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Portugal Equestrian

Overview

Portugal Equestrian is a professional equestrian set-up offering top quality training in show jumping, dressage and working equitation in addition to some relaxing trail rides. Started by two brothers, Bruno and Joao, Portugal Equestrian has grown to comprise two riding centres, housing over 90 hor…

Highlights

  • Dressage on Lusitanos trained up to Prix St Georges
  • Show jumping 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

  • 5 itineraries available
  • Max 12 riders per group
  • Average of 2 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: 95kg / 210 lbs / 15 stone

Description

Portugal Equestrian is a professional equestrian set-up offering top quality training in show jumping, dressage and working equitation in addition to some relaxing trail rides. 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 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 offer three lovely trail options - one to the beach, one through the vineyards and organic farm surrounding their second yard and one into the stunning Gerês National Park. Whilst the lessons are the star of the show, the trails are the perfect way to relax in the saddle and to see a little more of this scenic country.

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 5 itineraries:

  • Dressage Training Week is a based ride
  • Show Jumping Training Week is a based ride
  • Intensive Training Programme (12 nights) is a based ride
  • Relaxed Programme is a based ride
  • Short Break is a based ride

Ages

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

Health

General good health

Weight

95kg / 210 lbs / 15 stone

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.

Show Jumping Training Week Standard accommodation.

Intensive Training Programme (12 nights) Standard accommodation.

Relaxed Programme Standard accommodation.

Short Break 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

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, 2021 - Dec. 31, 2021  (Dates available to suit, with flexible arrivals & departures.)

Pricing

2021
Rider; High season (June, July & August); Sharing
£1310 $1825 €1540
2021
Rider; Standard season; Sharing
£1235 $1720 €1450
2021
Non-Rider; High season (June, July & August); Sharing
£670 $935 €790
2021
Non-Rider; Standard season; Sharing
£595 $830 €700
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

2021 - Extra Lesson £51 $71 €60
Paid to Far and Ride
Cost is per lesson (where available, must be requested in advance)
2021 - Porto Airport Transfers €35
Paid locally
Costs are per vehicle and include travel in both directions. Add €5 per extra passenger after 1, up to a maximum of 6 pax *There is a surcharge of €5 for transfers before 8am or after 8pm*
2021 - Single Supplement £128 $178 €150
Paid to Far and Ride
2021 - Upgrade to Private lesson £26 $36 €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.

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.

Show Jumping 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 ever two riders in each group and lessons last 45 mins - 1 hour.

Each day there is time to discuss you 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 jumping experience would be an advantage.

Minimum group size 1
Maximum group size 6
Departure windows

At any time during: Jan. 1, 2021 - Dec. 31, 2021  (Dates available to suit, with flexible arrivals & departures.)

Pricing

2021
Rider; High season (June, July & August); Sharing
£1310 $1825 €1540
2021
Rider; Standard season; Sharing
£1235 $1720 €1450
2021
Non-Rider; High season (June, July & August); Sharing
£670 $935 €790
2021
Non-Rider; Standard season; Sharing
£595 $830 €700
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

2021 - Extra Lesson £51 $71 €60
Paid to Far and Ride
Cost is per lesson (where available, must be requested in advance)
2021 - Porto Airport Transfer €35
Paid locally
Costs are per vehicle and include travel in both directions. Add €5 per extra passenger after 1, up to a maximum of 6 pax *There is a surcharge of €5 for transfers before 8am or after 8pm*
2021 - Single Supplement £128 $178 €150
Paid to Far and Ride
2021 - Upgrade to Private Lesson £26 $36 €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.

Day 1 - Arrival

Riding: No riding.

Arrive and relax at your hotel.

Days 2 to 12

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 Show Jumping. The Show Jumping 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 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 13 - 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 with previous experience of dressage or show jumping.

Minimum group size 1
Maximum group size 6
Departure windows

At any time during: Jan. 1, 2021 - Dec. 31, 2021  (Flexible arrivals/departure - Please contact us with your preferred month so we can advise on the competition schedules.)

