Meet the Founders
Rebecca was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1960, and grew up mostly in Illinois. Rebecca has traveled all over the country, and before coming to Arkansas in 1996, she lived in Arizona. Rebecca always loved animals, horses specifically. When she was young, Rebecca wanted to be a veterinarian but settled for nursing school instead. She has worked in the school system in the SPED department in between raising a family. She has 3 children, 3 stepchildren, and 9 grandchildren between them all.
Rebecca has suffered from depression, anxiety, and PTSD since the loss of her 15-year-old daughter, Autumn, in 2009. Shortly after the move to the new ranch location in Garfield was finished in 2021, Rebecca lost her son, Scott, also to suicide when he was 31. Struggle, loss, and grief are not strangers here at the Ranch. Neither is the healing power of the Lord!
Steve was born in Mason City, Iowa in 1952. He grew up on a farm in Klemme, Iowa and then moved to town later on. His dad was a farmer, mechanic and a builder. Steve learned all the tricks of the trades from his dad. In 1977, he moved to Arkansas to build houses with his dad and brother. While doing that, he built his own home, raised rabbits, goats, had a cow and horses. He also raised 3 kids. Steve is the main man when it comes to the maintenance, and all things building here at the Ranch. When Steve married Rebecca in 2004, he had no idea what the Lord had in store for him!
Our 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, died by 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.
Rebecca has loved horses all of her life. She would take 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. That direction came in the form of an interview with Kim Meeder of Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch. Kim’s interview gave her the direction she had prayed for. On that day, Autumn’s ReRide Youth Ranch rose from the ashes of Rebecca’s broken heart.
Rebecca has over 35 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.
Autumn’s ReRide started out on 1.88 acres in downtown Bentonville. From 2009-2021, Rebecca and Steve grew the ranch program and rented the adjoining property from a neighbor, allowing them to have additional acreage, pasture, and outbuildings. Only God could use such a tiny space to do such big things in the lives of children and horses.
In 2021, the Christians were made an offer to sell their property in downtown Bentonville and relocate the ranch. The offer was accepted, and in the Spring of 2021, Autumn’s ReRide found a new home in Garfield, Arkansas, on 20 acres! This new property is everything that they have been hoping and praying for since 2009, and it has been so fun to watch God bring it to fruition.
The mission of the Ranch became even more urgent to Rebecca when she lost her son, Scott, to suicide in July of 2021.
The new home of Autumn’s ReRide Youth Ranch has extensive pasture for all 18 horses, sheep, goats, and all of the other animals the ranch calls home. 20 acres provide plenty of room for an arena, a memorial orchard, and a garden, which have also been built on site. The opportunities for new avenues of healing for animals, children, and families are vast. We have only just begun!
“When I have been out to the ranch, you can feel the 💕 that Rebecca gives 100% of her life to the children and the animals. Rebecca and Steve have a job serving the Lord. No pay, just rewards. Sometimes, I wonder if we could go to work and know there was no paycheck and just hear “good job” and “thank you.” We need to be praying for funds to keep it running. God bless, and thanks for listening ❤️❤️”
“This is the most amazing place. Sweetest owners and volunteers. They’ve helped our kids so much, and we’re forever grateful!”
Christine V. (Ranch Mom)