Jul 30, 2018

Love in the DMZ

Thank you to the Santa Fe Playhouse who held two Special Staged Readings of Julia Cameron's LOVE IN THE DMZ this past weekend and donated a portion of their proceeds benefiting Horses For Heroes Cowboy Up!

LOVE IN THE DMZ, by THE ARTIST'S WAY author Julia Cameron, follows the relationship between a Husband and Wife during the Vietnam War era. The play begins in the spring of 1968, when Husband has been sent to Vietnam to lead a group of young soldiers. He and his loving Wife comfort each other with lyrical, sometimes silly love letters. As time goes by, Husband's letters get darker, and Wife, although frightened by the letters, tries to stay supportive and to keep their bond alive.
Rick was asked to open both evenings with a few words, here he is Sunday night.
Thank you too all!
L to R: Playwright and Author Julia Cameron, Nick who played 'Husband', Horses For Heroes NM Executive Director Rick Iannucci, Director of Love in the DMZ Dutchess Dale, Horses For Heroes NM Programs Director Nancy De Santis, and Catherine who played 'Wife'.

A major gift of both readings were the Vietnam Veterans who shared the recesses of their hearts during the Q&A that followed ~ May you continue to feel your own healing from our shared time together, of not only us being part of the audience, but being a community ~ Welcome Home!

A special thanks to Kerry,Vaughn, and Jennifer of The Santa Fe Playhouse!

Jul 24, 2018

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Bianca and Hollywood.
Rick's new "Come and Eat" sign quotes  John 21:12

We take mealtime seriously! Louisiana Po-Boys made right!
"Cooking is all about people. Food is maybe the only universal thing that really has the power to bring everyone together. No matter what culture, everywhere around the world, people get together to eat." ~ Guy Fieri
Besides, good food choices are an excellent investment!
July 17th Rick takes NMNG Chaplains around our facility.
 Reflection Pond and Bunk House.
 Fire pit and Spirit Stick, a tribute to those we served with.
 Continuing our work with the NMNG to help build resilient warriors.

Jul 23, 2018

April in Israel

Good morning Israel!
Horses For Heroes Cowboy Up! goes International.
We were asked to make presentations in Israel ...

It all started with this long friendship of two military servicemen almost 40 years ago. 
 Yoav and Rick today.

A special Easter in Jerusalem.

 Horse cops in New Jerusalem.

 Our first adventure was a wonderful cattle ranch owned by an Israeli SEAL veteran...

  ...to view Israeli IDF veterans working their 
home grown "Craig Cameron X treme" obstacle course.

It began with a practice period.

 Everyone warms up and desensitizes, as necessary,
their horses to the obstacles.

 The idea is to go through while mounted.

 Next is a clothesline with rags that flap in the wind
 ~ to see if your horse is unflappable!
A tetter-totter with unsure squishy footing
~ a challenging foam interior.

 Barrels to the left background, logs in the right 
background, and tractor tires in the foreground.

 A water pit with plastic bottle challenge.

Practice ends and friendly competition begins!

 The photo of the day!

 While there we met Udi and his lovely family who is 
doing wonderful work bringing the healing of horses
 to children with sever disabilities through cart riding.

We stopped into Yoav's tack and saddle shop In Natanya and 
look who we found...

 And outside posted was our horse 'Hollywood's' cousin!

 Covered round pen envy!
A nice visit with a Corporate Team Facilitator who 
brings the magic of horses to corporate learning.

 Israeli IDF lawn ornament on the Golan Syrian border.

 Israeli cows. Keeping it Kosher!

 Golan Heights Kibbutz/Ranch manger, Israeli Reserve Officer and Cowboy.
We are working with him to bring a version of our program to Israel
 for IDF Reservists and veterans.

Take it seriously, mines still are a danger...just make sure the cows don't wander in!

 The "hipster mustache" is even in Israel.

 We stopped for a cappuccino before our meeting with
Dr. Itamar Barnea, NATAL’s chief psychologist 
Click the photo above for larger version to read. National pride and respect for their veteran community is incredible.

Col. Barnea (2nd from right) is the chief psychologist and a certified supervisor in psychotherapy for NATAL, Israel’s Trauma and Resilience Center. He was a combat pilot during his military service in the Yom Kippur War and was shot down in Syria leaving him a Prisoner of War (POW).  It was an additional treat to meet the Director of Natal’s Clinical Unit as well, Lieutenant Colonel Saar Uziely (1st from right) ~ they resonated with our decription Of PTSD Post Traumatic Spiritual Dissonance ™
  It was an honor to connect with them and worth giving up riding horses in the Golan Heights just to meet with them and tour their Resilience Center. We learned what they do, as importantly they learned what we do. They both were fascinated with how we work with horses to heal trauma and to heal mind, body and soul. 
Once again always on the Cutting Edge! 

Our next meeting brought us out to meet Gilad  ( Israeli SEAL veteran) who runs a horse riding therapy school. Shown here is the Navajo Nation Flag that we brought to Israel at the request of US MarineVeteran Tyann Nakai. This was part of her project to bring awareness of PTSD and solidarity with our brothers and sisters in arms the world over. 
This flag flew over Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan aboard a United States Air Force KC-135R providing combat operations support during Operation Enduring Freedom.
 Israeli hospitality is bar-none! The coffee is always on everywhere you go!
Horse of the sea ~ Joppa.

Jul 4, 2018

Happy 4th of July!

The greatest gifts you can give your children are
the roots of Responsibility and the wings of Independence.
~ Denis Waitley


Earlier in June...

Our 3rd Annual
“Train the Trainers” for dedicated Equine Gestalt Coaching Method  (EGCM®) graduate practitioners who are learning how to work with veterans. Expanding our outreach in this way allows maximum use of our time, talent and treasures. This comprehensive course prepares practitioners to work with all veterans and active military. 

Three of the four days, practitioners got to hear Veterans Speak

A commendation from a participant:
“I was so impressed with the knowledge I gained form the Horses For Heroes. Training! As a therapist with a solid foundation in trauma work, I was not prepared for how much I would learn about both trauma and the specific experience unique to military veterans in both men and women. Nancy was an impressive presenter and trainer, offering a wealth of wisdom and experience in a very interactive and meaningful way. The horses, the veteran presenters and the circle of safety that I experienced created a rich learning environment and a lasting impression.”   ~ Heather Kirby, LCSW, CSAC, M.Ed

June 9th, 2018
Staple Cross Branding

Beautiful morning!
Boss assigns his sections for the gather.
Back at base, we unload the Chuck Wagon.
Setting up the fly over the Chuck Master's cook station.
 Master Cook and his young apprentices.
 In start coming the cows!
Time to sort.
 Branding begins.
These Marines get straight to it!
 One after...
 ...the other...
 ...no resting...
...on the job! 
 "Watch your back buddy!"
All hands on deck!
 Boss-man oversees operation is running smoothly.
"Shot of the day"
 All done!
Wash up ~ cause it's time to eat!
Carl and Jo - you're the best!!!
Thank you! And thank you Steve for the invite!