As a big fan of Lusitano horses and classical horsemanship I went to Portugal on a dressage bootcamp in collaboration with Trailfinders. During my stay I had the opportunity to visit the Portuguese School of Equestrian Art in Belèm, near Lisbon. The school is located in the centre of the city, nearby the popular tourist hotspots and famous bakery “Pastéis de Belém”. 

Lisbon street

The street is very colorful with the yellow painted stables and the pink entrance of the riding hall.

pink yellow house lisbon

The indoor riding arena where the public training takes place is recently renewed and named after a rider and commander of the Portuguese army. The “Henrique Calado Riding Ring” is very spacious and light with a grandstand for the public on both sides. A real pleasure to train for the riders.

Indoor riding hall

Arte equestre portugal horse brown

During the public training (scheduled at 11h) the riders train 3 to 5 horses, under the saddle and in hand. It is interesting to see the development of the jumps above the air and the way they train young horses. The training at the Portuguese riding school is by far the most elegant to see, as the horses are very relaxed without any tension. Riders are high class and very much into classical dressage in their daily work. If you are interested in the Alter Real horses, check out our blogpost about the stud farm and auction here.

Arte Equestre Horse brown

The training normally takes up about 2 hours and afterwards – if you are lucky – you can have a chat with some of the riders in the giftshop. If you are into merchandising, the giftshop is the place to be. You can find lots of well made souvenirs and high quality leather goods.

Horse cookingalter real horse

Take a look at the bridle with the logo of the Portuguese riding school. Very soft leather and an absolute eye-catcher.

Brown horse bridle leather

The giftshop offers souvenirs for everyone, if you are a child or a professional rider, you’ll find your cup of tea.


We can highly recommend the olive oil with branded Alter Real logo. Perfect to give your kitchen the extra equestrian lifestyle touch.

olive oil horse

Are you intrigued?

Check out Trailfinders Horse Holidays and book your Portuguese adventure.

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Portugal, home of the Lusitano horse and his excellent dressage skills. As I am always eager to learn more about the art of classical horsemanship and as I am a big fan of baroque horses, Portugal was the perfect place to spend my holiday.Horse brown white sand

In collaboration with Belgian based travel agency Trailfinders, I went to Portugal for an exciting dressage bootcamp and lots of sun. Trailfinders is a travel agency who is pioneer in offering riding holidays around the world for over 25 years. With their professional knowledge of travelling and lots of experience in horseriding, they are the perfect sparring partner if you want to experience an unforgettable riding holiday.

Blue water rainbow

Let me take you on my journey to Portugal. We flew to Lisbon where our driver Henrique picked us up at the airport. A 30 minute drive later, we arrived at a lovely small village where the riding school was a hidden treasure in the neighbourhood. The dressage riding school has been in operation for over 30 years and is steeped in the classical horsemanship tradition. They offer riders, both novice and experienced, the opportunity to experience the renowned Portuguese pure-bred Lusitano horse and classical equitation in the spirit of the grand masters, in their original environment. The riding school hosts around 30 horses, mostly stallions and geldings, but they also have some mares for a breeding program.

Horse yellow

Set on a hill-side, the riding school was originally built as traditional “Quinta”, a Portuguese country estate, complete with stables, indoor and outdoor arena, as well as an antique bull-fighting arena which is nowadays used mainly as a turnout for the horses.

grey horse blue sky

The horses are stabled around the facility and the guest rooms are almost door-to-door with the horses, enabling the guests to spend as much time as they please around the animals. Every rider is hosted in the family run Quinta and can train up to twice a day with the expert and multilingual dressage instructors Georges, Paulo and Renato. Morning rides in a big outdoor arena are the best, especially when you have a view like this.

Sand sun blue sky

Meet Basilico: one of my favorite horses at the riding school. Before every training, we lunge the horses so they can have some playtime and buck all the energy off! As crazy as the horses are on the lunge line, as gentle as they are under the saddle. Basilico and I had some communication issues on the first training, because I wasn’t really used to the Portuguese riding style and he only wanted to do piaffe, go backwards and buck :). Lucky me, there was Georges Malleroni, my trainer of the week and the technical director of the riding school. Georges originally stems from France and took the path of Classical Equitation via Spain before coming to Portugal. He trained with Portuguese great master Nuno Oliveira, as well as with Jose Athayde, the founder and master of the Portuguese School of Equestrian Art and Chief Ecuyer of the Alter-Real stud.

brown horse

 Georges was a great help in riding Basilico and handeling his character. A challenge as he was, he even became my favorite horse to train!

