We get calls on a regular basis about our program and how to apply. Below you will find answers to commonly asked questions both from Veterans interested in participating in the program and other general inquiries below. If you are interested in attending, please read and then apply 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. If you are on Active Duty please email us for a separate application. 

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.


  • ALL Honorably Discharged Post 9/11(OIF - OEF - ND to present), and current Active Military, Reserve, or Nat. Guard are welcome to apply.  For pre 9/11 veterans, our Wisdom Way For Warriors Program (no riding required) may be a fit for you.
  • You DO NOT have to be combat wounded, have a PTSD rating or have deployed in theatre, as our program is for the resilient warrior - Veteran or Active Military who are currently in the workforce or school. Our programs provide a multi-tool for pre-deployment or post-deployment resilience.
  • Must submit a DD214 with application. For Guard and Reserves please upload your LAS where we request the DD214 on the 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., and max height of 6'2" 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.
  • Must be alcohol and drug free (no alcohol, no drugs, no medical marijuana, no firearms permitted).

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 October 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.

A typical day begins around sun-up with morning chores of feeding and mucking horse paddocks. Breakfast on your own, gear up and head down to the horses for the morning session,  working from the ground up.  A delicious and nutritious lunch is prepared and enjoyed together. The afternoon sessions vary seasonally, from stimulating conversation, to a Wisdom Way For Warrior  Resiliency session.   In the evening, horse chores and feeding, with dinner on your own or taken together and maybe a trip in to town to sample some local, authentic New Mexican cuisine. Late 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.

We  have an extensive library where you can grab a good book and read before heading to bed. Many of our veterans and military members also like to journal too, writing all they experienced and learned during their day. We have a cozy Chapel on the premise for quiet meditation or private worship. 

The Bunkhouse is Fragrance-Free:We ask that guests not use strong colognes, perfumes, or oils due to allergy sensitivities, as these permeate fabric and linger.

We have a full kitchen in the bunkhouse along with a BBQ grill and a Weber Smoker outside for your convenience so you can  prepare your own breakfast and supper.  We do take occasional trips into town to show ya some of what Santa Fe has to offer and shop for anything needed that has not already been provided or that may have been forgotten while packing for your stay here. (Bunkhouse photos at bottom of page).

There is no television nor 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 for your convenience .

About the surrounding area

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  approximately 15 minutes north of the ranch on NM Hwy 14.

There is an Urgent Care 15 minute north of us with a full hospital/ER 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. 

Sundays: No sessions are scheduled on Sundays ~ it is the ranch's day to Rest and Reset!
Any and all Faith traditions are welcome to use our St. Mark's Warrior Chapel, walk the Labyrinth, sit on the deck over our reflection pond, or simply rest in the hammock on the bunkhouse porch.

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 - sliding boots in and out of stirrups) - No combat boots ( they don't fit in our stirrups if you are riding). 

Cowboy hat or cap for the sun.

Sunscreen & personal water bottle.

We do not train in t-shirts, tank tops, shorts,  or flip flops.
NOTE: Clothing also depends on which class you are scheduled for so please check back prior to travel. 

 Q.  Can I bring my dog?

A.  Sorry, but we cannot accommodate any dogs or pets of any kind.

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

A.  This program is tailored to the veteran or active duty member. Those wishing to attend with their spouse, please see Our Offerings Page and have a look at our Resilient Couples.

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. 

If you have technical problems with the online application, please email us info@horsesforheroes.org.

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

Expect an EMAIL from us after you have submitted your application. We respond usually within 3 business days,

please check your spam folder. It is up to you to follow up.

If you have technical problems with the online application, please email us info@horsesforheroes.org.

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 work with at the ranch?

A.  We work with well-trained American Quarter Horse Geldings. Due to our Veterinarian's requirements, participants in our programs that offer riding weight may not exceed 200 Lbs... no exceptions.

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 when replacing one of our herd-mates.
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.  Do you offer internships or any type of paid employment ?

At this time  we do not offer any type of paid employment but in our off season occasionally offer internships to former program participants .

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.