Josh Lyons, Horse Training Clinician Gives Back to Veterans at Warrior Ranch
At the Warrior Ranch Foundation, each of the veterans – and the horses – have their own story. The
Rhode Island ranch brings them together and with the help of elite horse trainers, helps them to write a new chapter. Article from Lyons Legacy
Josh Lyons recently donated two days of his time to conduct a Warrior Ranch retreat and riding clinic.
“We are so thrilled Josh made it to Warrior Ranch,” said ranch founder Eileen Shanahan. “The Lyons
horsemanship method is fantastic.” She added, “Josh has a passion for our country and the veterans.”
Josh was assisted by US Army Green Beret veteran Matt Pitt.
It was an amazing week at Warrior Ranch! Premier horse trainer and clinician, Josh Lyons, came to Long Island and donated two days of his time as he conducted a Warrior Ranch retreat. Following that,
Josh conducted a three-day riding clinic for interested equestians. Some of Warrior Ranch's advanced participants took part in the riding clinic as well as the retreat.
Eileen Shanahan, founder of Warrior Ranch, remarked, "This clinic has been two years in the making due to pandemic-related delays. We are so thrilled Josh made it to Warrior Ranch. The Lyons
horsemanship method is fantastic. Josh and Matt Pitt, a US Army Green Beret veteran, did a great job instructing all of us during the clinic."
Josh has a passion for our country and veterans. Lyons says, "Warrior Ranch is definately helping veterans. I think that we have the freedom to be able to do our job as horseman because of our veterans.
And I think that it's a shame that they don't always get the credit that they deserve or the help that they need. So anything that we can do for our veterans is huge."
Josh Lyons is the son of "America's most trusted horseman," John Lyons.
The John & Josh Lyons Certification Program and the Josh Lyons Accreditation Program are approved
for GI Bill Benefits.
Lisa Fischer, USMC, rode Warrior Ranch resident horse, Cody. Fischer said, "It was an amazing experience. I got up and rode a horse for the very first time, and I loved every minute of it. I learned so
much from the team at Warrior Ranch and Josh. It was definitely something I'll never forget."
Jordan Puccio, US Army, rode Warrior
Ranch retreat horse, Chance. Puccio shared "it's been a really awesome experience. Learning different hands-on techniques for how to handle these guys is valuable. At first,
I was a little nervous. Working through it with that horse is really amazing."
Ryan Secor, USMC, rode Warrior Ranch horse, Sully, a one-eyed Standardbred. "I was
excited because I know a little bit about horses and I know of Josh Lyons. I was a little nervous because it's not exactly Sully's environment, but it's been a homerun for both
of us. The ground work, the riding work, and Sully have been phenomenal."
Paul Martinez, US Army Ranger, worked with Warrior Ranch horse "Ranger" for
groundwork at the retreat and then "Fella" for the riding clinc. "It's really cool to have an
expert trainer like Josh Lyons come in all the way from Arizona because you know your source of information is going to be reliable and effective. That gives me a lot of peace of mind. I think the
highlight experience for me is getting to connect with the friends I made at Warrior Ranch over the last few years. It's great to see us all put together what we've
been learning at the Ranch and have this opportunity to ride and learn more advanced techniques and to continue improving on that."
Ray Sitler, US Army says, "Working with Josh was a
great experience; he is a master at his craft and a master at presenting as well. The students ranged from very experienced to "green" like me. He took the time to
make sure you were comfortable in what he had instructed. Josh truly loves America and its veterans. The enthusiasm he showed and concern for what Warrior Ranch provides to the veterans were visible on
his face when they discussed their service. When the clinic ended, it was friends saying 'see you later,' not 'goodbye.'"
Warrior Ranch's Trainer, Gina Lamb of Iron Horse
Fields, embraced the techniques she learned from Josh as he taught the Lyons Method of horse training.
"I thank Josh for taking the extra time to work with me and Ranger. Josh was professional, generous
with his time, and helped uncover the gaps in Ranger's early training. This knowledge will help us help Ranger move along in his training so that he can find his forever home."
Josh says, "Where I get the most satisfaction is when I see people happy at the end of the clinic that they got something out of it."
Josh ate burgers with Warrior Ranch participants getting to know them a little better. There was even a
visit from Legislator Steve Flotteron who said, "It is wonderful to see Warrior Ranch grow like this. To have a world-renowned trainer, like Josh Lyons, come to Suffolk County, donate his time, and work
directly with our veterans is quite a gift."
Shanahan says, "We are looking forward to Josh coming back again, next year!" Stay tuned.
“I think that we have the freedom to be able to do
our jobs as horsemen because of our veterans … It’s a shame they don’t always get the credit they deserve or the help that they need. So anything we
can do for our veterans is huge,” Shanahan said.
Established in 2016, the non-profit seeks horses in need of rehabilitation. There are former race horses,
a horse rescue, ponies with medical issues and more. Veterans of the military and first responders struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or just readjusting to civilian life, work with trainers
to learn how to handle the horses, bond with them and learn how their demeanor effects that of the horses. In doing so, veterans learn to become self-aware. By recognizing their feelings and emotions
they can begin to take the steps necessary to deal with them.
Veterans who have gone through the program have
described it as life changing and say it helps ‘ground them.’ Their experience helps them move toward the future, better able to feel and show emotion and best of all, to help others.
The Lyons certification program and accreditation program are approved for VA Education Benefits.
Find out more about the Warrior Ranch at warriorranchfoundation.org
Use your GI Bill for horse training career, Veterans
Thank you LI Redwood Farm for the use of your indoor!!! Great place! And to the LI Equestrians who participated in the three-day riding clinic, we hope you enjoyed it ... it was definitely hard work.
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