We endevour to give you the best service we can if you are –

  • Searching for a Lusitano
  • Looking for dressage lessons
  • Further your horse´s training
  • Needing advise on places to visit, hotels etc
  • Promoting your Lusitanos or business
  • Vet and Transport Services.
  • Finding the right tack and dress

Here are your comments and feedback feel free to get in touch we are happy to provide references.

Check out Lusitanos we have sold

Buy Your Lusitano without visiting – The Process

Nuno is not only a fantastic trainer, but also a very sympathetic person. He emphasizes the importance of enjoyment from all parts and is very attentive to both rider and horse. The lessons are always fun, creative and with 100 % focus. No matter the level of horse or rider, he is always fully engaged and doing his very best to accomplish each individual’s goals.

Spending time at LH was a very positive experience for me. NC shared his knowledge with great wisdom and respect to both horse and rider helping us achieve better harmony and balance together.

I felt in his teaching the true meaning of classical horsemanship as he assessed each of us individually and focussed on what we could do in the moment, knowing the results will come over time. Without force. The goal was to achieve mutual understanding and uncover the best qualities of the pair, without changing the nature of either horse or rider.

I really appreciated the attention to details, the calm learning environment and the fact that the horses well being is a priority at LH. Both teresa and Nuno were very welcoming open to any questions and listening to the clients needs.
I would recommend to anyone who wishes to get deeper understanding of horses and improve their riding with classical principles.

If you are looking to improve your riding, or are stuck and cannot work out what you are doing wrong, but know that your horse is being hindered by you, you cannot find a better trainer that Nuno.

I knew I was blocking my horse’s shoulders, I also knew that I had trouble going right in my lateral movements, as well as on the circle, where I always felt my right rein was tight even thought I tried to give with it.

It was Nuno’s sharp eyes that pointed out that I slightly lifted my right hip when going to the right. Once he explained this, and we spent the week trying to release the right hip, my riding started to feel more balanced, and with that my unintentional right-pulling-on-the-rein-sensation disappeared.  He also ironed out other faults of mine.  Within a week, I felt like I had progressed.

The Lusitano Bingo needs a mention because he is the most wonderfully patient schoolmaster. I look forward to returning.

“I had the amazing luck of being pointed in the direction of Nuno Cavaco for lessons while I was in Portugal- and I’m so grateful for the tip!

Immediately Nuno and Teresa made me feel welcome and comfortable. Their horses are beautiful and clearly they care a lot about them. The lessons were amazing- they were exactly what I was looking for. Nuno is so considerate of the emotional and physical well-being of the horse and the rider, with an extensive and deep knowledge and experience in classical training, as well as amazing knowledge of biomechanics and the other many factors that contribute to horses well-being and functional movement and health. Nuno immediately put me at ease in the lesson- picking up on position habits I have been working on and continued to enhance my position, aids, feel, and understanding of training and principles. I really admired Nuno’s openness and encouraging of my asking questions which I find so important for a student to feel comfortable and safe to ask questions and be able to discuss and learn from an instructor. Teresa was kind enough to video some of my lessons which provided valuable feedback about my riding. And to further compliment Nuno’s coaching, I was overall quite happy with what I saw in my videos (which is a big deal for me!). As an overall learning and holiday experience- I could not fault Nuno and Teresa and they are a must-visit for anyone wanting to learn correct classical training that truly enhances a horses well-being, whilst having an amazing holiday at the same time. I will be back and for a longer stay next time!”

To train with Nuno is like taking lessons in dance. With soft instructions in English Nuno makes the difficult easy. Although the requirements are high, it is not difficult to meet him when he is doing everything for the rider and the horse to succeed. After the lesson I feel good

and my horse clearly shows how relaxed and happy he is.

