In Portugal, the Lusitano is used in every equestrian activity, from dressage and working equitation to hunting, mounted bullfighting, and farm work. Though we participate in every discipline and have won the highest awards in many categories, Haras Dos Cavaleiros aims to specialize in working equitation, the maximum versatility discipline, which is based on the traditional riding of major European countries. It is a contest featuring field elements such as the gate, bridge, zig zag, and an optional cattle handling phase. The horse for this discipline must be agile, fast, and above all have a very good mind because the obstacles are diverse and represent challenges typically found in the field. Several countries such as Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Sweden, England, France, Holland, Mexico, Belgium, and Austria have hosted international competitions in Working Equitation. Through sponsorship, enthusiasm and example, the goal of Haras Dos Cavaleiros is to help introduce and nurture development of this exciting equestrian discipline in the United States.
Each competition includes four phases and several levels of competence from Novice to Advanced. At the upper levels, it is mandatory that the horse be ridden with only one hand. Dressage: The horses enter a 40x20 meter rectangle. Depending on the level of competition, the horse performs a Dressage test of varying difficulty with competence assessed by a panel of three to five judges. Ease of Handling: this is a gymkhana-type event in which horses encounter obstacles similar to those found in the field (e.g. bridges, gates, and so forth). The manner in which the horse transits the obstacle is scored by the judges, including agility, submission, working attitude, and ease of movement and handling. Speed: The speed phase involves the same obstacles encountered in the ease of handling phase, but with the objective of going through the obstacles as quickly as possible without picking up penalty points. Cattle Handling: The cattle handling phase is performed by four riders whose scores count as a team. The task consists of separating a herd of cattle into two groups, which have been defined in advance
Dressage is a French term meaning “training” and its purpose is to develop the horse’s natural athletic ability and willingness to work making him calm, supple and attentive to his rider. Currently, competitive dressage involves nine progressive levels incorporating multiple tests within each level. Special tests are also written for musical freestyle, sport horse breeding and performances incorporating multiple horses and riders. Tests are revised every four years by the United States Dressage Federation, the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and the International Equestrian Federation (FEI). Competition occurs in a regulation size arena with specific apparel and equipment all regulated by the USEF. Judges are licensed by the USEF and the FEI and are assisted by scribes who write down the judge’s scores and comments during the test. Success in dressage is dependent on the rider’s position and ability as well as the horse’s training and natural gaits. Because of the steady progression of the training, many horse breeds can be quite successful. Watching dressage can be very exciting, especially the musical freestyle rides or tests at the FEI (highest) levels. Dressage is one of the Olympic equestrian sports. The modern Olympics commenced in 1988 with equestrian events, and the “military test” first included in 1900 which evolved into the separate Olympic disciplines of dressage, eventing and stadium jumping. In dressage, the rider uses his weight, legs and seat to influence the horse. These are known as the “aids”. In order to use the “aids” correctly, the rider’s body must be aligned and balanced. From a side view, the ear, shoulder, hip, and heel of the rider should be in a straight line at the halt. From the back, the rider should sit evenly on both seat bones and the length of the stirrups should be the same. By shifting his hips and his weight, the rider can ask the horse to move in different directions and step into different gaits. In simplest terms, the rider should have his hips do what he wants the horse’s hips to do and his shoulders do what he wants the horse’s shoulders to do
The Haras Dos Cavaleiros facility, located in Magnolia Texas, is a premier Lusitano breeding farm and horse show venue. The gorgeous grounds and facility includes the
training barn complete with 44 stalls. There are currently 15 stallions in training along with many up and coming youngsters at various stages of training.
At Haras Dos Cavaleiros, there are three arenas, two covered and one outdoor. The main arena is 50 mts by 80 mts while the other two arenas are 30 mts by 70 mts.
In addition, there are 100 lighted, 10 by 10 ft. exhibitors stalls with wash rack.