Carrie takes the reins to support ex-servicemen

Carrie Byrom, centre manager at Parbold Equestrian Centre, is planning a 24-hour horse riding marathon
Carrie Byrom, centre manager at Parbold Equestrian Centre, is planning a 24-hour horse riding marathon

She may have broken both of her arms, but that won’t stop an international horse rider from saddling up for a good cause.

Carrie Byrom will undertake a 24-hour horse riding challenge in aid of mental health awareness for ex-military personnel, despite her precarious situation.

Carrie, centre manager at Parbold Equestrian Centre, was badly injured after being thrown from her horse six weeks ago, shattering her left wrist and fracturing her right elbow.

Facing a long recovery time, the 35-year-old from Parbold made use of her free time by establishing Stable Lives.

The community interest group will provide a safe and calm environment for ex-servicemen and women to deal with mental stress and issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

But Stable Lives needs a hub to operate from, and so Carrie is raising money for a yurt - a giant tent-like structure - which will house the group’s activities.

Carrie wanted the semi-permanent, canvas-style structure because “a brick building just wouldn’t have the same feel. It wouldn’t have character.”

The yurt will be designed to accommodate up to 60 people, with a wood burner in the centre acting as a soothing focal point.

Carrie said: “I have close links with the military, and I have seen the effects that PTSD has on servicemen and women and their families.

“We want to help these people much more often.”

International event rider Carrie commented: “It’s about the calmness and routine.

“There’s a natural structure here, in a calm and safe way.

“Simple things like being sat down, stroking a pony, taking in the quiet surroundings. For someone whose mind is constantly in conflict and agitated, it’s really useful.”

It is hoped that the new yurt will eventually be used to host other mental health services like dementia mornings.

But Carrie will have to take on the daunting challenge of riding non-stop for an entire day, if she hopes to raise the near £10,000 needed to build the yurt.

She will swap horses every hour and will have to ride one-handed, going throughout the night. She will begin on June 23 at around 1pm and finish the same time the following day.