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The Colonial Trail Ride …..  and its Living Legend; The Mangalarga Marchador Horse, Brazil

Discover Colonial Brazil and one of its most precious national horse breeds

P info

Practical information:

Good to know before you go

Riding level:

Suitable for intermediate to experienced riders. You should be confident on a horse at all paces. The pace is varied to include walk, trot, and canter.

Group Size:

Minimum 05 riders

Maximum 12 riders


Riders weight limit: 100 Kg

(please inform if your weight is over a 100kg, so we can find the right animals for you)


  • Horses: Mangalarga Marchador purebred, beautiful and responsive gaited horses. Scroll down for full info about the breed.

  • Saddles: Brazilian/Australian style saddles.

  • Average time in the Saddle per day: 6 hours.

  • Sanitary & Accommodation: based on double & triple rooms |comfortable.

  • International Passport: Required

  • Visa: most European and South American citizens do not need a visa to travel to Brazil. Citizens from the USA, Canada, Australia and Japan need a visa for Brazil. Contact a Visa Agent or Brazilian Consulate/Embassy in your country for more info.Other countries; Contact the Brazilian Consulate/Embassy in your country for more info and to check whether you need a visa.

  • Guides: professional and multilingual guides – Tripleader: Paul or Simon.

  • Vaccinations: not mandatory but recommended (consult your physician)

  • Gateway: Fly in and out of Guarulhos International Airport of São Paulo (Airport code: GRU)

Are you alone?

Do not worry, you can individually register/book and join in a group with other riders. Most participants are people who register individually and may just like you, not know the other riders in your group. Since everyone has the same points of interest (horseback riding, nature, travel, culture) there is always a good atmosphere and understanding among the participants. Participants come from all corners of the world, so you can be part of a group with riders from the United Kingdom, Belgium, Spain, France, Sweden, Canada, USA, Australia, and many others countries. Your friends are suddenly so much more international! :) A standard group consists of 5 to 12 riders. In general there are as many female as male participants.


The Meals: 

Brazil has a rich cuisine. The country is a mixture of European, Indian, African and Asian cultures and is reflected in the way the Brazilians cook. Especially the Italian and African cuisines have great influence on Brazilian cuisine.  Not only the population is mixed, also their habits and customs. Already well before Europe spoke about fusion cuisine, Brazil was combining ingredients found from different continents to a new, typical Brazilian cuisine. They also often serve dishes from different countries on one table.

The Brazilian cuisine is very good, varied and serves many naturally made dishes. The main dishes are mostly rice and beans (Feijão) and sauces, with lots of meat or fish and salads. From region to region one has its own traditional dishes. Along the coast you will find more fish and shrimp dishes. Very popular is the Churrasco  = Brazilian BBQ. Minas Gerais were the trail ride is taking place is known for serving the best diches in the country and for making the best Cachaça = a Brazilian sugarcane brandy. In this part of Brazil you can drink water from the tap and eat without problems fresh vegetables, fruit and ice cream.


The maximum allowable weight of your luggage depends from airline to airline. Check with the airline or travel agent how many kilograms and pieces of luggage you can take. Your personal luggage is transported during the trek to the various stopovers.


Brazil has not always the best reputation for safety and crime. This is primarily and almost exclusively in large cities such as Rio de Janeiro.  Our ride passes through the quiet country side where there is no need to worry at all!


No worries, local trip leader Paul is fluent in 6 languages and will help and translate with pleasure where needed. Trips are always fun as we all speak the same equestrian language.


There are no vaccinations required/compulsory and there is no malaria in this part of Brazil. Recommended vaccinations however are Yellow Fever & Hepatitis B. In case of illness or an accident, we will take you to a good hospital or doctor.

travel gear...

  • Valid international passport 

  • Travel insurance

  • Pocket money (you can change money on arrival at the airport)

  • A sweater and a jacket

  • 4 to 5 T-shirts or shirts. long-sleeved shirt is best.

  • Riding pants or jeans

  • Boots/riding shoes, with mini-chaps or long chaps.

