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Never Give Up with Paralyzed Barrel Racer Amberley Snyder (ep. 63)

Amberley Snyder

“Giving up is NEVER an option & it NEVER should be.”

Amberley Snyder lived in southern California with her five siblings during her father’s career in Major League Baseball with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Her passion for riding horses manifested early in life when at the age of 3 she began riding lessons. When her father retired from baseball the family moved to Utah where her love for horses continued to inspire her.

In 2010, Amberley was driving to a rodeo in Denver, when she looked down at her map, lost control of her vehicle, rolled it and was ejected from her truck, slamming her into a metal post. She broke her back and immediately lost feeling in her legs.

She refused to allow anything to get in the way of her one day getting back into the saddle. Her strength, faith, and love for horses is an inspiration to us all.

Today, Amberley joins us to share her struggles during recovering from her accident, her strong family bond, and turning tragedy into triumph. 

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  • She was ejected from her truck at 70 miles per hour. The doctors told Amberley that had she been wearing a seat belt, she would still have the use of her legs.
  • In 2009, during her senior year, she made it to the National High School Finals & at the National Little Britches finals, she took home the World All-Around Title.
  • She got back onto a horse four months after the accident. Only 18 months after her accident she entered her first race.
  • Amberley credits her faith with staying calm after the accident and the fear of the future once she learned the degree of her injuries.
  • “You get to be sad, then you have to fix it.”
  • “There is so much life left to live.”
  • It was harder for her to deal with not riding, not taking care of her horses than it was for her to deal with not walking.
  • She is the only paralyzed barrel racer in the United States.


1. What is the best book you’ve ever read? Wonder by R.J. Palacio, I felt like it was just a great story of a kid with so much strength. 

2. Tomorrow you discover your wealthy uncle shockingly dies at the age of 103; leaving you millions. What would you do with it? The first thing is I want to start my own charity for kids and veterans, I’d get a ranch that was paved and accessible, and take care of my family.

3. Your house is on fire, all living things and people are out. You have the opportunity to run in and grab one item. What would it be? If I have my horses and family outside already…(sigh), I’d need a cowboy hat and a saddle.

4. You are sitting on a bench overlooking a gorgeous beach. You have the opportunity to have a long conversation with anyone living or dead. Who would it be? I honestly would take one of my brothers with me, if I couldn’t bring both.

5. What is the best advice you’ve ever received? Every day doesn’t have to be “your day”, just make sure the next one is.

6. Looking back, what advice would you give yourself at age 20? That’s only six years ago and still after my accident. I’d say, “the ability to talk will be a blessing soon.”

7. It’s been said that all great people can have their lives summed up in one sentence. How do you want yours to read?  There was no future in giving up on her life.


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I can’t wait to see you here next Thursday! Today is your day. Live Inspired.

Live Inspired with John every day on FacebookTwitterYouTubeLinkedInPinterest, Instagram and get his Monday Motivation email: www.JohnOLearyInspires.com/Monday-Morning

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