In part 2 of this Portuguese adventure, I’ll take you to the Royal Riding School in Belém and give you more insights in the Portuguese way of dressage training. And off course, I’ll show you some more pictures of the beautiful horses!

If you are interested in a dressage bootcamp with high schooled Lusitano horses, check out Trailfinders for more info and bookings.


I have a penchant for baroque horses and I am not the only one. Their power, elegance and beauty with a southern touch are the perfect conditions for an appealing fashion photo shoot. While I was in The Netherlands last week, I came across the collection of designer Beatrice Bulteau. A French lady who currently lives in Portugal. Her fascination for Lusitano horses and their emotional essence and movements are the inspiration of her collection. White Lusitano Horse Equestrian fashion Scarf with horse printLusitano horse Oxidado (by Portuguese Rider Pedro Torres) was the model on duty and did an outstanding job presenting the scarfs. The hand painted silk scarves are a real eyecatcher. And not only to cover your horse :).White Lusitano Horse with Hand painted Scarf If you want to learn more about the Lusitano Horse and Portuguese breeds, check out our blogpost about the Alter Real Stud.Equestrian Lifestyle White Lusitano Stallion with silk hand painted scarfThe collection of equestrian scarves, drawings, porcelain and more by Bulteau is available at the designer’s website.




The famous stud farm in Alter Do Chao (Portugal) with the beautiful brown Alter Real stallions, held its traditional auction on 24th April.

Equestrian Lifestyle Alter Real

The “Coudelaria de Alter” was created in 1748 by King Jaoa V and today the location is an gigantic domain where the horses can grow up in the best conditions. Let me take you on a journey through one of the most exciting days at the studfarm, the annual auction.

Equestrian Lifestyle Alter Real

Alter Do Chao, is a small place in the region of Portalegre, Alentejo. When you enter the village, horses are everywhere. Equestrian Lifestyle Alter Real Equestrian Lifestyle Alter Real

You can’t be lost here 🙂

Equestrian Lifestyle Alter Real

The day started with the approval of the stallions. Breeders came to present their Lusitano horses, hoping the judges will evaluate in a positive way. In the afternoon at 3 pm sharp the auction could go ahead and buyers from different countries in Europe and Brasil had the chance to buy this rare horses.

Equestrian Lifestyle Alter Real

One of the best ambassadors of the breed “Rubi AR” and his owner Christine Jacoberger were honored and gave a dressage demo afterwards.

Equestrian Lifestyle Alter Real RUBI AR

The stables are beautiful, very clean and are painted in the typical yellow and white colors. Horses can look outside and enjoy some sunshine.

Equestrian Lifestyle Alter Real

Equestrian Lifestyle Alter Real

Near the stables is a little museum, where you can learn more about the history of the studfarm and look at some beautiful paintings.

Equestrian Lifestyle Alter Real

Equestrian Lifestyle Alter Real

Equestrian Lifestyle Alter Real

Check out the details.

Equestrian Lifestyle Alter Real

When you walk around the 600 hectare domain, you’ll notice every detail is branded AR.

Equestrian Lifestyle Alter Real

There are several outdoor riding halls and even a cross country parcours. The indoor riding halls are spacious and light with details of the old dressage masters.

Equestrian Lifestyle Alter Real

When you planning a visit to the studfarm, we can highly recommend the guest house “Casa de Campo” in the middle of the venue. Do you want to look outside your window and see the outdoor arena and the stables, well than that’s the place to stay!

Equestrian Lifestyle Alter Real

 When you enter the guest house, you are immediately in the mood.Equestrian Lifestyle Alter Real Every little detail is also branded AR: the crockery, the blankets, the pillows, the towels. Just lovely to have a whole expierence.


Despite the rain in Portugal, we had a lovely stay. The mares and foals are saying goodbye.

equestrian lifestyle alter real

If you are looking for quality lusitano stallions, you can also stop by the studfarm of Monte Barrao, only 10 minutes away from the Alter Real studfarm.