We have a new young student here at Quinta do Brejo – a beautiful 5 year old cremello Spanish Mustang mare named Moon Fox, who started life in the United States.
Like me, I’m sure many of you won’t be too familiar with the Spanish Mustang. The modern breed is descended from horses taken to the Americas by Columbus and the Spanish Conquistadors and therefore has strong connections with the origins of the two main Iberian breeds, the Lusitano and the Andalusian. In the twists and turns of American history following the Spanish conquests, feral herds of Mustang horses developed, migrated north and became extremely hardy in the vast wilderness of what is now the United States. They were prized by Native Americans, would play an important role in the shaping of the nation and are now an icon of America.
It’s interesting though to think about the strong links between the Spanish Mustang and those breeds that were valued in the European Baroque and Cavalry traditions – horses closely related to each other, living in worlds that couldn’t have been further apart. It’s also special to see a descendent of those horses taken by Christopher Columbus from these Iberian shores to the New World, now come full circle to live in Portugal.
Moon Fox has just been started and I’m delighted that she’s now going to continue her training for some months with me at Quinta do Brejo. She has a lovely temperament, moves well it’s a real pleasure to have her around. I’ll keep you posted on her progress.
Charlotte Wittbom is a rider, trainer and teacher specialising in classical approaches to horsemanship. She travels internationally to deliver clinics, demonstrations and presentations and welcomes guests for riding holidays and training at Quinta do Brejo, Portugal – the former home and stables of Maestro Nuno Oliveira.
Charlotte rode in the celebrated Apassionata equestrian gala show as part of Maestro Luis Valença’s presentation, on three European tours.
Her early career included competitive eventing in her native Sweden; six months working as an assistant instructor under Julian Marczak at the renowned Suzanne’s Riding School in the UK and three years as a student of Maestro Luis Valença in Portugal.
She has a particular interest in the development of pedagogical approaches to the development of horse and rider, and is currently studying for a B.Ed in Education, Umeå University. She holds a a teaching certificate from the Association of British Riding Schools (A.B.R.S) and a Diploma with distinction from the Centro Equestre de Lezeria Grande (C.E.L.G) in Portugal.
At Quinta do Brejo, Charlotte schools her own Lusitano horses, welcomes guests for riding holidays and tuition, and carries out programmes of schooling with clients’ horses. She works with a diverse range of riders from around the world, spanning all equestrian specialisms, with abilities from novice to advanced.
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