Vitor Silva, a native of Portugal, began his equestrian education at a very young age. Quickly he realized his passion for Classical Dressage. Intuitively he knew that in order to achieve function with lightness and harmony on the ground or under saddle, there needed to be complete understanding between horse and rider. His studies, combined with his great passion for the horse helped him develop a remarkable ability and finesse in communicating with his equine partners with the aim of becoming living art in motion.
Vitor’s training and teaching is grounded in his philosophy that the best teachers are the horses. Whether from in-hand work, under saddle or on long-lines, Vitor teaches his students that while masters or trainers can share their knowledge and explain the technical aspects of riding, each rider must open themselves to feel the horse’s movements, responses and needs. Ultimately, Vitor strives to develop this intuitive feeling in his students so that harmony between horse and rider can be achieved.
Encouraged by his father, family friends, and Master Frank Grelo, and combined with many years of diligently pursuing his passion, Vitor has established himself as an internationally known Master. Recognizing the need for a European Classical Dressage riding school in the United States, Vitor established his first Sons of the Wind School of Equestrian Arts in 1997 in New Hampshire. Due to the increasing number of students and the demand for more services, a much larger farm with more amenities for horse and rider is now located in the rolling hills of Merrimac, MA. In this serene and beautiful four season setting, he provides a European Classical Dressage educational experience for his students. Group lessons and individual instruction is offered for riders from beginning to the highest level of dressage, including recreational to competitive and amateur to professional. The internationally recognized Sons of the Wind 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.
As a pioneer in the industry, Vitor had the vision that the Lusitano would be a great match for the American rider. He was the first to introduce the Lusitano from Brazil to the American equestrian market in the mid 1990’s. He chose the Lusitano due to his culture as well as the Lusitano’s characteristic nobility, athleticism, and undeniable work ethic. The Lusitano was best known for its amazing athleticism as a loyal war horse, and then as a brave, bold mount in the bullring. Today, the modern Lusitano has found its way into many disciplines including dressage.
The Sons of the Wind Farm is the only farm in the US where there are a large number of classically trained horses available for riders and student lessons. Vitor has also established and manages a training and breeding center in Brazil for Lusitanos. There he assesses the talent of the young horses, working with them until they’re around 3 years old. He then carefully selects approx the top 30% who are ready to be brought over to the United States to be trained as schoolmasters for his clinics and performances, his students lesson’s or sold to serious riders.
In addition to his school and onsite training in Massachusetts, Vitor conducts clinics and participates in Classical Dressage performances across the United States.
With his passion for classical dressage, Vitor Silva shares his intuitive horsemanship and his Lusitano schoolmasters with students that include amateur enthusiasts, instructors and competitive riders. Desiring to share his passion and knowledge, Vitor conducts many clinics and forums as well as touring all over the United States to teach and perform in a variety of venues that include universities such as Cornell and the University of Iowa, numerous prominent equine expositions and fairs, and many prestigious private barns and farms as well as Equitana USA and Equine Affaire.
Vitor’s clinics provide riders and trainers with valuable insight and knowledge in many of the basics of classical dressage training that they can start applying at home. The forums and clinics provide high educational value with varied, important topics that include developing the strength of your performance horse through the Pendulum of Elasticity, how simple exercises such as leg yield lead can lead to pirouettes and changes, and the importance of strength training. Other topics may focus on long-lining, lateral work, and tempi changes, as well as how and why to introduce the piaffe /passage progression early in a horses training. These clinics will provide invaluable information that will assist horse and rider as they progress and expand their dressage knowledge.
Vitor’s performances are a truly unique experience of the horse and rider seen in authentic European costume. It is a step back in time where spectators can enjoy a spectacular performance highlighting the most moving and beautiful impressions of Classical Dressage performed by master riders and horses from the Sons of the Wind Farm. Using Vitor’s personally trained and talented Lusitano horses, considered the “Horse of Kings”, riders perform a beautiful dressage test in sync with music and symphonic like movements. Performances include spectacular Aires Above the Ground, the precision of the Upper Level Quadrille and the elegance of the dance with Groundwork on Long Lines. Along with enlightening demonstrations, many performances include a forum for lectures and an opportunity to participate in individualized private lessons with Vitor and your own horse.
In addition to his numerous performances and clinics, Vitor has been a frequent speaker at many conferences that include the NorthEast Horseman Conference. He generously gives his time to perform at fundraisers that include the Ride for Life Breast Cancer Fundraiser, the fundraiser for HorseSense for Special Riders in La Crosse, WI, and several therapeutic riding programs including Windrush, North Andover, MA. Organized by Portuguese Consult and Sons of the Wind Farm, he has hosted the Boston Portuguese Festival at farm in Merrimac for several years. He has been featured in Dressage Today and many other local and national publications. Vitor has been honored as a Citizen of Distinction in 2011 by his home town, Lages, Terceira, Azores and many times by the ABPSL (Brazilian Lusitano Association).