Coralie Baldrey has been offering exceptional dressage training to riders of all levels for the past ten years. In 2015,she teamed up with Monte Velho, a distinguished Lusitano breeding and premier guesthouse operator, to make this experience even better. Many people go back each year to continue their training with her as they find that her easy style of teaching and her exceptionally well trained horses allow them to make large strides in their development upon their return home.
A graduate of the famed Cadre Noir in Saumur, France, Coralie has a talent for working collaboratively with both horse and rider to help bring out the innate talent of each. She and her colleague Joao Torrao specialize in reaching riders at any level and helping them advance their riding by better communication with their horses. The horses are pure bred Lusitanos and they are trained through Grand Prix level. As a breeding operation, Monte Velho has several internationally recognized competitive dressage horses and recently, were honored with the chance to cover some Andalusions, bringing the breed even more depth and talent.
The Monte Velho stud farm, which is your base for the week, is located in the Alentejo region of Portugal, an easy car ride from Lisbon. Monte Velho Stud Farm is famous both nationally and internationally for their breeding program of Lusitano horses. It is a common sight to see many of their progeny in the highest circles of competition in both Europe, Brazil and elsewhere.
The accommodation, located on the farm, is an updated farmhouse, and while it has been added on to over the years, the original section dates back to the Roman era. The entire structure is designed for comfort, maintaining integrity to the local roots and to showcase the wonderful views of the countryside. You will find your room to be comfortable, clean and tranquil – a perfect place to hone your dressage skills and then relax when not riding. Additionally, all meals are made and served on premise.
Your riding each day is tailored to your personal goals. Coralie and Joao have several programs available and are able to accommodate various needs on any given week. A maximum of no more than two riders will work in the sand or the indoor arena riding pure bred Lusitanos who are calm for the novice, but have the training to produce upper level movements such as flying changes, piaffe and passage for the more advanced rider. Additionally, depending on the program you choose, exciting and scenic trail rides in the countryside are also available.
Whichever program you choose, Joao and Coralie and their team of willing and fun Lusitanos will give you a vacation to remember for a lifetime.
Programs: Please indicate which program you prefer when making a reservation.
All Program Dates: Open all year. Arrive any day.
High Season: April 1-Oct. 31 and Dec. 15-Jan. 1, 2017
Low Season: All other dates
Program I: Dressage Lessons and Trail Riding:
High Season: $1,850.00 USD (Single Supplement: $365.00 USD)
Low Season: $1,350.00 USD (No Single Supplement)
This program features one dressage lesson in the morning and a 1.5 hour trail ride in the afternoon. It is designed for riders that feel comfortable at all paces.
Program II: Intensive Dressage Lessons:
High Season: $2,095.00 USD (Single Supplement: $365.00 USD)
Low Season: $1,575.00 USD (No Single Supplement)
This program features two lessons in dressage: one in the morning and another in the afternoon. This program is designed for any level.
Program III: Dressage Light:
High Season: $1,550.00 USD (Single Supplement: $365.00 USD)
Low Season: $1,115.00 USD (No Single Supplement)
This program features one hour dressage lesson daily. It is designed for any level rider.
Program IV: Trail Riding:
High Season: $1,270.00 USD (Single Supplement: $365.00 USD)
Low Season: $885.00 USD (No Single Supplement)
Trail rides are conducted at a leisurely pace but there are places for ample trotting and cantering. Trail rides are conducted to the level of the lowest rider.
High Season: $330.00 USD
Low Season: $250.00 USD
High Season: $975.00 USD
Low Season: $660.00 USD
***There is also a 3 night/3 day version of this program:
Program I (3 lessons and 2 trail rides):
High Season: $1,095.00 USD (Single Supplement $185.00 USD)
Low Season: $840.00 USD (No Single Supplement)
Program II (5 Lessons):
High Season: $1,195.00 USD (Single Supplement $185.00 USD)
Low Season: $930.00 USD (No Single Supplement)
Program III (3 lessons):
High Season: $975.00 USD (Single Supplement $185.00 USD)
Low Season: $750.00 USD (No Single Supplement)
Program IV (3 Trail Rides):
High Season: $820.00 USD (Single Supplement $185.00 USD)
Low Season: $610.00 USD (No Single Supplement)
Room Upgrade: $199.00 USD
High Season: $635.00 USD
Low Season: $475.00 USD
The trip to Monte Velho was a great experience, one that we might repeat in the future, and one that we would recommend to friends.
