I had been in the middle of writing a story that involved horses, so I did an Internet search and found this title “Barrel Racer Amberley Snyder”. But what made me read her story was the line: “A True Inspiration." That can only mean one thing. She obviously had faced a challenge and was still a Barrel Racer.
I'm drawn to people who think outside the box and do their own thing, despite adversity. I couldn't wait to read her story. And as I read it, I remembered I'd already heard about her in New Mobility Magazine, which I get every month. It was the only article I hadn't gotten to read that month! But I remembered the photo and her name.
As I read about her, I was intrigued mostly because I have a family member who also barrel races, and she’s really good. I couldn't imagine someone barrel racing, let alone someone who has paralysis, as Amberley does. Amberley was dramatically injured in a car accident while driving to Denver for a stock show. However, it didn't take Amberley long to get back on her horse, only four months after the accident that took away her ability to walk.
As I said above, I have watched barrel racing up close and personal, and for the most part, each person uses their legs to tell the horse what to do. Amberley can't do that, so instead she uses her voice and other means to control the horse. Her legs are strapped down with velcro. She also uses a seatbelt. I've had the pleasure of talking with Amberley via her Facebook page. She’s a very nice girl.
I rode horses as a kid, and at no time could I have ever imagined that someone with paralysis could barrel race. I want to send out a big thanks to Amberley for changing perceptions of what someone with paralysis can do. In addition to all of this, what I admire most about Amberley is that her faith grew stronger during such a tragic time of her life.