Listen For My Bell

For many years the Scanlon family has been coming to Thorncroft, bringing their daughter Jessica to ride with Mr. D. Jess now gets on her horse from the mounting block and rides across the arena with little help from Mr. D or our volunteers.


Jess and Saunders Dixon

Jess has autism - her sister Erica was Miss New Jersey and has since gone on to perform on stage in New York. Her passion however is to continue to educate people about autism.

The road for this family has been full of major hurdles and miracles. Jim and Marilyn continue to support their girls and guide them to their current successes.

One Saturday they shared with us the following piece - which we wish to pass on to you. As you read it remember that within each of us we are gifted "a bell".

"Just up the road from my home is a field, with two horses in it. From a distance, each looks like every other horse. But if you stop your car, or are walking by, you will notice something quite amazing. Looking into the eyes of one horse will disclose that he is blind."

"His owner has chosen not to have him put down, but has made a good home for him. This alone is amazing. If nearby and listening, you will hear the sound of a bell. Looking around for the source of the sound, you will see that it comes from the smaller horse in the field. Attached to her halter is a small bell. It lets her blind friend know where she is, so he can follow her."

"As you stand and watch these two friends, you’ll see how she is always checking on him and that he will listen for her bell and slowly walk to where she is, trusting that she will not lead him astray. When she returns to the shelter of the barn each evening, she stops occasionally and looks back, making sure her friend isn’t too far behind to hear the bell."

"Like the owners of these two horses, God does not throw us away just because we are not perfect or because we have problems or challenges. He watches over us and even brings others into our lives to help us when we are in need. Sometimes we are the blind horse being guided by the little ringing bell. Other times we are the guide horse, helping others see."

"Good friends and relatives are like this. You don’t always see them, but you know they are always there. Please listen for my bell and I’ll listen for yours."

"Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."