Life rarely goes the way we plan it. Unfortunately, Canadian Lauren Barwick found this out the hard way. Lauren loved horses for as long as she could remember and knew that she was going to work with horses somehow in the future, but seventeen years ago she experienced a terrible accident.
At the time, Lauren was working on a ranch when a bale of hay fell on her. The 165-pound hay bale completely severed her spinal cord and broke two vertebras. Despite surgery that included two screws, a bar, wire mesh, and bone from her hip, Lauren was left paralyzed from the waist down.
Lauren had to undergo months of intensive therapy. During that time, she decided that she was done riding horses. She thought it would be too humiliating to need help. She admitted, “Yes, it may be therapeutic for others but, it would do nothing for my mind other than make me much more sad
The love she had for horses never went away, though, and Lauren knew she had a special gift. One night, had a heart to heart with herself – was she going to continue to waste the talent she was given and live in self-pity, or was she going to swallow per pride and use her gift? Early, the next morning, Lauren went down to the barn and shyly asked to be put back on a horse. From that moment on, she was unstoppable.
Since that day, Lauren has gone on to compete in multiple events, winning medals in many. She participated in four Paralympic Games and has won gold, silver, and bronze medals in those games. In 2015, Lauren was even inducted into the Canadian Disability Hall of Fame.
She is now a professional rider and instructor. In this clip, you get a glimpse at the connection and control she has over her horse. It is clear to see that she is exceptionally talented. Her horse stands patiently as Lauren completely saddles it herself from her wheelchair.
She then is able to attach a long exercise lead to the horse’s halter and put him through his exercise paces. At one point, Lauren even removes the lead and controls the horse with just her voice. As a grand finale, Lauren mounts her horse with the help of two friends.
It’s just amazing to see her overcome her limitations and continue to do what she loves. Even though she may be confined to a wheelchair, Lauren won’t let it stop her from pursuing her passion.