Portugal has a special feeling for horses and this
country is considered by many as the home of the
Lusitano breed (of horse). This special attractive
"hot blooded" horse has been bred and
developed in the central Ribatejo region for hundreds
of years and is a mixture of Arab and the Pure English
Thoroughbred. This breed is internationally
acknowledged for its gentle nature and its equally
graceful agile movements in the bullring. This breed
is often chosen for training to enter the
international competitions of equestrian events.
The Lusitano ancient breed of horse distinctive to the
Iberian Peninsular should not be confused with the Spanish counterpart of
the Andalusian breed.
This breed has certain characteristics which
have made it popular with horsemen. They are known for their bravery in the
bullring, versatility in their agile ability, and yet docile in their
relationship with mankind. As there are only some 2.000 effective breeding
mares in the world they are can be considered comparatively rare as a breed.
stand about 15 to 16 hands, shades of grey and bay are most common.
Whether it is for Hacking or Dressage, a visitor will
normally find both are readily available and in
particular in the area of the Algarve as there are many
established Riding Stables scattered along the coast.
The variable terrain in Portugal lends itself in the
most part to offering extremely enjoyable different
types of rides. Taking the Algarve as an example, the
coastal plain varies considerably. Around Vale do
Lobo and Quinta do Lago area the soft
sandy soil through endless pinewoods makes for very
comfortable riding. In the inland region of Silves
the valleys and tracks can take you into charming
countryside or up into the dense eucalyptus forests.
West of Portim„o there are endless rides into
virtually uninhabited areas with rolling open hills.
A trip into the Alentejo region around …vora
will offer a visitor the freedom of open countryside
riding. Such is the variety of good rides we recommend
that the visitors try the different areas.
As the enjoyment of Dressage is very dependent on
the quality of the mount the Stable should be chosen
carefully. A most interesting experience is to ride a
Lusitanian horse which has been bred and trained for
the Bull Ring and is special to the Iberian Peninsular.
The magic to be felt under the reins and saddle leaves
a lasting impression.
Many Stables have specially chosen horses for the
inexperienced rider. When hiring your mount it is a
sensible to be open and frank about your own riding
abilities in order that the Stable can arrange an