Jun 20, 2015

Staple Cross 2015

Carrying on Henry McKinley's work at Staple Cross Ranch.

Saddling at the cottonwoods.

 The Cowboy Up! crew ready for the gather.

Meanwhile back at the corrals, fencing is checked.

 Moving the first batch of cows...

Now with the rest of them...

...into the corrals they go.

Then sorting the moms begins.
Staple Cross branding 2015.

Great ride and gathering crew!

Time to set up Carl's chuckwagon to start cooking.

Playing peek-a-boo!

Need I say more?

 Roping starts with the Mitchel boys from San Cristobal Ranch,
while Gene stokes the fire.

Paul is right in there to flank that calf.

 Team Cowboy Up! Paul, Eric and Andrew.

Clint Mortenson ropes next draggin' down the lane.
 Cowboy Up! Crew flanking, ear notching, inoculating and branding.
Bianca, Rick, Sarh and Paul.

 Joe Garcia and 'Suede'.

Army guys now cowboys.
Wyatt illustrates the perfect heel shot!

 Lunch is coming along back at the wagon.


Final brand of the day ~ nice job Rick.

 Time to pair up with moma!

 A well deserved lunch!

 In true Cowboy Up! tradition, we graduate our 2nd female veteran!

Congratulations Sarah!

On that note, we put out the fire and drive off into the sunset.

Thank you Steve for another spectacular opportunity for our men and women.
In gratitude always!

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!