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Rodeo star turned motivational speaker: Amberley Snyder shares her story with Mainers

After Amberley Snyder's life was changed by a car accident that left her paralyzed, she continued to chase her dreams. Now, she's inspiring others with her story.

LEVANT, Maine — This weekend was the third annual Apple Hill Stables rodeo event. The charity three-day rodeo benefits Anah Shriners, an organization that helps the Shriners' philanthropy, which supports children in need. 

"We donate the proceeds to them to help all the kids in the Shriners, they support us and we have a great time!" said Larry Frost, Apple Hill Stables owner.

This year, special guest Amberley Snyder came all the way from her home in Utah to share her personal story.

"All of you have something in your life like this, a passion, a hobby, something that is like your escape!" said Snyder, referencing her passion for rodeo and horses. 

In a speech to Mainers on Saturday, Snyder said she has been in the saddle since she was three. At seven, she started competing, and when she was 18, she won the all-around cowgirl world championship.

Snyder says her life was perfect. "So I'm telling you... I'm on top of the world! I can't even imagine life being any better!" she said, remembering that time in her life. 

But shortly thereafter, on January 10th, 2010, she was driving through Wyoming when she was involved in a car accident. 

"I had a stomach ache all morning, and I thought 'I am going to take it off just for a minute," said Snyder.

Snyder was not wearing a seatbelt when she looked down at a map and started to swerve into the other lane on the icy road. As she tried to get back on the right lane, her truck slid off the road and she was ejected from the car.

Snyder remembers her head and fingers being well, but when she tried to move her legs, she couldn't. She knew something was wrong. A few hours later, doctors confirmed she would not regain any movement or feeling from her waist down.

It was a moment that would change her life forever, but not stop her from achieving her three principal goals: walk, ride, and rodeo.

Four months after the accident, Snyder was riding her horse again. She kept competing and now travels throughout the United States sharing her message of hope.

"We are all going to have a challenge, right? We are all going to face something, and it might be something they are facing right now, but we really do have the strength in order to overcome those challenges, and I hope that those who are listening, have a little bit of hope in order to go home and handle what's going on," said Synder to Mainers.

Snyder has inspired so many people that Netflix turned her story into a movie called "Walk. Ride. Rodeo."

"The next time you have that moment of fear or doubt or uncertainty, dig a little deeper. Turn that page to see what is next. Always find the light in the darkness," said Snyder.

Snyder currently rides and participates in rodeos, and is working slowly but surely, to walk again.