Ashley McBryde and Band Are ‘Taking Better Care of Each Other’ After Series of Accidents
Ashley McBryde isn't just a solo musician — she's part of a band, and the camaraderie she describes among herself and her bandmates sounds akin to being a member of a family.
However, that foundation was shaken within the past two years after McBryde and a bandmate both suffered serious, life-threatening accidents.
McBryde's accident occurred in September 2021 when a horse she was riding in Montana sped off uncontrollably. She fell off the horse and became unconscious upon hitting the ground, requiring "life-saving" measures to keep her breathing. She also suffered a concussion and a broken pelvis.
Thankfully, McBryde healed up and was able to resume touring. The band was handed another blow in December 2022, however, when bandmate Wes Dorethy suffered a "near-fatal" UTV accident. According to Dorethy's post about the situation, he underwent emergency surgery that saved his life, but still faced a long road to recovery.
When talking with Taste of Country's Adison Haager at the 2023 ACM Awards, McBryde says in the aftermath of both incidents, she and her band have made a concerted effort to treat each other and themselves with kindness.
Since then, only good things have followed.
"We're taking better care of each other and better care of ourselves," she says. "Since we started doing those things on purpose — it's not like we were crappy to each other — we started being more mindful about it, then I became a member of the Grand Ole Opry, and then I won a Grammy, and then we headlined RodeoHouston. All these amazing things, all this hard work that we've been putting in all these years has started paying off."
The singer shared that even 18 months after her horseback riding accident, she was still struggling with vertigo and unable to do things she loves. She adds that the incidents have motivated herself and her bandmates to simply "make better choices" and stay healthy.
"I was just like, 'Wow, that was so bad. It was so bad,'" she says of the incident. "We have to take better care of ourselves. So, right now no one's riding as much as a scooter. No ATVs, no skateboards, no horses."
The two near-death experiences for herself and Dorethy also changed McBryde's songwriting process, as she now looks at life with newfound gratitude.
"Songwriting-wise, it feels sort of like you can walk into the room knowing no matter what we create today, the thing that I wanted to be when I grew up, I am," she says. "So, even if we don't get a song today, I'm so happy about who we are and the season that we're walking into."
Despite her disastrous horseback riding session in 2021, McBryde says she will ride a horse again in the future, and she's working with a therapist to ward off any negative psychological effects from the accident.
"I will be back on a horse," she says. "I love riding horses."
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