Coffee in Golegã with Nuno Cavaco
Interview with Hanna Larsson of Lusitano Portal
Nuno Cavaco is a former rider at the prestigious Portuguese School of Equestrian Art (EPAE). Where he worked for 25 years. Today, Nuno works for himself offering a variety of services – amongst other things he gives clinics internationally, coaching students and competition riders in various riding disciplines and on all breeds of horses. He is also the joint Director in Lusitano Horse Finder.
Began riding at an early age
I met up with Nuno Cavaco in a quiet café during the annual Golegã fair, where he open heartedly shared his equestrian history with us over a delicious coffee.
Nuno started riding at an early age at Campo Grande in Lisbon, as he explains: “One day I was taken there to see the riders and horses, it was then that I decided all I really wanted was to become a rider. I begged and begged my father until he succumbed and took me to the riding school at Campo Grande. There, my riding career started with my first teacher, a military instructor, who taught me on the lunge. Happily I advanced quickly and was soon riding on my own. My interested never faded, in fact it increased and I began to spend all my spare time in the stable, helping out where ever possible.”
The talented young Nuno reached a stage where he was helping out by riding both private and lesson horses, he even represented the school in dressage and show jumping competitions.
Favours the classical way of riding
It was at Campo Grande that Nuno first came in contact with EPAE, (when the foundation re opened in 1979 they held their early training at Campo Grande}. Nuno reflected back “I remember that when I started to get to know the riders from EPAE, I was totally fascinated, I watched them training for hours. I learned a lot this way”. I still do love to see other talented riders there is so much one can learn by watching them work. I make a point of visiting classical masters whenever possible.
Nuno – “The classical way of riding is the right way for me. Even though I competed as young lad, I was never really comfortable in the competition environment – where everyone is against each other”.
As a young adult Nuno Cavaco began his working career for Francisco Bessa de Carvalho at Quinta da Fonte Santa. Here Nuno helped with the breeding work and he started the young horses for riding. Nuno continues: “After working with Bessa de Carvalho for maybe two or three years I began to train some of the clients horses and also helped the clients with their riding. I discovered that I really enjoyed giving lessons. For me, seeing horse and rider progress positively together is something that makes me really happy”.