  • A second pair of shoes for the evening

  • Swimsuit/bikini/shorts

  • Slippers/sandals

  • Comfortable summer clothing

  • Hat

  • One towel

  • Toiletries

  • Sun Cream

  • Anti-mosquito spray / lotion


* It is recommended to put your luggage in travel bag instead of a hard suitcase. 12 bags are easier to get in the backup vehicle than 12 suitcases.  (thanks!).


travel insurance:

We request you take a travel Insurance. Ask your local insurance company or travel agent about it. You will not be allowed to participate at the “Entre Orejas” riding holiday program without having a Personal Travel & Medical Insurance. Your insurance details will be requested on arrival.

trip cancellation insurance recommended:

In order to protect yourself against unforeseen circumstances interfering with your “Entre Orejas” vacation, we demand that you purchase trip cancellation insurance. You can use any travel insurance company you are comfortable with.

release agreement:

The “Entre Orejas” guests are required to sign a release agreement at the time of check-in. This is mandatory and guests cannot participate in the tour without signing the release agreement (all moneys paid are non-refundable). Please feel free to read the release agreement prior to your arrival: please download the form here. Parents or legal guardians of minor children are required to sign the release agreement on their children’s behalf. Please direct all questions to the office.



  • Currency: 

The Brazilian currency is the REAL. = R$.
Cash dispensers can be found in all towns and cities. In the cities, you can pay with credit cards. (Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, American Express ).

  • The Electricity and plugs:

  • Mobile phone:  In towns and villages there is mobile phone coverage everywhere. On most farms/pousada where we will spend the night there is phone coverage.

  • Internet: in cities, villages there is everywhere Internet access. On most places where we will spend the night there is wi-fi.

During the European  summer time it is 5 hours earlier in southern Brazil than in Europe.

During the European wintertime it is 3 hours earlier in southern Brazil than in Europe.

  • General info about Brazil: Wikipedia:

  • Rules: We are not so much into rules, but we reserve the right to refuse service to any individual who jeopardizes the health, safety and welfare of any of our guests, staff, family & community members, animals & livestock, or who refuses to follow the rules we have established for your safety and welfare during your visit with us.


We will do everything possible to follow the indicated itinerary, although spot changes can occur due to unforeseen circumstances. Rides are subject to change depending on weather, location and difficulty of terrain  In the unlikely event that this happens on your trip, we ask you flexibility and understanding. This is a sporty and adventurous vacation!

The Mangalarga Marchador Horse

The American continent reports the highest total number of horses in the world. This due to 4 horse crazy countries; The United States With an approximate 9,500,000 horses, followed by Mexico 6,260,000 horses, Brazil 5,787,249 horses and Argentina (3,655,000). Brazil has different own horse breeds, such as the Criollo (Crioulo in Portuguese), the Pantaneiro, Campolina, Pampa, Nordestino, the Mangalarga and the Mangalarga Marcahador.

The Mangalarga Marchador is a horse breed native to Brazil. There are over 500,000 registered Mangalarga Marchador horses in that country, in addition to those registered abroad. An Iberian breed descended from Portuguese Lusitano stallions and Barb mares, they are valued for their beauty, intelligence, disposition and smooth gaits. Mangalarga Marchadors have four gaits: walk, canter and two natural, ambling gaits—the diagonal batida and the lateral picada. They are noted for their endurance and versatility in a number of disciplines.

Breed characteristics:

The Mangalarga Marchador is a medium-sized breed with a silky coat, prominent withers, deep chest, a proportionately-long back, muscular hindquarters, a sloping croup and hard hoofs. Not all coat colours are accepted for registration - appaloosa for example is not. For stallions the ideal height is 152 centimetres (15.0 hands; 60 in), with a range for registration from 147 centimetres (14.2 hands; 58 in) to 157 centimetres (15.2 hands; 62 in). The ideal height for mares is 146 centimetres (14.1 hands; 57 in), ranging from 140 centimetres (13.3 hands; 55 in) to 154 centimetres (15.1 hands; 61 in). Its head is triangular in shape with a straight profile, large nostrils, ears pointing slightly inwards and large, expressive eyes. Stallions have a slight crest on their neck.


The breed is smooth-gaited, with two natural intermediate speed ambling gaits, called marcha; the marcha batida, where the feet move diagonally, in a manner similar to a fox trot, and the marcha picada, a four-beat lateral gait, similar to a stepping pace or singlefoot. The picada, which means "light touch" in Portuguese, is usually the smoother of the two, because the lateral movement creates little vertical momentum, and is similar to the paso llano of the Peruvian Paso. Conversely, batida means "to hit", and that gait is similar to the trocha gait of the Paso Fino.

