Brazil, Brazil!

article provided by Summerwind Marchadors

The Mangalarga Marchador (MARCH A DOOR) is Brazil’s National Horse, a national treasure! Bred for centuries to be sound and square, with good bones with Iberian beauty and soft kind eye. The breed is beginning new traditions here in North America attracting many new followers.

Whether you are young or old, competitive or pleasure rider, the Mangalarga Marchador with its docile temperament, willingness to please and versatility may fit your needs and dreams!

The North American Marchador association, the USMMA is the official association and registry for the Mangalarga Marchador breed in North America. The USMMA is affiliated with and recognized by the ABCCMM, the Brazilian organization founded to preserve, regulate, and register the unique bloodlines of this magnificent breed.

In Brazil, Mangalarga Marchadors must pass rigid standards for conformation, gait, performance, and endurance. Often, the North American Marchador horses maintain this dual registry, USMMA with ABCCMM, and the 2 associations work together to share information to help in registrations.

Koyote Libertas, showing the structure, beauty and power of the Marchador. Owned and imported by Summerwind Marchadors. photo: Tamara Gooch

In 2023, the USMMA and the ABCCMM are again working together on several initiatives. One effort is focused on Training. We are learning about riding and training our Marchador horses in the Brazilian way, with two training initiatives happening in Brazil!

In addition to the exchange of training techniques and breed knowledge, Marchadors are FUN! And it’s an opportunity to bask in Brazil’s native warmth, culture and to learn about the Mangalarga Marchador in the country in which the breed was born. “If you really know Brazil, you have seen enough beauty for half a lifetime.”

Training initiative #1 – February 2023

Ulla Hudson was sponsored by Irene Howcroft to study the Mangalarga Marchador under the instruction of Hytalo Bretas, one of the top 5 Mangalarga Marchador trainers in Brazil. It was a very informative, inspiring and compelling experience for her. Hytalo Bretas certified Ulla, reflecting the highest level of knowledge for instruction and training of Marchadors.

Prior to leaving for Brazil, Ulla studied the Marchador and their gaits, so that upon arrival she would have a solid understanding of how they move etc. In her words: “I am absolutely blown away by these horses. They are unlike anything else I have ever ridden or been around.” Hytelo has been impressed by her knowledge of gaited horses and training and has given her undivided full days of attention, instruction, and mountains of information for the entire month she was in Brazil.

Ulla Hudson riding a MM stallion in Brazil. Ulla studied and rode with Hytalo Bretas for the month of February. photo: Poliana Coutinho, Brazil

Like Ulla, Hytalo also uses the principles and techniques of dressage to develop and train his horses. It was an extraordinary experience. Hytelo took Ulla to many ABCCMM shows and invited her to ride the champions of some shows immediately after they were awarded their championships, an acknowledgement of her skill as a rider – a true privilege.

During her month-long stay, Ulla was interviewed for Brazilian MMTV who also aired YouTube videos of her riding. She has gone to many Mangalarga Marchador breeding farms and ridden over 250 horses in all stages of their training from the first-ever ride to fully finished horses. They discussed training methods, development of the gaits (the marcha), differentiation of gaits. They discussed each horse, its conformation, gaits, bloodlines, where it is in its training and what the training protocols will be for the ongoing development of the horse. Ulla has been endorsed by the ABCCMM President of the Development and Foreign Trade Commission as a trainer/instructor.

Ulla is a highly accomplished FEI dressage Gold Medalist in both the United States and Europe. Born in Germany, she has a lifetime of experience with both gaited and non-gaited horses. She is a certified Riding Instructor by the German National Equestrian Federation (German F.N. Trainer “A” license) In addition to her dressage career, she has specialized in breeding, raising, and training Icelandic Horses for over 3 decades. Ulla has a solid understanding of gaited horses: how to differentiate gait, develop gait and gymnastacize a horse using soft hands, balanced seat, as well as seat and leg cues. The result is a well-muscled and balanced horse for any sport and trail riding. She has an impressive depth of knowledge.

MM mare Aria de los Cielos showing in California with owner Alessandra Deerinck. Alessandra loves the versatility of the MM breed and uses her MM in her student lesson program, in parades, in endurance and has tried many other disciplines as well.

Watch for Ulla’s book about her experience in Brazil! Her book will be an informative, fun, and helpful reading for any Marchador rider no matter their experience or skill level, and also for anyone planning on going to Brazil.

Ulla will be offering Marchador clinics, remote riding instruction, classes, and certified trainer courses specifically for Marchador trainers. A portion of the proceeds from the book and the clinics will be donated to a fund for youth riders in the Marchador community.

We now have another specialized deeply knowledgeable Marchador trainer in the United States available for riders of any skill level wanting to understand and develop the gaits of their Marchadors and also for owners with young untrained horses to develop both their skills and their Mangalarga Marchador horses to full potential.

Tresa Smith, one of the pioneer importers and breeders of Marchadors to the US, riding her imported stallion Tabatinga Monitor alongside Tabatinga Jobim in MT. Tresa has a working cattle ranch in MT and imported Marchadors for that purpose.

Training initiative #2 – November 2023

The USMMA, working with the ABCCMM will offer a Brazilian schooling opportunity for 10 days in November. The trainers will receive the same ABCCMM course and certification as is offered in Brazil. Long days of riding and learning will be capped off by the year-end national competition to determine the champion Marchador of the year in gaited classes. Other side trips to the Mangalarga Marchador museum and to the historic cities and farms of Brazil are planned as well.

The class is open to all trainers of USMMA breeders and also outside gaited trainers so that the North American knowledge base continues to grow.

The ABCCMM is sponsoring the class for up to 6 people with the USMMA providing a subsidy for food and lodging. The students need only to pay for the airline ticket to get to Brazil.

We believe the two initiatives complement each other and will provide a broader base of knowledge of Brazil and the Mangalarga Marchador.

The Association

Our commitment to the Mangalarga Marchador and to continued learning is strong!

You don’t need to own a Marchador horse to join the association. If you love horses, train horses or dream about owning a Marchador one day, you can become a member.

To learn more about this wonderful breed, visit the association website at