Equestrian fashion designer Silvia Teixeira considers sustainability is one of her top priorities.
On looking into how she can apply it to her work she realised that inadvertently part of her work is already made in a sustainable way!
Text Teresa Burton. Photo Lena Saugen
Silvia’s passion for horses started at a very young age. During her studies of Fashion Design at the Faculty of Architecture of the Technical University of Lisbon, she learned about Riding Costumes and the Traditional Portuguese Riding Costume. After her faculty graduation, she did an internship at Maria Gonzaga’s Costumes in Lisbon, known for creating beautiful costumes and wardrobes for TV, theatre, and film productions before she opened a workshop dedicated to designing beautiful handmade and bespoke garments for horse lovers.
Silvia applying finishing touches to her creations worn by Model/Rider Laura Gosche
“I am inspired every day by antiques, films and TV series, music, photography, art, nature, my family and friends, and of course riding my horse.”
Recently Silvia has been teasing us with glimpses of her new collection posted on her Instagram page. Her work is unique, and these sneak previews of things to come are no exception. When an opportunity came up for a costume shoot, we couldn’t resist the chance to invite her to bring some pieces for the day.
It took a little time to convince her to jump on a flight from the Azores – but we were persistent, and she came!
Goncalo Linhas and Laura Gosche at Quinta do Palhão
The photoshoot was held at Quinta do Palhão, Vila Chã De Ourique – the home of classical rider Goncalo Linhas and his wife; Equine Vet Nara Franca.
First Image Goncalo Linhas and Nara Franca Second & Third images Laura Gosche
We were also fortunate to have the opportunity to be present when the first horses moved into their newly built stables.
Silvia´s latest collection is the first in a series of small themed collections of garments for equestrians and horse lovers. Not necessarily to wear just in the arena.
Nara Franca stunning in a black silk jacket
“It is a way of expressing soul through fashion,” she says.
“All of those who know me are aware of my passion for film and tv series. Not just the costume design, but everything that makes a good story. All the work put in to create the perfect step outside reality moment.”
I will wear high heels so you can hear my approach on the cobblestones (….) You listen for my footsteps.
Polly Gray . The Peaky Blinders
“I work with some lovely ladies with fairy hands”
Cobblestone is my first `inspired by´ small collection. All designs are handmade and unique. All are prototypes for the future exploring through sizes, colour pallets and textures.
Commitment to sustainability
Silvia considers sustainability is one of her top priorities. On looking into how she can apply it to her work she realised that inadvertently part of her work is already made in a sustainable way! For example, she does not mass produce – all the garments are made with a purpose and are unique. All are made in her atelier by her, or by local seamstresses.
Looking for a taste of
Rural Portuguese Equestrian Heritage –
We are Forming a Partnership with a Beautiful Alentejo Farm to bring you the opportunity to soak up the day to day atmosphere of a working cattle farm and Lusitano stud.
This is a special chance to be on the family farm. The entire family have a multiple of amazing traditional talents and creative skills they are warmly open to share with you.
The holidays will be packed with experiences that bring you closer to rural life on the cattle farm in the Alentejo Region. It is designed to give you an authentic experience of rural life and culture from working with the horses, cows, the wildlife, exploring the land and enjoying the beautiful landspace.
- You will stay in the farm estate with a manor house over 200 years old
- Eat local cuisine and home cooking
You can even try local arts such as pottery
- Learn how to work the cattle from the backs of Lusitanos
- Gain new country skills, use a garrocha, and try authentic working equitation obstacles
Become aquianted with Lusitano breeding programmes
- Country full day rides to neighbouring farm
Situated close to the Spanish border the property has some of the most spectacular views, wildlife with expansive sun rises and sun sets.
Artictle extract – The Campinos are Portugal’s cowboys. To this day, they work the cattle on the backs of Lusitanos, using the traditional methods and skills passed down from their fathers and grandfathers. Their work remains valuable to many large cattle farms in Portugal—especially in the Ribatejo and Alentejo regions.
