These are articles about classical dressage with riding and working from the ground how to, tips, ideas and suggestions from different contributors
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.
Classical Equitation in the Algarve
Algarve, is the southernmost province of Portugal, famous for it’s breathtaking mediterranean coastline, hot summers and mild, short winters, its friendly, laid back people, top golf courses, delicious traditional cuisine and stunning scenery.
We have discovered in the heart of this exotic area there is a equestrian escape where you can enjoy beautiful, well trained Lusitano horses and have a great riding experience.
The WOW Factor
The riding establishment called Centro Equestre Lusitanus is owned by the charming couple, João Pedro and Iris Miranda. To find out more we arranged to meet João and Iris one very early morning at a fabulous beach where a wide river meets the ocean. When we arrived João and Iris were already waiting for us with two handsome, braided Lusitanos – a stallion and a mare and what’s more our hosts were dressed up in 18th century costumes. So all we could say was ‘Wow’, what a first encounter!
Needless to say, it all made for a wonderful photographic opportunity, we had so much fun. Once finished we followed them back to their riding centre Quinta das Cinco Ferraduras – The Five Horseshoe Farm.
It is clear that João Pedro and Iris’ are both passionate about everything equestrian, both have been riding since they were very young and decided very early in life that they wanted to have professional equestrian careers. João Pedro is from Vila Franca de Xíra close to Lisbon, where he was fortunate to have several years of training with grand classical master, Luís Valença, he performed regularly in the famous Valença shows. Later on João expanded his knowledge within the German doctrine and developed the competition side of his riding with the army in Mafra. Here João Pedro obtained his riding instructor status, in fact he was ranked first in his course 2002. João Pedro stayed with the military school as a riding instructor for some years and also had the opportunity to take part in their shows and compete in several disciplines. Iris is from Algarve but at the age of 15 she moved to Vila Franca to attend the Equine Management course, which then led her to be a riding instructor by the Portuguese Equestrian Federation. Iris has also for many years competed successfully in dressage at national level.
Four years ago, having worked with Lusitano breeders and at a variety of different riding centres, João Pedro’s and Iris’ lives took a whole new direction. They came together with business partner Ana Afonso Mateus to take on the riding school where Iris rode as a child, Quinta das Cinco Ferraduras. Grabbing the opportunity they began to build the foundations for their own classical riding centre.
I could not help but feel inspired by this lovely couple and all they have achieved.
In fact even while we were chatting there was a hive of activity in the stables, six horses, three dark and three grey, was being prepared. It turned out João Pedro and Iris had planned to give us a classical display together with four of their students. We were led down to the spacious outdoor arena where we could sit back and enjoy a show seated on beautiful old stone seats under the shade of lovely trees. It was great, we were made to feel really special.
After the show we visited the closest town, Loulé, for a very pleasant lunch at a vegetarian restaurant with a wide range of freshly pressed fruit drinks.
The afternoon plan was to see Iris and João Pedro give some of their students dressage lessons as well as learn more of the competition side of their riding. They showed us well trained horses of various ages and educational levels.
The day ended with yet another surprise, an in-hand display in the indoor arena, a horse was elegantly shown in piaffe, spanish walk, levade and pesade by João Pedro together with a student. When it was time to leave we were feeling really satisfied with all we had experienced – João Pedro and Iris really managed to show their diversity, we can’t wait to visit them again.
Both João Pedro and Iris are qualified riding instructors in the Portuguese Equestrian Federation, national dressage judges, competition riders as well as directors and riders of their superb classical shows. All the horses at Centro Equestre Lusitanus compete in dressage, many at a high level.
Centro Equestre Lusitanus
even has their own dressage team made up of riders at all ages who are competing successfully in the regional championship. Alongside this the students and all horses regularly take part in the classical shows and displays.
The riding and training philosophy at Centro Equestre Lusitanus -is a fusion of classical and competitive dressage principles, as João Pedro says:
“Our riding philosophy respects the very best of what each riding discipline offers in competition dressage and classical dressage. In applying methods and techniques from each style our goal is always that the horses are calm, forward going, straight with impulsion, flexibility and execute the exercises correctly”.
João Pedro explains
that they devote much of their time to training of horses and students, their aim is to promote the practice of good horsemanship and to promote the qualities of the extraordinary Lusitano horse which by many is considered the world’s best saddle horse.
Today João Pedro and Iris have 27 horses in their care out of which almost all are Lusitanos ranging from youngsters to horses established at Grand Prix level. Many of the horses are also to trained to perform movements not executed in the competition arena such as spanish walk, levade, bows and more.
