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


• Training Programme



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.


Type of horses:

Lusitano & Warmblood horses

Nature of horses:

Well schooled & responsive

Height of horses:

15-17 hh

Weight limit:

None within reason

Tack type:



Travel Advice

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

Ride Description

This small, family-run equestrian centre offers dressage and jumping tuition with top quality horses and facilities, also acting as a venue for both national and international level competitions. The centre is located approximately 150 km from Lisbon in the central Portuguese region of Santarém and is owned and run by Vitor and his daughter Filipa, a keen competitor on the Portuguese showjumping circuit. Accommodation is provided in their modern guesthouse or one of two private cottages which are decorated in the traditional style, all furnished to a high standard, whilst meals comprise delicious local ingredients served as typical regional dishes. The local wine is also not to be missed! Of course guests also have use of the swimming pool when not in the saddle.

The horses here are Lusitano, some trained up to Grand Prix level dressage, or Warmblood (KWPN and Selle Francais) that compete in jumping classes up to 1m and, in some cases, are capable of jumping courses up to 1m30. 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 hack, along the c. 26km of trails, which lead you through the surrounding pastures and cork woodlands, or into the village close-by. It is possible to switch lessons for hacks and to and take a relaxed stroll along the banks of the Tagus or up above the centre, to enjoy the full panorama of the surrounding countryside.

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 picturesque town of Golega is located just 45 minutes drive from the centre and is the site for the annual Lusitano horse fair - a true celebration of the breed Portugal has become so famous for. The national Lusitano stud farm at Alter do Chão is also an hour drive from the riding centre and well worth a visit.

Far and Ride team member Natalie has ridden at this destination, including visiting world-famous Golega Horse Fair, and highly recommends their excellent tuition and warm hospitality.

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.

GOLEGA: Golega Horse Fair runs 2 - 11 November 2018 and can be incorporated into your stay.

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 (typically open May to October).

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.



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, jogging or bike riding, through the extensive, beautiful, unspoilt countryside, quiet lanes and well-marked leisure routes too. 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 Abrantes features a delightful Moorish Castle which is well worth a visit. Cultural visits to other nearby towns, such as Tomar and Fatima, as well as other notable castles, can also be organised. It is even possible to schedule cookery classes and wine tasting visits with local producers.

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 165 euros for a standard car, each way and 200 euros for a 7 seater van, 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



Training Programme

The perfect opportunity for those wishing to improve their dressage and show jumping technique with a personalised training programme tailored to your needs and wishes. Choose to specialise in jumping or dressage during your stay, or take a combination of lessons in both instead.

During the Showjumping lessons, you will have the opportunity to ride one of a number of lovely warmblood horses from jumping backgrounds, including Dutch KWPN horses, Selle Francais and German Oldenburg during your lessons. These horses are at various stages of their training and most are able to jump from courses 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. 

During the Dressage lessons, you will have the opportunity to ride one of the centre's beautiful schoolmaster horses, many of which are pure-bred Lusitano. These horses are of differing training levels, but range up to Grand Prix. Depending on your level of riding you will be allocated a horse to suit your standard. Instructor Joao Cavaco is a dedicated instructor and dressage rider who has trained under many Classical Portuguese masters, as well as with International and Olympic level dressage riders such as Tina Layton and Emile Faurie. Joao has also had the honour of teaching at the famous Contessa school in the UK for the last few years and was recognised for his skill in coaching by the Association of British Riding schools, who awarded him the "Golden Spur Award" in 2016 and 2017. He is a very experienced rider and ensures the continued education and training of each of the riding centre's horses. He speaks English, Spanish and Portuguese fluently.

The programme options include a stay of three to six-nights stay with lesson numbers depending on your preference. Additional riding lessons can also be added if you wished to have a more intensive experience during your stay.

You can choose to concentrate solely on jumping or dressage during your stay, or take a combination of both - just let us know your preference at the time of booking. 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. 

During your jumping lessons, 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.

During your dressage lessons, you may be offered the chance to establish the basics of lateral work and straightness, before developing towards the collection and extension of paces. Joao will encourage you to ride correctly and help you to understand the finesse of aids required in classical and modern dressage riding. The emphasis is placed on the correct 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 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. 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: Tuition and trails.
Total riding time: lessons typically 1 hour, trail rides typically 1.5 hours.
Departure dates: Dates to suit all year round, including Christmas and New Year.
Pricing: 2018/19:

Low Season: 1st October - 31st March, excluding Golega & Christmas/NY
High Season: 1st April - 30th September, Golega (first two weeks of Nov) and Christmas/NY

3 night programme (5 lessons):
Low Season £580 per person, double occupancy, £647 single occupancy.
High season £607 per person, double occupancy, £674 single occupancy.

4 night programme (7 lessons):
Low Season £778 per person, double occupancy, £868 single occupancy.
High season £823 per person, double occupancy, £913 single occupancy.

5 night programme (9 lessons):
Low Season £967 per person, double occupancy, £1079 single occupancy.
High season £1025 per person, double occupancy, £1137 single occupancy.

6 night programme (10 lessons):
Low Season £1169 per person, double occupancy, £1304 single occupancy.
High season £1259 per person, double occupancy, £1394 single occupancy.

Full board is possible and will cost £23 per person per meal, including wine.
Extra lessons/trails can be organised at an additional cost of £54 each.