On level ground at a normal speed, the Mangalarga Marchador will overstep slightly; in other words, the hind hoofprints will cover (or slightly pass) the front hoofprints. The marcha is said by breed aficionados to be comfortable to ride. The Mangalarga Marchador does not trot or pace, moving from the marcha into a canter.

History & Origin

Francisco Gabriel Junqueira, Baron of Alfenas, began breeding his imported Lusitano to the mares on his farm (primarily Barbs, along with other breeds brought to Brazil when it was colonized). The result was a smooth-gaited, attractive horse which the baron called Sublime.

Junqueira sold some of the Sublimes to a friend who had a farm in Paty do Alferes, Rio de Janeiro. The farm's name was Mangalarga, and the owner rode Sublimes to and from Rio de Janeiro. In Rio, people noticed the smooth-gaited, attractive Sublimes and began calling them Mangalargas. Breeders and researchers note that until at least 1910, most ranchers involved in the breed's development (especially Junqueira Family members) followed the baron's recommendations to fix the breed's marching gait, hardiness, endurance, health and temperament.

Breed split

In 1934, the Mangalarga Breeders Association was created. Its founders wanted to establish a clear direction for breeding and define the breed's function and desired characteristics (particularly the intended gait). They had largely achieved objectives dating back to 1812-1816, when a number of breeders moved from Minas Gerais (where the breed originated) to São Paulo. They had introduced bloodlines from several non-gaited horse breeds, including the (Arabian, Anglo-Arabian, Thoroughbred, Lusitano and the American Saddlebred. These crosses were intended to adapt the Mangalarga to the local topography, with a minimal loss of gait smoothness. This blood remains in only a few female lines of the Mangalarga Marchador.

Friction developed between those who wanted to maintain the breed's original objectives and those defending the new type. The Mangalarga Breeders Association closed its stud book in 1943, nine years after its foundation. A group of breeders who disagreed with this decision met in 1948 and founded the Association Mangalarga Marchador, which became the ABCCMM. Although separate breed organizations exist for the Mangalarga and the Mangalarga Marchador and the breeds have different bloodlines and conformation, their roots are similar.

To unite differing factions and create a new stud book, the breeders turned to Geraldo Carneiro. Carneiro, a veterinarian and zoologist, was a friend and neighbor of the governor of Minas Gerais and future Brazilian president Juscelino Kubitschek and helped found a new breed association to preserve the original Marchador horse. The breeders met in Caxambu (where a Mangalarga Marchador museum is located); among those present were Joaquim Fernandes Braga (superintendent of the Minas Gerais Animal Production Department and Secretary of Agriculture, Industry, Trade and Labor) and personnel from the federal Ministry of Agriculture.


With more than 500,000 horses registered, the ABCCMM is the largest registry of any type in Minas Gerais. Europe has the greatest population of Mangalarga Marchador horses outside Brazil.

The MMHAA (Mangalarga Marchador Horse Association of America) was the first and original USA breed registry. Founded in 2000, it began importing foundation Mangalarga Marchador horses in 2001-2004. An ABCCMM affiliate association, the US Mangalarga Marchador association (USMMA), was created in 2004. USMAA became the official registry of horses foaled in North America; some have dual registration with the Brazilian ABCCMM. With about 250 Mangalarga Marchadors registered with the USMMA, the breed has been featured on the Rick Lamb Show, RFD-TV, HorseTV and Horse Talk TV. Under the MMHAA organization, the first appearance was at Equitana 2001, they appeared in the 2002 Tournament of Roses Parade, performed in the 2002 Fiesta of the Spanish Horse in Burbank CA, at the Western States Horse Expo in Sacramento and Equine Affaire in Pomona, California, the Southern National Exposition in Perry, Georgia and Equitana in Lexington, Kentucky. There are Marchador breeders and owners in a number of U.S. states, and in 2007 the breed was introduced to Canada.



We will do everything possible to follow the indicated itinerary, although spot changes can occur due to unforeseen circumstances. Rides are subject to change depending on weather, location and difficulty of terrain  In the unlikely event that this happens on your trip, we ask you flexibility and understanding. This is a sporty and adventurous vacation!

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