Stylish, dynamic, a warm smile, an engaging manner and totally at ease with himself...
...perfectly describes Portuguese born Paulo Caetano. A remarkable horseman who lives in Portugal on one of his stunning farms in the Alentejo region. He breeds and trains Lusitano horses, rears cattle and teaches dressage riders.
Paulo has a fascinating equestrian story that began as a boy. In contrast to his father, a businessman in Lisbon, Paulo’s passion lay with horses - in particular the Lusitano breed and bullfighting. Nowadays a controversial subject but in the 70’s one of Portugal’s most important sports with bullfighters sharing a similar status to that of the top footballers today. Paulo begun at 12 years and had his first official fight at 14 years old. He proved to be talented and became one of Portugal’s top fighters. Bullfighters that fight from the back of a horse are trained in many classical techniques especially to ride with the tiniest most subtle weight aids. The basis of the classical seat.
Paulo’s early equestrian education was classical. He was extremely fortunate to know some of the greatest modern classical masters such as the Master João Branco Nuncio and Master Nuno de Oliveira - two of the most important classical Equestrian icons in Portugal and in fact worldwide. During the Portuguese revolution in the early 70’s, he trained for several years with The Viscount da Córte and his student João Parreira Cano in classical principles. Since then Paulo has had many other inspirational trainers, he’s always looking to know more believing we can learn something from everything in life.
Nowadays he is very activity involved in International dressage competition and teaching his students. I asked him to tell me more about his thoughts on achieving a balance between classical and modern dressage.