PARBOLD’S HEALING HORSES
A former event rider who broke both her arms in a fall has created a safe place for people going through difficult times
Former armed service personnel and exemergency services staff are re-discovering their confidence and starting to rebuild their lives by spending time with horses in Parbold.
People suffering with posttraumatic stress disorder are being helped through the Stable Lives programme at Parbold Equestrian Centre by former international event rider Carrie Byrom.
But it was when she overcame the trauma of a bad fall from a horse during a cross country event two years ago that Carrie decided to devote her life to helping others.
‘The horse I was riding had literally never ever made a mistake before but that day, he
made a huge one, which saw me fall under him,’ she said.
‘It resulted in smashed arms, a broken elbow and a totally obliterated wrist.
‘Amazingly, I did make a recovery and started riding again but as all horse riders who have been in that position will know, my riding was never quite the same and so, two years ago, I decided to give it up and follow a different path.’
The not-for-profit organisation Stable Lives had been running for about a year at the time of Carrie’s accident. Since getting back into a different saddle, Carrie has made a huge difference to many lives through the courses she runs at the centre, in which those suffering with PTSD can talk about their experiences and, through the horses, re-learn confidence and self-care.
As an ex-military wife herself, Carrie knows just how difficult experiencing PTSD can be. And she added: ‘It’s pretty appropriate that rehabilitation goes on here at Parbold Equestrian Centre, as it really was our watchword before Stable Lives was even thought of! When my mum, Nicola bought it 20 years ago, to say it was ramshackle was an understatement but because we didn’t have huge amounts of cash, we had to carry out lots of the jobs ourselves.
‘It’s amazing how quickly you learn to use carpenters’ tools when it’s either that or see more of the roof collapse around you,’ laughs Carrie.
Stable Lives leader Carrie Byrom (right) with Charlie Boardman and Elie Cocking