A Champion of Adversity

A Champion of Adversity

 If you haven’t heard the name Amberley Snyder, it’s someone you need to know. She’s a former Utah FFA state president and National Little Britches Rodeo world champion who is confined to a wheelchair after wrecking her truck and breaking her back.

SNYDER: When I get on my horses I get to leave my wheelchair and my trailer and I get to get on and I forget about that. I strap myself in. I have a seatbelt on my saddle. I have velcro straps that go around my legs to hold them still and I just worry about what I can control. I worry about my balance and my hands in order to really still communicate with my horse while I’m competing.

She still competes in barrel racing and breakaway roping.

SNYDER: I mean there are definitely some challenges when you can’t kick and you can’t cue your horses with your legs but I mean for the most part I feel like it is working out pretty well. My horses have been really good about it though. I don’t have anybody else get on them to retrain them, I didn’t have anybody else try to teach them anything, I just - I got on.

The doctors told her she needed to come to terms with the broken back and find another hobby.

SNYDER: Competing in rodeo, that’s going to be impossible. And I just said, no I don’t think you guys understand this is what I do. This is a part of who I am, this rodeo side of me so I’ll figure out what I’m going to do to do it. Definitely not a hobby. It’s definitely a part of my lifestyle.

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