Swedish rider with a Swedish Lipizzaner gelding on a Classical Dressage clinic in Sweden.
Myy Lilja UK

We learnt about Nuno Cavaco coming to England through a post from Stoneleigh Riding Club over two years ago. We booked straight away for a series of lessons over three days, as both Vanessa and I are keen followers of both the Portuguese and Spainish Riding School way of training. We were absolutely delighted that Nuno revealed what Carlos – our Danish Warmblood – was capable of. Much to our delight flying changes, half passes, shoulder in and collection suddenly became a goal for us to achieve on a horse that has turned out to be a wonderful schoolmaster.  We have since been to two more three day sessions with Nuno and horse, rider and trainer have learnt and improved by leaps and bounds. Thank you Nuno.

Best of Luck

What made my lesson with Nuno so special was how he made me develop during the lesson. I finished feeling  a lot more confidence as a rider. His way of teaching was very soft and calm, but still demanding enough regarding what was important to focus on. He made me think about small things that other instructors have not pointed out before. His mix of classical and modern way of thinking gave me a soft approach to dressage – exactly the way I like it.
I will recommend everyone who likes a classical approach to dressage, yet sportive result, to give it a try.

Nuno is both an excellent teacher and an excellent communicator. He explains the biomechanics of both the horse and rider to show how and why the horse moves or responds to the rider in a particular way, making it easier to understand one’s mistakes and how to correct them.

In each lesson, Nuno identifies a particular problem for us to work on and we focus on getting that movement or aid or position right. By the end of each lesson, I have a much clearer understanding of what I was doing wrong, how to correct the problem, and what I need to work on in future. And I come away from my lesson with a sense of achievement because I have usually learned how to do one or two things much better. That’s not to say that as a rider I only have one or two problems to address (I have many faults!), but I find that focusing on just one or two things is more effective than trying to tackle lots of different problems in one hour.

Examples of problem areas that Nuno has worked on with me include:

Leg yielding: Using the quarter or three-quarter lines to add variety to the leg-yielding exercise, plus understanding the refined use of leg-yielding aids for walking straight down the centre/quarter/three-quarter lines.

Confidence in cantering: Following an accident, I was particularly nervous about cantering, so Nuno suggested a lesson on the lunge. This meant I could focus entirely on my position and movement with the horse without worrying about loss of control, and it really helped me to relax more and correct my position.

Collection: We worked on the collection in trot and how this can lead to the piaffe.

Correct transition to halt: We worked on preparing the walk correctly so that the horse could step into a square halt.

I should also add that one other reason why these lessons were so effective is because of the horse I was riding: Nuno and Teresa’s horse Bingo is an excellent teacher too.

Thank you Nuno and Teresa, for all the commitment you put into the training of my horse, Tico, and me. I am so grateful to share your knowledge and joy. Through your wise training, I now have a happy lusitano

His gentleness even when wrestling with my “bad habits” gave me the confidence to change! We did an in-hand class, and two rides each day which amounted to 15 lessons in the 5 days with him. This allowed me to build a bond with my horse and instructor which I am sure every student of Nuno’s will experience and cherish over time. Nuno’s co-Director of the school, Teresa Burton was so helpful with organising things and shared her experiences with the horses and the community that helped me to get the most out of the time in Ericeira. I was booked into the historic and quaint hotel Vila Gale which has a position of prominence right on the beach front and the beautiful surf and wonderful service was a great start and end to each perfect day! I cannot recommend more highly this dressage training experience and I will certainly be back again before too long. Beautiful setting, wonderful people and the most special of horses. What more can one ask for.

Buying a horse in Portugal during lock down … crazy !! Well with Teresa and Nuno at my side I dared.

After a good and thorough exchange of what I was looking for and needed, Teresa came back with several suggestions and I fell head over heels with one specific boy, Hortelao.

Both Teresa and Nuno tried him and gave an explicit run down of how he felt on both reins and in the different exercises and I felt comfortable and ‘safe’ to take the next step.

We had local vet and he had a good dialogue with my own vet in Denmark on clinical condition and x-rays supported by many videos – We had a contract and I had my dream horse on route to Denmark.