Working Equitation first started as a competitive sport in 1996. The first European Championships took place the same year, in Italy. WE is now a recognized sport in two continents, Europe and South America, in the following countries – France, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Brazil, with a considerable amount of competitors and spectators in each country. WE has its own governing body in each Country.
The holiday packages and prices will be available shortly please register your interest with us now and we will send out the packages to you as soon as possible.
We look forward to meeting you on the future holidays.
Images by Lena Saugen Photography
Video credit to Equilife World
This technique is the oldest method of holding double reins a style used by the Spanish Riding School in Vienna and by many of Germany’s most successful professional riders used it before WWll. It is the –
Classical 3 to 1 method to Holding the Double Reins (3 to 1 Rein Hold)
I first came across this technique when I was watching my dear Friend Master rider Anton Walliser training his and young and GP horses using this method I was fasinated to understand more about it and why he uses it.
How to Hold the Reins Using this Method
The left hand holds three reins, while the right holds only one rein plus the rider’s cane or whip. The correct placement of reins in the left hand is to hold the left snaffle (bridoon) on the outside of the little finger, the left curb rein between little finger and ring finger, and the right curb rein between the ring and middle fingers. The right hand holds the right snaffle (bridoon) rein in the traditional position between the right little finger and ring finger to keep the mouth mobile. The left hand is held more to the center of the horse directly over the withers than off to the left of the withers.
As I understand when using this method it decreases the action of the curb, prevents the rider from riding with their hands too wide and it shows when the horse is not really straight, because the rider can no longer make the rein pressure on one side of the mouth any stronger than the other, since reins from both sides are held in the left hand. The rider must ride off the seat and legs to bend the horse, and the horse must therefore be correctly working“through”.
Also it forces the rider to hold his hands absolutely quiet and encourages a quiet seat as the bending of the horse should be done mainly by the seat. An uneven contact or a crooked horse is easily revealed with this kind of double bridle handling and cannot be hidden by an uneven use of the curb rein.
Anton´s comments in addition to my understanding
“I basically agree with your description of the 3 to 1 method. I find it to be a far more effective method in training horses. 20-30 years ago Swiss and German riders were competing their horses using this way but nowadays I don’t see anyone using it. I think maybe because it is much more difficult to learn than the 2 to 2 method used by everyone today.
Learning it takes a lot of practice and patience but the results speak for them self – horses and riders progress much better. It really helps in training your horse to be straight, you have a much more even contact on the curb, never any sudden movements of jerking the curb. The hands are much more together, much quieter and certainly you are riding far more with seat and legs. The horse bends better round your leg your seat will be quieter. The horses stay lighter and more through. I don’t know where this method started but I think it is sad that it is rarely seen used nowadays because if mastered the technique is far better for horse and for the rider”.
I think it would be interesting to learn this method and certainly if it is gentler for the horse and encourages a better seat it cannot fail to be a bonus!
Anton Walliser is my opinion a true Classical Master and has a fasinating story which you can read part one here
There will be part 2 in his story coming soon as now his young horses are all at PSG and above two competing GP and achieving outstanding results. Anton is a true inspiration keep posted.
Text by Teresa Burton 2 images of reins held by Anton Walliser by Teresa Burton
Image of Anton Walliser working his mare from ground to train piaffe by Lena Saugen photography
Further sources – Wikipedia
The History of Fashion
The Portuguese Riding Costume
D. Amélia de Orleães e Bragança
The Feminine Costume
But the traditional Portuguese feminine riding costume has much to say!
It is my belief that the majority of the horsewomen who dress in the Portuguese style prefer a more minimal and contemporary costume, and as a result, the traditional feminine costume with its puffed sleeves was set aside and did not earn a solid place as did its pair.
