Back in the saddle: Life-changing technology saves girl and horse

Chloe Burrell from Camberley, Surrey, was flying high, a regular on the competitive show jumping scene and often in the prizes. However, that was brought to an abrupt standstill after injury put both her, and her horse, out of action.

Devastatingly, Chloe suffered a serious back injury whilst playing hockey that meant she could hardly walk, let alone ride or compete. Just 17 years old, Chloe was keen to get back on her beloved horse Andrew, AKA ‘The Dark Emperor’, as soon as possible. In a twist of fate, Andrew also also suffered an injury not long after Chloe, suffering a torn tendon after an accident in his field torn tendon and facing box rest for up to a year. The dream of getting back in the saddle seemed a long way off for them both.

However, their journey took another twist, going from tragedy to happy ending thanks to a ground breaking technology.

There’s a downward spiral that can mentally hobble an equestrian after injury

Although we all accept that horse riding can be a slightly dangerous activity, it was during a game of hockey, that Chloe suffered several slipped disks, meaning her passion, show jumping, was out of the question.


Prior to Chloe’s back injury, she had never had an injury that had prevented her from riding, so she was devastated when she was told by the doctor that she could no longer ride. Not only that, but Chloe had just started to move up the levels in her competitive life, so it really knocked her confidence and almost put paid to her dreams.


Chloe recalls: “Initially, my family and I were worried because the injury was serious and I was very young (17) to have such an injury; naturally, surgery on my back wasn’t an option.”


Doctors said that she could have been out of action for an entire year and would struggle to walk, let alone get back in the saddle. This was a shock to the whole family, and coincidently, Chloe’s mum suffered the exact same injury some years back, so the emotions came flooding back all too familiarly.


The bad news continued to spiral downward when Chloe’s horse Andrew (show name ‘The Dark Emperor’), suffered a torn tendon which meant that she wasn’t the only one out of action for the foreseeable future.

Therapy was the only option

With Chloe just 17 years old at the time and her body still growing, surgery was out of the question. This meant the family needed to look elsewhere for an alternative option, and this is when they contacted a local clinic in hope of a small miracle to get young Chloe back on her feet and back in the saddle.


They found Optimum Performance, a sports injury clinic in Camberley, Surrey and sought advice. Optimum Performance is dedicated to the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries, especially musculoskeletal injuries – a glimmer of hope to the Burrell family.


Not only do they offer traditional physiotherapy, they are also one of just 10 clinics across the UK offering pioneering MBST therapy, a non-invasive treatment which regenerates cells and is globally recognised as a pain-free, stress-free way of treating musculoskeletal conditions and sports injuries.


The Director of Optimum Performance, Suzanne Bowen, who is also physiotherapist at Fulham Football Club, took on Chloe’s case and offered her a treatment plan to help her get competing again. The best part is, she was also able to offer therapy for Andrew too! This was the news they had all needed during this tough time.

Chloe could have been out of action for a whole year, but due to the pioneering MBST technology available at the Surrey based clinic, she only had five months out in total! Her bed rest was reduced by 6-7 months which is an incredible 50-60% reduction in healing time.


Chloe went on to say: “As well as MBST being a life-saver for me, Sue being able to to use the same therapy for Andrew meant that we didn’t have to put him through the lengthy process of box rest which was amazing. Not only could length box rest run the risk of other injuries but mentally it was not a good option, he would not have enjoyed being cooped up for months and months on end, it could have been even more damaging in the long run!.”


MBST on the horse’s leg meant that the recovery time was cut down by around half - from 12 months to just 6 months which meant Chloe and Andrew could be reunited far sooner than first thought and their dreams of getting back out competing together .

Chloe continued: “The vet was baffled by how quickly the tendon had healed in such a short amount of time, it was honestly like a miracle!”

What is MBST and what are the benefits?

Magnetic Resonance Therapy (MBST) is a non-invasive therapy that restores and rejuvenates cells and in term provides long term pain relief and improved mobility. It was first developed in the 1990s and is used to treat degenerative disorders of the musculoskeletal system.


MBST offers a comfortable and uncomplicated therapy that stimulates cell regeneration at a molecular level and provides long-lasting and sustainable results. In several cases, including Chloe’s has eliminated the need for surgery, and for Andrew, eliminated a potentially lengthy and frustrating spell of box rest.


Digging a bit deeper - the MBST therapy system has been developed with the objective of increasing the metabolism and thereby re-trigger the body’s own repair mechanisms and regeneration processes; which is why Chloe and Andrew’s recovery times were cut short.


MBST comes with many benefits, which Chloe and Andrew were both (no doubt!) grateful for : no painful surgery, no medication, no nasty injections, no painkillers – it’s absolutely pain free.


While instructors, friends and family can be invaluable in helping to rebuild lost confidence, it was mainly MBST technology that got Chloe back on her horse – and her horse back on his feet so quickly and with no lasting side-effects of their injuries.

How Chloe’s life was transformed

Around 18 months later, Chloe was on “cloud nine” as she regained her independence and her confidence was back - it was something to focus on and get away from the stress of her impending exams.


“Honestly, without Sue and the MBST machine, I don’t know where I would be today as there was no other cure. It was a long process but I had full faith in the treatment and the guidance of Sue, which is why we were so keen to use it on Andrew when we had the opportunity too, as again, surgery wasn’t an option.”


Chloe is now completely pain free – “I was so worried for my future with back problems at such a young age but I feel absolutely amazing, I don't know what I would've done without the treatment.”


One of the greatest benefits of the MBST for Chloe was the top up sessions offered by the clinic. She would religiously have a top up every 6-8months and found the difference after was incredible and noticeable.


“I can’t really imagine how I would have gotten better and got back to a normal life, let alone being able to run, exercise and most importantly ride without MBST, so I am always grateful and passionate about the benefits of such an amazing treatment. It’s also just incredible how much it helped Andrew, he was back to his old self so quickly, I never would have believed this kind of thing was possible until it put me back in the saddle and us back in the rosettes.”


Chloe is now back competing on ‘The Dark Emperor’ and is forever grateful for the support and treatment her and her horse received.





Author: Emily Gardiner of Free To be Creative

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