Buying Hortelao is the best I’ve done for myself and my riding for many years.

Thank you Teresa and Nuno for setting us up on this blind date – Trust is a must when buying a horse and I would not hesitate asking you for help again

Ane Mette Lysbech-Kleis
President Offshore Development

Some of us just can’t afford to travel abroad to look at every promising sales horse, especially when it’s hard to know if an appealing ad reflects the information you need to make a determination whether or not to pursue the sale.
One way to save money and time is to hire an independent professional team to evaluate the horse for suitability to your needs  and report back to you on their findings
Excellent communication skills as well as the ability to ride well are essential.
Teresa and Nuno check both boxes,  teaming up to offer just such a service. They have saved me a great deal of  time and money, by either reassuring me that a given horse was worth pursuing, or helping me determine that a promising individual is not a good fit for my needs.
This pair is very dialed in to the nuances of matching horse to rider, and can be relied upon to give accurate, unbiased assessments to help the absentee buyer gain more insight into the suitability of a given mount.
Big thumbs up to the services of Team.

‘I would recommend Teresa at LHF to anyone looking for a Lusitano horse. I was thrilled to find my ideal dressage competition horse advertised on the LHF website accurately described with detailed pictures, and a comprehensive video of the horse was made available to me promptly. All my questions and queries were satisfied and the transaction was very smooth from my first inquiry to trying the horse, through to the vetting and finally transportation to his new home! My horse has taken me from novice level competition to training at PSG level within 2 years with several British Dressage wins along the way – he is envied wherever he goes!’

I’ve been fortunate to visit Nuno and Teresa twice in Portugal, the first time for lessons and the second to purchase a horse for a client and lessons. Both Nuno and Teresa adhere to the principles of classical dressage and prioritize the welfare of the horse. I thoroughly enjoyed my riding and in hand lessons! It was also really inspiring to watch both of them ride and train.
Looking for a horse for my client was such a magical experience. Teresa made the whole horse shopping experience a lot of fun. And there were so many beautiful, well trained horses- it was hard to choose just one! After I arrived home, she stayed in consistent communication with us throughout the whole purchase and shipping process.
I cannot wait to go back again!

Teresa Burton from Lusitano Horse Finder was recommended by a friend. When I decided to buy a horse I turned to Teresa for help. Due to travel restrictions of Corona it was not possible for us to travel to Portugal. So there was no oportunity to try the horse and we had to trust in the experience and opinion of Teresa Burton. She found us the absolutely perfect familiy horse. He is so wonderful we adore him more everyday.  he does dressage, working equitation, hacking out and liberty work.  Him is so fun and so easy to be with. I can honestly say we are very happy that we  trusted in Teresa Burton.

Choosing my horse with Nuno and Teresa has been a great experience. They made sure I found a horse which suited my level of experience and made a connection with. Their professional insights meant that I could focus on the pleasure of getting to know my future horse and feel safe and taken care of while doing so! If you need help searching for a perfect horse , I highly recommend them!

My beautiful Lusitano Inxallah continued in training with them for a year before I took him to Poland in 2022.

We first met Nuno Cavaco at Sylvia Loch’s Anniversary Event in 2016 in the UK. He was one of the guest trainers amongst Colonel Christian Carde, Uwe Spenlen and Patrick Print OBE FBHS, a most prestigious occasion. Watching and listening to Nuno coaching the in hand work clearly demonstrated his classical roots and expertise. We invited Nuno to visit The Northumberland Classical Riding Group in the UK and since, he visits us 4 times each year. His clinics are always fully booked, retaining regular students both ridden and in hand lessons. Nuno’s quiet, diligent manner brings about a calmness and trust in both horse and rider. He gives confidence and inspiration regularly telling us “if I can do it so can you. The only difference between me and you is practice.” The lessons are classically based, modern and adapted to suit each horse and rider. The clinics attract all levels, various breeds, new starters to Grand Prix, Working Equitation, in hand, long rein, following theories from the old masters. It is a great honour to welcome Nuno each year, a modern master in Haute Ecole. We highly recommend Nuno Cavaco who enhances our training and understanding of classical dressage.