Shinning Bright Under the Alentejo Skies – Portuguese Dressage Riders make history for Tokyo 2020
In 2019 four riders with their ‘Chef d’Equipe’ Daniel Pinto took Portugal to the next level in International Dressage. They won a team place in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Although it is not the first time Portugal has competed, with great riders such as Miguel Ralão, Daniel Pinto and Carlos Pinto competing as individuals (a composed team) in Beijing 2008, Gonçalo Carvalho as a single entry in London 2012 and previously in London 1948 three riders won the bronze medal. This is the first time a full team qualification has been achieved. The four riders have only been competing Internationally for a short time and none have ever been to the Olympics, what’s more they are all on Portuguese Lusitano horses. All the horses were bred in the Southern Region of Portugal called the Alentejo.
All are pure bred stallions demonstrating the remarkable evolution of an ancient breed in a short period of time.
Very Recent Evolution of the Lusitano
In fact it’s only in the last 15-20 years Lusitano breeders have turned their expertise to producing horses for dressage competition. Previously they were bred for bullfighting, classical dressage and working equitation. It’s a very big step into International dressage sport where the warmbloods have dominated for so long. Breeders have managed, even with a closed stud book to produce high quality horses that are bigger, stronger, with more sportive gaits and yet still retaining the overall integrity of the breed. Admittedly, they may not have the huge extended movements of the warmbloods, but they bring other qualities to the party. A natural ability to collect, fantastic temperament, work ethic and rideAbility. Lusitanos are now ranked 7th in the WBFSH FEI stud of horse breeds for dressage competition. They are one of the oldest breeds of horse in the world and there is still a relativity low number of them registered globally.
´A New Record !! two of the qualifying Lusitanos have been bred at the same stud farm from the same stallion Rubi AR – this is the first time in the history of Olympic dressage that a stud farm anywhere in the world has attained this´.
Carlos Lopes (the Portugal Team Selector)
told me it is not just the evolution of the Lusitanos that has achieved this result, but also the investors in the horses and their support for the internationalisation of the riders. These investors have shown huge faith in the breed and commitment to International advancement. With this support there is greater access to more training and therefore better performance in the horses and riders.
The qualifying riders Maria Caetano Couceiro, Rodrigo Moura Torres, João Torrão and Duarte Nogueira are all true ambassadors for Portuguese equestrian heritage in modern day equitation. I talked with each of them to find out more.
For Dressage Rankings check FEI
Image – Nuno Bernardes
First Farrier in Portugal with the European Certified EuroFarrier Qualification
This qualificated is issued by the European Federation of Farriers Association.
There is an old saying among horsemen, “No foot, No horse.” Despite their size and strength, horses are notoriously fragile animals. Four slender legs and small hooves must bear the horse’s full weight of 400 to 650 kilos.
Therefore hoof care is a vitally important issue for all horse owners. It is true that a horse may be able to sustain injury or illness in many parts of its body, the hoof bears weight and so adds hundreds of kilos of stress to any ailment. Maintaining a healthy hoof is the best way to give your horses a good chance to have a long, healthy lives. And that is only possible by having the best, and better educated, professionals at your service.
Developing a Passion for Hoof Care
After many years as an Equine Veterinarian, Nuno Bernardes found one area of equine medicine that shortly became his passion and his medical focus: Podiatry. One of the gaps he also found in his education was precisely hoof care and hoof therapeutics. And not only he decided to put his focus on improving his theoretical background on hoof and its conditions, but he also found the need to put his hands directly at the trade. Not having a true education reference in any institution in Portugal, he decided to engage in an Emergency Farrier Course in Spain that allowed him to get the basic skills to add to his already strong theoretical knowledge.
Following the premise that more qualification comes through education, in February this year Nuno Bernardes achieved a mile stone for Portuguese farriers by receiving the EFFA -Certified Eurofarrier Qualification. He has become the first farrier in Portugal to achieve this level of expertise. This certification recognizes the knowledge and skills to be able to perform legally the farrier trade in almost every country in Europe. Judge by recognized specialists through a very demanding and detailed examination, Nuno was able to pass this exam and get his recognition.
