Jul 4, 2015

Happy 4th of July

Jun 19, 2015

Another Stellar Week!!!

Another week of Army veterans participate in the Cowboy Up! program.
This time, we start our days with yoga stretches adapted from Beryl Bender Birch's "Yoga For Warriors", to limber our bodies for the work ahead with the horses.

Day 1
 We begin our horsemanship training with partnership work in the round pen.

 The afternoon session we get horseback,
starting out with the basics in a self-paced mode

Day 2
 We learn everything at a walk and in achievable components.

Day 3
The following day, skills are mastered and we move into the seated trot.

 A reward for all the hard work ~ a trip into town to play tourista!

Day 4
 The next morning some more stretching to prepare for our day.
Thank you Beryl for the Yoga for Warriors books and the mats!!!

Getting some rest in the shade before the day begins!
 Some drills on posting the trot.

 John teaches our wrangler/instructor  Bianca, a few good moves for stretching 
the hamstring and spine ~ ahhh... I can ride all day now!

Day 5
 Cowboy Up! Yoga feels sooo good!

 Hard chargers till the end, Stacy and John spend some 
time with their horses and horseback prior to their flights home.

 There is nothing like truly "feeling" the horse while in motion bareback.

The Horse is the bridge between our physical world and the spiritual world!

Jun 9, 2015

Where did April go?!

Sometimes technology does funny things!  Here is our missing rocking April post:

Easter Sunday at the Ranch April 5th, 2015
Blessings abound as our Veterans and their families celebrate Easter
The dinner menu was spectacular and everyone brought something delicious too!
Fr. Jon Alexander OP. who heads up our real "Cowboy Churches" in Cerrillos, Galisteo and Golden brought his trademark wit and wisdom.
Chris Chaisson taking some time out on the porch to love on the dogs.

Selfies with the kids...
Sharing the love!

April 6th we were guests on IHM Radio's "Archbishops Hour" with Mary Woods.  This hour long program featured our upcoming Veterans Workshop/Retreat that Rick and Nancy designed and facilitated titled: "The Other Side of PTSD"
We had some great conversation and even better laughs with Mary and Deacon Robert Vigil- Office of Pastoral Outreach who overseas our work with the Archdiocese of Santa Fe Veterans Task Force.

 Neat announcement by Mary-Charlotte of
Santa Fe's Radio Cafe (see entry below of the retreat)


April 20th, the snow melted and the earth dried out for more sessions.
Cowboy Up! Instructor Chris Chaisson working with Greg (Marine) and T4.

Afterward, the horses get their spring vaccinations...

... and our veterans...

...do the inoculating.


April 23rd, 2015
A new crew of Veterans learning it the right way from our Cowboy Up! Instructor/Veterans
Cowboy Up! Instructors/Veterans Chris Chaisson ( Army) and Eric Yorty ( Army) running a great training evolution in these photos.


Our April 25th, 2015 Veterans Task Force workshop on
"The Other Side of PTSD" was a success!
Sacred Heart Church~ Albuquerque, NM

Fr. June Ramos and Decon Robert Vigil

The day started with Fr. June Ramos (USMC - 3 tours and wounded 3 times, now Priest at Our Lady of Annunciation in Albuquerque) and his talk
on" How I  Learned Forgiveness From My  Enemy."
Then Horses For Heroes Cowboy Up! shared a short video on "Horse Medicine" to show what we do here at the ranch in working with post 9/11 veterans and active military heal from their soul wounds.
Up next was Rev. Rick Rinde (US Army EOD Afghanistan veteran). Rick spoke on his "soul wound" and why we here at Cowboy Up! have renamed PTSD  "Post Traumatic Spiritual Dissonance™".

Executive Director of Horses For Heroes Cowboy Up! Rick Iannucci 
discusses the many faces of Post Traumatic Spiritual Dissonance™

Lunch Break

Col. Quentin & Mel Collins (USAF Iraq now Head Chaplain NMNG) addressed "A Families Experience of War"
Col. Tim Hale (USAF Spec Ops now Ordaianed Elder at Hoffmantown Church Albuquerque) was our closing speaker and tied all of our talks together masterfully. Tim is the recently retired Cabinet Secretary of Veterans Services for the State of New Mexico. ( Tim and Quentin both serve on Horses For Heroes NM's National Advisory Board.)

The later part of the afternoon we visited the Sacred Heart Chapel where Deacon Robert Vigil shared the incredible story of how the World Trade Center Beams made their journey from Ground Zero to Albuquerque.  

See the Sacred Steel Beams ~ Click the image below to enlarge:

Thank you all for attending!


May 23, 2015

Memorial Day 2015

Apr 5, 2015

Sergeant First Class Leroy Petry Joins Horses For Heroes - NM, Inc's National Advisory Board.

