Thirteen year old Martha Buchanan from Banwell, near Weston-super-Mare was on holiday when her Aunt Carrie sent her a text to say she had become the 12,000th member of the British Horse Society in the South West Region and little did the BHS know just what a special story was behind this young lady.
Martha suffers from a rare medical condition called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome which has many symptoms some of which affects joints and muscles which in turn leads to fatigue and pain.
In December 2014 Martha’s condition had confined her to bed for much of the time. We can only imagine how hard this must be, especially for a young teenager and medical experts, friends and family knew that Martha needed something to look forward to. Martha’s Aunt Carrie is a keen horsewoman and has her own stables near to where Martha lives and said that she would get her a pony so that when she felt a bit better she could go down to the stables to meet her.
By April, Martha was well enough to go to the stables in a wheelchair to meet ‘Ruby’, a lovely liver chestnut mare with a white blaze. Martha was able to groom Ruby from her wheelchair and by May, Martha was able to go to the stables on crutches and do a little more. In June, Martha sat on Ruby for the first time and with help from people on the ground was able to ride around on a lead rein. From that point there has been no stopping her, and Martha can now ride around the arena in walk and trot on her own. Martha’s condition will be with her for life but doctors and medical experts say that Martha’s progress over the last few months has been like a miracle and they have never seen such an improvement in such a short space of time.
As a long term member of the BHS herself, Aunt Carrie decided the next step in Martha’s new found love of horses would be to join Martha as a member of The British Horse Society, but little did she realise that on the day she joined, Martha would bring the total of members in the South West Region to 12,000 (over 90,000 nationally).
Regional Chairman, Jennifer Ham and BHS Avon Chairman, Sue Rich were delighted to meet Martha to present her with a certificate, BHS polo shirt and some new grooming equipment and a lead rope for Ruby. Martha’s aim now is to carry on riding and perhaps join the Pony Club and do some showing with Ruby and we wish her and Ruby all the very best for the future.