Portugal Tops with Readers

Italy, Austria, Germany UK round out top 5

In the 10Best Reders’ Choice contest for ‘Best European Country,’ voting was heaviest for one nominee in particular.  Portugal has apparently stolen the hearts of the readers as it secured the lion’s share of votes.

Portugal is less iconic than other well-known countries, but it offers a wealth of opportunities to travelers: charming villages, great food, fascinating regional music, cultural opportunities, a beautiful coastline and even world-class surfing.

Italy and Austria landed solid in second and third, while a mere 47 votes separated 4th place finisher Germany from Spain in 6th place.  The (very large) United Kingdom, with no language barriers for Americans and a wealth of well-known landmarks, took 5th place.

The biggest surprise?  Iceland, which trumped Greece, Norway, and several other more exotic countries, to land in the top 10.

The full list of winners in the ‘Best European Country’ contest category for 10Best Readers’ Choice is as follows:

1 – Portugal
2 – Italy
3 – Austria
4 – Germany
5 – United Kingdom
6 – Spain
7 – Ireland
8 – France
9 – Iceland
10 – Switzerland

Congratulations to all the winners.  Wondering where to take your next trip?  This list makes a fabulous overseas bucket list.

All nominees were chosen by experts in the Travel Industry. Thus, the other 10 nominees also deserve some consideration. They were  Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Turkey.

Source: USA Today 10Best

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Académie Équestre Populaire Workshop at Quintas de Obidos

The riders of the Agen (France) based Académie Équestre Populaire settled for 3 days in the magnificent equestrian facilities of Quintas de Obidos.
The purpose of their visit was to implement and put into practice the teachings of Guillaume Antoine over the last 3 years.
The aim was to be able to, in new surroundings and with unfamiliar horses:


1) Carry out an evaluation of the horse on foot in order to identify the degree of compliance and relaxation,

2) To define a set of recommendations,

3) To implement them on foot and on horseback,

4) To evaluate the three days of work carried out.

Pedro Carmo Costa, director of the Portuguese National Riding School and Technical Director at Quintas de Obidos, contributed to the success of this experience by providing the riders with horses of different profiles, by their age (4 to 19 years), their experience and technical levels (dressage, jumping, young horses) as well as their physical abilities.

The program was carried out as follows:
Day 1
After each rider made her choice of a partner horse for the 3 days on the basis of their feelings and resonance with the horse’s past, personality and ability, each then evaluated her horse based on its biomechanical and behavioral levels. All this was carried out on foot (handwork and lungeing).
Day 2
Continued with the evaluation process, giving top priority to the attentiveness and relaxation of the horses, in both mind and body.
Day 3
Allowed the implementation of the work done on foot, but now on horseback.

The 7 participants who were present in Obidos are, Anne-Marie Lacoste (retired teacher, amateur rider), Christine Cadot (hospital supervisor, amateur rider), Patricia Holie (amateur rider), Valérie Glikson (equitherapist, amateur rider), Audrey Bach (manager of an equestrian center, riding instructor) and Marie Ebling (equicoaching specialist, riding instructor), all supervised by Danielle Monnet (riding instructor, specialist in horse behavioral disorders).
Among the 7 horses available to riders, there was Airwick Assai, a dressage horse owned by Pedro Carmo Costa who kindly shared his thoughts as follows:

“As a rider and a horseman, I had the privilege to witness a very good approach to what EQUITATION should be, the relation between rider and horse.

We usually forget to give the importance this subject deserves, as we just remember to ask what we believe is fundamental (such as getting fantastic piaffer, passage, flying changes or clean jumps)and not consider that the living being, the horse, has different character, fears, beliefs and temper, which we must attend to on an every day basis.

I’m sure Airwick Assai enjoyed being a part of this clinic very much, because he communicated this to me so when I worked with him the following day. He was very relaxed and accepting my aids easily. I felt an easy contact with my hand and a fine predisposition to move forward with a pleasant suppleness.

Thank you for your demonstrations and for reminding me of the importance of these subjects. I’ll try not to forget them, ever”.

This was a fulfilling experience both on a human and on a horse level with beautiful sensations and rich emotions, all in the mild Portuguese climate.
The participants warmly thank Miguel Pereira de Abreu and Pedro Carmo Costa, respectively, owner and director of the center, for their friendly and professional courtesy. The participants promise to return to live new experiences in the exceptional equestrian facilities at Quintas de Obidos.

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Quintas de Obidos Equestrian Centre

Designed according to international standards by former #1 lady show jumper Jessica Kürten and German horse facilities specialists Equus Design, the Equestrian facility provides a level of service and a range of facilities for riders of all ages and abilities and is at the same time a superb venue for a wide variety of equestrian events, including international competitions.

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Quintas de Obidos Equestrian Center stables 6 more horses as of today

We would like to welcome the new guests to our Equestrian Center at Quintas de Obidos.
In addition to the four majestic Dressage horses already stabled at our facilities, we now also host 6 magnificent Show Jumping horses.
We wish our new riders the best results and ensure that we have the best conditions for their success.
6 New Horses

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Beck+Heun training jumps and cavaletti at Quintas de Obidos Equestrian Center

As of today, a set of training aluminum jumps and cavaletti, supplied by German experts Beck+Heun, are available at Quintas de Obidos
Combined with the Eb&Flow RUF riding surfaces already installed in our facilities, the brand new 8 jumps, 4 oxer stands and 3 cavalettis help to create the best training conditions for the most demanding Show Jump riders.
Quintas de Obidos’ unparalleled equestrian facilities offer the highest standard of livery and training conditions at affordable prices.

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