High class professional trainers and dressage horses
Spend a week or just a few days at the world renown Escola de Equitacion de Alcainca. Each day you will train with professional trainers in dressage (from novice through introduction into high school dressage). The town of Alcainca lies 25 miles northwest of Lisbon, 4 miles from the famous cloister of Mafra, and 6 miles from the Atlantic Coast. It is surrounded by wild pastures and small forests. The Atlantic Ocean on the west coast helps assure a nice, even temperature throughout the year so that even in July and August it never gets too hot.
The school's director, George Malleroni, studied with the legendary Nuno Oliveira for the last 10 years of the master's life. The instructors are some of the finest dressage riders in the world, who can give lessons on any level. The riding school provides 20 highly trained Lusitano stallions. The riding program includes up to two 1.5 hour sessions per day - leaving very little time for activities other than a dip in the pool or sun tanning between lessons. The groups are small and divided according to riding level so that every rider gets a lot of personal attention.
The town of Alcainça lies 25 miles northwest of Lisbon, 4 miles from the famous cloister of Mafra, and 6 miles from the Atlantic Coast. It is surrounded by wild pastures and small forests. The Atlantic Ocean on the west coast helps assure a nice, even temperature throughout the year so that even in July and August it never gets too hot.
The warm-up consists of 30 minutes of lateral work at the walk: counter shoulder-in, leg yield, zigzag, half pass and shoulder-in on small circles. The movements are done slowly in the classical manner of four tracks. Riders remain almost constantly on circles and bends. Then, a brisk rising trot period follows and leads into more collected work. Group lessons teach riders to pay attention to rhythm and be efficient with their aids. Escola de Equitaçao's style of dressage is rooted in lightness and following the Portuguese tradition, focuses more on artistry and on expression. The Portuguese way of dressage evolved from the bullfighter's needs to control their horses at all times and being able to place them instantly anywhere the rider wishes. The Lusitano can sit back on his haunches and collect his gaits extremely well, freeing his forehand for quick turns.
During your stay, you also have the opportunity to experience high-school movements such as the Spanish walk, levade, piaffe and passage. Believing that riders learn mostly by feeling, Malleroni aids the horse and tells the rider to just sit and feel the movement.
After a busy day, students enjoy a rustic Portuguese dinner and local wines. The day's experiences are exchanged, videos about classical dressage are watched or the local pubs of Alcainça are explored.
There is an indoor and outdoor riding arena (195ft x 75ft), round pen (120ft).
You will be staying in the newly constructed simple but charming guesthouse at the riding school (4 double rooms with private bath) or at the adjoining facilities (3 rooms with 2 separate baths).
Meals will be taken family style at the center.
The center has its own swimming pool, billiard, and living room with fireplace and TV.
Dates: all year
Lodgings: private rooms
Catering: full board (AP)
Rooms: double room; single room
Language: english, french
Own horse: no
Min./max. participants: 1/10
Lisbon only 35 km away, Mafra monastery & parc 6 km, beach 20 km.
Your expert: Julia Wies
Lusitano (mostly Stallions)
Saddle & tack: English
Riding level & experience:
Novice to Advanced (Piaffe, Passage, Flying changes.....