The equestrian holidays
offered at Centre Equestre Lusitanus place the needs and wishes of the clients at the front. With João Pedro and Iris it is all about flexibility so their holiday riding programs are all carefully tailored, each riding package is designed based on the wishes of client. During your stay you can have –
- Classical dressage lessons
Long reins work in hand lessons
Specifically dedicated dressage lessons with corrective exercises
Competition tips and exercises
There is also the possibility to hack out in the beautiful surroundings and even beach rides when the season allows it. All of this can also be combined in whatever way you may wish for. Riders at all levels are welcome to stay for however long they want and to have as many lessons per day as they wish.
Centro Equestre Lusitanus is situated at Quinta das Cinco Ferraduras, in Loulé in the centre of what is often referred to as Algarve’s Golden Triangle.
The Golden Triangle is made up by the towns – Vilamoura, Quinta do Lago and Vale do Lobo – known for having some of the best beaches in the world, great golf courses, and fabulous cuisine with fresh fish available at more or less every restaurant. You can go surfing or visiting Vilamoura Marina – it’s regarded as one of Europe’s best – or why not take a trip to one of the many small, old, villages with narrow cobbled streets and visit the local market or find a small hidden restaurant where sardines are grilled out on the street.
Centro Equestre lusitanus
is only 15 minutes away from Faro airport and the accommodation for your stay is too flexible. Algarve is not short of hotels and golf resorts, João Pedro and Iris have good collaboration with a vide range of places to stay, all from local accommodation in Loulé a few kilometres away from the beaches, to four and five star hotels and resorts, you choose what suits you best. They help with airport transfer, car rental, and if needed, and within distance, they can take you to and from the riding centre during your stay.
We hope to see you soon riding in Portugal’s southernmost region.
BOOK YOUR HOLIDAY WITH US
To find out and book your holiday email us with your requirements
- Length of stay
- Type of lessons and how many
- Type of accommodation
Editorial by Hanna Larsson and Photography by Bruno Barata first published 2015
Maria Caetano – interview 2014
Maria is petite, pretty, intelligent and an extremely capable she rides Grand Prix dressage internationally and is not afraid to gallop across rolling hills rounding cattle. She is highly focussed and professional in her career never missing a day with the horses. I was really interested to learn how she developed her equine passion.
Maria you are doing just great in dressage competing Internationally and you were in the World Equestrian Games this year. We would love to know more about your life, your dreams and what it is like being trained by your famous dad. What age did you start riding?
I don’t remember the first time I sat on a horse. Since my first year I had been on a horse’s back with my dad. But I do remember that the first time I rode a horse by myself in the Golegã fair was at the age of 5.
I started competing when I was 13 in small dressage competitions and the Portuguese traditional equitation competitions. But it was in the Working Equitation that I started the serous competition, I was 14 years old.
Do you have any funny stories of your early days riding? Did you and your brother get on or did you compete with each other?
I always had a big passion for bullfighting and riding out in the fields with cows. So, since I was very young (10 or 11) I used to bullfight small cows with my brother in the fields. I always did it and still do it just for fun. In 1999 when I was 13 years old I did perform 2 real public bullfights. However, despite my public presentation, it was never in my mind to be a professional bullfighter. I always wanted to follow a sport career.
You did very well in your younger years but you then competed on a warmblood how was that for you? Would you like to ride warmbloods now?
I started in the serious dressage competition as Junior. It was when I was in the young riders level that I started my steps into International competition. I chose to compete on warm bloods at that level because, at the time, they were more competitive in movements required for Prix St Georges. So, I competed as YR on White Cedar, a Hannoverian, and we achieved 2 gold medals in the National Championships and we competed 3 times in the European Championships. Then I needed a schoolmaster to help me to get in the Grand Prix and we bought Diamant, a big warmblood from Kasselman stables. He was a great schoolmaster for GP and gave me a gold medal in the Senior National Championships on 2008 and a place on the national team for the European Championships in Windsor 2009.
For me the good horses are the good ones, whatever their breed. However it’s a greater pleasure for me to represent my country on the back of a Lusitano.
What makes the lusitanos special for you?
What makes the Lusitanos special is the willingness to work and to please the rider. A Lusitano is always trying to understand and help their rider, giving all of him or even more if he can.
You and your father have quite a dynamic relationship how do you like working together?
It’s a big pleasure, a lucky situation, to have my father as a trainer. We work every day together, which is a big advantage. Our relationship is spectacular. He can be strict, but we know that at the end of the day we are father and daughter! I’m so lucky to have a master like him at home!
