Our Story

We are very much believers in the power of family. And that if you truly love horses, then anything is possible.

In the 1960s, after Master Luis Valença was hand chosen by the legendary Nuno Oliveira to be his assistant, very few people outside of Portugal and Spain knew the qualities of the Lusitano horse. Our world was a small one, but a true continuation of the 18th century Baroque tradition.


Never have we encountered such clear, precise, and kind tuition as with the Valenças. In many years of learning dressage, no one has opened the door to clarity and understanding of the entire system, not just the riding, but also the exact details of the lunging, in hand, long rein and pillars. We are forever grateful because this training was immediately transferable to our horses at home and we will return as often as we can to learn as much as we can.

Rupert Isaacson and Iliane Lorenz
Rupert Isaacson and Iliane LorenzHorse Boy Foundation – Austin, Texas

Get ready for some serious training from the best there are.

Janine Pendlebury
Janine PendleburyPenn-Llynn Lusitanos, UK

There is no better team to learn form period.

Josh Hewitt
Josh HewittUK

I was initially worried that I wasn’t up to their standard. How nice to find that this wasn’t an issue. Just wonderful

Suzanne Kopp-Moskow
Suzanne Kopp-MoskowIL, USA

Thank you to Luis Valença for all his patience and understanding. He is truly a great Master!

Mestre Luis Valença, … is incredible generous with sharing his knowledge and experience as well as his daughters Sofia and Filipa! And I’m also very, very grateful to all their wonderful horses, who allow me to experience the Portuguese art of riding in all its areas: longeing, work in hand, riding, long reining, pillar work, school jumps and more!

Marijke De JongNetherlands

Day 4 in Portugal… and I did promise a new post every day while I am here!!! Another of Luis Valenca’s beautiful stallions. He presented this horse to us with the mane unbraided, and it literally touched the ground it was so long! Having a great time here in sunny Portugal


I had the great privilage of meeting Mr Luis Valenca earlier this year, he such a nice man, nothing is to much trouble. It made me want to go back to Portugal as soon as possible, fantastic horseman.


We (Sue Nevill-Parker and Sue Spragg) are going to Portugal to ride with Filippa Valenca at the end of January. It is such a privilege to ride her expertly trained horses and we are looking forward to being inspired.

Two of his daughters were our instructors, Sofia Valenca and Filipa Valenca. We rode twice a day over a 10 day period, and the experience was fantastic. Riding a well-trained horse that already knows the movements all the way to Grand Prix is an experience like no other. They were forgiving horses, and even though they were all stallions, they got along well together, and were frequently close enough to touch one another, yet they acted like perfect gentlemen. 

Martha DoddUSA

My stay with the Valenças was incredibly educational with the horses and the learning in focus. A loving atmosphere in which I think everyone can find their place. The happiest of all is perhaps my horse who now has a better rider on its back. Thanks to Sofia, who was my coach, to all of the Valenças and of course to all the horses. I’m so grateful!

Susanna Maier

Hey Sofia!
First of all, we wanted to thank you and Marie and the rest soo much for this week! It was awesome (like the three times I was with you before ;) ), we learned a lot and who didn’t do it before loves Lusitanos now as well. Thank you for your time, the great lessons, your engagement and the effort you put in it. That we could do a “show” in costumes and the fotoshoot afterwards were a highlight for us and a great ending, so – thanks for that as well :)

We had an awesome time and I’m sure we all will come back! I definitely want a fifth week ;)

Now we are driving home and then we will ride our own horses to test our new knowledge on them. If you want, we can let you know how they do ;) 
We wish you a nice day and please greet all the others, especially Louise and Marie and Ines!
See you next time

The germanIcelandic girls