Riding Holidays in Portugal on Lusitano Stallions!
My name is Misti Seppi and I arrange riding holidays to the Valenca riding center in Vila France de Xira (www.celg.pt) Portugal.
The week is hosted and taught by Sofia Valenca - the middle daughter of Sr. Luis Valenca (widely regarded as the top living master of Classical Dressage in the world). Sofia is highly regarded as a international rider, trainer and instructor in her own right. She speaks English fluently.
The Valenca training philosophy is based on first gaining your horses trust and friendship and from there, training him progressively so each step is "easy" and possible. And in this way, developing a horse to the highest levels while preserving his body and his mind.
FYI - Team Valenca (Exhibition riders) will be touring the US with Apassionata starting in April 2012. Check the Apassionata North America for more details and schedule (http://apassionata.com/usa/index.php). This is a "not to be missed" show.
The riding holiday week begins upon your arrival in Lisbon on Sunday. Sofia (or a member of her staff) will pick you up in Lisbon and drive you to the bed and breakfast. (http://www.quintadesantamaria.pt/uk/home.html). All of the bedrooms are private, with an en suite bathroom and a small fridge.
You will have the rest of the day to unpack, rest, and enjoy the grounds at the Quinta. Dinner will be served Sunday around 7P.
The bed and breakfast will provide breakfast and dinner daily. Beverages are not included with dinner, but a quick trip to the supermarket will provide you with a good bottle of wine for 5E or less. You can buy beverages at the Quinta but the prices are not as good.
On Monday morning, Sofia will arrive at the BnB and take you to the riding center where you will be matched to a horse suitable to your ability and temperment. The horses are all school master Lusitanos (many are stallions) - one more beautiful than the last.
The lessons are small group lessons of about 60 minutes duration. Riders are assigned to groups according to ability (this way we can accomodate a beginner and an advanced rider in the same group).
There is a lesson in the morning and afternoon of each day with the exception of Wednesday.
Wednesday morning you will go to the Portuguese School of Equestrian Arte for a "backstage tour" with one of the riders, followed by an exhibition by the school. Presentations include riding, pillar work and airs above ground.
Nine lessons are offered as part of the week. If you would like additional private riding lessons, side-saddle, in-hand, lunge or long line lessons these can be added for a supplemental cost - just let us know.
During the week Sofia will also demonstrate the training of a Lusitano horse from a green horse on the lunge, through the work in pillars and airs above ground.
A traditional lunch daily at a local restruarant is included. (the food is delicious and plentiful - nobody goes hungry!)
In addition to the riding lessons there are several field trips
1) the previously mentioned trip to the Portuguese School of Equestrian Arte
2) at least one trip to the local tack store - we will do this trip early in the week in case somebody would like to order a pair of custom Portuguese half chaps, or riding boots. This trip is always very popular with our guests. Baroque bridles, Portuguese saddles, Spanish saddles and traditional riding costumes are available.
3) an evening in Lisbon for dinner and fado at Sr. Vinho (www.srvinho.com). Fado is the traditional music of Portugal.
4) a trip to one of the largest breeders of Lusitano horses in Portugal to see the stallions as well as the mares and foals in the field.
5) a trip to see a fighting bulls in the field.
The trip ends on Saturday morning with your return to the Lisbon airport.
Group size is limited to 6 riders per week.
We are now scheduling 1 week per month April - October 2012
If you would like more information, please contact me at email@example.com