Jonah is 4 years old, he started riding at Carousel Ranch when he was one year old. We started noticing that he was not reaching his developmental milestones, he was not crawling or sitting without support. Jonah was getting therapy through other resources but to be honest we didn’t see much improvement. One day when I was sitting at the ranch during my older son Javier’s lesson, I thought “ it’s helped Javier so much ! I know it will help...more
After getting the call that Caiden could start his first day at Carousel Ranch so many emotions arose. As a parent I was extremely excited but also nervous and questioning if it was going to be worth it just because Caiden already had a packed schedule with inconsistent progress. I questioned if this was going to be too much for him or if he’d even like it.
Caiden is three years old with Optic Nerve Hypoplasia (legally blind) &...more
Carousel Ranch has been an integral part of Ayla’s growing physical strength as well as her emotional and social development for over a decade. Ayla has challenges that many of us don’t have - to walk, perform multiplication, or even know when and what to say in a conversation with a peer. She is coming to be aware of her differences with her peers and that she may learn differently, walk differently, and need more time to accomplish her...more
"Jessica has been riding at Carousel ranch since she was 4 years old and she is now 14. Of all the many things she has enjoyed in those 10 years since she has been riding at Carousel, being on a horse is by far her very favorite.
Jessica was born with severe medical problems. She has endured several surgeries, the first being a emergent heart surgery at 2 months old. After that she’s had additional heart, spine, foot and other...more
Normalcy. A sense of belonging. For those of us whose children ride at Carousel Ranch, we struggle to help them attain these feelings in a normal year. But this past year has been unprecedented - challenging, even devastating. For many, their time spent riding can be the best part of their week - the most fulfilling, the greatest sense of accomplishment, a feeling of pure relaxation and joy. The opportunity to connect with other loving...more
Gratitude changes everything. It is a quality of feeling thankful and the readiness to and the readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. As we all know, this year has been a year of challenges that most of us cannot even comprehend. As a parent of a special needs child, this year's challenges have only been amplified. Receiving the news that lessons were on hold at the ranch due to COVID was initially understood, but soon...more
“Christopher has very unique needs like any other child. Not only does he have cerebral palsy, but he is also trach dependent and oxygen dependent, so he is medically involved. As Christopher’s mom – I don’t want to limit him based on a diagnosis and believe that Christopher is going to write his own story. At first we were nervous, about how riding was going to work logistically with all of his equipment. But as soon as Christopher sat...more
Our son, Ethan, is an 11-year old in a 22-year old body. He became blind from a tumor on his optic chiasm, numerous brain surgeries and 4 years of chemotherapy since the brain tumor diagnosis at age 9.
As a result, he is also intellectually disabled and suffers from short-term memory deficits, along with several endocrine-related conditions. He also has limited mobility from a stroke and scoliosis.
These complicated and...more
"My son Caleb started riding here when he was three, and he rode for nine years. And as his disability progressed the ranch was always open and willing to take him, and allow him to ride. And this became a very safe place for us. It became a second home.
Caleb had a mitochondrial disease and a seizure disorder, which progressed as time went on. While he was young, he used to run around the ranch, and didn't have a wheelchair. He had...more
“When we got the call that Victor was at the top of the list, were the most excited parents. Victor is a special child and he's a very brilliant kid. It took him so long to start talking...he’s super active, very hyper. He's a kid you'd look away for one minute and see him on a chandelier swinging. He had, lots of energy, very fast, no chance I could get him, and he had a lot of very difficult behavior.
Victor is in first grade and...more
Carousel Ranch alumni
At 14 years old, Lindsay was Carousel Ranch’s 3rd student. Born with cerebral palsy, cataracts, a hearing loss and a whisper voice as a result of a premature birth, Lindsay wanted to learn to ride independently – a goal she set her mind to, and never looked back.
As a teen, she wrote:...more