Dec 15, 2015

ODA 132 Esse Viride Non Est Facile (It's Not Easy Being Green) Visit

December 11th, 2015

It's been 30 + years ... Special Forces Operational Detachment 
(ODA 132) "the Green Team" then...

Maj. Pete is 3rd from left, Rick is 5th from left and 
MSG Tim is 6th from left in this 1983 photo.
These former team mates came to the ranch at our invitation to observe, participate and assess our Cowboy Up! program as we prepared for the upcoming year.

...and now! Major Garth, Rick, MSG Tim, Major Pete 
on the Santa Fe Plaza at Christmas 2015
OIF veteran and Cowboy Up! Instructor Eric explains
haltering and leading to the men of ODA 132.

Nancy illustrates partnership with her horse 'Jack' to the Green Berets.
 The "A Team" grooms their horses.

 Break for lunch in the newly renamed "ODA 132 Team Room!"

 'Roper' at liberty with Special Forces Master Sgt. Tim.
MSG Tim is also a Military Order of the Purple Heart Recipient.
 'T4' partnering with Special Forces Major Pete. Maj. Pete is also a
Military Order of the Purple Heart Recipient.
 'Houdini' and Special Forces Major Garth.

L to R: Andrew, Garth, Tim, Pete, Eric and Rick
Tim is President of Chapter 36 Military Order of the Purple Heart and Pete is the Chaplain.

The following morning we were blessed with beautiful snow. 
The other good news is that we had to go out and work in it!
 Jack enjoying his grooming before cattle work!

 After the guys knock the mud off, Rick saddles 'Roper'.

Vaseline is packed inside the shoes to keep snow from building up.

Arrival and "deployment" Bonanza Creek Ranch. 
The work goes on no matter the weather

Cowboy crew heading out to gather the cows.

 The gather...

 ...and move...

 ...across CR45...

 ...into the pasture.
Bianca's Birdseye View. 


Now the work begins. Time to sort.
Momma cows to the left, calves to the right.

Good Sort!
All sorted and let out to pasture.

After working, Ranch Manager Steve Price takes 
the Team to see some of Bonanza Creek's movie sets.
Here they are inside the barn built for the Billy Bob Thornton film "Astronaut Farmer". 
Other films filmed in the barn are:

Great day for a group of Green Berets!

Company C, 1st Battalion 11th Special Forces- 1983

Have a ...
... and may you have a Joyous New Year!!!

Dec 3, 2015

A Quick Review of 2015

2015 here at the Crossed Arrows Ranch in Santa Fe, NM was incredible for all of us, and a year filled with healing for our warriors; body, mind and spirit. 

  If you are reading this once- a- year letter, you are one of the people who are making a difference in the lives of our veterans and active military and without you we literally could not do all that we do for those that have given so much. For that we are grateful beyond measure and humbled by your continued generosity and support.

The Cowboy Up! and Wisdom Way for Warriors programs continue to be on the cutting edge of alternative healing programs nationally for veterans. In addition to the thousands of hours of training sessions with our horses, free to our men and women veterans, we are experiencing a surge in active duty member participants from bases in New Mexico and across the country. “There is nothing like this program for us anywhere in the USA” one of our active duty participants proudly reports.
Active Duty Folks

          Our Warrior Bunkhouse continues to provide a safe place and a safe space for our visiting warriors and is a focal point for a camaraderie that eclipses traditional counseling. Shared over daily home cooked meals served free and washed down with a steaming cup of cowboy coffee, it is veterans helping veterans at its finest.

Warrior Bunkhouse/Meal Time

The “Team Training” concept that we initiated here was hugely successful in 2015.  Along with individual program participants, we will continue to promote this unique program concept in 2016 which provides the opportunity for warriors that served together to come to the ranch and again train and be together, forging new pathways towards healing. “Battle buddies”, teams and small units that served in Afghanistan and Iraq can again experience that camaraderie and cohesion through our Skill-Set Restructuring program and the way of the horse. Combining their military skills of teamwork, individual initiative and leadership with newly acquired horsemanship and ranch skills continues to prove to be an empowering combination.  

Team Training

"Horses For Heroes Cowboy Up! offers a positive solution that allows us to create new, dynamic, and positive memories to replace (or certainly push away) those memories of combat, and in so doing, allows us to re-engage with the present, with reality. This eases feelings of frustration and/or sadness and replaces them with feelings of accomplishment and contentment (and for me, joy!). I consider your program a key enabler of healing, especially self-healing, which is a major achievement and one that is priceless, because it permits we vets to feel in control again."      
~ Sgt. Major S.S. US Army (Ret.) 2003-2010 Iraq/Afghanistan Veteran

            Plans for a new 80’ X 120’ covered arena (artist rendering below) to expand our training days are well underway. In anticipation of being fully operational by late spring, this will greatly assist us in maximizing our programmatic capabilities.  Modeled after our bunkhouse design it will also provide us with an all weather, multi-function facility for our program and the veterans’ community at large. A big thanks to the Pendleton/Hood River family and the Wrangler National Patriot Program for helping to make this a reality. Follow our progress with this project and all our activities through our Cowboy Up! blog and on Facebook at:

As our program grows we are proud to honor our new 2015 program graduates who will now assist us as instructors, providing self-sustainability and qualitative excellence to our program. Finally, we are also pleased to announce the addition of former US Army Ranger and Medal of Honor Recipient Master Sergeant Leroy Petry to our National Advisory Board. 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.

Graduates Paul and Sarah 
Medal of Honor Recipient Master Sergeant Leroy Petry 
with Rick Iannucci and Eric Yorty

We are looking forward to a great 2016, so thanks in advance for your financial help and please continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers. Look for us in Wakeford and Millers new National Geographic book “Veterans Voices”. 
National Geographic Andrew Wakeford
Photographing at the Ranch

           Helping our Heroes is a click away by visiting our website’s Donate Page at: or to make a contribution by mail: Horses For Heroes - NM, Inc., P.O. Box 1882, Santa Fe, NM  87504

With every good wish and blessings this Christmas and for the New Year!
Rick, Nancy and the entire Cowboy Up! crew.
Isaiah 6:8