Photo: Executive Director of Horses For Heroes - NM, Inc., Medal of Honor Recipient Sergeant First Class Leroy Petry on the day of his jump into Santa Fe for the unveiling of his statue, June 24, 2013, and Cowboy Up! Graduate and Instructor and Eric Yorty (US Army). Iannucci organized Petry's jump and ran the Drop Zone with Cowboy Up! Crew members.

Horses For Heroes- New Mexico Cowboy Up! is pleased to announce the addition of former US Army Ranger and Medal of Honor Recipient Sergeant First Class Leroy Petry to their National Advisory Board.
Horses For Heroes- NM Inc. Executive Director Rick Iannucci, former US Army Special Forces said, “I am honored to have my dear friend Leroy join us in our mission to provide healing; body, mind and spirit, for our nations warriors.
His addition to our team validates the important work we do and honors and empowers the men and women who have selflessly given their very best for our country in time of war.”
            SFC  Leroy Petry who received the Congressional Medal of Honor for his bravery during combat operations in Afghanistan,  joins an already sterling group of men and women on the National Advisory Board of this faith based program including; former NM Cabinet Secretary and retired Air Force Colonel Tim Hale, NM National Guard  Head Chaplain Quentin Collins, Capt. Ralph Galati US Air Force former POW, Sergeant First Class Dana Bowman, US Army Special Forces (the first double amputee to return to active duty) and the Hon. Judge Arthur Gajarsa US Circuit Court of Appeals (Ret.) among others.
            Horses For Heroes- Cowboy Up!  is a  Santa Fe, New Mexico based 501 (C) (3) non-profit  and a unique horsemanship, wellness and skill set restructuring program FREE to all Operation Irai Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom~Afghanistan and Operation New Dawn  men and women veterans and active military, especially those who have sustained physical injuries or PTSD.
From day one veterans are hands on with  their American Quarter Horses beginning with groundwork and progressing to riding as well as participating in other aspects of ranch life, including working cattle and more importantly experiencing the camaraderie with cowboys who are veterans themselves.
They believe Horsemanship is Leadership and by assisting veterans through the way of the horse and cowboy culture they are able to support their journey, integrating body, mind and spirit.
Petry,  a Santa Fe, NM native, and Iannucci have worked together on various national projects for combat wounded veterans since 2012.


March 17th to April 4th, 2015

 It's always fun to get new equipment!
If you are looking for great, Handmade in the USA, halters, lead ropes, rope reins and more!
Look up our friends Lazy K Corral and tell 'em Nancy and Rick sent ya!
We highly recommend Kathy and Dave!
Thanks you two!!!

As you know from an earlier post Kerry Kuhn stopped by
to visit Cowboy Up! and the crew, he had posted the below
message on his FaceBook page :
Click to enlarge.

Always a great day when ya can get in the saddle, as
it's been wintery weather, but we get a chance to ride!
Greg (Marine) is doing well with T4 - working on his riding skills with Cowboy Up! Director,
 Nancy De Santis  ~ remember:

“Repetition is the mother of learning, the father of action, which makes it the architect of accomplishment.”

Zig Ziglar


Paul (Marine) works with our Cowboy Up! program medic Neal "Doc" Riley (US Army Special Forces).


A special visit from National Geographic photographer Andrew Wakeford
who is completing his next coffee table book "Veteran Voices"
where some of our crew will be featured.
Andrew blends in while the crew gets to work saddling the boys.

There's no stopping for photos, Andrew captures in action shots
 while the guys ride.

Photographing the photographer...!

Andrew shows us some of his stories in his first
veteran portraits book "Portraits of Service".

Left to right: Executive Director of HFHNM Inc. Rick Iannucci,
National Geo photographer Andrew Wakeford,
and Cowboy Up! assistant instructor Paul Duran (Marine).
 We will keep ya posted when the book is release later
this year or early 2016.


Working Ranch Magazine comes out for a visit.
Left to right: Rick Iannucci, Mark O'Byrne (Marine
who stayed and worked with us a couple years back), and
Working Ranch Editor Tim O'Byrne.

The O'Byrne boys visit our Gold Star Memorial Wall on
 the West side of the bunkhouse.


Rick gets Nick (Marine) up and riding with 'T4' and 'Hollywood'.
Well done, time to relax!


Here is Dillon (Air Force) and John (Army) taking some time 
to sharpen their riding skills with 'Roper" and 'T4'.


Back in the saddle!

Nice seat John!


Click to enlarge the following Facebook post from Kerry Kuhn:
What an endorsement ~ Thanks Kerry!


Finally we have Andrew back! Been busy working hard for the Army.
Nice Halters from Lazy K Corral ~ it's all we use!

Moving energy ~ nice!