FIRST: Veterans and their families, specifically veterans who are struggling with reintegration.
Why Including Veteran Families is Essential: Family members of veterans must be part of the reintegration process. Each veteran participant is encouraged to bring family members who have served as his or her main source of support after returning home.
SECOND: Mustangs in need of training, along with a qualified mustang trainer and equine therapist.
Why Mustangs: Time spent in the company of horses can open channels of thought that cultivate mental and physical confidence, and the wild nature of mustangs fits perfectly with BCI’s mission of supporting successful paths towards reintegration. The Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) estimated that 83,000 wild horses and burros were roaming public rangelands in 2018, more than three times what the BLM says the land can support. BCI is proud to collaborate with our mustang program coordinator, Jeff Cook of Dream Horse AZ, and contribute to the training and homing of these beautiful creatures.
THIRD: Ranch style housing that offers program participants the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the horsemanship experience.
Why Housing Is Significant: Environment plays a powerful role in the societal reintegration. BCI’s program is not only about the work the veterans do with the mustangs, it’s also about the communal atmosphere, and we are grateful for the partnership we have cultivated with White Stallion Ranch, which is where all participants are housed throughout the week-long program.
There are three essential elements to BCI's week-long equine program.
Evaluations & Assessments
Each participant in BCI’s week-long program (veterans and family members) is asked to submit intake and outtake forms, consisting of a combination of clinical assessments and program evaluations.
30-60-90 Day Calls
The BCI team conducts check-in phone calls with each veteran participant 30, 60, and 90 days post-program. Participants are also asked to submit a monthly client satisfaction survey.
Equine Therapy Sessions
After each program BCI offers veteran participants the opportunity to attend weekly equine therapy sessions with our mustang program coordinator, Jeff Cook and our equine therapist Tamara Clause, for six months following the program. These sessions allow BCI’s participants to continue the work they started during the week-long program and help participants stay connected.
Six months after the week-long program BCI hosts a reunion for all participants (veterans and family members). For more information on our reunions sign up for our newsletter.
With the help of BCI’s pilot participants, BCI is currently developing a formal mentor program that will help veteran participants with the following: (i) preparation for the week-long program, (ii) feeling supported and included throughout the program, and (iii) follow up care and continued involvement in the BCI community.
BCI is supported by a team of seven dedicated board members with a variety of backgrounds and expertise.