"Horses are quite spiritual animals. When you groom a horse and feel its heart beat, hear it breathe and see its flesh twitch when a fly lands on it, you're connecting with something greater. These creatures help our veterans to get back in touch with a living being, which helps them to connect better with their spouses, friends and all of society."
~ Nancy De Santis, Cowboy Up! Director
Quoted from American Profile article by Marta w. Aldrich
A bit more about our Cowboy Up! program:
Cowboy Up! is a unique horsemanship, wellness and skill-set™ restructuring program free to post 9/11 veterans and active military who have sustained physical injuries or combat trauma (PTSD) during their time serving our country.
This program is for both men and women. We are honored to be endorsed by NM Department of Veterans’ Services, New Mexico Cattle Growers Association and their member ranches, Cimarron Maverick Club NM,Wrangler National Patriot Program, and Gold Star Mothers of America - Albuquerque Chapter.
Cowboy Up! consists of performance objectives centered on a natural horsemanship school of thought where horse and handler bond through communication, trust and understanding of the horses' natural instincts. Participants also learn techniques of handling livestock while horseback and afoot.
Acknowledging the value of the military skills that each participant possesses, the horsemanship and ranch skills are the perfect template to restructure those skills. No previous horse or ranch experience is necessary to participate.
Here at the ranch we are alcohol and drug free. Most importantly, we are camarades, not counselors.
To see if you qualify please read through our FAQ's Here.
"Horses For Heroes Cowboy Up! is an extraordinary program for mind body and spirit and makes an exceptional contribution to the healing of veterans and all people who have suffered trauma, PTSD and shock! Rick Iannucci and his program is moving the world forward with the intuitive wisdom of horses to bring forth healing!
~ Dr. Ronald A. Alexander
OpenMind Training Institute, Santa Monica, CA
LESSONS FROM THE RANCH
Excerpt from Military Times, July 2012 by Kevin Coyne
Knowing not everyone can attend Cowboy Up!, Director Rick Iannucci provided advice for troops transitioning from combat to civilian life.
Work on controlling your emotions. Learn to focus on one specific task, and do not become deterred in the face of adversity.Understanding your emotions reaches beyond psychological understanding — it’s about being able to remedy a problem using acquired skills.
Think about how you got through a deployment. Use the same skills that got you through a deployment or a difficult training exercise. Always remember the perseverance you were taught.Remember completing the mission regardless of the conditions or perceived difficulty.
Don’t lose sight of your military values. Make a mental commitment to adapt, overcome and improvise when you face hardships.
Develop leadership reconnaissance. This is being able to interpret and assess situations such as you might have been required to do downrange.
Practice mindfulness. Be present in the moment. Reach deep into yourself and know that if you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.
HORSES FOR HEROES - NEW MEXICO, INC.™