The Pedro Torres Academy of Working Equitation, U.S.A. is built on the time-honored traditions of the great Equestrian Academies of Europe. Thus, there are certain expectations that might seem unusual to residents of North America who are less familiar with the formality expected of European Equestrian Academies.
To help ensure a positive experience for all, we share the following basic expectations:
- During all Academy sessions, riders should be in full Show Attire, exactly what they would wear to compete in.
- During all Academy sessions, horses are to be show groomed, exactly as they would be for a competition. This means neatly braided or roached manes and braided or mud-knotted tails for those breeds/disciplines for which this is appropriate.
- Nuno enjoys teaching all levels of riders, but all students should have a solid understanding of each of the obstacles and the dressage tests they will be riding prior to coming to work with him. Nuno’s focus is on the training of horse and rider to help them excel in competition. Returning students are expected to come with a written description of what they have been working on since the previous session and specific goals for the session in which they are about to ride.
- Academy sessions are intended to be private and formal sessions between Nuno and his students. Nuno will focus his instruction on the students he is working with at a given moment rather than on lecturing those observing the lessons.
- Academy sessions are intensive and challenging for both horses and riders. Thus, riders should expect to spend no more than 50 minutes riding in their individual sessions. When they are not riding, students are expected to attentively watch the other students in their lessons, and trying to learn from the instruction taking place. Thus, chatting and “phone time” should be limited to breaks and evenings.
- When riders are broken into groups for group instruction, riders and horses should be organized by similar level so that those riding together are appropriately working on similar skills.
- Each event will have a designated photographer, who will focus on capturing images that highlight the quality of the education process and the participation of a variety of riders and horses. All photos MUST be screened by Nuno for quality before being shared (the work of the Academy is being watched by those involved in the sport world-wide, and it is important that we all do our part to ensure that images from our events honor Pedro’s legacy).
- Academy students are expected to participate in Working Equitation competitions whenever possible. When they do compete, Nuno would like to have his students send photos and updates to him at PTAcademyUSA@gmail.com or via Facebook Messenger. It is important to Nuno that his students stay in contact with him in between sessions. He values your photos and questions.
Keep in mind that Nuno founded the Academy to honor his mentor and friend, the great Pedro Torres. Pedro follows Academy students and activities very closely. Both when Nuno is here providing instruction and when he is back in Europe in between Academy sessions, he and Pedro are in near-constant contact, discussing the progress students are making, and conferring on approaches to help ensure that all students continue to progress. All Academy students are expected to ride with Pedro in at least one lesson once they have progressed to the Advanced level.
Maybe not one set of eyes might be devoted to the instructor. Keep in thoughts a caring teacher is a strong instructor.