Cork for horses

news: Cork for horses

“It’s great for putting a spring in your step!” exclaims Bev Gibbons from Pinetrees Riding Centre, Almancil, referring to a recent link with wine company, WineMine, based in Silves Gare. Actually, she is not referring to an alcoholic tipple, but to the corks that WineMine collects to top up the riding arena at the school.

Riding for the Disabled in the Algarve works in the arena with up to 34 children and young adults each week from September to June, offering either riding therapy in a group or hippotherapy in an individual session with a therapist.

The arena surface is natural sand with wood chip and makes an excellent riding surface, but it needs topping up with more wood chip or cork as it gradually compresses. This time of year is ideal for corks to be added to the arena as the inter rains help to break them down. A light springy surface also makes work much easier for the volunteers, who willingly help the disabled obtain great benefit from riding, which combines recreation with enjoyable therapy.

If you are able to contribute, please bring your corks to the WineMine warehouse in Silves Gare, which is open from 9.30am to 1pm, Monday to Friday, and help to fill their full size wine barrel as many times as possible. We will let you know each time the barrel is filled! Every time you donate some corks you will be given a ticket entering you into a free draw for some delicious wines. The winning ticket will be drawn on Saturday December 11 and the winner will be notified.

The RDA association is funded solely by donations and an increasing demand means that difficult decisions have to be made as to whom should benefit from their help. Volunteers to lead the horses and support the less able riders are always needed. If you would like to help raise funds or become a much-needed volunteer, please contact Rosemary Owen on 964 027 677. To contact WineMine, telephone 282 441 036 or email [email protected]