Is all your training with Paulo or do you have others trainers also? Attend clinics etc?
I have had the opportunity to learn from great masters. I spent some of my summer and Christmas holidays in Germany, training with Lisa Wilcox and then with Dolf Keller. I also use to attend to clinics with Kyra Kyrklund and her husband Richard White, Jan Bemelmans and Francisco Cancela de Abreu.
I have seen you and Paulo ride the same horse and I notice differences as would be with any two riders of course but i feel to get on a horse after Paulo has been riding must be quite a feel as he rides very much more classically and has the bull fighting roots. The horses seem very positively dynamic after him I would like to hear you thoughts and comments on the differences for you.
In fact we have the habit of sharing the horses’ daily work with each other. I find that it is very positive that we both ride the same horse since we can share feelings and opinions and then, we can direct the work in a best way. Of course my father has much more experience than me in training horses up to GP. So, he uses his skills, focus and his method in teaching the horses new exercises and I usually focus my method and skills on preparing them for the competitions.
Maria on Xiripiti
Your riding has come from classical principles too how do you find the cross over into modern competition what are the key differences for you if any?
The classical equitation is, for me, the right basis for the sport. Also I always have present in my mind the FEI training scale, I think these are the main tool structure for the horse and the rider combined with classical principles they can bring you and your horse to competition. Nowadays Dressage has developed a lot and the marks increased exponentially, in my opinion we are beginning a golden times of good equitation and I think that riders are coming more and more to the classical principles.
It was a big pleasure for me to represent my country with a Lusitano at the WEG! I had been before in 3 European Championships as Senior, but in the previous WEG (2010), my horse Util died 5 days before the competition, so I really wanted to be there this year. Unfortunately, Xiripiti was not totally fit, due to an injury he had after the National Championships, he lost some weeks of training before the WEG. Anyway, he did a very clear test, no mistakes, but without his usual strength in the extensions and half passes.
Maria, I guess your next goal is the Olympics and we would truly love to see you competing in them tell us a little about your ambitions we are very interested to know.
I prefer to be focused on the short term, since with horses you have to live day by day, developing your methods and your horse in the daily work and then the results in competition will appear. Anyway, of course that I have some goals in my sportive life, and one of them is the Olympics. Next year I will be focused on the European Championships that will take place in Aachen. A place for a long time now I’ve been dreaming to compete there. Then we will try to be in the Olympics. It’s a tough job to get a place in the Olympics as individual rider, so the first goal will be that the Portuguese team get placed into the 6 first team in the Europeans 2015 and consequently get the qualification, as a team, to the Olympics. I think that it is possible since we have a great group of horses and riders to compete next year in GP level. If it doesn’t happen, then I have to try to get a place as individual.
You told me that you are now very much involved in the horse breeding aspect of your farm how are you making your breeding decisions these days as I believe you are still producing Lusitanos for bull fighting and for dressage competition. How many mares do you have and do you use your own stallions?
We have 15 Lusitano mares we breed for dressage and for bullfight for a long time. I use to say, “when a horse is good is good for everything”. Of course it is not strictly like this but, we always try to find horses with strong backs and legs, with flexibility and “self-carry” and good mind, being always willing to work with the rider. These are essential characteristics for bullfighting and for dressage. Then, we try to use stallions with curriculum in dressage and in bullfighting.
Foals 6 months old
You are not just a dressage rider but a very fun adventurous rider that is not afraid to have some real fun galloping across the Alentejo hills rounding up cattle, and taking part in many Portuguese traditions wearing traditional clothing it is lovely to see this make you very cool in our eyes tell us a little about this side of your life.
I always loved to ride out in the countryside and to work with the cattle. I like to participate, as a hobby, in Acoso y Derribo competitions with my husband. It is a Spanish tradition where two riders have to lead a cow and catch it in the open field. It is really fun and it gives you a lot of adrenaline. We have to have very well trained horses to do it. I can’t imagine having a hobby without horses.
Maria and her ex husband in the fields
I want to thank you Paulo and Maria for your openness in revealing parts of your world, I think you have achieved remarkable things and are a truly inspirational family to know. Many top riders in Portugal are from classical schools of equitation such as The Portuguese School of Arte but very few have bull fighting as their training. What ever ones opinion is about bull fighting – it is an art of great precision and an outstanding horse/rider relationship it is also amazing to hear how a horse can compete PSG one day and bull fight the next. I very much look forward to following your future developments.
Thank you both x
Click here to read Part one with Paulo Caetano
Text by Teresa Burton and Images by Lena Saugen Photography excluding vintages images.
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