Since she was little, all Amberley Snyder wanted to do was rodeo. At 18 years old, she was competing as a barrel racer and roper in rodeos across the country—and winning. She was a World Champion Barrel Racer.
Ten years ago, a terrible car accident left Amberley paralyzed from the waist down. But Amberley was planning on not only riding again, but continuing to race.
Balance was the hardest part of recovery, but Amberley improved after bringing in a saddle to practice with. While balance is still her biggest struggle, Amberley is competing.
“Four months after the accident was the first time back on. And come the next spring, I was ready to try again,” said Amberley. “I felt I was ready to take on a new challenge. I had adapted better to the wheelchair in all aspects and could handle another obstacle.”
Amberley wasn’t the only one who had to adapt. Her horses had to learn to listen to a rider who was not using her legs. “I use my hands and my voice,” Amberley said when asked how she compensated for the lack of leg cues. “My horses are super sensitive to the cues I can give. If anything within 10 feet around me kisses, my horses jump.”
Amberley has had the help of Stacy Glause, who taught her how to barrel race originally, and Ryan Lovendahl, who is currently helping her.
Her story has been adapted into the Netflix original movie Walk. Ride. Rodeo. Amberley and her sister Autumn even appear as stunt doubles. Amberley proves that you can’t keep a cowgirl down!
Reprinted with permission from ihearthorses.com