EFFA -The European Federation of Farriers Associations develops a common basic standard of competence in farriery. The Mission of the European Federation of Farriers Associations is to improve the welfare of the horse by encouraging the highest standards of trimming and shoeing.
Nuno has been our farrier for a number of years and I have always been struck by how much knowledge and active interest he has in the subject . He is continuously committed to advancing his learning by regularly travelling to other countries for clinics and courses. With Nuno we have the added advantage that he is also a practising vet so he brings his veterinary knowledge to his work. His efforts have paid off and I think this will encourage many more farriers aim for the same level of excellence.
Sharing Knowledge to Bring the Standards in Portugal
Being very found of sharing his knowledge with veterinary students that he tutors, and other farriers, he is always available to lecture at the universities and in farrier meetings. One of his goals his to increase the level of the farrier trade in Portugal through a formal education program for starting farriers but also organizing Continuous Professional Development courses for already stablished farriers. Following this objective, Nuno also had a very important role in promoting the constitution of the Portuguese Farriers Association, from which he is also a board member.
The Art of a Good Farrier
Thoroughout his daily work he deals with a lot of therapeutical cases, working in strong connection with some veterinarians and hospitals, but he also shoes horses that don’t have any particular problem but that do have owners that demand for a very knowledgeable professional.
Our Experience with Nuno´s Work
Having owned horse most my life and now been in Portugal many years owning and selling horses I have seen the results of a huge amount of pre purchase examinations. I think it gives me small position to comment on the importance of good hoof care. I can honestly say that I have witnessed an improvement in the quality of farrier work but it has saddened many times when a lovely horse has been failed due to neglect in this area. I cannot stress enough how important it is to be rigorous when you own horses about hoof care and shoeing.
So how do we maintain a healthy hoof?
Just like our own health it is better to commit to overall wellbeing as a health benchmark. Not waiting for problems to take action. If the diet is right, the hooves are regularly checked even for breeding stock and good shoeing you are well on the way. Horses in work should have their hooves picked out daily before and after work. The aim of picking out the hooves is to keep out rocks, clean out damp bedding and mud to avoid thrush. Just like our fingernails, horse’s hooves grow continuously and need to be trimmed every five to six weeks to keep them in proper shape.
A Trained Farrier should do the Trimming.
Inexperienced horse owners can easily trim the hoof unproperly, leading to infection or discomfort. The hooves must also be balanced to the horse’s natural way this is done by seeing the horse moving and the wear of the shoe and hoof. If this is not done correctly the horse can end up uneven in their gait or worse physically disabled. Not every horse will require shoeing, but if your horses are doing a lot of hard work or working on hard surfaces, they will probably need to be shod. And if he is unbalanced or in need of therapeutic shoeing it will most certainly do.
Dangers of Not Maining Good Hoof Care Practise
There are a number of other problems that can occur If a hoof is not maintained well, problems such as thrush, canker, bruised sole, abscesses, and cracks in the hoof wall. Thrush is a sign of infection. You will recognise this by the malodourous discharge from the frog of the horse. To avoid this keep your horse out of constant wet, and dirty conditions. Bruised soles often occur after a poor shoeing job or if shoes are left on too long. Abscesses can be a horse’s nightmare. If an abscess develops, more than likely your horse will suddenly be impaired on one foot. They are caused by puncture wounds, or by bruising, but long and neglected hooves suffer the most. To solve this, you will need to see a veterinarian, have the abscess drained, poultice and assure that he has his tetanus vaccination updated. Cracks are important to avoid because they can also lead to infection and severe lameness. The easiest way to avoid cracks is to have a professional trim the hoof. Usually cracks develop from unbalanced hooves and wrong weight bearing distribution. Those pressures can affect the coronary band, where the hoof grows from, leading to the deep cracks that are quite hard and time consuming to manage.
