Carousel Ranch To Offer New Program For Disabled Veterans- Wed, 07/02/2014 - 1:48pm

Carousel Ranch, known for providing equestrian therapy to disabled children, recently received funding from Santa Clarita officials to start a new program for disabled veterans.

A dozen disabled veterans from Santa Clarita will be able to participate in one of four, 10-week sessions. Carousel Ranch is hoping to hold each session on Wednesdays for 90 minutes in the morning.

"We're hoping to get the word out that these services are available," said Denise Toomey, executive director of Carousel Ranch."We're really excited to begin the program and find those in need. We realize everyone's needs are different, whether it be physical or emotional disabilities such as a missing limb, Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, a brain injury."

The ranch is currently looking for disabled veterans to participate in the new program beginning in late July.

"We are happy to be part of the new program and to see these funds used for veterans,"said Erin Lay, housing program administration for the city of Santa Clarita.

For those who complete the program, three things may happen; they continue another 10 week program if their needs continue, their program ends after the 10 weeks or they would have the option to help a future veterans group or children's program, Toomey said.

The ranch was one of five nonprofit organizations in Santa Clarita to receive the eight Community Development Block Grants, Lay said.

"Our experience with working with those with disabilities for 17 years will help us with this new program," Toomey said. "In each 10-week group, there would be three veterans in the pilot program and we really hope that the program grows in the future years."

Toomey and her team has gone through various training programs throughThe Soldiers Project and the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs to accommodate the veterans.

"It's something we're really excited and passionate about," Toomey said. "We're just really, really thrilled to have the funding from the city to give back to our veterans."

Carousel Ranch has been a recipient of the CDB grant for more than a decade.

Each year, Santa Clarita receives the grant from the federal government. The grants are originally designed for infrastructure development, but the city is allowed to set aside 15 percent of the grants for the community.

If you are a disabled veteran or know a disabled veteran, contact Carousel Ranch at 661-268-8010 or

"The Santa Clarita Valley seems to be passionate about helping our veterans," said Toomey. "I hope it's a component of our program that continues."