My husband Rui and I are horse lovers and run the stables of Naturarte, country boutique hotel, together with our family.
Our team of horses, composed by Lusitano mares and stallions, ponies and crossbreeds live outside on paddocks and pastures. We try to create an atmosphere of respect and harmony for both, riders and horses so that learning is possible without fears or tensions.
The search for the secrets of the art of riding
Before there were many years of discovering the secrets of real equitation, and we still have many years ahead of us…
Like Nuno Oliveira, Portuguese and one of the most known riding masters of the past said:
«Now that I am getting too old to ride I begin to understand the secrets of this art».
The search began 20 years ago when I came to the Iberian peninsula attracted by the beauty and proud of Iberian horses and riders. My first stallions where like you can imagine, spectacular gates, long manes, full of energy and … difficult to handle. Very soon I had to find out that obedience and posture was caused by sharp bits, spurs and lack of freedom.
My first decision was to give them paddocks and pastures, instead of a box. And then my search began, my search for expression without fear, powerful movements without stress and posture with real balance.
One of the secrets is time
The studies of old masters brought me closer to what I imagined. One of their secrets was time – so at our stable horses get time to learn, to understand, to adapt to humans world.
Starting from our youngsters up to our grown horses, there is never an end of learning, a twenty-year-old can learn as well as a four-year-old. The same for us humans, so that’s why we don’t have any age limit for riders. We adapt the program to each guest in a way that anybody at any age can learn in his own rhythm.
Another secret is balance
I always admired the seemingly effortless way of riding of good Iberian riders. Our team wants to transmit you this feeling of lightness and balance.
Therefore we work on your seat in private lessons. And my husband, also a guitar player, will help you to develop a sense of rhythm with the horse.
The third secret is psychology
One of the most important equine “muscles“ to be trained is the mind. We don’t control, we teach. We learn about how you can motivate them. Motivation is also done with a wide range of exercises.
A good training plan that adapts to different situations, riders and horses makes part of the success.
Our search for a better understanding of horses could not improve without the very important help of groundwork. At any epochs, horses were trained without riders on their top to develop muscles and the important self-sustaining of their bodies.
We use classical groundwork, modern lounging without siderains to make horses able to move easier on straight and circle lines at both sides. We teach our guests how to feel, see and correct to get a more balanced horse.
We also teach to see the limits and the talents of our partners, so we don’t exaggerate in training them.
Going out on hacks is perfect for horses and riders to enjoy the beautiful landscape. Anxious riders will learn how to be more confident and relaxed in the country.
And last but not least on our working equitation arena you will have fun with various obstacles, such as bridge, gate or the bull.
In the evenings with traditional live music or the presentation of my Lusitano Xampanhe, you will get inspired by Portuguese culture.