We get calls on a regular basis about our program and how to apply and volunteer opportunities. Below you will find answers to commonly asked questions both from Veterans interested in participating in the program and other general inquiries below.


About the program / requirements

This is not a rehab program - you must have already transcended your addiction to participate.

You the Veteran MUST contact us yourself.

OUR PRIMARY COMMITMENT: We are veterans helping veterans and are committed to a qualitative experience and will continue to serve as many veterans and active military as we are able. 

The following criteria applies to both our day and resident program.


CRITERIA FOR PARTICIPATION FOR COWBOY UP! PROGRAM:

  • ALL Honorably Discharged Post 9/11(OIF - OEF - ND to present), and current Active Military, Reserve, or Nat. Guard are welcome to apply.
  • Participants can be Male or Female
  • Must submit a DD214 with application
  • Must submit a scanned copy of your Driver's License or a Military ID that matches the name on your DD214.
  • No horse or ranch experience necessary to participate
  • If diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, you must submit your current VA rating letter.
  • Must be ambulatory (able to sit a horse without assistance).
  • In keeping with our veterinarians' recommendations, participants must not exceed 200 lbs., no exceptions. Weigh-in for participants will take place upon arrival at the ranch.
  • Must make your own air travel to Santa Fe (SAF) or Albuquerque (ABQ) airports.


Veterans who want to commute to the ranch have the option to participate in our non-resident, self-paced program with sessions that will be scheduled around their availability, as well as ours. This is a great option for  NM veterans attending school or with jobs.

Our resident sessions are scheduled from April through November and can be tailored to your time requirements.  Participants will also be able to sign on for additional or follow on sessions depending on availability and season. E-mail us for availability. This is a great option when time restraints are not an issue.

Our training day usually begins with morning feeding of horses and cattle on premise. Generally a full day of horsemanship and other ranch activities follow, and ends with feeding in the evening. So be prepared for long days.   Evening brings porch sitting with time to take in the beautiful New Mexico sunset along with views of the surrounding Sangre de Cristo and Ortiz mountains and the Cerrillos hills.

Some meals, lunches mostly, will be supplied to accommodate our work and training schedule. You will be responsible for your own breakfast and supper. We have a full kitchen in the bunkhouse along with a BBQ grill outside for your convenience. (Bunkhouse photos below).

There is no TV and no computer service in the bunkhouse. 

Bathroom and shower is in the bunkhouse.

Bedding and towels are provided. There is a washer and dryer in bunkhouse.

About the surrounding area

There is one restaurant half a mile down the road:

San Marcos Feed and Cafe and is open for breakfast and lunch only 7 days from 8am to 2pm.

There is a general store and gas station about 2/10 of a mile north of the ranch open from 6 AM to 8 PM daily.

There is a Super Walmart  open 24 hours approximately 15 minutes north on NM Hwy 14.

There is an area hospital in downtown Santa Fe (approx. 30 minutes north), however, the closest VA Hospital is in Albuquerque, approximately 60 miles and an hour south of the ranch.

Sunday Worship:
ALL faiths are welcome here at the ranch!!!

We are happy to accommodate your specific denominational or faith tradition requirements.


Q.  What equipment or clothing will I need?

A.  The ranch is located at just under 7,000 feet so weather in the high desert is generally cool in the morning and evening and hot during the day so dressing in layers is what we usually do here.

Participants will need jeans, long sleeve shirt, cowboy boots with smooth soles and heels (for ease of riding and sliding boots in and out of stirrups) - No combat boots.

Cowboy hat or cap for the sun.

Sunscreen.

We do not train in t-shirts, tank tops, shorts, sneakers, combat boots or flip flops.

* E-mail us for further info on weather and gear.

 

 Q.  Can I bring my dog?

A.  Sorry, but we cannot accommodate any dogs.




Q.  Can I bring my spouse, or significant other?

A.  This program is tailored for the veteran only.




Q.  How do I apply?

1. Please be sure to read through the above criteria for participation

2. Fill out the Cowboy Up! Application below

3. Upload the required documents on application form.  DD214, PTSD VA Rating letter or VA Disability Rating letter

if you are rated with PTSD, a copy of your Driver's License or a Military ID that matches the name on your DD214,

as well as a current full length photo. 

Note: Incomplete applications will NOT be processed




Q.  I am an OIF/OEF veteran but I was not combat wounded and am not rated with PTSD, can I still participate?

A.  Yes! Please be sure read through the above and fill out the application and submit the required paperwork. 
      All post 9/11 applications will be considered.



Cowboy Up! APPLICATION click Here



Other FAQ's


Q.  Are you a therapeutic riding center?

A.  No we are not. We are a skill-set restructuring program free to Post 9/11 veterans and active military using the science of Neuroplasticity. We do believe that working with horses in either ground work or riding is therapeutic in and of itself. We facilitate in building your relationship with our horses and combining your military background and cowboy culture, through horsemanship, both on the ground and horseback along with ranch skills.



Q.  What kind of horses do you have at the ranch?

A.  We have well-trained American Quarter Horse Geldings. 



Q.  May I donate my horse to your program?

A.  We keep a limited herd, so it is best to e-mail to make your inquiry. We have a very specific list of requirements.
Horses must be:

  •  Quarter Horse Geldings
  •  Calm, Well trained and  finished. 
  •  Between 7- 10 yrs of age.
  •  Healthy and Well Conditioned with health records and no history of lameness and superb ground manners.   




Q.  Can I volunteer my time?

A. We welcome and accept volunteer inquiries, both veteran or non-veteran on a case by case basis according to their western/american horsemanship, ranch or other skills that are needed or pertinent to our program.

We always welcome help with ranch chores, grounds maintenance, grant research/writing, and fundraising.


~ Please fill out our Volunteer Application HERE. ~


Q.  Do you offer internships or any type of paid employment ?

A.  We do not offer internships or any type of paid employment at this time, as we are an ALL volunteer organization.



Q.  I have a working ranch and would like to become a Program Partner.  How do I go about doing that?

A.  Offering an opportunity to our Cowboy Up! participants to further develop their skills is always appreciated!
      Please contact us via e-mail or phone so we can discuss that. Also visit our Program Partner page here.    



Q.  Can I become an affiliate?


A.  Thank you for your interest, however, we do not offer an affiliate program at this time. Our program is unique and its strengths are in large part due to the personal relationships we have developed over time with our ranching community. Therefore we encourage anyone in the horse or ranching community who wants to start a horse program to work within their training capabilities and within their practical abilities to give back what they are realistically able. 



Q.  My family and I are on vacation and passing through Santa Fe.  May we stop by?

A.  We are a privately owned and operated ranch and because we live on premise and we respect our veterans privacy we do not offer formal or scheduled tours of the ranch.

​ HORSES FOR HEROES - NEW MEXICO, INC.™
COWBOY UP!

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