Isca is doing just fine! She is a wonderful lady,or maybe I should call her a princess! She was very easy to fall in love with.
Always sweet and polite and a really nice horse to ride. We have been joining 2 small competions in dressage so far and in both of them get about 70% from the judge. She is very easy to travel with so we have even been joining some dressage clinics.
She has a very best friend called Jacaranda,a spanish mare. They share the same paddock outdoors and have the inside stables beside each other. So I think our white princess is happy in her new home. Maybe she has some bad thoughts about the weather,winter in Norway is not always so nice but she got some really good rugs to keep warm and dry. And I saw her and Jacaranda were playing in the snow.
So,I can just say thank you for finding this wonderful horse for me.

I had a great experience purchasing my horse from Teresa. Not only did I get a wonderful horse, he was exactly what we were told he was. I have purchased a few horses from Europe and out of all of them Teresa made this the most seamless and honest process. She provided me with all the help after the purchase, and made sure he made it to his new home safe and healthy. While we have owned him she has followed up with us to make sure we are happy with him, and continues to cheer us on from a far. I would recommend Teresa to help you find a horse for you and your family.

Teresa Burton drove me, a German , through the whole country of Portugal to the Spanish border, we ended up at the most beautiful horse place one could think about – of a German in Portugal – breeding these great Lusitano horses and there I found my new cool, wonderful Lusitano.

Actually he was the one whose picture she had mailed me as the first one.
Thanks for listening carefully what kind of a horse I was looking for and thank you very much for introducing me to “my” perfect new Lusitano.” Brigitta

I am returning to riding horses after a break of many many years. I went to Portugal for some lessons from a super highly trained classical dressage rider Nuno Cavaco at Lusitano Horse Finder.
Teresa and Nuno organised for me to have lessons in the world class arena on a beautiful and classically trained Lusitano stallion called Alentejo. Nuno put me at ease straight away, so I didn’t feel out of place for my lack of experience and relative novice status.
We worked on walk, trot and canter transitions and he found ways to discuss aids and seat that meant I could easily understand and put into practice his suggestions.
He took care to explain how the changes we were making would affect the horse and my riding. He had an eye for the smallest details and communicated his insights clearly so I could refine my own understanding and position. It is clear Nuno has a huge amount of experience and knowledge and I felt he was totally empathetic to a relative novice rider. His compassion and love of horses was also clear. I felt totally spoiled and thoroughly indulged to have this time to work carefully and calmly on improving my contact and my seat. Alentejo was responsive and wonderful to ride.
I found that I had to pinch myself to realise I wasn’t dreaming – and that I was riding in this arena, with an incredible horse and a brilliant gem of an instructor. I found Nuno to be a kind, professional and considerate teacher who was extremely polite and friendly with a lovely sense of humour too. I felt the things I have learned will help me enormously in my riding back home.
Tess MooreUK

We Have known of Nuno for many years and had been trying to be able to train with him but circumstances got in the way. Finally we managed to join a clinic organised for him in Somerset.

Meeting this quiet man and seeing him work with all the horses was impressive. When he worked with our own horses he was amazing and has transformed totally our way of training. His gentle way, approach and lightness was so obvious to us and the horses, he is a true horseman with a classical approach, he is so polite and soft with the horses they become like putty in his hands. We were over joyed with the experience and look to learn with him regularly. We have already been to Portugal to train with him in both ridden and in hand work it was brilliant.
Ed Hannaford

Nuno has regularly taught Classical Dressage at clinics for us. He  always makes sure that every client had a full hour of tuition and this, depending on the horse and rider, would include a mixture of lunge work, work in hand, Nuno riding and the client riding.  His intuition about the character and experience of both horse and rider is very evident and he works with them accordingly.  He was always quiet with the horses, gaining their trust and drawing out their best work.  The riders who only booked one lesson always wanted more!
His attention to detail included changing tack if that helped the comfort and confidence of horse and rider.  He was always happy to teach horses whatever their size, breed, age or experience and riders whether novice or advanced.  The clinics were always great fun and very relaxed.
His 25 years with The Portuguese School of Equestrian Art enables riders to benefit from his obvious talent and wealth of experience.

