Warrior Ranch Horse interaction program

The purpose of this program is to assist veterans and first responders with a focus on those suffering from PTSD. By rescuing, retraining, and repurposing horses, the Warrior Ranch Foundation will give veterans a path and purpose. The Warrior Ranch Foundation will educate veterans on the nature of horses. An equine specialist will do the initial retraining while the veteran observes. When the equine specialist deems the horse safe, the veteran will step into the arena with a trainer and execute the basic skills he or she was taught. 

Why does this work? For safety reasons, anyone working with a horse must be one hundred percent "in the moment" with that horse. This is because, by nature, the horse is a prey animal, and, to the horse, humans are potential predators. When horses are around a human, their senses are heightened. They must be aware at all times because, as a prey animal, their life depends on it. Horses feed off of our energy. Horses are a mirror of us. For example, if a human is feeling anxious, the horse will sense that and respond anxiously. Our equine specialist will give the program participant tips on how to relax by breathing, and the horse will relax in response. For the program participant, this the beginning of becoming self-aware.



9:00am-11:30am Orientation

  • Introduce the staff.
  • Demonstrate how horses behave in a herd.
  • Explain the Prey/Predator relationship in nature and how to use it to succeed with horses.
  • Explain what is to come and what is expected of program participants.

11:30am-12:30pm Assign Squads

  • Very quickly, without pressure, program participants introduce themselves.
  • Assign participants to trainers.
  • From outside of the fence of the round pen, trainers introduce participants to the horses.
  • Observing and noting the level of experience and fear - or not - each particpant has with the animals.


12:30pm-2:00pm - Break 

2:00pm-3:30pm Bonding

  • Trainers will teach the participants how to move around the horses, safely, while having them touch, brush, and love all over the animal to eliminate as much anxiety as possible for both horse and human.


3:30pm-4:00pm - Break


4:00pm-5:30pm The Basics of Movement

  • In a very safe and low-key way, trainers will show and explain the significance of movement in the horse world and have the particpants succeed at moving the horses in the most basic way.
  • Bonding, again, to end on a perfect note.


5:30pm-6:30pm Question and Answer Session

  • Tony will be on a horse for pass-the-microphone Q&A session.
  • A briefing on what will happen Saturday.
  • A reminder that this is a drug-free and alcohol-free weekend.
  • Advise the participants to get some rest, because, tomorrow, they will doing more with the horses.


9:00am-12:30pm Game on

  • Using the most high-energy horse that needs the most training, Tony will demonstrate, in the round pen, just how dangerous these horses can be; yet, how safe we can keep things, as long as we maintain principles before goals. 
  • Tony will show the importance of human demeanor and how it affects the outcome when handling horses.
  • After 30 min Break: Tony will demonstrate clearly the positive change we have made for the horse and how his life will now be better in every way moving forward.    


12:30pm-2:00pm - Break


 2:00pm-3:30pm Game on for Participants

  • Particpant enters the roundpen with their assigned trainer and horse.
  • Review while bonding: Trainer will review safety and basics of horsemanship.
  • Each participant will interact one-on-one with the horse
  • Participants will learn how and be expected to move the horse successfully, in all directions, at the lower gaits of walk and trot.

3:30pm-4:00pm - Break


4:00pm-5:30pm More of the same

  • Trainers will continue with particpants and horses to ensure the safety, understanding, and success of both horse and human from previous session.
  • Tony will visit each group for refinement of techniques.


5:30pm-6:30pm Question and Answer session

  • Tony will be on horse for pass-the-microphone Q&A Session.
  • A briefing on what is to come for Sunday.
  • A reminder that this is a drug-free and alcohol-free weekend.
  • Advise the partipants to get some rest, because, tomorrow, they will doing more with the horses.



9:00am-10:30am Step it up a notch

  • With the same high energy horse from Saturday and obstacles throughout the arena, Tony will do advanced training, utilizing all of the things the participants were taught thus far.  Tony will emphasize the importance of accuracy and recognition of certain things that will keep them safe. 
  • Tony will then clearly demonstrate how advanced the horse has become in just two days showing the difference they can make for these animals should they choose to continue their studies.


10:30am-11:00am - Break


11:00am-12:30pm Back to training

  • Bonding and quick review
  • Trainers will teach participants how to use what they already learned to cause horses to succeed and move where the participants ask them to move.  This will be done, once again, emphasizing the importance of movement and getting the horses to comply in a way that is respectful, with effective communication causing understanding between horse and human. 


12:30pm-2:00pm- Break


2:00pm-4:30pm Step it up

  • Tony will move to each squad and help them refine.  Tony will also be looking for and noting which participants have natural ability around the horses.

4:30pm-5:00pm - Break


5:00pm-6:00pm Wrap up of training with Q&A


6:00pm-7:00pm Awards and Certificates

  • Fun awards to be determined for Funniest, Most Prompt, Funniest Question, Best Excuse for Being Late, etc.
  • Achievement awards for anyone with skills that stand out.
  • Hand out certificates.