By Jennifer Malti
“Walk. Ride. Rodeo.” tells the inspirational true story of barrel racer Amberley Snyder. Netflix released the film on March 8, 2019 as a Netflix Original.
Amberley Snyder is a famous barrel racer who had her life set on the rodeo until Jan. 10, 2010 when she faded out of her lane passing through Sinclair, WY heading towards a metal beam. In an effort to make it back into her lane, she overcorrected and caused her truck to roll, ejecting her from the car. She was launched from the vehicle and slammed into a fence, breaking her back, immediately losing her feeling in her legs.
This film tells her story right before that accident and her journey after. Amberley Snyder is played by actress Spencer Locke.
The film starts with Snyder winning her first competition riding her horse named Power. Snyder realizes that this is her passion, and tells her mother how she really has a shot at qualifying for a competition.
As she is on her way to another competition, she fades into the other lane and as she tries to get back in her lane, and ultimately gets into an accident. The film includes incredible detail of this experience where most films would skip over it, leaving the audience to truly see the horrific accident that she endured.
The audience next sees Spencer Locke’s portrayal in the hospital. She comes to find out that she no longer has feelings in her legs. Her mother comes in to the hospital room and comforts her child. After they both share their collective amount of tears, Snyder wonders about her future in riding.
She is greeted by a nurse played by Sherri Shepherd who shows her in a wheelchair which at first, she is reluctant to use. When first began going through physical therapy, she is greeted by her trainer, played by Corbin Bleu, and he asks her what her goals are.
She answers with “walk, ride, rodeo,” which alludes to the title of the film. Even though she is frustrated with her progress at first, she powers through it enough to be able to go home.
She gets home and is greeted by her family and friends. She still wonders about her future on riding as she looks at her horse Power. She begins to become determined to learn how to ride again without using leg and foot cues as well as becoming comfortable with the idea of being on the saddle again. After a few bad tries, she figures out a way to get back to where she once was.
The real Amberley Snyder actually contributed to the film by being there on set every day to teach Locke how to portray her and allowing Spencer to ride her horse Power.
This film is a wonderful story of determination and inspiration, as Snyder teaches that when you fall down, you get back up and keep going. It shows that one should never give up, even when odds are against you.