About Us

About Us | Riding for the Disabled BarlaventoThe Riding for Disabled Barlavento (Associação de Equitação Adaptada Barlavento) is a voluntary, non-profit making organisation dedicated to making a real and lasting difference to the lives of disabled people, enabling them to ride in order to improve their health, well-being and to achieve new goals.

There are three sessions per week on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning. Each session can accommodate a maximum of 4 riders per session, and a session may last up to one and half hours. The age range of the riders is from 6 years to 50+ years. The helpers (volunteers) are of all ages but are mainly of retirement age. However, we welcome volunteers of any age and training will be provided. If you are interested in helping please refer to the Contact page of our website.

About Us | Riding for the Disabled BarlaventoMost riders requires three helpers (horse leader and side walkers) which may require between 8 and 12 helpers present at any one session. Each session is conducted by a fully qualified riding instructor who has attended specialist riding for the disabled training at Wrexham in England. Some sessions have in attendance a fully qualified physiotherapist and qualified Hippotherapst whom we sent to the UK on three occasions for specialist RDA Hippotherapy training at the Riding for Disabled Diamond Centre. The cost of the courses and air fares etc. were funded out of the money we raise.

The NECI school in Praia de Luz, the Santo Amaro home in Lagos and the Autistic Wing of the Escola E B 2,3 De Algoz are the three establishments from which we currently take students. Ten students come from NECI, six from Santo Amaro and six from Algoz. The riding school and facilities used is Quinta do Paraiso Alto, Bensafrim which is a registered riding establishment.

About Us | Riding for the Disabled BarlaventoHorse riding is particularly beneficial for pupils who have profound and multiple learning difficulties, as it provides a multi-sensory experience which is hard to replicate in any other environment. Apart from the physical benefits, parents, teachers and health professionals have been amazed by the other skills that a riding session can build on, such as numeracy, spelling and listening as well as problem-solving skills.

We undertake pre-assessments on all students to ensure that riding is appropriate, and their parent or guardian must give their consent. We also require a signed authority from their medical doctor stating that they are safe to mount and ride a horse.

About Us | Riding for the Disabled BarlaventoIf you feel you would like to volunteer (no experience is necessary) please contact the relevant telephone number or email address on our Contact page. Additional information can be found in our Welcome Letter (PDF).


Latest News

CANCELLED Special Olympics Qualifier - March 20th

In light of the current situation we would like to inform you that all RDB sessions are cancelled until further notice. Please take care and stay safe. We hope to get back to normality ASAP. 

Awards won at the Disabled Special Olympics - October 18th

The Riding for the Disabled Special Olympics Regional Competition was held on 18th October at Bensafrim.  RDB entered 9 Competitors for the competition: 5 from NECI, 2 from Algoz and 2 from Santo Amaro. 

These are the medals we won!

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Lucelia Wins Silver Medals At The Special Olympic World Games In Abu Dhabi

Lucelia Gloria, aged 30, a rider from Riding For The Disabled Barlavento (RDB) has won two silver medals at the above games. Lucelia won her two medals in the Level CS – English working trails and the Level CS – English equitation.

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