SCI Life: Once a Cowgirl, Always a Cowgirl

SCI2Horses have been Amberley Snyder’s passion since she was 3 years old, and she rode in her first rodeo at the young age of 7. That was the year her dad, retired Los Angeles Dodger, Cory Snyder, moved his family to Elk River, Utah. When her dad told her the news of moving, she said she would only go if he got her a barrel horse. “He followed through, and I had my first horse, Lacey.”

Snyder, 22, won over 60 buckles at competitions throughout her teens, and made it to the finals in the World All-Around Cowgirl competition, but her riding life changed when she broke her back at the T11-12 level in a car accident while driving to Denver for a stock show.

When Snyder got back on a horse four months post-injury, her limitations hit her hard. “I told myself if I got on my horse again everything would be fine. I built my hopes up to be beyond the possible with my horses. I remember I was surrounded by family and friends the first day I got on, so I smiled on the outside, but I remember that day being one of the hardest days of my life.”

SCI1It was a whole year later when she got back on the horse. “I think my mindset was different and I was more accustomed to the changes of life, so when I got on my horse, Power, that day, I knew that this part of my life was something I would never consider giving up again.”

Snyder, who’s now pro, has developed some cool modifications for riding — a saddle seat belt, Velcro around her legs and stirrups, and a nylon strap across her left hip to keep her from moving when doing barrel turns.

Like her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Amberley-Snyder/220997234712375.

The Box Wheelchair Tradition
When Mike Box’s brother, Jon Box, broke his neck in a motorcycle accident in 1981, he was thrown into the disability world immediately. As an aerospace engineer, improving upon his brother’s chair was the best way he felt he could help. Their first company was Colours, but they sold to a Japanese company in 2011. Now he’s launched his own custom “radically advanced” wheelchair design company — BOX Wheelchairs.

BOX Wheelchairs is unique in that every chair is highly customized. Everything from the upholstery to the suspension and rear wheels is tailored specifically to each client, and to its main clientele — extreme adaptive athletes.

Think of BOX as the Orange County Choppers’ equivalent to action sports chairs, and there are three models — a day chair, a sports chair made to work for several adaptive sports and the “WCMX” chair for wheelchair “skateboarding,” which has a 4-link suspension frame.

See www.boxwheelchairs.com.

International Travel Log
When Martina Huntington broke her back in a snowboarding accident in 2009, her life was forced into major changes. Since her accident she’s discovered a new passion — international traveling, and she’s created a blog, “Diary of a Traveling Wheelchair,” where she shares her adventures with the world. To-date, she and her husband have been to 14 countries.

Go to martysquest.blogspot.com.

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