I purchased a 5 yr old Lusitano stallion from Portugal for dressage in 2013.

Teresa did all the leg work. She sent video and went out to see the stallion for updated videos. She arranged for contact with a FEI vet for the vet check, which was videoed, and arranged shipping on the European end. We used email to communicate with all parties. Payment was done with a wire transfer.

Everyone was extremely professional and really easy to work with. Scheduling all the necessary steps and tests etc. takes a bit of patience but well worth the effort.
The stallion arrived in great shape and he is everything he was advertised and more. I would do it again without hesitation.

I am absolutely in love with Nemo! He is so comfortable and athletic! He’s clearly had beautiful training
His personality is really coming out now and he’s quite a character. I could not be happier with him and I don’t think he could be happier with his new life here!

It’s been a super successful pairing.  I really can’t thank you enough for your help in finding him!

Nemo – Hawaii

Thanks to a happy coincidence, I met Teresa. She introduced me to the horse of my dreams. It was love at first sight for a magical horse that grew up with breeders of exceptional quality. For me it’s a fairy tale.

Dear Teresa and Nuno,
it was my pleasure to meet you both and train with Mr. Nuno. To be honest, it was the best experience in Portugal. I was in heaven. I would like to come again and train more. I like to watch riders while they are training horses. It shows more then words. From that day I am plannig how to get to you at least for a week.
I would be happy, to see picture on your web, so I send you picture in highest resolution. All the commenst are free 🙂
Thank you once again a I´m looking forward to see you both again.
Happy 2020:)

Best wishes and happy holiday to you too. Thanks for the most memorable holiday stay at your place this autumn.

Thank you Nuno and Teresa, for all the commitment you put into the training of my horse, Tico, and me. I am so grateful to share your knowledge and joy. Through your wise training, I now have a happy lusitano

Amazing riding lessons with Nuno Cavaco they just flew by.  It was so wondeful to reconnect after a 3 year gap. I learnt and laughed a lot. Thanks to my videographer Dave who captured the growth of my development over the days.  Thank you Teresa Burton for arranging , the shuttle service, support and friendship.  We 4 had great meals together.  Touring Dave and I around was much appreciated we would still be driving around of streets otherwise.

Linda R King Alberta Canada

My dream came true!

I came across Nuno and Teresa’s equestrian yard through an old teacher of mine whom I greatly respect, and decided to take a lesson during my next visit to Portugal, as they came highly recommended.  Although having lessons on the wonderful horses they had was great and really brought my riding along, it quickly became clear that my lifelong dream to have my own horse was within reach, with their support.
From the lessons and discussions, they had an idea of what type of Lusitano I was interested in. It didn’t take them long. When I was next in Portugal, my dream horse was in the stables waiting for me to try. It was love at first sight (and ride!) and by the end of the trip, Garboso, a six year old stallion, was mine!
Teresa and Nuno guided me through the whole process of vetting and purchasing, which was wonderful. Their competence and experience really ensured that everything progressed smoothly, and gave me that extra confidence when making this big decision.
Due to my circumstances it was not possible for me to have Bo where I live and so the plan developed for him to stay with Teresa and Nuno for training, and for me to ride whenever in Portugal. Given that I am in Portugal on an almost monthly basis, this has proven to be a fantastic solution.
During my absence I am regularly updated, with videos, photos and feedback, and occasional real time online sessions to watch him work, so Bo is never far away, and I am able to participate in his evolution.
Bo is in fantastic hands. He is sensitively trained without being pushed too quickly, Happily he is not schooled every day in the arena, but instead is taken on regular hacks, worked in hand, on lunge, schooled with poles and obstacles or left to relax in his paddock. Whenever I am in Portugal I take lessons, they are always fun, I am learning so much. It is a privilege to learn from Nuno: not only is he highly experienced; he is also kind, gentle and patient. Sometimes we all go on beautiful hacks in the countryside.

