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Horse Riding School

Since its founding, the AEJC has remained faithful to its formative function in a playful, pedagogical and social perspective, always aiming to fulfill its mission "to love Portugal for riding".
Riding lessons meet this objective and target young people and adults alike. From the Volteio to the classes of Sela, fulfilling the Program of Training of Practitioners of the FEP-Portuguese Equestrian Federation. Here you can start a learning process and then evolve by doing SELA EXAMS (from saddle 1 to saddle 9) and if you want to choose a competition mode. There is also space here to participate in the public exhibitions prepared by this Academy.

Saddle Exams

The "Saddles" are the official designation of the different levels of technical competence of the practitioner, with 9 levels ranging from Sadlle 1 to Saddle 9. The first cycle is complete with Saddle 4 (brass stirrup). After completing this 1st cycle the rider is able to enter official competitions, if he so wishes. The Saddle Exams allow students to systematize learning, set goals and achieve them. They also allow to deepen the knowledge in areas that go beyond equestrian practice, such as handling (handling and treatment of horses, harnesses and installations) and theory (equestrian doctrine, ministered according to needs, before, during and after the equestrian practice exercises).The examinations carried out in the AEJC comply with the POPE - Official Program of Riding Practitioners of the FEP, since it is a Training and Examination Academy accredited by the FEP and the ENE, which has accredited technicians to carry out the evaluations. From Saddle 4 the FEP appoints an external judge who will be the President of the Jury.

Ponys Club / Dressage Trophy Ponys

The Ponys Club represents AJC's commitment to training children from four to twelve years of age. In the Pony Club, children can learn, playing, the basic principles of riding and, later, evolve to the modality of their preference. The coordination belongs to the Monitor Gonçalo Onofre, with the support of Bernardo Baptista, who in a cheerful and relaxed atmosphere motivate their small students to deal better and better with the "miniature horses".


The J Cardiga Academy prepares athletes and horses for this discipline. The school has accredited technicians and horses taught, for the various degrees of competition, that allow the evolution of the students.

The Teaching or Dressage has its origin in the French word dresser, which means "to train", is one of the three Olympic equestrian modalities, regulated by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI). The general purpose of the dressage is to assist the horse to develop, through various exercises, the ability to perform all its natural movements, making it a flexible, calm animal, attentive to the rider and therefore pleasant to ride. The elegance and beauty of Dressage made this equestrian discipline known as "ballet on horseback".

Contrary to what one might initially think, practicing Dressage goes mainly by training the rider more than the horse implying a deep understanding between both. Some more important movements are: Extension - The horse lengthens the extension of the stride, seeming to float. Much appreciated when run on the trot. Side movements - The horse usually finds himself walking forward and swings moving to the side. Pirouette to Gallop - The horse rolls over its inner hind limb, completing a circle. This movement is extremely complex and difficult to execute. Piaffer - The horse trots without leaving the place. Between the exchange of limbs, the horse must rise completely from the ground. Passage - It's a slow jog that the horse does in a straight line. The rider must control the speed employed by the horse.


The Adapted Horse Riding is one of the valences of Equitation with Therapeutic Purposes, whose objectives are mainly ludic and / or sporting, thus becoming in the Paradressage. The maximum exponent of the discipline is reached in the Paralympic Games (athletes with motor deficiency). In this discipline, all the resources are used that the formal equitación disposes (learning to mount, to clean horses, to prepare, ...) as a way to develop abilities necessary for the autonomy of the individuals. It is used for people with physical limitations of different levels, who have at least some capacity of interaction with the environment. The team is formed by Riding Coaches and health technicians with training in this area. At the João Cardiga Academy, the training sessions are often held together with students of general riding since the objective is to promote the interaction and integration of different people and also the decrease of prejudices in relation to them.

In 2014, the AEJC made the public presentation of a team consisting of six elements, called CARDIGA PARADRESSAGE TEAM.

Work Equitation

The Work equitation is an equestrian modality based on the traditional riding of each country, maintaining and conserving its different traditions, namely in the use of the traditional harness and harnesses. It was designed to highlight the type of "hill" used in the different strands of field work.

In 1997, the Second European Horse Riding Championship was organized. In addition to the founding countries (Italy with the "maremenhos", France with the "caballero camargueses" and Spain with the "cowgirl dressage"), participation of Portugal with the riders of the Traditional Portuguese Riding. (in site FEP), being the Lusitano horse is the most appreciated for this discipline.

This is the discipline that is in the DNA of the founder of the Academy - João Cardiga - who did his first test in 1994. João Pedro Cardiga continued for some years, followed by several students. After an interruption the discipline is resumed in 2015, having in the year 2017 won the regional championship center and the regional championship of "Moita".


The objectives are specific neuromotor and priority with regard to the process of rehabilitation of the individual. It is a clinically oriented approach that is conducted by health professionals with the support of riding instructors and horses trained for this purpose. The aim is to extract contributions from rehabilitation through horse movement rather than equestrian education (FRDI cit APPC, 2003). This discipline is indicated for individuals with severe limitations and with little capacity of interaction with the surroundings and marks the social and therapeutic conscience as a priority for those in charge of the AJC. Autism, Down Syndrome, muscular dystrophy and neurodegenerative diseases are among the pathologies that can be followed by this modality. In this valence it is obligatory that the accompaniment of the students is done by a physiotherapist of the institution.

Adapted Equitation

The objectives are leisure and competition. The coach in charge is the Riding Coach. In this approach, coach and rider work to develop equestrian skills in order to encompass a variety of situations such as leisure, fitness, solidification of self-esteem and competitive spirit (FRDI cit APPC, 2003).

Therapeutic horse riding

Psychomotor objectives are referred to, more directed to specific needs of the educational, psychological or cognitive area. Here you can see progress in learning riding. The responsible person is the health technician (psychomotrician) who works in close partnership with all those involved in the rehabilitation process (educators, psychologists and therapists) in the sense of goal setting (FRDI cit APPC, 2003).

Main benefits: Neuromotors; Emotional; Cognitive; Language; Social

Special Olympics Equitation

"Let me win, but if I can not win, let me brave the challenge"

Sport equestrian activity dedicated to people with intellectual disabilities. The athletes compete according to their level, being evaluated by a group of technicians in the first phase of the competition, called Divisionning. Subsequently, each athlete will take a test, a type of gymkhana, called Work Trail. This method allows the participation of all athletes.

These tests offer athletes the opportunity to realize their potential through a sporting activity that provides benefits at the level of self-realization and allows a greater insertion in the family and social structure. The AEJC hosts this type of competition since 2012, with the organization of the 1st National Championship SOE (Special Olympics Riding). Since then, the competitions have assumed a regular character throughout the Country.

Horse Colonies on holidays

Children and youngsters' holiday program, from 7 to 14 years old, to be held during Easter and summer holidays, based on riding activities, with the objective of providing participants with the development of their potential by teaching behavior, such as "helping, accepting to be helped, accepting one's limitations and respecting the limitations of others."

It is an external colony, ludic-pedagogic, which promotes multiple activities, from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. The activities are based on the basic riding course from initiation to Saddle 4 and include all horse and pony management. The program also includes some complementary activities, for example; horseback riding, gincanas and Initiation to Chess.

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