Each day there is time to discuss your progress and you can choose to change your instructor and intensity of the lessons if you wish. You can also swap lessons for a trail ride if you prefer.

* The package includes 10 lessons as standard (2 per day) but additional lessons may be arranged depending on availability.

Day 7 - Departure

Riding: No riding.

Depart after breakfast

Accommodation

Each night will be spent at a local 4* beachfront hotel, with private bathrooms.

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

Intermediate to Advanced Riders. Prior jumping experience would be an advantage, but even those with limited jumping experience can be catered for.

Minimum group size 1
Maximum group size 6
Departure windows

At any time during: Jan. 1, 2024 - Dec. 31, 2024  (Dates available to suit, with arrivals on a Sunday & departures Saturday.)

Pricing

2024
Rider, sharing, Low season (Jan-Mar & Nov-Dec)
£1365 $1735 €1600
2024
Non-rider, sharing, Low season (Jan-Mar & Nov-Dec)
£640 $810 €750
2024
Rider, sharing, Mid season (Apr-May & Sept-Oct)
£1445 $1830 €1690
2024
Non-rider, sharing, Mid season (Apr-May & Sept-Oct)
£715 $910 €840
2024
Rider, sharing, High season (June-August)
£1520 $1930 €1780
2024
Non-rider, sharing, High season (June-August)
£795 $1005 €930
Included 6 nights accommodation, half board meals (breakfast and lunch), 10 lessons
Not included Flights, dinners, drinks, airport transfers, travel insurance, extra lessons, tips & other personal expenses.

Extras

2024 - Extra Lesson £68 $87 €80
Paid to Far and Ride
Cost is per lesson (where available, must be requested in advance)
2024 - Porto Airport Transfer £47 $60 €55
Paid to Far and Ride
Costs are per person, each way. * There is a 5€ (euro) surcharge for each additional passenger sharing the same transfer.
2024 - Single Supplement £128 $163 €150
Paid to Far and Ride
2024 - Upgrade to Private Lesson £26 $33 €30
Paid to Far and Ride
Upgrade to guarantee a private lesson, cost is per lesson (subject to availability)
2023/2024 - Child Discount Discount of 150 Euro for children under 11 years old
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.

Day 1 - Arrival

Riding: No riding.

Arrive and relax at your hotel.

Days 2 to 11

Riding: 2 hours

This intensive training package is aimed at those who enjoy competing and want to spend a fortnight focusing on their riding. Over ten riding days you will have 20 lessons and can choose to concentrate on Classical Dressage or Showjumping. The Showjumping package will include some flatwork lessons as well.

As with the week-long programmes, there is no riding on arrival day and you will have 2 lessons each following day. In the middle of your stay, there is the option to participate in a competition but this is not obligatory - you can choose to watch and enjoy the atmosphere of the competition if you prefer. Competitions are at an extra cost depending on which classes you choose to join.

Lessons are generally in the morning so that you have the afternoons free to relax or explore the area. Each lesson is limited to two riders and lasts c. 45 mins - 1 hour.

Day 12 - Departure

Riding: No riding.

Depart after breakfast

Accommodation

Each night will be spent at a local 4* beachfront hotel, with private bathrooms.

Experience Experienced

This package is aimed at Intermediate to Advanced riders with previous experience in competitive dressage or showjumping.

Minimum group size 1
Maximum group size 6
Departure windows

At any time during: Jan. 1, 2024 - Dec. 31, 2024  (Preferred arrival day, Sundays - Please contact us with your preferred month so we can advise on the competition schedules.)

Pricing

2024
Rider, sharing, Low season (Jan-Mar & Nov-Dec)
£2565 $3255 €3000
2024
Non-rider, sharing, Low season (Jan-Mar & Nov-Dec)
£1240 $1570 €1450
2024
Rider, sharing, Mid season (Apr-May & Sep-Oct)
£2705 $3435 €3165
2024
Non-rider, sharing, Mid season (Apr-May & Sep-Oct)
£1380 $1750 €1615
2024
Rider, sharing, High season (Jun-Aug)
£2845 $3610 €3330
2024
Non-rider, sharing, High season (Jun-Aug)
£1520 $1930 €1780
Included 11 nights accommodation, breakfast and lunch, riding (20 lessons over ten riding days)
Not included Flights, travel insurance, transfers, extra lessons, competition entry fees, dinner, drinks, tips & other personal expenses.

Extras

2024 - Extra Lesson £68 $87 €80
Paid to Far and Ride
Cost is per lesson (where available, must be requested in advance)
2024 - Porto Airport Transfer £47 $60 €55
Paid to Far and Ride
Costs are per person, each way. * There is a 5€ (euro) surcharge for each additional passenger sharing the same transfer.
2024 - Single Supplement £235 $295 €275
Paid to Far and Ride
2024 - Upgrade to Private Lesson £26 $33 €30
Paid to Far and Ride
Upgrade to guarantee a private lesson, cost is per lesson (subject to availability)
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.