14.11.2016 - 14.11.2016
Last day of riding here in the Azores and what a day! It was predicted to be great weather and being able to ride all day on my favorite horse Corante would be great. But first riding lesson with Rodrigo.
Since I rode the lesson privately, I ate breakfast before the others, already at 8 am. I was then ready down at the stable for riding lesson at 9 am. I would ride Olé, an Arab/Lusitano gelding highly educated in dressage. He was slender and elegant and white as snow. You felt privileged to be able to ride such experienced dressage horse. And to have Rodrigo Ferreira as instructor who didn’t just look nice, but he also had a very beautiful smile. It went from ear to ear and you couldn’t help yourself smiling back at him. You instantly became in good mood when you saw him.
So after spending 45 minutes in the small estate arena (would guess it was only about 15x30 meters) and instructed by Rodrigo I was completely exhausted. Not only because I had not been riding dressage lessons in a while, but also due to a small arena. You could imagine shoulders out in canter on the diagonal, it became quite sharp shoulders out and then to fit in a canter change on top of that… yes if I may say, you really knew you had something called abs after the riding lesson
Soon after 10 am we all gathered for a full-day ride with Rodrigo. I got to ride my favorite horse Corante. All our horses were loaded in the lorry and all riders went by car to Relva, where the ride started.
The whole ride basically went along the ocean coast. Sometimes we rode along paved roads, but most of the time we rode on lonely dirt roads where we could trot and canter much. Just before lunch a donkey with her foal showed up. Considering the last meeting with a donkey, during a ride, wasn’t that positive experience I got a little bit nervous this time (read more about “the Killer Donkey” in the blog http://trailrideincatalonia.travellerspoint.com). But luckily nothing happened this time around. But Corante was very interested and started to piaffe (or it was probably a mix of piaffe/collected trot) with ears forward and wanted to greet.
Lunch was served at a restaurant. The horses were left tied up in the back yard and were fed food. The restaurant was situated by the ocean and it got really warm when the sun shined. After lunch you had pretty much a food coma and getting back up on horseback again you felt all stuffed. But you pretty fast got back into the game again and we had more trots and canters during the afternoon.
We passed through villages with abandoned houses mixed with luxury villas. Big contrasts.
The sunset slowly began and it got darker. Before it got dark we arrived in Várzea where the lorry waited and we loaded the horses up again. From here it took about an hour back to Quinta da Terça. Tonight’s dinner was served at 7.30 and my last dinner at the estate for this time. A little sad, but yet nice with journey home tomorrow. Had heard it had been snow chaos back home in Sweden while I had been gone, so I wanted to get home and see it with my own eyes.
A spinach soup was served at first, followed by a Filé Mignon and rounded up by a Lemon Tarté. The evening didn’t get that late for me since I had to get up very early tomorrow morning.