articles about equestrian heritage in Portugal and Spain – horses, riding, heritage sites, castles, palaces and history
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
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.
The traditional Portuguese Riding Costume – a must have for every Lusitano horse lover .
The Beginning of an Adventure
Exploring the History of the Ladies Costume
Thinking of having your own costume made check out Silvia´s work at the online shop. You can also discuss with us what you are looking for in shape, style, colours and finishings. Costumes are made to order with your unique measurement taken into account for a perfect fit. SILVIA T.ATELIER
Party Piaffe –
Birthday Celebrations with the Ultimate Equestrian style
On a starlight velvet night, we fall silent as through the gates charge proud stallions ridden by elegant riders fire torches in their right hands. It is quite a sight as they spill into the arena forming a cantering circle in front of us, you can feel the heat from the torches and the heavy beat of the mu- sic pulsates through our bodies, people shiver with anticipation – the working equitation fire show begins. A thrilling display made even more so by the closeness and knowledge it was just for us.
It’s part of the entertainment at Danish Business man Niels Zibrandtsens 60th birthday party. He is a man that knows how to have fun and celebrate in style, his weekend party was no exception action packed and largely featured equine entertainment combined with Portuguese Culture.
So what prompted a businessman to celebrate his 60th in another country enjoying their culture and traditions?
Horses Making Media Waves
We are increasingly seeing horses become more and more part of our lifestyle. It’s not a new phenomenon certainly looking back through the centuries the horse has played vital roles supporting us in our day to day requirements. Not only providing our transport, farm help, even our partners on the battle field but as a major part in our ceremonies. In modern times, with so much available to us the status they claimed had been a little lost they became our friends in sport and leisure riding and less in our events.
Now all has turned full circle once again horses are everywhere. In advertising, marketing, fashion shoots, dramatic artwork on our walls and seen almost as a stylish lifestyle ‘must have’ in some form or another. Certainly in our business we are receiving many requests for combined events and weddings in which equines play an important part of the day.
Niels’s is the chairman of Global Connect which he started 18 years ago and he is also the CEO of Zimbra Digital Media Group with offices in Denmark and Germany. Just a few years ago he and his wife Lisbeth took a trip to Portugal to have classical dressage lessons on Lusitanos. They were so captivated by their experience they bought a farm with the intention to develop a business in eco tourism.The initial plan is well underway with Quinta da Varzea taking a fabulous development under the watchful eye of their equestrian manager Nadja Maria who is also Danish.
Niels decided he could not think of anything better than to show his family and friends their project and give everyone an authentic experience of Portuguese equestrian culture. So one sunny day we met him and Lisbeth to make a 3 day party plan. After a mountain of organising and more emails than you can imagine we found ourselves early one Thursday morning greeting 80 guests through the arrival gates at Lisbon airport. They were clutching just a party invitation and a whole host of clothes ready for anything! They clearly knew Niels well.
The three day extravaganza took them on a journey of traditional restaurants, Portuguese wines, music, history, manor houses and of course the Lusitano horses and horsemen.
On the actual party day guests spent the morning discovering the historic, wonderful old town of Santarem finishing up with a light lunch at Ponte de Sol – a restaurant with an expansive view of the surrounding lands. Then back to the hotel to change, hop on the coaches transporting them to Quinta da Varzea to begin the party in ernest.
Greeted by waiters serving champagne and canapés they enjoyed the afternoon taking tours around the farm on tractor and trailer and 4 by 4’s they were shown the farms agricultural projects, the mares and foals and soaked up timeless Ribatejo landscape with it cork oak trees, fruits trees, meadows and wildlife.
The equine entertainment was without a doubt a major ‘WOW’ factor.
How could it not be with the stylish pair of grey Lusitanos and handsome driver in the beautiful carriage to give them rides around the farm
A ‘Private’ show from one of the four most famous classical equestrian schools in the world
The Portuguese School of Equestrian Art. Guests lined the arena as the riders in wine velvet coats and ribbon branded bay Alter horses filled their glaze with a pas de deux, caprioles, levade, pirouettes and a stunning carousel. The elegance and grandeur of the school not lost being performed away from their home in Belem (Lisbon). The show was 45 minutes and more or less matched the weekly show they perform in Lisbon.
Afterwards dinner was served in a beautiful open sided marquee over looking the old house and gardens. It was a Portuguese style barbecue interspersed with Danish style speeches and toasts. At dessert the Fado singers arrived to perform their laments of love, Lisbon, the sea and life of the poor. It’s a mournful sound with a sense of longing that cannot help but touch the soul but this handsome Fado group have a lightness to their songs and they perform them with real showmen style they were accompanied with guitars – everyone’s captivated. Even the riders on their horses waiting to perform the working equitation show join us to form a respectful line along the front of the marquee creating quite an atmosphere, cameras and mobiles were frantic.
Immediately after the singing came to a close the guests were invited to follow the riders to the picadeiro where they perform their show culminating in the fire performance.
It was an energising spectacle that sets everyone perfectly in the mood to dance the night away to a talented Danish Band, flown over especially to entertain them.
The Day After
To our amazement after retiring to bed in the very early hours guests wasted no time in being up and ready for the next round of activities. The day planned was as action packed with museum and mini zoo visits, wine tasting at a manor house and Lusitano stud farm called Quinta da Lagoa. Guests were treated to a performance by a traditional Ribatejo group of singers and dancers. The group arrived as booked to perform at lunchtime we were expecting about 8-10 so were delighted and astonished when 30 adults and children tumbled out of the cars. They proceeded to give a charming, fun show even managing to encourage Niels and some guests to join in the dancing.
Everyone returned to Denmark feeling satisfied with a special and fun experience – few days they certainly will never forget. I think everyone one of us loves to know that some of the World’s tradi- tions are still very much alive and still giving us all so much pleasure. There is no doubt at all that we are set to see more and more equestrian entertainments in our events. Our equine partners bring that extra special something into our lives in so many ways, long may they enthral us and put that little skip in our hearts after all two hearts are better than one.
My thanks to Niels and Lisbeth for allowing me to give a glimpse into their fabulous weekend at Quinta da Varzea. To find out more about holding a Party celebration or having your wedding in Portugal contact us
Learn more about the Portuguese School of Equestrian Art
Article – Understanding Working Equitation
Looking to buy a Lusitano for classical dressage or working equitation we always have a selection of Lusitanos available for sale
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
Supporting The Brooke Organisation
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