When first meeting Jorge you are immediately struck by the quietness in his body and humility of attitude, which stems from a complete sense of calm confidence and relaxation. The instructions to his pupils are delivered in a quiet, steady fashion with split second timing and the results are almost immediately apparent. As you spend more time with Jorge his sense of humour and fun become more apparent, a very real part of the pleasure that he derives from teaching and being around horses.
These are just a few of the reasons that he has been coming back to South Africa for over 12 years and running clinics every 3 to 4 months. Regular riders on the clinics include Andrea Harrison Buchmann, Alexa Bisschops, Lynnette Byrne, Claudia Privato, Liz Hickman, Michelle Van Niekerk, Peter & Elizabeth Muller and Riette Oosthuizen to name but a few. Asking a few of the riders why they enjoy riding with Jorge, received comments like: his natural empathy and understanding with the horses; his patience with explaining things to the riders, sometimes over and over again; his openness to try new things when something isn’t working; the wealth and depth of knowledge that he draws from to help a horse and rider through any given situation, his willingness to get onto difficult horses if the rider requests the assistance and his attention to the smallest details regarding the rider’s posture and the application of the aids, which have maximum impact in the responsiveness and balance of the horse.
As if the above isn’t enough, upon taking a closer look at Jorge and his life, we realize why he is so popular and been running his clinics for so long in SA. Not wanting to bore you with details, I have kept this section very brief, as it is purely a testament to his knowledge and experience; it is the man himself who carries the passion and empathy that makes him such a talented rider and trainer.
Jorge started riding at the age of 9 in the Portuguese Equestrian Society (SHP). It is important to realize that, with the exception of Vienna, Portugal is probably the only country where the concept of court riding has been upheld from its sixteenth century origins: where young men are brought up to consider and pursue equitation as an art form.
Around this time the Portuguese School of Equestrian Art (EPAE) came into existence and caught the young Jorge’s interest in Classical Dressage. He trained with numerous exceptional Portuguese trainers and learnt much about Classical Dressage as well as developing his knowledge of traditional Portuguese Equestrian Culture.
Jorge learnt and trained under a master when he became Nuno Oliviera’s protégé for 8 years and has continued in the same vein, riding and training with the legendary Kyra Kyrklund.
We hope that the subsequent articles from Jorge will give you some of the same pleasure and knowledge as riding with him would.
My favourite refrain from the last clinic was “No problem, just do it again please”, “No pressure”, ”Make it easy for him” and “Let him dance”
I think that says it ALL!!!
Article by Mandy Schroder
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