Child Case Study
Ben Parnaby - Riding is His Life
Ben started riding when he was three years old and he loved it! Ben took to the saddle at a very young age and his natural aptitude was almost immediately apparent. He was fearless and nothing fazed him. When he fell off he got straight back on again! Competing at Pony Club events from age six he started to win. Ben was diagnosed as dyslexic and with his problem reading and writing he found school very difficult. Discovering something that he was really good at helped him to overcome the setbacks at school and build his self esteem.
At school Ben felt out of place but when working with horses he was in his element.
At eleven years old he made his first major breakthrough, winning a winter show jumping points league. This was to bring out Ben’s competitive streak and encouraged him to strive to be the best and he has never looked back. In 2004 he started training at Chailey Stud and in May 2009, aged fifteen, he qualified to compete at the Horse of the Year Show 2009. Recently, Ben joined Ryan Crumley, Irish International Show Jumping Champion, as he prepared for the greatest challenge of his young life at the Horse of The Year Show. Ben did brilliantly coming in 13th place in the BSJA Amateur Classic Championship.
Riding has not only given Ben an opportunity to do something that he loves but it has also given him confidence and taught him self-discipline, whilst at the same time enabling him to make some amazing friends. He spends time with motivated and successful people and learns from their example.
All of this could have come to a premature end when Ben had a couple of particularly heavy falls at the end of 2008. He started to get headaches on a daily basis, making school even more challenging. He found sitting straight in the saddle difficult and his horse tended to veer to the right when he was jumping. His low back became stiff and painful so that training was an exercise in persevering through the pain.
We knew a local Chiropractor, so we contacted him and arranged for the chiropractor to see Ben. After just one treatment we noticed the difference and following two treatments the headaches had become rare and minor. Ben was only getting occasional twinges from his back and he was noticing the difference when riding. After six visits the headaches were a thing of the past and his back was not hurting when riding. He has had a few tumbles since but nothing serious.
Ben spends at least two hours riding each week day, with one day off. At the weekends he is usually competing. He now has three horses and is preparing a young horse that will hopefully develop and provide him with an international standard ride. Ben’s dream is to join the Great Britain Young Riders Team and to compete internationally in the near future.
Jo Parnaby – Ben’s Mum!