Charity Horses for Orphans is appealing for help in promoting its cause and raising money for new projects.

The charity's aim is to help orphans and underprivileged children in Brazil and Africa by giving them horsemanship and life skills.  

It hopes the orphans will be able to find work either with horses or by using the transferrable skills learnt and so can support themselves and their families.

Melanie Garner, a horse agility trainer from Bromsgrove, Worcs, travelled to Brazil and spent three weeks teaching the children the discipline. 

"I went out there without any equipment and no Spanish at all," she says. "It was difficult to explain to the children what I wanted them to do and I had to be quite creative in making up agility courses!

"It didn't take long for the children to get involved and seek out bits of wood and plastic that they could use for obstacles.

"We held competitions for chocolate prizes and I took some rosettes with me as well. It was great because the children had lots of fun and learnt some natural horsemanship along the way."

There were around 80 orphans at the home Melanie visited and 15-20 rescue horses.

The charity will be expanding into China and India next year, with the older children from Brazil as project leaders to give them more life experience.

In order to raise money, volunteers take rope out to Brazil which the orphans use to make rope halters. These are then brought back to the UK and sold. The halters cost £23 and one hundred per cent of the profit goes back to helping the orphans.

To find out more, visit Mel's website: www.heartfelthorse.com.