Classical Dressage Training in Portugal

Evora, Portugal

Classical Dressage is best known as the art of riding as developed in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. This is the art of dressage as practiced in Vienna's famous Spanish Riding School and the Escola Portuguesa D'arte Equestre. Although differing somewhat from the dressage commonly practiced today, Classical Dressage shares a common history and similar goals.

This Classical Dressage Training program is designed for riders who are comfortable in any gait and who wish to experience this ancient art of horseback riding. It is not necessary to be riding dressage or classical dressage to participate in this program. The horses are skillfully trained Lusitanos. The magnificent Lusitanos were called "sons of the wind" by the ancient Greeks and are closely related to the Andalusians of Spain.

The program features lessons in Classical Dressage by Coralie Baldrey, who has a graduate degree in Dressage from France's Cadre Noir at Saumur. Coralie has trained in all Olympic disciplines and competed nationally.

Your day is not all lessons and work; the program also calls for trail riding in the countryside to experience the beauty of Portugal and to get to know your Lusitano in a more relaxed setting. Although it is a thrill to perform a half pass with such a noble horse, it is often just as much fun to canter through a field of wildflowers.

Your riding includes two one hour lessons with one or two other riders each day, and a two to three hour hack in the afternoons. The Lusitanos can do flying changes, tempi changes, Spanish walk, lateral work, extended trot, half pass, and work on the long lines. Private lessons can be arranged for an additional fee.

Accommodations are at a beautiful Pousada near Evora, a hotel built in a sixteenth century convent. It has comfortable rooms, attentive staff, a swimming pool and tennis court, views of the surrounding valley and is only an hour's drive from Lisbon.

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