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NEW OPPORTUNITIES: THE WAY UP!

Amberley Snyder
Amberley Snyder inspires us to find the courage
to nurture and foster dreams by expanding
her comfort zones.

Life is a journey, not a destination; until we address this, we continually leave ourselves open to disappointments. Consider that set backs and failures are unidentified gifts, providing learning opportunities to those who are creative! Learning to overcome mistakes can become a positive habit by realizing, no matter the difficulty, the goal is always growth and not perfection.

Practice focusing on the process, not the outcome. In 1997, I was honored by the Rodeo Historical Society with the prestigious Tad Lucas Award at the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City, and again was called to the podium in 2006 as an inductee into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame. Those unimaginable accolades were never on my radar, but proved to me it is persistence and resourcefulness that pay off. After 40 years in the competitive business arena, I realize that it is the process, not the outcome, that stands out as my personal assets.

Amberley Snyder
Amberley receives her award for winning 3rd in the
2D average at the 2014 Sharon Camarillo Western
Barrel Racing Classic.

It takes insight and maturity to identify life’s blessings. The 2015 American Rodeo Fan Favorite Barrel Racer Amberley Snyder is an amazing example of using persistence and resourcefulness in ones favor. I met Amberley at one of my Utah Barrel Racing Clinics. She was one of many talented, bright 12 year-old over achievers with Gold Buckle dreams I’ve had the opportunity to work with through the years. She proved us right by going on to win the World All-around Championship in the National Little Britches Rodeo Association, her next goal the NFR, until fate stepped in and Amberley’s winning journey changed.

A single car accident left Amberley paralyzed from the waist down. She received the post surgery diagnosis that she would not ride again, let along walk. Amberley would not accept doctors' predictions that both riding and walking would not be in her future.

This spring, Amberley graduates with a Bachelor’s Degree in Agricultural Education; her next destination is a Masters Degree. On her journey, Amberley has become an amazing motivational speaker and inspiration to audiences of every age. She turned lemons into lemonade. Though her future is obviously blessed with successful outcomes, just how much success is yet to be recorded?

After winning 3rd in the 2D average at the 2014 Sharon Camarillo Western Barrel Racing Classic, proving to all that strong will, talent and a good horse would continue to win her championships, Amberley has received, by overwhelming numbers, a Fan Favorite Exemption to The March 1st American, the largest one day rodeo in history. If Amberley can win the barrel race, over the established top barrel racers in the world, she will be rewarded with a Million dollar bonus! Great odds?

Amberley Snyder
Amberley, shown above with Cowgirl Hall of Fame
Honoree Mitzi Lucas Riley, was awarded the
Mitzi Lucas Riley Award at the 39th Annual
Cowgirl Hall of Fame Induction Luncheon.

One thing for sure, Amberley continues to be rewarded for her persistence and resourcefulness. And, mark my words, she is relishing in the journey life’s roads have taken her. It has been the process not the outcome that has driven and motivated not only Amberley, but also each person she touches. Little did I know, a talented youth in an oversized, brushy cowgirl hat in line at my Barrel Racing Clinic, would go on to bless and inspire the nation who knows her with the example – it is not the destination that marks a persons worth, but how the journey is handled.

Amberley found a way to use her physical diagnosis as a catapult; today she inspires us to find the courage to nurture and foster dreams by expanding comfort zones, pushing creative thinking and fostering training and talents. Her small steps have paid off, with the experience at The American yet another big step that came her way.

This coming year, take account of your personal journey and the daily blessings we easily overlook in search of our destination.

To learn more and be inspired join Amberley on Facebook.