Lindsay Spann

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: “I consider that Becky and Denise are not just my teachers, my mentors, my role models and my cheerleaders, but my friends as well. I cherish their compassion for people like me who are trapped in bodies that don’t always do what you want. They had a dream and their dream changes lives. I know because years ago, it changed mine.”

After realizing her dream of riding could and would become a reality, Lindsay began to blossom, literally transforming from a shy and unsure girl, completely lacking self-confidence – to an amazing, confident young woman that never let anything stop her.

Lindsay has never forgotten her experiences at the Ranch and all of the volunteers, both human and equine. Lindsay recalls “Equestrian therapy gave me a safe way to risk, to use my body in ways I would have been so afraid to all by myself. To this day, I remember that wonderful feeling inside myself! I would scream inside, “I can do it! You have no idea what an exhilarating feeling it was. This accomplishment was all my own and I loved it. And that sense of accomplishment still carries. Carousel Ranch gave me to opportunity to feel success from risking and the craving to have more of it in other areas of my life. I thank them daily for their understanding and care in helping other kids grown in abilities as well as character. They get into the hearts and speak the special language that we, with special needs speak.”

Since graduating from UCLA in 2006, with a degree in Scandinavian Studies, Lindsay, now 30, is happily married and living in Rhode Island. She has a beautiful daughter, Mia, who will be two next month and operates her own pet sitting business, along with providing pet therapy to the elderly, with her own therapy dog – Mulder.