Actually, I have not looked so actively for a new horse. I really had a very relaxed look for young horses at this time. I was planning a Portugal Trip for 2018.

But then Teresa showed me Irreal and I knew that I must immediately come to Portugal to see him.
In the beginning I was a little bit sceptical, because I’ve never been to Portugal and did not know Teresa personally then. But we had to seize the chance and enter this adventure! And it was the right and best decision!! Teresa was from the first second extremely likeable and trustworthy. My mother and I felt immediately very well with her. Thanks to Teresa I have found my absolute dream horse. I am so infinitely grateful!  The whole trip was so perfectly organized by her. I would turn to her any time again if I would search a horse.
We had a short but great time together! I would do it every time again!

When I was looking for a  lusitano I met Teresa Burton  at Lusitano Horse Finder. Very quickly we became friends and she bent over backwards to find the ideal horse for my work which is horses for films etc . In fact out of the blue she called me to say she had … not one but two stunning black Alter Real colts for sale she thought would be perfect.  I jumped at the chance and once the deal had been made, both were on their way to North Wales .
The colts quickly settled and over the years have developed into handsome horses. One has adapted into the filming life with ease and the other is turning out to be an amazing dressage horse, show horse and photographers delight … with a beautiful long mane to suit.
We’ve kept in touch and she is always has me in mind if she see’s another film star in the making. She has made a point of understanding what is required of a film horse. I highly recommend Teresa to find the horse you are looking for . She goes all out to get the best.

We first met Nuno Cavaco at Sylvia Loch’s Anniversary Event in 2016 in the UK. He was one of the guest trainers amongst Colonel Christian Carde, Uwe Spenlen and Patrick Print OBE FBHS, a most prestigious occasion. Watching and listening to Nuno coaching the in hand work clearly demonstrated his classical roots and expertise. We invited Nuno to visit The Northumberland Classical Riding Group in the UK and since, he visits us 4 times each year. His clinics are always fully booked, retaining regular students both ridden and in hand lessons. Nuno’s quiet, diligent manner brings about a calmness and trust in both horse and rider. He gives confidence and inspiration regularly telling us “if I can do it so can you. The only difference between me and you is practice.” The lessons are classically based, modern and adapted to suit each horse and rider. The clinics attract all levels, various breeds, new starters to Grand Prix, Working Equitation, in hand, long rein, following theories from the old masters. It is a great honour to welcome Nuno each year, a modern master in Haute Ecole. We highly recommend Nuno Cavaco who enhances our training and understanding of classical dressage.

“ I have been taking my Purebred Arabian to Nuno’s clinics in Northumberland for a few years now. At first my horse was very green , hollow backed and reluctant to go forwards . My lessons were quite a challenge but Nuno has always been very calm and patient and worked meticulously on the foundations to build his strength to change his posture. By working on his balance and straightness he has been completely transformed and the impulsion has developed in the correct way . Thanks to Nuno and his classical training my horse enjoys his work and each year we develop a better partnership and understanding Looking forward to 2023 . Thank you Nuno for all you have taught me . I have enjoyed my lessons and learning too by watching countless others “.

