Feb 11, 2010

Welcome Home Doc!

Neal "Doc" Riley a Special Forces OIF combat veteran has joined our staff. Neal will serve as our medical officer and mentor for our Cowboy Up! program.

Neal says:
"I'm separated from the U.S. Army after 12 years of service with the 19th Special Forces Group as an 18D (Special Forces Medic). Most recently I deployed to Baghdad where I fought shoulder-to-shoulder alongside Iraqi Commandos. I have a special place in my heart for veterans and the challenges that they face returning home from combat."

Feb 6, 2010

Instructor Training with Christina Savitsky

Our Training Director / Lead Instructor, Christina Savitsky has been a certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor since 1999. With certification from NARHA (North American Riding for the Handicapped Association), Christina has taught all levels of riding from beginners through reining competitors.

Formally with Equestars, Christina introduced the Horses For Heroes program here in Santa Fe in 2007. After the birth of her daughter, Mesa Ray, we are happy to have her back as we take Horses for Heroes to the next level with our Cowboy Up! program. A full-time cowgirl she and her husband Ethan manage the Pecos Bar X Bar Ranch in northern, New Mexico.

In one of many instructor training sessions held this winter at the Crossed Arrows Ranch, Christina is seen here demonstrating proper mounting and dismounting techniques to our wrangler/instructors.

Our dedicated staff of wrangler/instructors from left to right: To the far left holding Sokee is our fine Logistics Officer Calvin Bockbrader, USMC RECON, Lori De Santis owner of Arrowood Massage, just behind Lori is Karen Hardy, NARHA trained & owner of Santa Fe Riding Co., LLC, Thomas Wingate, US Army Veteran & Manager, Eaves Movie Ranch, Nancy De Santis working cowgirl, treasurer & secretary of H4H, and Tricia Warwick, Admin Assistant NM State Government & Blue Star Mom.

Introducing Sgt. Paul Porter, USMC.

Paul Porter is a great friend of ours and we are honored to have him run for our program. We are hoping he makes his final lap into our arena where he will be met by our veterans and wranglers/instructors on horseback, along with staff, family and friends .

A little about the run:
A 1000 mile charity run from Southern California to New Mexico to take place in the early summer of 2010. Charities he is raising funds for so far include the Injured Marines Semper Fi Fund, Horses for Heroes, UNICEF, the ASPCA, and our own Film for Change.

Paul will also be producing a feature length documentary that will chronicle the buildup, training, and related events along with the actual run!