SANTO ANDRÉ LUSITANOS
EQUITAÇÃO À PORTUGUESA
The Portuguese way of riding or “Equitação à Portuguesa” is the traditional way of riding in Portugal, the result of many years of horsemanship since ancient times. Its history is inseparable from the Lusitano horse, the type of horse that has been selected through centuries in the southwest of the Iberian Peninsula by the Lusitanian. It is also closely linked to the existence and importance of fighting bulls in this region.
Praised for their aggressivity, bulls needed flexible, fast and courageous horses and riders for the daily work in the fields as well as in local festive occasions. Both grew together. in this part of the Iberian Peninsula. With a remarkable versatility, Lusitanos and the Portuguese way of riding were forged playing, fighting and hunting, and most of all, through the practice of equestrian bullfight. Riding with one hand aligned with the horse, for example, became one of the particularities of Portuguese equitation, a technic to improve the connection with the horse, to understand his balance, and foster harmony. Both as one
Through the long period of a deep relationship between man and horse, the shaping of the unique Lusitano’s character is certainly its most distinctive transformation. The horse accepts the rider's leadership and both can build something together. Throughout the centuries, and particularly since the XVIII century, several works and treatises, the practice in the royal academies in Europe as well as the work of few great riders, have contributed to improving both, the scientific knowledge and the specific techniques of classical equitation that also influenced the Portuguese way of riding. They are the essential reference of some of the highest expressions of equestrian art in the bullfight, classical equitation, and dressage, as practiced by João Branco Núncio, Nuno Oliveira and Guilherme Borba that were the masters of many excellent riders, and inspire the equitation that we follow and teach at Casal de Santo André.
Belonging to Antonio's mother's family for centuries, lands of traditional farmers and breeders of horses and bulls, the Casal of Santo André is full of history. Here has started an incredible passion for horses and equestrian art up to the present day.
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Everything began with Júlio Borba, António's Grand Father, in the early 20th Century. He taught horseback riding to his descendant sons, daughters, and grandsons. The way of riding in Portugal at that time was, most of all, inspired by the Art of Equestrian bullfight with Lusitano horses. (Arte de tourear). Guilherme Borba, António's uncle, inspired by João Núncio, a celebrated bullfighting rider friend of his father, preferred however to follow the academic way of riding that his friend and master Nuno Oliveira performed with excellence.
Júlio Borba met Nuno Oliveira for the first time in 1956 at Vila Franca de Xira and was deeply impressed by his brilliance and finesse as a rider.
He proposed him to come to settle in a riding stable in Póvoa de Santo Adrião where he taught riding for 17 years. Guilherme, then at the age of 24, and already a remarkable rider began his apprenticeship under the tutelage of Nuno Oliveira like many other students and horsemen
In 1954, an unforgettable event happened: the Vienna Riding School came to perform in Lisbon. It was the kick-start for an enthusiastic group of Portuguese riders that were eager to restart the old Portuguese Equestrian Academy disappeared in the 19th century after the Napoleonian invasions.
The idea was born, but it took more than 20 years for the Portuguese school to see the light of day.
Meanwhile, Guilherme was pursuing his equestrian passion, developing his own place dedicated to the Portuguese equitation based on the classical techniques and principles, always supported by his nephew António.
A true horseman, he devoted also a continuous dedication to the betterment of the Lusitanian, and several of his horses are essential references of the race. Casal de Santo André, a warm and authentic place, became the meeting point where many passionate people come to stay and enrich themselves, where Guilherme Borba and several of his close friends gave shape to their dreams and strengthened their knowledge.
While continuing to fight for the Portugueses school, he also played an important role in the founding of the Real Escuela Andaluza del Arte Ecuestre with his dear Andalusian friend D. Álvaro Domecq. In 1975 he helped to prepare a group of young riders and horses that gave shape to this project.
Finally, in 1979, the dream of Guilherme and the other riders materializes. The Escola Portuguesa de Arte Equestre (Portuguese School of Equestrian Art) was born. It was with love, passion but also altruism that he became the headmaster of the School for over 20 years.
Santo André Lusitanos, created in 2002 by António Borba Monteiro, aims to give continuity to the work of his uncle training riders in equestrian art, as well as promoting the Lusitano horse around the world. Among other initiatives, in 2004 took place for the first time in Portugal; “The Iberian Dressage Cup" that provided the possibility to our horses and riders to internationalize in our country and thus qualify and participate in the top World Competitions.
Santo André Lusitanos is located on a traditional farm in the outskirts of Lisbon. Many historical horse trainers, such as Nuno Oliveira, have ridden at this property over several decades. Santo André Lusitanos was also the home of many famous Lusitano stallions such as Hostil and Rico.
Olympic outdoor arena
Indoor arena and tribune
9 Singles Paddocks
Cozy cottage with double bed room and twin bed room
António and his family welcome you to their home to enjoy the beautiful art of equitation 'À Portuguesa'.
We provide week-long programs and weekend breaks for all abilities. There are calm and well-schooled Lusitanos. Accommodation is held in cozy on-site cottages, and guests are invited to enjoy our swimming pool. Meals are freshly prepared in the traditional Portuguese way, with fish, seafood and meat stews in abundance, in a nearby traditional restaurant. Please contact us for a tailor-made program, suitable to your interests and abilities.
Discover Lisbon, our colorful city full of heritage and history. Get inspired by our culture
And visit the Portuguese School of Equestrian Art