Locations: 9397 NW 12th Dr., Bentonville, AR
Mission: "Defend the cause of the weak and the fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the corrupt." -Psalm 82:3-4
About: The co-founder of Autumn's ReRide Youth Ranch, Rebecca Christians, vision for this organization came from 7 years of prayer and struggle. In December of 2002, Rebecca's 15 year old daughter, Autumn, committed suicide. From that moment grew Rebecca's desire to make a difference in the lives of at-risk children. Through periods of heartbreaking depression, she fervently prayed for a direction for her life. All of her life Rebecca has loved horses. She would grab every opportunity to ride or just be around them. She found peace and solace whenever she could be in the presence of a horse. Like Rebecca, Autumn also loved horses. She was a natural in the saddle.
In 2004, Rebecca's husband, Steve, bought her the very first horse she had ever had of her own. This beautiful little mare, Sissy, was the cornerstone of the ranch.
In 2009, Rebecca was still praying for direction in her life. It came in the form of an interview with Kim Meeder of Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch. Kim's interview was the "voice" of God to Rebecca giving her the direction for which she had prayed. It was on that day that Autumn's ReRide Youth Ranch rose up out of the ashes of Rebecca's broken heart.
Today the ranch provides over 70 sessions a week from May through November with the hard work and dedication of 15 volunteer Wranglers under Rebecca's supervision.
Rebecca has 20 years of experience working with horses, 15 years of experience working with special needs children, and has been involved in working with youth in faith-based settings since 1997.
Services: The ranch provides a safe and peaceful environment where broken children, horses and families can find hope and peace within the healing glow of unconditional love freeing them from their troubles and sadness. As the transformation begins to unfold, the children and families begin to come, not always for what they can get (a rescued horse can not be ridden and has many of their own special equine needs) but sometimes for what they can give. As the children work diligently caring for these struggling horses to help them get better, the children get better. There is something very spiritual about the bond that grows between the child and the horse; an unspoken language of complete acceptance. All participants learn the basics of riding, caring for horses and helping with ranch work. The sessions are flexible, allowing that time to best serve the unique needs of the children. Most riding sessions (on able-bodied equines) begin with a chore. This is usually 10-20 minutes where a leader and child work together mucking paddocks, pulling weeds, or working on various ranch projects.
Each child is nurtured by a leader who shares his or her individual tears and triumphs. Involvement in these simple tasks builds value into the heart of a child. Often children and teens who visit Autumn's ReRide face special physical, mental, emotional or social challenges. Children have the opportunity to learn the values of life, family, work ethic, faith and to experience the healing bond of trust, confidence and accomplishment in a unique environment most would not otherwise have the opportunity to experience. The child may then develop a sense of pride and accomplishment.
Volunteer opportunities: Volunteers can share their skills and abilities to assist in everything from cleaning stalls to building fences. We hold work days throughout the year to get the ranch ready for events or changing seasons. 18 horses are currently fed, sheltered and provided with veterinary care so monetary contributions are of utmost importance. For a list of our most current needs please visit our website.