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Nuno Oliveira (1925-1999)

Portugal is a “living museum” of the lusitano Horse

That fact proves we are speaking about the most ancient saddle horse of the world.

It joins everything: beauty, strenght, flexibility and gentleness.

Portuguese people have been devellopping this race since several centuries, using it with a great wisdom. In fact, the selection of this horse can’t be dissociated neither of a great number of excelent riders, who have dedicated to it along the history, nor of the famous literary works written about this subject.

Teaching ridding well every saddle

The book “Teaching ridding well every saddle”, written by the king D. Duarte in the XV century, is the most ancient european equestrian treaty.

Portuguese people have been devellopping this race for several centuries

In the modern times, one must paint out the tauromachian rider João Branco Núncio (1901-1976) and master Nuno Oliveira (1925-1989), being this one considered the greatest exponent of the classic riding on the XX century as well as the great propagandist of the race all over the world.

This richest equestrian culture is still found nowadays, not only through the riding of portuguese tradition, but also in the clothings and ornaments that portuguese people could preserve very well.

In fact, Portugal is a real “living museum” of the lusitano Horse.

João Branco Núncio (1901-1976) 

History

The existence of several studies about this subject has demonstrated us that the Lusitan horse we know nowadays, results from the evolution and selection of a primitive horse, whose most remote vestiges were found out in Portugal, along the hot plains of the south of the country. (Escoural caves – from the 17th to the 18th millenium a.C.).
Portuguese bullfighter in a oil painting of Simão da Veiga.
In these pre-historical drawings, it is amazing the morphologic resemblance with the actual lusitan horse, chiefly on the caracteristic shape of its neck and on the convex profile.

This quick horse, whose stature and bony structure was enough to support the weight of a man, constituted a real gift of nature to the people of the peninsula, who domesticated and dared to ride it. Beyond the fact of having been transformed in a new and fast means of transport, this horse has even assumed a particular importance in the skimishes, which the several iberian tribes braked constantly among them, trying the possession of the territories. In this part of the world, the utilization, in fights, of ridden horses, remounts to the 5th or 4th millenium a.C., as it has been demonstrated through the discovery of anti-riders weapons, dated from that time. There are nowhere evidences of the existence of ridden horses so long ago.

It’s a fact that, elsewhere, as in Greece or in Egypt, the horse had already been used, although its utilization had always been done as a pulling animal, leashed to the war cars. This allows us to conclude that, the riding itself, has an iberian origin and that, the peninsular horse is the first known saddle horse.

“(…) the peninsular horse is the first known saddle horse.”
The way of fighting, by horse, of the iberian people, became characteristic. In fact, their riders made evolutions in the battle fields, owing to the obedience and agility of their horses, what made things harder to their enemies. Such a riding, based on the fast transitions and quick changes of direction, was showed to the world by the Cynetes, when this tribe of the south-west of the peninsula fought in Greece against the Atenienses, helping the victory of the Espartans in the Peleponeso war (4th century a.C.). Such a fact justifies the origin of the word “gineta”, used still nowadays to classify this way of riding.

Having been selected for several centuries, as a support of a specific technique of fighting, the peninsula horse goes on surprising, through its unusual capacities, everyone who fights against it.

This happened with the Romans and the Moors, who found it later in the peninsula and quickly recognised its undeniable qualities.

Later on, in the middle of the 15th century, it’s taken to Italy by the spanish army, in order to interfere in the war, which was being braked there, against the french, by Fernando of Aragon, whose purpose consisted in the conquest of the Naples kingdom. It becomes known beyond pirineus, and, from that time on, it is looked for by all the european aristocracy.
“(…) the iberican riders made evolutions in the battle fields, owing to the obedience and agility of their horses, what made things harder to their enemies.”
It’s also in the base of the appearance of the academy of Naples, whose foundation permits riding to be faced as a science and to be studied by notable masters who, following the example given by the king D. Duarte of Portugal (who, about one houndred years before, had written the first book there is about the subject in Europe), leave their knowledges and experience registered in precious treaties of riding.
D. Carlos I, king of Portugal (1863-1907) in a oil painting of Carlos Relvas.
Portuguese Riding School
Time goes by, and the tecnologic evolution contributes to take out to the horse the important place it had assumed along the history. Its utilization becomes nearly exclusively sportive, in several hippic modalities we know nowadays. All over Europe, new races of saddle, with characteristics exclusively adapted to the sportive riding, appear, and the peninsular horse, a true support of the constitution of all of them, begins, apparently, being put aside.

However, Portugal mantains a particular tradition, riding bullfights. Here, one must go on taking advantage of all the qualities which became famous the most ancient saddle horse of the world. Just like it had happened many years ago, in the battle fields, the show of brave bulls has permitted to portuguese people to preserve the operation of their horses.

To mantain ancestral traditions, Portugal goes on producing horses, whose vigour, courage, flexibility and docility go on being determinant characteristics.

Considering that, the lusitano horse associates, to all of these referred characteristics, an extraordinary beauty, we must declare, without any risk, that it is, probably, the best saddle horse of the world.

Our Stud

Born in 1962, André Teixeira da Costa has felt, since a long time, a great passion by horses, what has contributed to his graduation in animal sciences and to his specialization in nutrition and reproduction of equines.

As a rider, he began learning with colonel Ivens Ferraz, an olimpic rider, whose grandnephew he is. Later, he even worked with other notable masters.
Between 1979 and 1982, under the direction of José Mestre Batista, he acted, as an amateur tauromachian rider, in several shows. He went on linked to José Mestre Batista, until his death, in 1985.

From that time on, through the great influence of Nuno Oliveira, he has been attracted by the delicate art of the classical riding, which he began studying with enthusiasm.
He rode and taught a great number of horses. In spite of not having only dedicated himself to riding, he has always mantained a great activity as a rider, working nowadays in his private arena, where, keeping faithful to the classic principles of riding, he not only rides his horses every day but also teaches a small number of pupils.

He founded this stud in 1994, with the main purpose of supplying directly his stables.
Having joined during the first years, the production of Lusitano horses and Portuguese Crossed horses, from 1999 he decided to dedicate himself exclusively to the creation of Lusitano Purebred horses.

The fact of joining the two facets of horse productor and horse-teacher, has permited him to do a careful avaliation of each horse behaviour, along his teaching, and to use that knowledge as na important factor of selection. Using reproducers with a genealogy of confirmed quality, the main objective is the obtainment of animals which, morphologicly well shaped (formed) and obeying to the pattern of race, can be distinguished as good saddle horses, being given a especial attention to its moral characteristics and gallop quality.
André Teixeira da Costa
One of our horses, in a watercolour of Serrão de Faria.

Horses for Sale

Our pure Lusitanian horses for sale. Select the images for more information.
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