DISCOVER A NEW WAY OF RIDING
Paulo Santos is an international Grand Prix rider, trainer and producer of Lusitano horses.
Originally from Portugal, Paulo owns QRP Dressage Lusitanos in East Sussex where he is based with his wife Georgia.
Alongside international dressage success, Paulo is a highly regarded Working Equitation rider, having represented Portugal internationally in the sport, and now trains the British Development Squad and the team
While he rides and trains all breeds of horse, Paulo has always ridden Lusitanos. “I originally competed in working equitation in Portugal and then in 2004 started dressage.” He explains that the two disciplines are hugely complementary; at lower levels the same horse can readily succeed in both, the main difference being the increased ground coverage required in dressage.
“The Lusitano is like a war horse,” Paulo says. “He always wants to please you and will never say ‘no’.
They are simply born with Piaffe inside them, even those that have more ground cover, and their
engagement and collection is top class.”
"Lusitano horses are built for collection and to ride them to the best of their ability, we need a saddle that lives up to expectations".
START DESIGNING YOUR
Working equitation presents the horse and rider with various obstacles such as the sideways pole, bridge and gate. Paulo trains the Senior and Junior squads at least once a month, around four out of five of whom ride Lusitanos.
“These riders need a saddle that makes them feel safe for speed, and doesn’t make them feel that they need to squeeze their knees and seat,” says Paulo, as he explains the many different asks required of the horse in any particular element; "energy up for the jump, immediate collection afterwards and then straight in to a relaxed walk over the bridge, for example."
This ability to switch your horse ‘on’ and ‘off’ are essential skills needed in a dressage test
as much as on the working equitation course, to help control tension or encourage relaxation
in the free walk, for instance. The saddle plays a big part in this communication, so finding
the right one for horse and rider is imperative.