Walk. Ride. Rodeo. is a 2019 Netflix film that tells the true story of Amberley Snyder, a rodeo barrel racer. Snyder survives a horrific car accident that leaves her paralyzed from the waist down. Snyder must now come to terms with her handicap as she learns to use a wheelchair to get around. Despite this setback, Amberley continues to compete in the sport that she loves: rodeo.
This article will discuss the strong representation of people with disabilities present in the film.
Walk. Ride. Rodeo. portrays Amberley Snyder with strength and grace. Her identity is not reduced to her disability. This portrayal brings strong representation for the disabled and women.
At a young age, Snyder competed in barrel racing, pole bending, and breakaway roping competitions. She won many awards in these competitions. Her life changed when, she suffered a major car crash. Her truck drifted lanes, slid off the road and rolled 7 times. Because she had not fastened her seat belt, Snyder's T-12 vertebra was crushed. She was hospitalized and received physical therapy. Unfortunately, she was ultimately to become a paraplegic.
Snyder struggles to adjust to daily life in a wheelchair. Things look bleak until she discovers that she can still ride her horse, Power, and participate in competitions. Her recovery process takes time, but, with the support of her family, she begins to train for upcoming competitions.
The seat belt on her horse saddle is emblematic of the special accommodations for people with disabilities. They can participate in sporting events. They are not asking for an advantage, just accommodations and a chance to prove themselves like any other competitor. Snyder is an incredible example, performing some of the stunts in the film herself. Representation among people with disabilities is important in our society. At the end of Walk. Ride. Rodeo., Amberley's mother says, "you may have lost the use of your legs, but it's opened up your heart." This is a significant line that serves as a metaphor for accomplishment despite disability.
Just like Bethany Hamilton from Soul Surfer and Unstoppable, Amberley Snyder is a representative figure for not only disabled athletes, but all athletes and people. The epilogue states that Amberley Snyder continues her successful career as a rodeo barrel racer with archived photos and video clips of the athlete today. She has also become a motivational speaker. Amberley Snyder's success reminds viewers why representation among people with disabilities is important today.