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Netflix’s ‘Walk. Ride. Rodeo’ shares Amberley Snyder’s inspirational true story
The film is based on a true story.
Barrel racer Amberley Snyder thought she’d never ride a horse again after she was paralyzed for life at age 19 in a 2010 car accident. Since then, Snyder has defied all odds and returned to competitive barrel racing, becoming the only paralyzed barrel racer in the country.
Now, folks around the world can draw inspiration from Snyder’s story in new biopic Walk. Ride. Rodeo, streaming on Netflix.
DIRECTOR: Conor Allyn
Netflix’s Walk. Ride. Rodeo is an emotional film about Amberley Snyder (Spencer Locke), who defied odds and became the first paraplegic barrel racer after she was paralyzed for life in a car accident, that shares the message that if you set goals for yourself and chase after your dreams, you can overcome any hardship.
Walk. Ride. Rodeo follows Snyder’s story, beginning days before her traumatic accident on the way to the Denver Livestock Show, throughout her physical therapy where she sets her goals to “walk, ride, and rodeo,” and until she competes at The American, known as the Super Bowl of barrel racing. The film is incredibly emotional—despite the acting falling flat at times—and imparts an inspirational message.
Director Conor Allyn showed a commitment to accuracy and dedication to Snyder’s story in the film’s creation. Snyder actually served not only as a consult on Walk. Ride. Rodeo, but also as a stunt double for Locke in scenes after the accident. Her horse, Power, also starred in the film—although he had three doubles on set.
Snyder was on set every day when horses were involved and personally trained Locke how to ride a horse and navigate a wheelchair. All of the rodeo jargon is accurate; a professional barrel racer can watch this movie without cringing about inaccuracies.
Walk. Ride. Rodeo’s downfall is its lackluster acting. Even with dramatic music and high-quality filming, certain crucial moments fall flat because the dialogue sounds phony. The scene before Snyder heads to the Denver Livestock Show in her rundown truck despite her mom’s offer to take her car, for example, feels insincere and lacks verisimilitude. Quite a bit of Locke’s narration comes off more cheesy than honest, as well.
Most of the actors do redeem themselves, however, by the time the film arrives to the aftermath of Snyder’s car accident. The accident itself is intense and leaves little to the imagination as Locke gets propelled out of her side window and slams into a fence, breaking her back. Missi Pyle, who plays Snyder’s mom, shines when she discovers the scene of the accident on her way to the hospital and displays compelling emotion as a mother going through any parent’s nightmare.
Overall, Allyn and his cohorts made an inspiring film that spreads Snyder’s positivity and determination to viewers. Their painstaking efforts to honor Snyder’s story by keeping her involved in production pays off to create a poignant film.
Need more ideas? Here are our Netflix guides for the best war movies, documentaries, anime, indie flicks, true crime, food shows, gangster movies, Westerns, and movies based on true stories streaming right now. There are also sad movies guaranteed to make you cry, weird movies to melt your brain, and standup specials when you really need to laugh. Or check out Flixable, a search engine for Netflix.
Tess Cagle is a reporter who focuses on politics, lifestyle, and streaming entertainment. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Texas Monthly, the Austin American-Statesman, Damn Joan, and Community Impact Newspaper. She’s also a portrait, events, and live music photographer in Central Texas.