Working with Stable Lives
At Nedz we are always keen to help charitable causes, especially when the charity is something close to our hearts. Stable Lives is a charity based near Nedz at Parbold Equestrian Centre and we have recently begun working with them by supplying our bedding for their horses. We caught up with founder Carrie Byrom to learn more about the charity.
How did the charity first begin?
Stable Lives was first developed in 2014 and was run to support children who were struggling to stay in school due to mental health or behavioral challenges. After a significant accident whilst eventing I needed a focus and something to work on whilst I tried to recover from my injuries therefore, I had time to develop the courses and support interventions that we could offer. We developed courses for adults focusing predominantly on military veterans and those working within the emergency services.
What is the ambition/mission for the charity?
Our mission is to provide mental health support to those that have been exposed to mental trauma or those with a mental health illness. We aim to provide a calm, quiet place for people to come to rest, recover and reconnect into society.
What kind of activities do the charity run?
We run group and respite days for children and adults. All of our courses incorporate activites and workshops utilising rescue horses that they themselves have been rehabilitated from mental or physical abuse. Handling, grooming and basic stable management activities are used to develop confidence and self esteem in those who attend.
How many horses/ponies do you look after at Stable Lives?
There are 30 horses based at our centre of which many come from a rescue background. Within the Stable Lives hands on projects we have a team of about 15 horses and ponies who have all been rehabilitated from significant abuse.
Why is the work you do so important?
The work that we do literally changes and saves lives. We work with children and adults in crisis and give them a quiet, safe place to begin to take time to refocus and recover. Many of the children who attend are struggling within school and have limited friend and family networks. The team of volunteers and ponies build confidence, self esteem and self worth and encourage those who attend to look to a future free from the limitations of mental health challenges.
Why do you think horses have such a calming and nurturing effect with people?
Our horses and ponies all have big personalities but are also gentle and calm. Watching people learn to gain their trust and learn to brush them is a constant pleasure for our team. We can literally see muscles relax and heart rates come down as they start to build lasting relationships with their equine partners. Getting autistic children to feel the ponies breathing and focus on the steady in and out can be a really good tool for letting them remember how to regain emotional control.
What does a typical day look like for you at the charity?
A typical day for the charity will involve a selection on 1:1 sessions for children requiring our support. Most come for a 6 week (1 session a week course) but some are based with us on a long term basis to support their mental health as they face challenges within home, school or due to physical health conditions.
When we have an adult course in then the equine activities will take place in the morning and after a big home cooked lunch we will then complete a community project such as planting flowers, building/ repairing benches etc.
Rescue horses are often referred to us too so our team will do work with them on the ground and ridden. Several of our rescue horses have gone on to compete in both eventing and dressage.
What are your ambitions for the future?
To continue to develop the charity to be able to provide support to as many people as we are able to within our area and then hopefully look to extend our reach throughout the country.
We also will continue to rehabilitate rescue horses to give them chance to have a safe and calm future where they feel safe and go on to save and change lives.
We have some very talented rescue horses. 1 in particular called Mole who we believe could become a very successful dressage horse. He has taken a lot of time and patience to rehabilitate but is now winning regularly and is moving up the dressage grades gaining a large fan base as he goes.
How have you found using Nedz bedding?
We love using Nedz. Often the rescue horses who arrive are very agitated and may box walk or be very unsettled. We need a bedding that will cope well with disruption whilst providing a walm and clean place rest.
The competition horses love the deep soft bed and can often be found snoozing on it in the afternoon after their work! We have horses who are restless or calm, clean or very dirty, old or young and all get on really well with the bedding.
You can find out more about the charity here www.stable-lives.co.uk