Dressage School & Training
Sons of the Wind Farm was established in the fall of 1997 by Portugal’s Vitor J. Silva, an internationally known Master. Located in the rolling hills of Merrimac, Massachusetts in scenic New England, the School of Equestrian Arts provides every rider a venue in which to expand their abilities in a progressive manner on equine schoolmasters, many of which perform to the Grand Prix level.
With his passion for classical dressage, Vitor Silva shares his intuitive horsemanship and his finely trained Lusitano schoolmasters with students – from amateur enthusiasts to instructors to competitive riders – who come to the Sons of the Wind Farm from across the United States, and represent a diverse range of interests, and riding disciplines.
Sons of the Wind Farm is a European Classical Dressage School providing a rider the opportunity to experience and understand the correctness of all the movements of classical dressage. The school offers expert training and schooling to horses and riders of all levels.
Along with individual, personalized instruction provided by Master Vitor Silva, three to five day riding packages are available that include formalized training on classical dressage movements, two rides per day and overnight accommodations in an exquisite, Baroque style guest house privately situated on 28 acres of tranquility. Sons of the Wind also operates a full service breeding facility in Brazil for the talented Lusitano breed as it is very important for the growth of the school to keep training horses that are great mounts and prospects for lessons. For the serious rider who is ready to commit to a Lusitano partner, the farm has horses for sale that have been specially prepared and trained in Brazil under Vitor’s guidance and instruction.
Sons of the Wind Legend
Iberian horses were long known for their incredible speed, agility and strength. They were celebrated in Neolithic art, and, as ancient peoples traveled and traded, the fame of these horses spread. The horses became known throughout the world as the Sons of the Wind, although the origins of the name are shrouded in mystery.
One of the oldest stories stems from the Cynetes, ancient people living in what would become the Roman province called Lusitania. The legend says that the Cynetes chose to graze their mares by the side of the River Oceanus, the mythical source of all rivers and streams in the world. On the other side of the river was a mystical and mysterious shore inhabited by gods and other elemental beings. The Cynetes’ mares were not afraid of that dark and dangerous land, so they simply turned their backs against the strong and bitter west wind that blew across the river. Zephyr, the personification of the west wind as the legends say, favored those tough mares and sired them himself. The foals had the strength and courage of their mothers and the speed and agility of their father, making them the true Sons of the Wind. In honor of the ancient Roman name for Portugal, the horses were named Lusitano.
Even without divine intervention, these horses quickly made a name for themselves. The Iberian peninsula was a fertile land and easily accessible by sea, which tempted many invaders. The native people were faced with a great many attacks from across the sea, and the Vikings launched particularly sustained and harsh attacks for several hundred years beginning in the 9th century AD. During the early periods, raids threatened the lives and livelihoods of coastal dwellers. As the Vikings became more confident, they attempted to further expand their presence and move inland.
The Lusitano played a critical role in repelling these invaders. According to legend, the Vikings were quite accustomed to fighting off mounted defenders, but the swift feet of the Lusitanos were more than they could handle. The Iberian horse’s speed allowed defenders to race to whichever village needed protection, and the animal’s strength and stamina let them fight off the invaders even during sustained battles. The Vikings found that their weapons were nearly useless against these amazing horses, whose tireless movements let their riders charge in for an attack and then dance away before the Vikings could retaliate. The Vikings had never seen horses with those abilities before, and it seemed as if they were fighting the wind itself. The invaders returned home in defeat and carried with them stories of horses and riders with magical abilities, capable of traveling huge distances in the blink of an eye and dodging an arrow or sword as if it was nothing at all.
Lusitano’s gained similar prestige through more peaceful activities. The tribes native to the Iberian peninsula formed alliances with various other civilizations, and they traded some of their horses to these other civilizations. Xenophon, the Athenian horseman often considered one of the fathers of dressage, considered Iberian horses to be some of the finest in the world and praised them in his writings. They were highly sought after for chariot racing, and the prowess of Iberian horsemen helped cement a peaceful treaty with Rome, provided the Iberian horsemen would share their knowledge with the Roman cavalry. Some historians believe that the incredible bond between Iberian horses and their riders is at the heart of ancient centaur myths, because the horses were able to move so freely and naturally that they seemed to be unencumbered by a rider. The Lusitano is a breed with an ancient history filled with as much legend as fact, but there’s no question that they still are the Sons of the Wind.
- Ten Broeck Farms Breed Shows Prizelist
- Victor Silva and Sons of the Wind Performing at 2017 Minnesota Horse Expo
- Vitor Silva will be a clinician and Sons of the Wind will be performing at Equine Affair in Columbus, Ohio on April 6th-9th.
- Sons of the Wind is proud to again be named one of Massachusetts’s Farms of Distinction.
- How to Progress Up the Dressage Levels from One Level to the Next
- European Classical Dressage Versus Modern Riding: What are the Differences?
- The Difference between Lusitano and Andalusian Horses