Phase One introduces the Veterans to the aspects of a healthy lifestyle, and introduces the tools that will be implemented daily throughout the entire program. Every day will start with a cold plunge, stretching, an intense workout, then meditation & breathwork. Afterwards we will shower and go into session where the Veterans will read and journal, then speak with our leaders who will help the men find solutions to their experiences along with giving them a tool to use in life. After the session we will do various ranch work and the Veterans will be provided with tasks that require that they work together and overcome adversity. Through these obstacles, they will use the tools and advice they were given during sessions to overcome together and through this they will learn to apply the session's lessons in their own life. After the work for the day is done they will be introduced to the horses and taught how the tools they are learning also apply to these animals, and life. They will get to interact with the horses to prepare them for what's ahead. In the evening, they will return to the cabins for everyone to have dinner together. All food will be picked and grown by the Veterans in a greenhouse daily, and supplemented with healthy, natural meats.
Phase Two builds on everything in phase one- the habits of a healthy lifestyle are always a priority and cold plunges, stretching, intense workouts, meditation & breathwork, and sessions will be a constant during the entire project. There is less ranch work in phase two and instead there is a daily obstacle such as white water rafting or a 10 mile overnight hike up a mountain. During phase two each Veteran will be assigned a horse to care for and get to know. They begin working with the horses with supervision- including daily feeding, brushing, and caring for.
By Phase Three the participants have a healthy lifestyle developed and being implemented daily, due to the same morning routine and diet. They are using advice and tools regularly to change their life and have overcome many obstacles in order to validate their newfound self. Now they are ready to take all of that and help change another- their horse! After session every day they will now get a one hour class on how to train their horse and they get to try the new technique they learned that day while instructors watch and help. The participants and their horses are preparing for a two week ride. Once training is done there is more ranch work, then plenty of time for helpful conversation before, during, and after dinner.
Phase Four is just like phase three, but a little cowboy-ed up! The participants move on from mostly groundwork with their horses to in saddle training. We go out on two hour rides regularly in preparation for the two week ride and each Veteran is comfortable with their horse by this time. The veterans also learn various ranching skills that will be needed on the two week trip during this phase.
In phase one we got the veterans out of their lows and helped them to build a better life for themselves through physical, mental, and spiritual work. This, paired with obstacles taught them how to put the various tools they learned into work in the real world. Phase two prepared them for the hardships of what will be a life changing two weeks. Phase three taught them how to handle the horse. Phase four they understood and could ride this horse. Phase five puts it all together for a two week horseback trip through the mountains. It will be hard, there will be complications, we will struggle, together, and we will overcome together. At the end, it will have been the most beautiful and life changing experience of the Veterans lives!
This is not easy, but change and improvement can only be achieved through struggle and thought. Everyday will be hard but it will also be joyous and beautiful. These Veterans will learn to see the latter in all things! They will work through all of their problems, and it will be hard but we will give them the tools and guidance needed conquer them. Finally, they will come out of all of their past trauma with gems of knowledge for their future and a new self. All of this is only achieved through present action- only the participants themselves have the answers and only they can find them. With our guidance, they will.