This is Max posting.
I am moved in many ways each time I pair a child with a horse. Most times, I do not even know what it is the child needs or for what she is searching. My belief is that every child needs something. No matter how adjusted or well off we may think that she is, there is always something. It is also my belief that neither I nor some renowned psychologist has the ability to target what that need is and to actually fulfill it. We, as people, lack the ability to set aside our own views, prejudices, and judgements. Sure, we may act as if we can, but it is all just an act. I have seen, however, a true counselor in action. He does not care about her past or what she looks like, he is simply there to love and to be loved. That counselor is the horse.
Every Thursday, we are blessed to have a group of troubled and at risk teenage girls spend the day at Galloping Grace. I do not know the details of their situations, but it is easy to see that in their short lives they have experienced life in a much darker world than I care to imagine. This past Thursday, the director of the program informed me of one girl in the group for whom she was particularly concerned. In order to keep her identity confidential, I will refer to her as Kim. Before I go on, I want you to know that I do not believe in coincidences, but rather that God has a purpose and a plan for all things. On Wednesday night, the director had informed me that there would be four girls visiting on Thursday. As I made the count during my introduction and safety speech, I realized that there were actually five girls in attendance. Kim was the fifth girl. After we began our work project, the director pulled me aside to tell me about Kim. Late the night before, Kim attempted to take her own life. Her mother contacted the treatment center and they were able to safely take her in.
To look at her, Kim looks like an average teenage girl. Even talking to her, I would not have thought that she had lost all hope. My only indication was the occasional glimpse of the many scars and fresh cuts that peaked out from between the mass of bracelets on each arm.
Many of you may have read that our horses have been a little sick lately. I had taken the girls into the pen to show them the swelling on the horse’s throats. Kim immediately took to Blue. I noticed her petting his cheek and putting her head against his neck. I could even hear her say, “I love you Blue.” This is not that uncommon an occurrence when children get around the horses, but in this situation I was taken a back. You see, Blue is not one of our more social horses. Typically he walks or even trots away when we try to approach him. For Kim, however, he simply stood still and let her love on him. Another very uncommon occurrence is for anyone to be able to pet one of the horses while it is lying on the ground. For more than ten minutes, I watched Kim sit by, lay on, and pet Cruz while he was lying down. I do not know what kind of impact her visit to Galloping Grace had on her but at that moment, Kim’s smile let me know that she was at peace with the world.
God has a plan for all things! I know that the horses of Galloping Grace Youth Ranch are there for a purpose. I can only pray that the smile that Kim had on that day will continue on for her.