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Valença equestrian academy online membership


These 11 videos are all you need to get started with the Valenca method. You will learn how to develop a language with your horse and give him the foundations he needs to progress through the levels without unnecessary stress.


Follow us in our daily and weekly work with our 70 Lusitano stallions. Meet our team, our young horses, our schoolmaster horses, and our show horses. You’ll feel right at home!


Premium content with step-by-step video instructions on how to teach and perform various exercises to help you on your journey with your horse. From starting a young horse to teaching shoulder-in and half-pass, to improving canter, piaffe, passage, and more!


We will add new videos every week with tips, exercises, solutions to common problems and more.

More than 100 videos p/year. Uploaded every week!


Entertainment for everyone!
Watch behind the scenes at Centro Equestre da Leziria Grande and come with us to shows, Lusitano breeders, veterinary practices & more.


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Where everyone should start

11 valença method introduction videos

Learn the foundations of the Valença Method – the classical art and technique of dressing your horse – that has been developed over 60 years by Master Luis Valença and his family.

3 videos

First steps in the horse’s journey


PART 01 – [00:16:40] :
– First contact with the horse
– Importance of grooming and touching
– Gaining the horse’s trust

PART  02 – [00:14:55] :
– Developing a language that horse can understand
– Teaching the first codes through body language, the voice, the lunge, the lunging whip

PART 03 – [00:13:30] :
– Developing balance, contact, & rhythm in the 3 gaits
– The beginning of an athlete

2 videos

Ground work


PART 01 – [00:19:11] :
– Reinforcement of what he learned in previous lessons
(1st steps in the horse’s journey part 1,2,3)
– Contact
– Rhythm
– Balance
– Top line

PART  02 – [00:18:36] :
– Flexibility work
– The importance of starting the lateral work
– Exercises in hand
– Introduction of new codes – the touches of the whip

2 videos

In hand work


PART 01 – [00:15:48] :
– Beginning the work in hand
– Tips for the ground person

PART  02 – [00:22:04] :
– Continuing work in hand
– Tips for the groundperson

3 videos

Exercises for the young horse


PART 01 – [00:08:57] :
– Transferring the in handwork to the ridden work

PART  02 – [00:20:12] :
– Basic exercises for young horses to develop balance and rhythm

PART 03 – [00:19:52] :
Introducing more advanced exercises to young horses

1 video

Canter work


Exercises to supple and strengthen the canter at different levels


What Customers say about is...

Thanks to the Valenca method I have significantly increased my knowledge of in-hand and ridden techniques.  Each training session is packed with useful hints and tips. I have been incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to work a variety of horses at different stages of their training; something I could never do at home.  My questions have been clearly answered and the trainers are patient and skilled communicators. I am able to practice until I thoroughly understand what I am doing and what I need to look for in the horse before going home.  All of this gives me confidence with my own horse when I am teaching him something new because I know where I need to get to and I know how to get there.

I really get the feeling that the teachers at CELG love what they are doing.  They want to teach me and want me to learn.  They want me to ask lots of questions and It’s OK to get it wrong because I get the chance to put it right.  I really do learn from my mistakes in a positive way. It’s a very stimulating but safe environment to learn in.

Every time I go home, I feel motivated and encouraged.  I practice on my own horse and get the same results with him as I do with the horses at CELG so I know what I am doing is correct. 

Each new movement we teach the horse, either in-hand or ridden, is clearly explained both in terms of the aids which have to be given, the gymnastic benefits to the horse and how it fits in with movements which come later in the training.  In particular understanding how each movement influences another movement which might not be taught until months or years later is very enlightening. I can’t think of any other places in the world where you could gain this insight.  

Fiona Horton

My riding and training experience has been mostly with thoroughbreds.  Between galloping racehorses on the track, starting horses and riding jumping and polo horses - my seat and leg were iron strong - and I was known as somebody who could handle difficult horses.

But somehow, I knew that the horses weren’t difficult - perhaps I was making them difficult?
Finding the Valenca Method changed my life.

Suddenly, I was challenged to re-learn my balance and my thoughts about what my horses were capable of.
But I was an accomplished rider and re-learning was difficult - and trainers teaching other trainers can often be cruel.

Valenca method changed everything.  Changed the way I approached the horse, the way I thought about riding and changed what I could accomplish as a rider and trainer. Today, I have horses in my program that I have produced - riders we are producing that are calm, happy and flexible both mentally and physically. The horses have less soundness issues, less neurotic behaviours and better attitudes than I ever thought possible.

Riding with the Valenca family has been a joy.  I’m reminded to laugh and to enjoy the horses and to learn to feel what they offer. It’s interesting to know that through this positive reinforcement, I’m better disciplined as a rider and horse person - because Valenca Method is not about force.

The exercises are logical, structured and rooted in 100’s of years of knowledge. Both the rider and the horse are treated with kindness and an expectation that they can both be elegant.

Joel Dunlap

I have been fortunate to attend the Valença’s riding establishment in Portugal, as well as ride with Sofia Valença and Goncalo Linhas when they have travelled to Australia to perform their clinics.

During the last few years, it’s been very exciting to train under the Valença Method. This quite Classical way of training offers fabulous exercises that are extremely encouraging for the horse. Instilling within the rider the need to achieve suppleness, balance and rhythm through all levels.

Organizing Clinics in my local area with Sofia and  Goncalo, I  see first-hand the impact their training has on a variety of different riders and horses. The atmosphere is always welcoming and inspiring. Participants have always given positive feedback, excited to keep up their newly learned skills.

No matter what level the rider is currently training, whether it be introductory to Grand Prix, from my experience, everyone gets fantastic value and confidence from Sofia’s and Gonçalo’s skilled knowledge base. Their high level of professionalism and desire to see participants excel means they give 100% encouragement at each lesson. However, sometimes its not all serious!!, there are a few laughs thrown in along the way.

I have found my training with Sofia is easily understood, she is fluent in a number of languages, for me her English is excellent. The changes in my 2 horses has been exciting. My passion is classical Dressage and Working Equitation, which has been supported in a kind reassuring manner by Sofia and Goncalo. Their positive attitude instills belief in myself that I can achieve my goals. With their help both my horses have become highly competitive and successful in my chosen fields, both now National champions.

Not everyone can travel to Portugal to ride the Valença’s wonderful school masters, but they have had the fortitude to provide clients with access to clinics, live on-line training and remote private internet lessons which allows riders to keep their training alive.

Sandy Langsford