California Riding Magazine • April, 2012

Sierra Nevada Lusitanos
Napa farm welcomes Carlos Carneiro and Classical Equines.

by Marilyn Hite, manager of Sierra Nevada Lusitanos

Sierra Nevada Lusitanos, LLC is delighted to have Carlos Carneiro in Napa as its resident trainer. Carlos is a dedicated and talented classical dressage trainer from Portugal. He has had the amazing opportunity of studying with two of the world's greatest classical dressage masters, Luis Valencia and João Oliveira, the son of the revered Nuno Oliveira. Carlos is adept at progressing young horses through the training levels with classical exactitude. The ultimate goal, of course, is to have a happy, light in the hand, eager to please, healthy horse. Carlos achieves this multifaceted goal by paying particular attention to every training detail, from exercises promoting flexibility and strengthening to those oriented toward cadence and self-carriage.

At our equestrian farm, the young horses have a variety of class work lessons. The horses learn to be lunged on the lunge line and at liberty. They are ground-driven on the trails. They learn to negotiate the obstacles used for Working Equitation competitions. They are ridden out on the trail and into the pond. All these different activities challenge the young horse mind to adapt to its ever-changing human-oriented environment. Our training philosophy is, "The greater the exposure to our world, the safer the horse will be for its future owner."

The farm has had quite a bit of large, noisy farm equipment operating near its training arena this year. Carlos maintained his training program throughout the time period and the young horses took it all in stride like it was no big deal. Certainly, this type of exposure will prepare a young horse to stay focused and calm at a future competition.

Carlos teaches clinics in Portugal, Germany, Austria and the United States. He is an exceptional instructor. He is skilled in getting the best results from the rider and the horse. Patience is a virtue and Carlos has plenty of patience when he is teaching. He is able to convey his instructions and to encourage the rider every step of the way in a positive manner. Carlos recently gave a clinic in Petaluma at Flying Cloud Farm. Allison Mathy, the trainer there, was extremely pleased with Carlos' instruction to all the riders.

In Portugal, Carlos has participated in numerous exhibitions showcasing classical dressage in the traditional Portuguese tack and attire. Here in the United States he was one of the participants giving an exhibition at the World Cup Jumping Finals in Las Vegas. We encourage Carlos to continue giving exhibitions at various venues to promote and showcase the exquisite Lusitano and the breed's Portuguese heritage.

Carlos has an exceptional eye for the correct conformation of the Lusitano horse. He also has a vast knowledge of the Lusitano bloodlines in Portugal. Needless to say, Carlos also knows many of the breeders in Portugal. Our mutual goal is to import quality Lusitanos to the United States. We started importing horses from Portugal in 2011 for re-sale, with all arriving in good health. We will find horses for our clients who wish to purchase horses in Portugal, overseeing all the transportation and quarantine details. We look forward to helping our clients find a perfect Lusitano partner.

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