New Must-Watch Movie: Walk. Ride. Rodeo.
- March 20, 2019
- Jolyn Young
I just sat down on the couch with my kids and watched Netflix’s new original movie Walk. Ride. Rodeo. I have two immediate thoughts to share: 1) Wow, and 2) Forget popcorn – you’re going to need Kleenex for this one. All the Kleenex.
The movie portrays the compelling story of rodeo contestant and inspirational speaker, Amberly Snyder. A lifelong barrel racer, she was on the fast track to success on the college and presumably pro circuits when she wrecked her pickup at age 19 and became paralyzed from the waist down. Doctors told her she’d never walk again. She countered by declaring that not only would she would walk again, but she’d ride.
Walk. Ride. Rodeo. opens with a rodeo scene featuring Amberly before her accident. The main character is played by the lovely and sunny Spencer Locke, with Amberly’s real-life sister Autumn Snyder playing her stunt double for the pre-wreck riding scenes. Amberly plays her own stunt double for the post-wreck riding scenes because she is a competitive barrel racer in real life.
The wreck scene is hard to watch, but not as emotionally difficult to get through as Amberly’s mother’s reaction to seeing her daughter’s pickup crumpled alongside the highway. The talented Missi Pyle plays Tina Snyder and brings to life every emotion a parent would feel after her child was involved in a horrific accident; terror, confusion, despair, strength, guilt, and optimism.
Optimism and determination are two of the film’s primary themes. Directed by Conor Allyn, Walk. Ride. Rodeo. is so named because that is what Amberly told her doctor when asked about her future goals. She doesn’t walk again, but she learns to ride her favorite horse, Power, with the aid of a specially designed seat belt that securely straps her into the saddle. She goes on to barrel race at a competitive level, even competing in the prestigious American Rodeo as a voted-in fan favorite.
The film is an inspirational story that goes well beyond the classic, warm-hearted, “feel-good” movie. It has a gritty realness that transcends the typical underdog story. One slow-motion scene shot from ground level shows Amberly falling out of her wheelchair when alone with her horses and the helplessness she feels when she is confronted with her paralysis and unable to get up. The teenaged main character receives a standing ovation from the crowd at the American, but she also back talks her mother.
Above all else, Amberly’s resolute confidence and fearlessness when riding her big black horse inspire viewers to pursue their own passions and overcome any obstacles. To watch Walk. Ride. Rodeo. and be unmoved is as impossible. Check it out on Netflix streaming service. To learn more about Amberly Snyder, visit her website.
About Jolyn Young
Jolyn Young lives near Montello, NV with her cowboy husband and 3 small kids. For more, visit www.jolynyoung.com....