Long time no see! This time there really has been a loooong wait between posts, for which I must apologise. But, these last few months have been a big adventure. More of that later.
First, to more familiar matters. There have been some wonderful courses held at Quinta do Brejo in Portugal – not least during the week of the Golegã festival. My guests – now also dear friends – shared many emotions under the tutelage of our Lusitano horses. Of course, we ate wonderful traditional meals cooked by our host Donna Antonia. It was a real joy to go back to work in surroundings that I love, and I hope and think that our Swedish guests felt the same. It was then very rewarding to see their progress again on a later clinic back in Sweden – to see the changes in their riding and the developments they had been able to achieve with their own horses at home.
I have been continuing with my programme of clinics in Sweden and the UK, with many long-time students and some very welcome new faces. I look forward to sharing their progress in 2014 and beyond.
And so to the big news. In September last year, we packed up the car and moved lock, stock, dog, little one and us to our new home in Cheshire, England. Two of my Lusitano horses have joined me here at the farm – Equador from Portugal and Cartuxo who had been with me in Sweden.
My life and work will now be based here, even though I will of course keep up my regular clinics in Sweden and my work in Portugal.
So, that’s all for now – a little update after the long silence. Normal service will resume shortly!
What a full and interesting beginning to the month it has been. On Monday I had the honour to deliver a presentation to the Association of British Riding Schools (ABRS) annual conference in Oxford, UK. I want to thank ABRS for their invitation and the delegates for their warm welcome. It was also interesting to have an insight into how it is to run a riding school in the UK and to listen to the other speakers. I like to take every opportunity to learn from other riders and from other horse cultures. It was a very giving day.
This weekend has been busy with the Lusitano festival in Lisbon; classical riding lessons for old friends and new, and the arrival of a very promising three year old Lusitano, who we will school here at Quinta do Brejo. It is wonderful to see Mestre Oliveira’s old stables full and bustling with a lovely variety of equine characters of differing ages and training levels. And now each day brings new adventures, experiences, challenges and rewards.
Below, you will see photos of some special students who experienced various dressage movements for the first time.
Unfortunately, our planned Homage to Nuno Oliveira had to be postponed for reasons beyond our control, but I will keep you posted about a new date. We hope to welcome you here soon!
The other day we welcomed a group of professional photographers to Quinta do Brejo, who observed how we train our horses. We recorded this video which we thought you might like to see. Afterwards there was a dinner with Fado (traditional Portuguese music)… a lovely evening.
The video shows Charlotte riding and schooling our Lusitano, Vip, in a way that is very typical for their work together. Each schooling session is different, working with what Charlotte feels the horse needs at that time – they can be short or longer in duration, work on particular movements or simply on the horse’s gymnastic deveopment. Particular problems may also present themselves during the session, such as stiffness, which Charlotte can then work to improve.
We invite you to Quinta do Brejo, Portugal for our Classical Riding ‘Weekend Taster Course’.
This weekend course is designed to provide an opportunity for those new to the classical horsemanship tradition, to gain an insight into its philosophy and approaches. The course includes a brief theoretical introduction, a ridden demonstration and three personal instruction sessions with our wonderful Lusitano horses.
We invite you to Quinta do Brejo, Portugal for our Work in Hand ‘Weekend Taster Course’.
Our weekend courses provide a brief, but worthwhile introduction to the content of our full course programmes, for those who wish to visit us for a shorter time, or those new to classical riding. For this weekend taster, we introduce classical approaches to the handling of young horses, lunging, work in hand and long reining.
The course is presented by Charlotte Wittbom and our Lusitano horses.
We have a few places still free on our special ‘work in hand’ course here in Portugal.
You will have the opportunity to learn all the different steps of working from the ground, starting with the lunging, through to working in hand and long reining. Of course there will also be Lusitano horses, beautiful surroundings, wonderful local food and wine, and everywhere the traces of the late, great, classical dressage Maestro Nuno Oliveira’s life and work here on the farm.