Today some of the horses were off to a training show and Sarah's mare was having a day off, which also meant a "day off" for me (if there is ever such a thing). I decided to visit Centro Equestre da Leziria Grande, home of the highly regarded classical dressage trainer, Luis Valenca.
It started on an interesting note with a taxi driver with NO idea of where he was going and who charged me 72 Euro (!) for a 32km trip. I had been warned about this...but given the driver spoke no English and I could not negotiate on a price beforehand, I knew it would be expensive!
I had a riding lesson with Sofia, on a gelding called Madonna (!) who patiently took me through many of the movements. I then had an inhand lesson where Sofia took me through the basics of their system in ground work for young horses. I don't have photos to show, but this short clip demonstrates some of the lungeing and lateral work on the ground I was able to try.
On hearing of my horror taxi ride, she refused payment for my lessons - another example of the kindness and generosity I've experienced of the Portuguese. She also dropped me at the train station to return to Cascais (a total train fare of 5.50 Euro!) It however wasn't a simple journey. The patient man at the train station gave me the following directions:
But I worked it out - Train, underground, different train....This has been a test of really stepping out of my comfort zone. In the past I would have freaked out about travelling around alone in a foreign country. Now I just laugh, get on with it and think of it as an adventure! In any case, the train ride from Lisbon to Cascais is quite scenic. As I have mentioned before, it's sometimes just the little mundane things in another country (like very quickly working out public transport) that make it interesting.
Tomorrow I plan to visit Sintra and hopefully fit in another ride. I also have morning lessons scheduled before my day tour of Lisbon on Monday and before departing (sob!) Tuesday. I can't wait to see my family, hug my kids...but it does say something about this place that I don't feel ready to leave so soon! ❤️