I am so happy to have met you and spent some time with you, Nuno and your beautiful horses. Your care has been exceptional. And yes, I would love to see you in 2023

I’m super excited about my young horse Altair’s progress. As my instructor, Gill Taylor wasn’t allowed to come give lessons, I was pretty much left to my own devices. Altair has turned 4, I decided to get going on my own. Literally completely on my own. I got out my cavason, surcingle and 2 long reins. I thought back, to all Nuno has taught me and carefully started working with him. To my amazement it worked.
I got him to walk out in-front of me. To halt. To walk on and to accept a light contact. To be honest, it felt like a hop skip and a jump until we were doing straight lines, squares, 20 meter circles and 3 loop serpentines.
As they say,”the proof is in the pudding”. Initially I was weary of my abilities and acutely aware of the fact that, at Nunos’ I was working with highly schooled horses, while Nuno was ever present to correct me. I feared that alone, it would all fall to pieces and end up in a shambles. After experiencing the results, of my training, I’m sooo excited and motivated to continue.
I always remember what Nuno has taught me:
– If things go belly up: stop sort yourself out, straighten the horse and start again.
– If the horse is going in the direction you want him to go, allow him to continue. Don’t fiddle too much.
-walk upright and hold your hands as though you are riding.
-There is a slight delay in the movement of the horse, so don’t over turn or over apply the aids.
Of course the cherry on the cake is: Pendragon my talented but lazy warm blood, has been transformed into a forward going dream horse. In hand has improved my feel.
The strangest thing is, when I ride I think of myself walking behind the horse. I actually feel how, in order to remain centred in the saddle, I must stay with the movement. Mentally, I imaging myself turning with the horse and then straightening out on time. If I turn too long the horse overturns, them I must try to get him back of track. This disturbs the balance. These were the actions (among others) that would make Pendragon slow down and simply lose interest in the whole thing. Also; when he is going well, sit quietly and again don’t interfere constantly.
Gill was here a week ago; she was very impressed. She asked me, “how did you get your horse to walk out in front of you, without help?”
My reply, “Actually I’m not exactly sure, I was quite surprised when things went as planned”. I guess that’s it. When one gets a “feel”, it is difficult to explain.
Altair is fantastically balanced and even on both reins. It’s wonderful to see his top line develop. He naturally halts square and automatically steps in from behind when he halts. A most pleasing experience, that really warms my heart. My relationship with him is very special. Previously I thought, I had a connection with my horses but never like this.
I’m so grateful for everything Nuno has taught me. It has truly changed my riding.

Two years ago I decided it was time to work on my classical riding skills. Having done some research, I decided to book 10 lessons with Nuno. Coming from South Africa, I decided that I would concentrate on ridden lessons. After all, I did not want to fly all the way to Europe to walk after a horse on foot.

Luckily my curiosity got the better of me and I traded my final lesson in for an hour of “in hand”.  I’m not sure who was more confused, the horse or myself.
Every mistake I made was amplified and I felt as though I was trying to steer an uncoordinated worm instead of a horse.  Much to my surprise, Nuno was able to patiently guide me, so that by the end of the lesson I was walking in more or less the direction I intended.

A year later I returned, this time I only booked in hand lessons.

I had come to realise that it was, some how, the missing link in my training as a rider. Lessons on the lunge can improve ones seat. However: the only way to get a feel for what contact is, is to take away the influence of the riders legs.

When riding it is so easy to get into a habit of allowing the hands and legs some how work in opposition to each other. A too strong hand aid will cause a horse worked ”in hand” to halt, or even go back. Riders will simply squeeze or kick the horse on, to compensate for this. In the riders mind, he/she is keeping the horse between hand and leg.  The term inside leg to outside rein is another term that is open to endless interpretations (or should I say misinterpretations).  The leg should not be used to correct mistakes made by the hand.  By training in hand one learns how to be soft without being ineffective.

Just like work on the lunge improves the riders’ seat, posture, and legs, so “in hand” improves the hands, upper body and shoulders.

The two are a team and can only achieve true harmony when they are coordinated in a way that serves to promote freedom of movement in the horse.

To cut a long story short, it’s a year later. I’ve been practicing what I learnt, with the help of my trainer at home. To her and my surprise, my previously unsound mare has gone from strength to strength. She now works in walk and trot on both reins evenly without hesitation. Working in hand has improved my contact when riding and I have a far more sensitive feel. Pendragon my extremely talented but lazy warmblood, has suddenly become easier off the leg. For the first time in ten years he has truly started lifting his back and carrying himself properly. This has resulted in the improvement of his top line, as well as his straightness and balance. He now shows great freedom of movement and truly pushes from behind. If you ask me, its because he knows the energy won’t be blocked in front.

