This Paralyzed Rodeo Rider Should Inspire Us All

Posted by Paige Cerulli

This paralyzed rodeo rider doesn't let limitations get in her way. She's an incredible inspiration and is proof of the power of determination. 

When Amberley Snyder learned that she had broken her back, she was more upset about not being able to ride again than she was about not being able to walk. But that only lasted for a bit; soon Snyder found a way to get back in the saddle, becoming a highly successful paralyzed rodeo rider.

Snyder began riding horses when she was just three years old. In her teens she became an accomplished rodeo rider. Then, in 2010, Snyder rolled her truck and was ejected, hitting a fence post. She hadn't been wearing her seat belt and ended up breaking her back.

Hearing that she wouldn't be able to ride again was devastating, but Snyder turned that devastation into determination. She fashioned herself a special saddle which could hold her securely. The saddle incorporates a seat belt and Velcro fasteners to keep her legs still. Then, Snyder started training her two horses, Power and Rainbow, to respond to her vocal cues, rather than to her legs.

Take a look at the result.

Snyder successfully competes in barrel racing and calf roping, and she's even beaten her barrel racing times from before her accident. It's hard to believe that Snyder could turn such tragedy into triumph, but she's proven that horses are in her blood and she will ride, no matter what.

You'll notice that Snyder mentions how liberating it is to be able to leave her wheelchair in the trailer and ride off on her horse. It's this sense of freedom and independence that makes working with horses so therapeutic for people. Even when people suffer from conditions like Asperger's, horses can make a big difference in their lives.

The next time that you think the cards are stacked against you, remember what Snyder faced and how she triumphed. Chances are, there's a way through whatever obstacle you're facing. You just have to find it.

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This Paralyzed Rodeo Rider Should Inspire Us All