We were impressed by practically all aspects of the trip. The rooms at MV are excellent. The cuisine is based on local ingredients and calibrated to suit busy days riding. It is terrific that the family’s own red and rose wines are offered with the meals. The staff, led by Diogo, are extremely helpful, and language is rarely, if ever, a problem. Diogo himself is always patient in trying to accommodate changes in schedules and special requests — we cannot remember how many times he re-did the riding schedule to fit in with special requirements.
When it comes to the riding experience, the Lusitano horses are high-level and well trained. Again, the team at MV tries its level best to suit the horse to the rider and to make a favorite horse available. Lessons are intense and trail rides relaxing. Some of the great experiences are riding for one and a half hours without leaving the property, trekking through water, and trying a canter across open fields.
Coralie is very much about competitive dressage and the German method of riding and Joao is an amazing, thoughtful guide to classical (and competition) dressage, and so all worked out well for us.
We had a great time, and would certainly consider taking a vacation at MV in the future.
– John and Annie Pearson
The word that most comes to mind about the horses ant training I received from Coralie and Cendrine is IMPECCABLE!!! I learned a great deal and they both are eager to help you get it right in a very friendly and professional way and never lose patience with you. My seat and in hand lessons with Cendrine were excellent !! I hope to go back next year!!
I didn’t have cell phone service but was glad of it , really. It might be a good idea to let people know this might occur and to be prepared to buy a SIM card upon arrival.(for people who really rely on cell phone service. Also, I’d recommend people get a rental car at the airport. One can be rented for the same amount as using Tiago and they would still have the freedom. Tiago was wonderful, but there were a couple of times I would have liked to have one. I was reluctant to get one because I didn’t know what the driving, signs etc would be like. I could easily make out the road signs and the traffic was not really heavy.
I had a Wonderful time!!
– Cynthia Frusha
Coralie is quite amazing- a great rider, a great teacher, and a great administrator- she runs a terrific program. The horses are quite wonderful, as are her grooms, sister Sandrine and friend/employee Michaela. We’re doing lessons in the am and riding out in the afternoon; we just got back from a short but fun ride up to the Castelo, but our other afternoon rides have been more extensive and really beautiful. We have different horses in the am and pm.
In the morning I’m riding a sweet anglo-lusitano mare, very sensitive and forward who is teaching me a lot, and an ex- bull fighting guy on the trail rides, nice enough. Leonor is riding a wonderful Lusitano stallion in the afternoon and she has pretty much fallen in love with him.
Arriolos is fun- we’re in the middle of the carpet festival and will probably bring a couple of them home- they are very beautiful. The Pousada is beautiful and the chapel is a real gem. If I had had my druthers however, I think it would have been nicer to stay in a guest house and eat more meals in the cafes and restaurants in town. The food at the pousada is not bad; it’s just a little bit monotonous. And the local cafes etc. have really good and interesting food. You might think about offering a package option with a guest house instead of the Pousada for those more inclined to be adventurous and not needing a really fancy hotel.
But keep Coralie whatever you do!
WOW!!!! I had such a great experience! Coralie was more than I expected. Her sister and staff we very welcoming and friendly. I got so much out of each ride. The horses were great and I will be looking at the breed when it comes time for my next horse.
We are planning to go back possibly in October. Mom really enjoyed her rides as well and wants to do it again. I got to ride Coralie’s Grand Prix horse and thought that I had died and gone to heaven! Lol. I had a lot of fun too, which was awesome.
I had a fantastic time with Coralie, Vasco, and her students. She’s really a fantastic fantastic teacher and I really wished I could stay longer. One week was NOT enough!
We have already recommended going there to several people because she is the first person ever to give lessons that really made sense, yet were very simply laid out in plain language.
The only only thing we would do different is the meal plan with the hotel. The hotel was beautiful and we had a room where we could see the riding school. However, the meals were HUGE. By Wednesday we were having lunch and dinner in the town with Coralie and staff where the meals were smaller, and less formal.
Now I’m just hoping to arrange some of my personal affairs so I can rebook to go back to Coralie’s!
We had a most fantastic time. Coralie and her working student, Marcus were wonderful. The horses were the best so far and I felt like we left with a lot of new ideas and my trainer was most impressed that “I found my outside rein in Portugal.”
One of the highlights of our trip was that we opted to forego a lesson and went to watch Coralie’s lesson with Daniel Pinto, the trainer for the WEG Portugese team. He trained her and was so supportive and then we also got to watch him work her stallion. I then watched him on TV at the WEG so it was fun to point and say I’d met him. He was very cordial, answered our questions and was very complimentary of Coralie’s training methods. He implied that he thought she and her stallion would be qualifiers for the Olympics in 2016.
Needless to say everything was all we expected and more.
– Barbara Turner