Riding for the Gold, Naturally, Lauren Barwick's Incredible Journey, is the inspirational story of the life of Lauren Barwick. At the age of 22, Lauren was an able-bodied, athletic young woman who enjoyed riding over jumps on horses, cross country running, skiing and other strenuous outdoor activities. But after a bale of hay fell on her, Barwick awoke to learn that her back was broken and she was w a paraplegic. Utterly devastated, Lauren swore to never ride a horse again. Yet she soon discovered a glimmer of hope in her sadness and embarked on a grueling journey of rehabilitation and recovery. Overcoming adversity on so many levels, Lauren has created a model by which we can all live and thrive. With the support of Parelli Natural Horsemanship, Lauren has achieved incredible success as an elite athlete competing in international dressage. Her amazing journey, movingly depicted in this surprising, provocative and sometimes humorous biography will captivate and engage t only readers who love horses, but readers who are searching for motivation to move through life's hills and valleys. A truly inspirational read. Facing life's obstacles with an unshakeable commitment to her dream, Lauren's life journey is a testament to her personal strength and will power. Everyone can learn valuable lessons from this book. Mark Weiler, President of Parelli Natural Horsemanship When I met Lauren, she impressed me with clear goals, but she proved to me that she would do whatever it took to meet those goals with principles intact. She is a remarkable woman as you will discover in reading about her life, and her dedication to helping others is what brought us together. Pat Parelli, Founder of Parelli Natural Horsemanship
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Susan O'Brien taught in Middle School for 31 years. She taught English, creative writing, journalism, drama as well as other subjects in the humanities. She produced the school newspaper and plays that kept her students engaged and energized. Her love of the written word earned her an award from the Greater San Diego Reading Association as an Outstanding Teacher of Reading/Language Arts. She is a graduate of San Diego State University with a degree in English and drama. She continued on to earn a teaching credential at SDSU and then completed her master's degree in Educational Psychology at United States International University. But before all this, she developed a life-long love of horses. Because of this passion, she pursued excellence in her horsemanship in Parelli Natural Horsemanship. Attending a conference in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, at the Parelli Ranch she was introduced to an incredible athlete named Lauren Barwick. Lauren's life story and talent as a rider as well as her dream to go to the Summer Olympics in 2008 peaked Susan's interest. She contacted Lauren and followed her incredible journey through to the Olympics and back through her childhood, the accident that took her from able-bodied rider in eventing and show jumping to para-equestrian and later paralympian. She and Lauren have worked closely to create a biography that is not only true to fact but engaging and often surprising.