By Emma Jansson
The very first time Bethany came out to the ranch, she told me that she has always dreamt of riding a Clydesdale. I informed her that she was in luck, we have a Clydesdale cross named Little Bear. I told her all about his story. After that, she couldn’t wait to ride him!
Once Little Bear was all groomed and tacked up, we started to work him from the ground in the round pen. She and Little Bear connected. He joined up with her, and followed her around the round pen, matching her step for step. She couldn’t help but break into a big smile and continued to wear it the whole time!
The look in her eyes said to me, “I’m special. I feel wanted.” She rode him bareback for the last part of our session, beaming from ear to ear. During this time, I stepped back and prayed for her. I felt God saying that He had saved Little Bear’s life just for her.
After we put Little Bear away and went to get a snack from the kitchen, I got eye level with her and said, “You know what I think? I think God saved Little Bear many years ago just for you. Just so you could ride him today and make your dream come true.” She looked close to tears and couldn’t say anything in response.
The next time she came to the ranch, she informed me that she told her brother that God had saved Little Bear just for her. Her brother had doubtfully replied, “And hundreds of other kids too.” Bethany looked at him and said, “Jesus would’ve died on the cross if it was just for me . . . so why wouldn’t He save Little Bear just for me?”
I was so proud that she knew of Jesus’ love in the pure way of a child. Later, in our time together, she was gazing thoughtfully around the ranch from the back of a Ranger. When I asked her what she was thinking, she smiled slightly and said, “I think this might be the happiest place on earth.”