Life is full of unexpected twists and turns that can often challenge our dreams and aspirations. For Canadian equestrian Lauren Barwick, this reality hit her hard seventeen years ago. A tragic accident left her paralyzed from the waist down, shattering her hopes of working with horses. However, her remarkable journey of resilience and determination serves as an inspiration to us all.
Seventeen years ago, while working on a ranch, a 165-pound hay bale came crashing down on Lauren Barwick, causing a devastating injury.
Her spinal cord was severed, and two vertebras were fractured. Despite undergoing extensive surgery, including the insertion of screws, a bar, wire mesh, and bone from her hip, Lauren found herself facing a new reality – life in a wheelchair.
In the months that followed her accident, Lauren underwent intensive therapy, during which she contemplated her future. Initially, she believed that returning to horse riding would be a source of humiliation, given her newfound reliance on assistance.
However, her love for horses remained steadfast, and she recognized her unique talent. It was in a heartfelt moment of self-reflection that she made a life-changing decision – to embrace her gift and rise above self-pity.
Since that pivotal moment, Lauren Barwick has gone on to achieve remarkable feats in the world of equestrian sports. She has competed in numerous events, earning medals and recognition along the way.
Her exceptional skills and dedication have led her to represent Canada in four Paralympic Games, where she proudly won gold, silver, and bronze medals. Her outstanding achievements were celebrated when she was inducted into the prestigious Canadian Disability Hall of Fame in 2015.
Today, Lauren has transformed her passion for horses into a successful career as a professional rider and instructor. Her connection with her horses is evident as she gracefully maneuvers them with remarkable control. In a heartwarming display of her capabilities, Lauren effortlessly saddles her horse from her wheelchair, attaches an exercise lead, and guides the horse through its paces.
Through the power of her voice alone, she commands the horse’s movements, showcasing the depth of their bond. With the support of two friends, Lauren even mounts her horse, delivering a grand finale that epitomizes her indomitable spirit.
Lauren Barwick’s story serves as a testament to the human spirit’s resilience and determination. Despite the challenges life has thrown her way, she remains unwavering in her pursuit of passion. Bound to a wheelchair, Lauren refuses to let her limitations define her, instead choosing to defy the odds and embrace her talent for horse riding.
Her inspiring journey stands as a reminder that with unwavering determination and a positive mindset, one can overcome any obstacle and live a life filled with purpose and fulfillment.