Maidstone woman, 78, realizes her dream of horse riding thanks to inspired friendships

A 78-year-old woman has achieved her lifelong dream of horseback riding.

Lyn Broad, from Maidstone, was able to ride in honor of her animal-loving brother Barry, who died five years ago.

The retiree had always dreamed of horseback riding, but never had the chance.

Lyn said: “I put my family first – you want your kids to do things and have experiences before yours.

“I’ve always felt a connection whenever I’m around a horse – they’re such beautiful animals.”

She added: “I’ve also been trying to learn to drive since I was 58. I struggle with theory and freak out when it comes to learning.

“Financially it was difficult, and that’s another reason why I didn’t take riding lessons.

Lyn Broad, from Maidstone, has realized her dream of riding. Photo: Wendy Pfeiffer

“Maybe I could ride a horse around Maidstone instead of a car!”

But now Lyn has finally visited Deepdene Stables in Badlesmere and met her horse Lola.

She was able to groom her before enjoying a half-hour guided walk through the Kent countryside.

“From the moment we got in the car, I was so excited,” she said. “It had taken a long time to come, because I waited all the confinement to visit the stables.”

“At my age, I wanted to surpass myself. The horse seemed to smell it when I brushed it.

The 78-year-old said the experience will be with her forever.  Photo: Wendy Pfeiffer
The 78-year-old said the experience will be with her forever. Photo: Wendy Pfeiffer

“Everyone involved was so supportive and everything I dreamed of came true.

“I have never felt so free and the experience will stay with me forever.”

Lyn also rode for her brother Barry, who died of sepsis in November 2017. He was 76.

She decided the best way to say goodbye to him was to have a horse-drawn funeral carriage – the best thing for him to ride a horse.

“He loved animals and horses – he was a real gentle giant,” Lyn said.

Lyn meets her horse called Lola.  Photo: Wendy Pfeiffer
Lyn meets her horse called Lola. Photo: Wendy Pfeiffer

“I think Barry will have smiled at me through the sunshine and the beautiful blue sky.”

Lyn’s wish was granted by Inspired Friendships, a group that aims to prevent older people living in communities from feeling isolated. She has been a member since its creation two years ago by the living operator Inspired Villages.

The group supports around 80 residents who attend a range of community events, such as walks, morning coffees, luncheons, paint nights, bowling and outings on the Friendship Bus.

These activities help members forge new friendships and increase their confidence to meet new people and hang out.

Founder, Wendy Pfeiffer, said, “It was a joy to see Lyn finally realize her life’s dream. “This is just one of the special activities and tours we’ve helped organize for our group members and we can’t wait to see what dreams we can help make next.”

“Special thanks to Lauren from Deepdene Riding Stables who was just amazing in caring for Lyn and giving her special memories to treasure.”

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