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Last day of riding


View Intensive Dressage Week on bejjan's travel map.

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And so, the last day of riding. In the beginning of the week it felt like you would be here for eternity. But whoosh, the last day of riding had come. Just as you had started to know the horses and start developing with them. So, maybe you should book two weeks when you sign up for dressage holidays? Then there’s always one thing what you want and another thing what it would cost ;)

Today, we all needed to ride before lunch, so we would be riding two and two. So, A + M started riding at 8 am already, without eating breakfast. I was lucky enough to have time to eat breakfast and then ride at 9 am. You could tell Patrícia was more stressed and had a hard time matching the new riders with the “right” horses. Most of the other guests were not that experienced and therefore needed calm and safe horses.

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I rode Xileno and today we were a team – Xileno and I. We were both relaxed and had a great connection from the start. The other girl riding with me was not on the same page with her horse and Patrícia had to focus a lot on her. After 40 minutes I was left alone in the arena and Patrícia told me to ride by myself the rest of the time and do some work in canter. So, I took the opportunity to ride Xileno in collected canter and do a lot of flying changes, that went surprisingly well.

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The last one's had barely made their lessons in time for lunch at 1 pm. Once again, I forgot to write down what it was for lunch, but it was at least a three-course meal with soup as starter.

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A, M and I had scheduled a tour to the state stud farm Coudelaria de Alter, situated about an hour by car from the farm. We had to leave no later than 2.15 pm to get there in time. Nuno drove us and joined us during the tour. And of course, it’s about Lusitano and its large breeding activity, it’s not uncommon with about 60 foals per year. The mares stay outside in large pastures together with their mare foals most of the days but are getting check-ups every day.

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When the stallion foals are separated from the mares, they are all put together in another pasture. When the stallions are broken, the pasture is changed to a loose-box all day long. Most of the foals are sold and only a few are kept for breeding by the stud farm.
The stud farm also educates professional equestrians that during the weeks live on the state properties. We were toured through the stables and looked at all the stallions. Many of the horses are competing at high level of dressage or horse driving trials. We even got to pet a stallion who competed in the last Olympic Games and was for sale for 2 million Euro. Yeah, like you have that kind of money just laying around.
They also have a small museum with historic objects like Portuguese and Spanish saddles, weapons, spurs and old riding show clothing. The tour ended in the souvenir shop. It was a lot of things made of cork, like hand bags and slippers. But also, jewelries, marmalade and toy horses. Everything at an increased price.

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After the visit, Nuno drove us back to the farm for our very last riding lessons for this riding holiday. It was difficult not to think that, but it was fact. A + M begun riding as soon we had changed into riding clothing again. They rode more independently and Patrícia only gave small comments every now and then.

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After they were done, it was my turn and my last riding lesson with Xileno. I rode alone and just as with A and M, Patrícia only commented my riding once in a while to help out. In the end of the lesson Xileno and I were at our best. We had not been better than this in the entire week and it was pure joy to ride a Lusitano stallion just submitting completely to its rider and just waiting for the next command. It felt like I could have asked him to do anything and Xileno would have done it without hesitation. I couldn’t have had a better round-up.

8 pm. Last dinner. Every seat around the table was taken. The atmosphere was high and it was a nice end to this trip. Of course, with soup, then shrimps with pie and vegetables and ending with fruit salad.

Posted by bejjan 16:00 Archived in Portugal Tagged horseback_riding

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