Champion barrel racer Amberley Synder turned tragedy into triumph to return to her cowgirl lifestyle, showcasing just how resilient she is.

Amberley Snyder speaks to crowds across the country about her experiences and passions. Photo courtesy Dave Appleton.

Amberley Snyder’s unique cowgirl story began, unlike those cowgirls who grew up in the lifestyle, with a father who was a baseball player and a mother who was a cheerleader. However, her interest in horses became obvious, and her cowgirl journey began when her father held up his end of a deal to buy a palomino horse when their family moved to Utah. After an accident that left her paralyzed on her way to the National Western Stock Show & Rodeo in 2010, Snyder wasn’t sure if she would get to be a cowgirl anymore. But with a passion for horses, she got back into the lifestyle, is still competing and is a cowgirl on an entirely new level.

Cowgirl Traits

Sassy. Classy. Gritty.

Definition of “Cowgirl”

“Some words that come to me are sassy but classy, with some grit on top. I think that’s really what I would describe a cowgirl as because those three things are what it takes to be a cowgirl in any realm. It’s the rodeo cowgirl, the ranching cowgirl, the equestrian cowgirl. I think there are different kinds of cowgirls, and all of them better have some sass, some class and the grit that goes along with it. Before my accident, my definition of cowgirl was in the value I could have in the arena, my achievements and what I could accomplish. Now, I like winning, but the influence you have as a cowgirl, as a person and as a hero is not as much about what you’ve won in the arena as it is the person you are and the character you show.”

Champion barrel racer Amberley Synder overcame a horrible accident to return to her cowgirl lifestyle, showcasing just how resilient she is.
Amberley Snyder competes and finds success in the arena post-accident. Photo courtesy Dave Appleton.

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