Other conditions to be aware of are
There are other conditions too such as white line disease. The white line is the area (that looks whitish but more often is yellow) between the outside hoof wall and where it meets the sole. When this becomes damaged, it allows fungus and/or bacteria to invade and separate the layers of the hoof wall. If this happens, the infection can spread around the hoof and up the inside of the wall to gradually “eat away” at the hoof. It usually don’t cause lameness but its progression can go as high as the coronary band. At this stage it can compromise severely the suspension of the third phalanx within the hoof, leading to severe signs pretty similar to those of a laminitis.
A quality balanced diet is paramount for healthy hooves.
A quality balanced diet is paramount for healthy hooves. Horses that are obese or severely malnourished will eventually develop problems in the hooves. Horses’ hooves are made up of protein and keratin (the same stuff that makes up hair). Like a horse’s hair coat, hooves will grow faster when days are longer. And while hooves may be slower than your horse’s hair coat to tell you that your horse’s overall health is suffering, sooner or later you’ll see poor nutrition reflected in cracks, chips or uneven hoof growth. It may be a subtle (and slow-moving) nutrition report, but your horse’s hooves are doing their best to say “pay attention!” And never forget water!!!
Check the articles on feeding Lusitanos – knowing their history and early lifestyle helps hugely in understanding the right diet for them.
An obese horse may be at risk for laminitis due to a metabolic condition known as Equine Metabolic Syndrome. Laminitis occurs when the delicate folds of tissue in the hoof (laminae) that produce the hard substance of the hoof wall and keep the hoof wall attached to the underlying bone, become inflamed or damaged. Left unattended, laminitis can lead to founder,a chronic condition in which a horse’s coffin bone rotates or sinks. Learn to be aware of the nutritional aspects of the feeds you choose especially the levels of sugar which is not suitable for horses in large amounts. In our management we prefer to keep sugar entirely out of our horses´ diet.
The benefits of plenty of movement is vital and when possible horses are better in overall well being when they can live some of their time outside in paddocks. Movement stimulates the blood flow to the hoof keeping them flexible and energised.
These are just tips about horse care and a few problems that could occur if you do not understand the importance of a healthy hoof. Just remember the old saying –
`No foot, no horse.’ A horse is only as strong as the feet it stands on.
A big thank you to Nuno for his outstanding work and well deserved achievements it is another step for Portuguese Equestrian Culture and providing high quality service.
Text – Teresa Burton
Images Carolina Duarte Photography
I am so excited about the up and coming launch of Equilife World.
It is a modern and stylish magazine aimed at horse lovers, riders around the globe. I think this magazine, inspired by Therese Alhaug is offering a new dynamic approach to the equestrian world. Packed with inspiring articles – riders, breeders, equine artists, writers and new ideas. The magazine is stunningly set out and full of beautiful photography.
A publication that brings fresh views of equestrian activity around the globe new insights and great opportunities.
Talented Swedish Artist – featured in first addition
Being part of this venture is a real delight for me. I will be regularly writing articles on Portugal and Lusitanos. I will also be expending to Spain. My intention is to introduce new things, maybe things you didn’t know, unusual equine activites, special people , greater insights in the World of Lusitanos and those involved in it. So great for Lusitanos and Portugal to be considered important enough to have a regular place!!
If you would like to know more sign up to the magazine I firmly recommend you Like their facebook page for info and release date. LIKE EQUILIFE WORLD
The first addition will be packed with Portugal/Lusitano Articles!! Stay posted.
We regularly contribute the International magazines with articles, updates and news. See more about our publications at our media page
Looking to buy a Lusitano Horse check out our horses for sale pages
You are interested in articles about Lusitanos, Portuguese Equestrian Heritage, Saddlery for your magazine, newspaper or your website. We offer articles, images and video packages to suit your site. Find out more you can contact us for information. Teresa Burton
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