Pricing

2021
Rider; High season (June, July & August); Sharing
£2580 $3590 €3030
2021
Rider; Standard season; Sharing
£2430 $3380 €2850
2021
Non-Rider; High season (June, July & August); Sharing
£1345 $1870 €1580
2021
Non-Ride; Standard season; Sharing
£1190 $1660 €1400
Included 12 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

2021 - Extra Lesson £51 $71 €60
Paid to Far and Ride
Cost is per lesson (where available, must be requested in advance)
2021 - Porto Airport Transfer €35
Paid locally
Costs are per vehicle and include travel in both directions. Add €5 per extra passenger after 1, up to a maximum of 6 pax *There is a surcharge of €5 for transfers before 8am or after 8pm*
2021 - Single Supplement £255 $355 €300
Paid to Far and Ride
2021 - Upgrade to Private Lesson £26 $36 €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.

Day 1 - Arrival

Riding: No riding.

Arrive and relax at your hotel

Days 2 to 6

Riding: 1 - 3 hours

A combination of lessons and relaxed, scenic trail rides. During the week you will have 5 lessons of c. 45 mins - 1 hour duration, and 3 trail rides, each of approx 1.5 - 2 hours. 

Trail rides include a beach ride along the Atlantic Coast, a vineyard trail with a wine tasting and a breathtakingly scenic trail through Geres national park.

Trail groups will be divided so that advanced riders can enjoy a faster pace where possible, whilst more novice riders can take things steadier.

There are smaller, calm horses available for younger guests. These horses have lots of experience working with young children, so this can be a great option for family groups as well.

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 Beginner / Intermediate / Experienced

All abilities of rider can be accommodated.

Minimum group size 1
Maximum group size 12
Departure windows

At any time during: Jan. 1, 2021 - Dec. 31, 2021  (Dates available to suit, with flexible arrivals & departures.)

Pricing

2021
Rider; High season (June, July & August); Sharing
£1310 $1825 €1540
2021
Rider; Standard season; Sharing
£1235 $1720 €1450
2021
Non-Rider; High season (June, July & August); Sharing
£670 $935 €790
2021
Non-Rider; Standard season; Sharing
£595 $830 €700
Included 6 nights accommodation, half board meals (breakfast and lunch), 5 lessons and 3 trail rides
Not included Flights, travel insurance, airport transfers, dinner, drinks, extra lessons, tips & other personal expenses.

Extras

2021 - Extra Lesson £51 $71 €60
Paid to Far and Ride
Cost is per lesson (where available, must be requested in advance)
2021 - Porto Airport Transfer €35
Paid locally
Costs are per vehicle and include travel in both directions. Add €5 per extra passenger after 1, up to a maximum of 6 pax *There is a surcharge of €5 for transfers before 8am or after 8pm*
2021 - Single Supplement £128 $178 €150
Paid to Far and Ride
2021 - Upgrade to Private lesson £26 $36 €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.

Days 1 to 4

Riding: 1 - 3 hours

This shorter version of our training and trail riding programmes is ideally suited for those who want to escape for just a weekend or midweek trip - if coming for a weekend then it should be Thursday to Sunday. The programme includes 3 nights of accommodation. 

You can choose from the following riding options;

Dressage training - including 5 lessons

Showjumping training - including 5 lessons

Trail riding - including 2 lessons and 2 trail rides.

The programme can be tailored to suit all levels of rider. Lessons will be spread out over the days depending on when you arrive/depart.

Accommodation

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

Experience Beginner / Intermediate / Experienced

All abilities of rider can be accommodated. Those with prior knowledge of dressage or showjumping will benefit most from the training package.

Minimum group size 1
Maximum group size 6
Departure windows

At any time during: Jan. 1, 2021 - Dec. 31, 2021  (Flexible dates, but weekend stays should be Thursday to Sunday)

Pricing

2021
Rider; High season (June, July & August); Sharing
£760 $1060 €895
2021
Rider; Standard season; Sharing
£720 $1005 €850
2021
Non-rider; High season (June, July & August); Sharing
£290 $405 €345
2021
Non-Rider; Standard Season; Sharing
£255 $355 €300
Included 3 nights accommodation, breakfast and lunch, five lessons (show jumping or dressage) OR two lessons and two trails
Not included Flights, dinners, drinks, airport transfers, travel insurance, tips, extra lessons & other personal expenses.

Extras

2021 - Extra Lessons £51 $71 €60
Paid to Far and Ride
Cost is per lesson (where available, must be requested in advance)
2021 - Porto Airport Transfer €35
Paid locally
Costs are per vehicle and include travel in both directions. Add €5 per extra passenger after 1, up to a maximum of 6 pax *There is a surcharge of €5 for transfers before 8am or after 8pm*
2021 - Single Supplement £64 $89 €75
Paid to Far and Ride
2021 - Upgrade to Private Lesson £26 $36 €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.