Equestrian Experience on an Alentejo Family Farm

Herdade Dagosto & Herdade da Carapuca

These two beautiful farms owned by the Moura Tavares Family, and have been in the family over 100 years. The farms have a heritage based in beef cattle and breeding Lusitano horses. To this day the family have impressive herds of the Alentjano cattle (Portuguese breed) and are breeding quality Lusitano horses.

It is a stunningly beautiful area with wide open spaces and rolling hills dotted with cork oak trees. On clear days you can see right the way to the Spanish Border. With such vaste landscapes the sky is expansive and at night unspoilt by urban light pollution. You will see beautiful velvet black nights filled with bright stars and you cannot help but find yourself in awe as the sunsets unfold and once again at the early morning misty sunrises.

The Opportunity

This is a special chance to stay on these farms and have an authentic Alentejo rural experience.  Ride the lusitanos, learn how they are trained and how to work with the cattle. Unlike many farms that have adopted trackers and quads, Bernardo, the farm manager highly values the horses to work with the cattle and a majority of his work is from the back of his Lusitanos.  The cattle are managed using traditional methods largely influenced by the Spanish Vaquera style that includes the use of a Garrocha. It is impressive how much respect the cattle for the horses and are very willing to be guided.  These traditional methods ensure that all the work needed to be done such as vacinations, separating calves or simply moving to a new pasture, is carried out with the minimum of stress. The horses are fine, intelligent managers that love the work, and they are agile and willing with their riders.

Now the family have open the farm to offer holidays for small groups each week. Keeping it an exclusive opportunity for those that love the countryside and farm life.
Your holiday will be packed with experiences that bring you closer to life on the cattle farm, authentic experiences of rural life and culture. Learn about working with the horses, and the cows.

Working with the cattle from the backs of Lusitanos – the very roots of working equitation.

We have different packages available to suit your requirements.

Bernardo Tavares Moreira

All your equestrian activities will be headed by the highly skilled farm manager and trainer Bernardo. All his life Bernardo has had a passion for horses, cattle and working the farm in the traditional way.  Although of course, from time to tme he uses tractors and quads, almost always he aims to be managing the farm from the back of a lusitano.  He breeds and trains all his horses which are a mix or pure bred Lusitanos and Luso/Arabs. Favouring the Vaqueira / Garrochista style and he has adopted many of the techniques.

Particularly the use the Garrocha that is now seen in part of the working equitation competition.

His work is highly skilled and simpatic and it includes everything from simply moving cattle from one pasture to anaother to separating animals for vacinations etc.  From horse back it is much less stressful for the cattle, they comply easily because they totally accept the horses as their managers .

There is a special bond between the Lusitanos and the cattle.

There are 3 herds of cattle on the farms made up of pure bred Alentjana cattle a Portuguese breed.  All the cows are pure bred.  Since they are breeding for beef the bulls they use are Limosine which provide more size and loin.

The horses are all highly trained and have many advanced exercises that they need to quickly react and manuveur during work.  Exercises such as canter pirouettes, lateral movements, canter changes are all required in the work.

Bernardo will provide all the training during your stay and his gentle confident manner will guide you through a remarkable experince of the working horses and all they need to do their job effortlessly.