If you're looking for an inspiring movie to get your weekend started off right, you're in luck. Netflix has an abundance of obsession-worthy original programming, but only a few fit the "will make you do a standing ovation while wiping your tears" kind of box. One of these is available to stream Mar. 8, but is Walk. Ride. Rodeo. based on a true story? Saddle up, friends, because it's about to get teary-eyed up in here.
You're in luck — Walk. Ride. Rodeo. is based on the true story of Amberley Snyder, a former nationally ranked barrel racer. Snyder was only 19 years old when she was involved in a horrifying truck accident on her way to the Denver Stock Show and Rodeo. She'd taken off her seatbelt due to a stomachache and looked down to her map only a moment when the truck drifted across the yellow lines. No amount of correcting could stop what had been put into motion. The truck hit a fence post, ejecting her from her seat, and breaking her back — all in an instant. If it sounds awful, imagine living it. Walk. Ride. Rodeo. is a story about overcoming the odds, even, especially, when they're stacked against you.
If you think that's incredible, Walk. Ride. Rodeo. gets even more inspiring. Snyder was in surgery for five hours but by demolishing the T12 vertebrae, the use of her legs could not happen again. Ultimately, she was paralyzed from the waist down, with doctors telling her she'd still have use of her legs had she worn a seatbelt — a bittersweet fact that changed her life as she knew it. Though first told she'd never walk again — let alone get back on the proverbial and literal horse — she defied the odds. Along with support of her loving family, grueling physical therapy, and her intense determination to prove the doctors wrong, Snyder got back to the sport she loved. Did I mention it only took her four months? Yeah.
Obviously she wasn't back to "full" capacity after just four months. Her balance had some major issues. The only thing that helped? Her saddle. Over the course of a year-and-a-half, Snyder went from paralyzed, in the hospital, to competition-ready. This wasn't without fails, and she had to learn how to adapt — even added a seatbelt and velcro straps to the saddle and her legs to keep her on her horse.
She recently told People how incredible it feels to have her story inspire others saying, "I never imagined that this is how my story would turn out! I have always just been a stubborn cowgirl who loved horses and rodeo. To have a movie made has reiterated that everything happens for a reason and the purpose I serve in this chair is about something bigger than me."
And though actress Spencer Locke plays Snyder in the film, Snyder herself added in the same People interview, she had a huge part in the movie-making process. "I am my own stunt double for the post accident riding scenes. I am also a consultant on the film. I was able to be on set for almost every day a horse was ridden.”
In case all of this isn't enough to get you to check Walk. Ride. Rodeo. out, know that Snyder creates Wheel Chair Wednesday videos to share on social media and maintain a positive conversation going about what it means to live in a wheelchair. My goals have not changed...I'm just giving myself more time to accomplish them," she said. Excuse me while I increase the ante on my own goals, thanks to Snyder.