Riding Clinics at Santo André Lusitanos
At Host Spotlight blog section, we’d like to introduce you to one of our wonderful Horse Travel hosts and what inspired them to work with horse tourism. This month, we have Antonio Borba Monteiro, Master of the Portuguese School of Equestrian Art and owner of Santo André Lusitanos, that will tell us more about classical riding clinics with Lusitano in Portugal.
How was this passion for horses born?
I was born in Portugal in a family of riders, breeders of horses and bulls. In these surroundings, and by the hand of my grandfather and my uncle Guilherme Borba,
I discovered and learned the Portuguese traditions, being one of them the classical riding, related to the Lusitano horse.
On my 18th birthday, I moved to my uncle’s home, the house of my grandfather, where I live until today with my family. The passion for horses didn’t prevent me from taking a degree in engineering, like my father. This knowledge helps me to understand the dynamics and efforts of horses.
Who is your reference in the horse world?
My main reference is my uncle Guilherme Borba, that taught me everything I know. Reading about horses is another passion I have and for me, the bible of the riders is “A Luz e Liberal Arte de Cavalaria”, written by Manoel Carlos de Andrade in the XVIII century. That’s where I find most of the solutions when I face some difficulty on a horse.
What do you do in Santo André Lusitanos?
At home, Casal de Santo André, I give continuation to my uncle Guilherme Borba’s work, selecting Lusitano horses and teaching them, as well as pupils, teachers and horses of all ages and levels that are willing to learn. Can be anyone who shows up, we provide riding clinics with Lusitano’s horses and, above all, to keep up with the passion!
What kind of breed do Santo Andre Lusitanos use and why?
At Santo André, we breed Lusitano horses and use them to work with our students, foreign or daily students. This breed is very calm and tolerates some mistakes from the rider. They are very comfortable to ride and are always willing to please the person who rides them, given you one of the best riding clinics you can have. Is a unique breed.
What does it take for a person to learn Classical Riding?
Classical Riding is no more than “ride from the horse”, it means that you have to respect the horse’s natural movements and develop the teaching from that point. We don’t want to oblige the horse to give us more than he has to offer, and we must respect that. I use to say “If you understand what the horse tells you, it’s always more relaxed and fun”.
Do you have a special place in Portugal you like to show to people who come?
Yes, Casal de Santo André
(the place were Santo André Lusitanos is located)
is a special place to me. This is where I learned to ride and were good riders used to ride when I was young. Master Nuno de Oliveira rented a place here to my grandfather, so all his students have a connection to Casal de Santo André. Some of them continued to ride here with my uncle Guilherme Borba, for example, Dom Diogo de Bragança and professor Jaime Celestino da Costa.
Is there anything else you’d like to mention about Santo André Lusitanos?
At the moment we have two arenas, one indoor and an exterior arena where we can give riding clinics and ride all year, thanks to the lights at the exterior and the new footing that is arriving soon. We have 10 well-schooled Lusitano horses that can delight riders with low or high experience. There is a swimming pool for hot days and fireplaces for colder days and also two houses were we invite you to stay. You just have to visit this small oasis almost in the heart of Lisbon and just 15 minutes from the airport.
See all the riding clinics you can do with Master Antonio Borba Monteiro, in Lisbon, Portugal