Sep 25, 2011

Busy September...

From September 18th thru the 20th we had the editor of American Profile, Marta Aldrich and her husband Bill enjoy a stay; they even got to meet The First Gentleman, Chuck Franco, who, as you all know is a volunteer of ours.

Chuck took some time out of his busy schedule to spend with a few of our warriors. Not only can Chuck ride, but we found out he also paints! He has generously donated a signed sunset of his to be auctioned off during our Cowboy Christmas Dinner & Dance on December 9th,2011. Thanks Chuck!

September 19th

September 21st

Andrew Wilkow, of Wilkow Majority on Sirius XM Radio, interviews Rick live from Albuquerque!

Photo by Cris

Later that day...

We met John Popp, Executive Producer of NRA News, while down at the radio station with Andrew... Later that day John and his crew came by to interview one of our veterans Mark O'Byrne to see how our Cowboy Up! program has helped him.

September 22nd

Andrew Wilkow takes some time to come visit us and our Cowboy Up! program before heading back to the East Coast. After a quick bite of breakfast he got horseback and got a chance to ride along side a few of our veterans. Afterward, Andrew had the opportunity to sit and talk with Sgt. Andrew Brandi, author of the Warriors Guide to Insanity and his latest book, Warrior's Guide to Worlds At War.

September 23rd, Gold Star Mothers of New Mexico Visit

We were honored that The Gold Star Mother's of New Mexico came by for a visit to the ranch! For those of you who do not know, The Gold Star Mothers is an organization of mothers who have lost a son or daughter in the service of our country. Pat Mervil, the President has endorsed our program, and all together these wonderful Gold Star Mothers have so graciously organized a dinner at El Pinto Restaurant in Albuquerque on November 7th, 2011 from 6pm until 9pm benefitting our organization. You can participate by Calling or emailing Michelle Bowman, 505-977-4417 or Kay Coleman, Reserve early - Seating is limited. Thank you Pat, Jo Ann, and Kay ~ it was a great pleasure having you out!

Didn't take any time for President Pat Mervil to get horseback, You're our kind of gal Pat!

September 29th, Live from NYC

While we were back East for a short visit, we took the time out at Andrew Wilkow's request to come by SiriusXM Radio for another interview. Andrew, we just want to thank you for all your support! Words cannot express! A great big shout out to Ian and Michael too - you guys rock!!!

Sep 18, 2011

The Week in Review...

Here are some of the days that I remembered my camera!

September 11th...

Three of our veterans shown here lending a hand to Henry McKinley to gather his cows to move them to another pasture.

Here is part of our bunch we have to move to the rest of the herd.

After a long morning of gathering Henry took us all for a bite to eat, I think seeing this helmet was appropriate for the day ~ "Remember September" ~ always...

September 12th...

Sgt. Erik Schei's first day riding Rio!

This photo I took of Rio waiting reminds me of this poem by Ronald Duncan:

Where in the wide world can man find
Nobility without pride,
Friendship without envy
Or Beauty without vanity?
Here, where grace is laced with muscle,
And Strength by gentleness confined.
He serves without servility,
He has fought without enmity. There is nothing so powerful,
Nothing less violent; there is nothing
So quick, nothing more patient.
All of our past has been borne on his back.
All our history is his industry,
We are his heirs, he our inheritance.
Ladies and Gentlemen –
The Horse.

~ This poem can also be found on our website's homepage

Good, good times!!!

Look at all the hands that help to get Erik horseback ~ Thank You All!!!

Georgia, showing Mark what the 'Hoist' feels like

September 15th...

Thursday's session.

September 16th...

On the prowl for stray cattle.

September 18th...

Everal sessions today followed by a superb lunch ~ Thank you Rick!

A well deserved stroll after some good arena time!

Back to work...!

Veterans helping veterans, that's what we do!

Mark after a long day calls it a night... Lakota style.

Sep 9, 2011

New home on the range for our cattle

The scenic and very green Buell Park Ranch is the new home for our cattle. Cowboy Up! graduate and now staffer Alroy Billman calls this ranch on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona home. Alroy is the first participant in our "seedstock" program in which we provided 5 heifers and a bull to a Cowboy Up! graduate that has knowledge, motivation, desire and the land to carry on ranching traditions.
Alroy attended the NMSU Indian Livestock Days with us, held this year at the Laguna Pueblo and worked on designing the breeding program. In the next gestation cycle he will then ship us back weaned calves for our veterans to train and learn how to work cattle on from March to October. They will then be returned to Buell Mountain where this sustainable cycle will begin again. We also welcome Alroy on our staff as a certified Native American Veterans Peer Counselor (and heck of a Cowboy!)

Sep 8, 2011

Labor Day Weekend at Laguna

We were honored to be invited by John Romero and the Sedillo Cattle Association to participate in their fall working. Our days started early with feeding the horses well before dawn and hitting the highway toward Laguna. Upon our arrival we were warmly greeted by John and one by one each member of the association.

September 3rd Gather... Headin' out to gather the cattle on this 100,000 acre spread.
John Romero and Rick Iannucci heading out as dawn breaks over the mountain and we can tell the difference between a bush and a cow.

John rop'in... Nice catch!

Stuart Romero, President of the Sedillo Cattle Association with Rick Iannucci President of Horses for Heroes - NM, Inc.

Stuart, John and another member of Sedillo make sure which unbranded calves are with which momma cow. After roping that calf they call out the brand /owner to the branding crew who then get to work with their "running irons". This is real old school watching these "branding iron artists" at work.

Everyone in the association gets into the work in some way or another. From tending the fire where the irons are heating to mixing the vaccines everyone is there to "get 'er done!"

Cowboy Up! co-director Nancy De Santis mixes vaccines with the vaccination team.

Keepin' track and everything in order.

September 4th Gather...Bringing them in.
After gathering the cows they are moved into the corrals to pair back up. While they are settling and the irons are heating up the group forms a circle for a prayer in the Laguna language to honor and bless their working and for the safety of the people working and the livestock. Following that and before the teams are assigned we presented both John and Stuart with our Cowboy Up! trademark, usually presented to our graduates, and made them honorary members of the Order of the Purple Wild Rag. This was a special honor in many ways as John's father and Stuart's grandfather was in the army and received the Purple Heart during his service. It is indeed our honor to have them as our brothers.

Stuart being presented his Wild Rag by Cowboy Up! graduate, USMC Iraq veteran and Purple Heart recipient Sterling Bucholz while Rick Iannucci and John Romero look on.

John being presented with his Purple wild rag by Cowboy Up! graduate, US Army Iraq veteran and Purple Heart recipient Alroy Billman.

Joe Streaker Cowboy Up! crew member holds 'er down while he waits for the branding team.

John & Stuart have quite the job of having to recognize and identify all the brands of each Sedillo Cattle Assoiation member.

Sedillo Managment at it's finest.

John and Rick making sure she'll be "good for another year".

Our wonderful crew from Sedillo posing with Nancy on her Birthday! What a great way to spend your birthday Nancy!