In hand is not exactly easy and at times it’s quite confusing. Nuno is wonderful at breaking up a concept and teaching it in tiny steps until one ‘feels’ the correct way of applying it. If a certain explanation does not sink in, he finds another, until the penny drops.

Now that I look back, I realise just how many riding mistakes could have been avoided, if I had embraced working horses in hand years ago.

No trainer can explain correct feel and contact as well as a horse can show you himself, when you allow him to, when you work with him in hand.

Some years ago I got in touch with Teresa, because I was looking for a horse. I believe it was through her website which impressed me, because it provides so much information about the Lusitano horse, training and buying.

During my next visit to Portugal, I wanted to meet her and the same time she showed me 2 Lusitanos.
She was very open and heartfelt, I appreciated her expertise and professional support. I felt I was in good hands. Also I had the opportunity to meet Nuno at a presentation of one of the horses she was showing me. While trying the horse he guided me in a way that made me feel safe and confident. I was grateful to meet them both.

Unfortunately we lost contact and a few years passed before I found a horse in 2018. A lusitano which I believed fulfilled the qualities I was looking for. I wanted him to be trained in the classical dressage and was looking for a suitable stable. I was so happy that Nuno and Teresa had one place open so Honorato could commence his new development programme with them.

Honorato has developed a great deal. He has build his top line, become much stronger, his body has changed a lot, he can work in self carriage and balance now.
He has developed more trust and is less heavy on the bit. I still need  to get to know him better  in order to trust him fully. But I now feel much more confident to have with me and start our work together. I know it is just a matter of time.

I always feel very welcome and so well looked after. Always picked up at the airport as well as daily pick up from the hotel. Everything was prepared with great care. In the lessons with Nuno I learned about how important the basics are, slowing down, having patience, progressing step by step, giving clear boundaries and directions.
Nuno’s calm and clear guidance gave me trust, there was a lot of time to ask any question about the training and understanding the way of the horse which was wonderful.

What might have been good for me, considering my own training, would be to have lessons on another horse which is more advanced and used to other riders. Riding on Honorato was sometimes a bit limiting for me, because he in the beginning he had the tendency to speed up and we had to work a lot on him slowing down to work more in balance and lightness

To ride on Honorato is still a bit of a challenge for me. His trot changed a lot. When I bought him, it was very flat, now he swings more through the back with greater suspension this is more difficult to sit for me, especially if he speeds up. However the more I practise on him this has already improved, I am learning to feel the trot more. I love the canter, it is much more up hill, the walk is great, very forward, swinging, nice to sit on him. Now I am looking forward to having him with me so I can grow with him.

Nuno and Teresa take time for the horses and treat them with much expertise, respect and love. It was important to me that Honorato receives a daily training.
They also give attention to all the other aspects of taking care for a horse like the feeding, the handling and their health.
They are very open and heartfelt people and I enjoyed so much spending time with them. Their knowledge about horses is fantastic, I could learn so much from them.
I have found them to always be very supportive and want the best for me and my horse. Really wonderful people.I highly recommend Nuno and Teresa for buying a horse as well as providing the on going training. Nuno is a fantastic rider and a good trainer & teacher.  Teresa has many connections to breeders and riders,  she can advice you which Lusitano could fit to you if one would like to buy one. She takes care for the horses as well with lots of love and supports Nuno in the training which is great for me, because I am not a professional rider and that my horse also gets hacked out or longed by her, is an advantage for me riding him. Nuno and Teresa are a great team working very well together and I am fortunate to have had this opportunity to learn about the art of riding and understanding more about my horse under their guidance. To be honest I would have preferred to buy my horse with them, and I am grateful I could give Honorato in training with them!