In The News

Magazine/News Articles About the L5 Youth Ranch

Lincoln Kids Magazine May 2016

May 2011, Norris Public Power District Magazine (pages 8,9)

June 4, 2008 – Lincoln Journal Star

June 4, 2008 – Lincoln Journal Star


May 2008 the “Voice” newspaper

At-risk horses and youth get a second chance at L5 Youth Ranch

By Christina Case

Tucked back in the trees a few miles from Sprague is a haven for both troubled kids and troubled horses. Last year, Matt and Daisy Langston started L5 Youth Ranch as a safe place to bring kids and horses together. This year, they are looking to the future and hoping to build on their foundation, building healing relationships with more kids and horses.

Matt and Daisy moved from Lincoln to their acreage east of Sprague about four years ago. As youth sponsors at Christ’s Place Church in Lincoln, the pair had come to know lots of kids, some of them suffering from abusive or damaging home situations. We noticed the extensive needs of those kids and knew we wanted to continue helping them heal in whatever way we could, said Matt.

Moving to their acreage was just what Matt and Daisy needed. They both loved horses and the outdoors, and the extra space was a good fit for what they ultimately wanted to do. The space allowed them to become actively involved in rescuing abused and neglected horses, while also holding horse therapy sessions for abused and neglected kids.

Horse therapy works especially well with kids who struggle with anger management, Matt said. Since the horse senses and responds to the feel of its rider, it’s an incentive for the rider to control any anger or frustration. Kids can see the effect their anger has on others and relate that to life.

Horse therapy sessions last from an hour and a half to two hours, all one-on-one time. The Langstons each have full-time jobs, Matt as a civil engineer and Daisy as a medical recruiter, so they hold counseling sessions mostly on Saturday mornings and weekday evenings. Matt gives the riding lessons and hangs out with the guys, while Daisy helps the gals work through problems.

Each horse therapy session conforms to the needs of that particular kid, whether that means brushing the horse and learning riding skills, or just brushing and getting to know the horse. For older guys who have grown out of the horse phase, there are plenty of farm chores and manual labor to be done. It’s a nice setting for a good talk, fixing fence or doing other chores, said Matt.

During the winter months and when no sessions are scheduled, the ranch is still in the business of healing. Right now, L5 Youth Ranch is home to eight horses, six of which have been rescued from abusive or neglectful homes. We have always loved horses, and it makes me sick to see what some of these animals go through at the hands of their owners, Matt said.

Horses come to L5 through horse rescue agencies, local law enforcement, or even the owners themselves. It is encouraging when horse owners come to us because they know that they can’t care for their horse sufficiently, said Matt. In some cases, the owner just needs some advice on how to improve their horse’s living situation. Those are the easiest cases, when the Langstons can monitor horses conditions on the owner’s property. But for abandoned or abused horses with no hope of an improvement at their homes, their survival is dependent on the hands at L5 Youth Ranch.

Horses come from a variety of situations, said Matt. One of them we rescued was on its way to slaughter. A good partnership with the Cass County sheriff’s office has helped Matt get several horses out of bad situations as well. Our aim is to get the horse back to health and find a good home for it. Those that do really well could have a place with our youth program, he said.

L5 Youth Ranch is still in its early stages, and last year only a few kids did regular counseling sessions, but as the warm days of spring and summer are approaching, Matt has high hopes. We have the capacity for 20 to 25 kids. We would like to get volunteers ages 19-26 to help us work with more kids.

Eventually, Matt and Daisy hope to teach up-coming young leaders to do what they are doing, and taking a more behind-the-scenes role. They also hope to raise the funds for an indoor facility so they can do horse therapy year-round. It may seem a lofty goal for a faith-based non-profit organization that depends solely on donations, but miracles have happened at L5 and theres no reason to think they’ll cease now.

When you have a painful past and you can be involved with healing someone with the same pain, it helps you heal, Matt said. These kids share a lot with the horses abuse, neglect and apathy. It helps them relate and begin to build bonds.

Sessions with Matt or Daisy are available by appointment, and are free of charge. Those interested in making an appointment for an at-risk child, offering a good home to a horse, or reporting a horse in need of help can reach Matt at 402.525.9963 or Daisy at 402.525.9964. L5 Youth Ranch is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, so your donations are not only welcome, they can be tax deductible. For more information on L5 Youth Ranch, visit