Amberley Snyder: Miracle Rodeo Rider


By: Dan Rascon



A Utah State University barrel racing champion has become a miracle rider. The 23 year old was once told by doctors she would never ride again but now she’s not only riding she’s winning.

In early 2010 Amberley Snyder was at the top of her game in barrel racing and roping; she was on her way to a competition when she crashed her truck and flew through the window.


Doctors told her her riding days where over; but that didn’t stop her from getting back on the saddle.


Amberley has two horses: Power, her barrel racer; and Wrangler, her calf roping horse; in order to ride them Amberley built her own custom saddle and learned to saddle up by herself. Once on her horse, she buckles up and velcros her legs down tight so they won’t flop around, then she’s off and running.


Amberley said, “When I get on my horse I get to leave my wheelchair at the trailer I get to be like everybody else. My horse becomes my legs, I get to run a barrel pattern or rope a calf like every other girl there.”


Amberley started riding when she was 3 years old and won her first competition at 7. At 18 years old she was at the top of her game. In the fall of 2009 she won the worlds and finals all-around title.

But then, on January 10, 2010 her life forever changed. She rolled her truck going 75 mph and was thrown from her truck. She hit a fence post which broke her back paralyzing her from the waist down. She said after the accident one paramedic told her that not wearing her seat belt cost her her legs. Amberley said, “Honestly it was harder for me to hear I wouldn’t ride again than it was for me to hear I wouldn’t walk again.” But Amberley wasn’t about to call it quits. She worked hard and eventually got back on that saddle. Through the months and years she has retrained Power and Wrangler to respond to her sounds rather than her legs.

Now she’s got her game back. Today Amberley is in the top 5 of 70 girls in the region and continues to work on improving her time.



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