Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible to attend sessions at Equinox Ranch?

Veterans who served in combat regardless of type of discharge, race, rank, religion, gender, branch of service, sexual orientation or combat era are eligible to apply for the program.

How long is the program?

The full program consists of a two week session at the ranch followed by support getting services in their hometown. Veterans will return to the ranch 6-10 months later for the second week long  session. The program is intended to expose combat veterans to new treatments and coping strategies and to support them as they integrate these into their everyday lives. A half session will be available several times a year for those who are unable to commit to the full program due to work obligations.  The half session will include one week stays at the ranch.

What types of treatments are included?

The Equinox Ranch program consists of a variety of verbal and nonverbal therapies. All sessions include peer group support and individual counseling. Once the horse program is developed it will also be part of all the sessions. Exercise, music and art therapies will vary in form but be included as part of all the sessions.

Is there a cost for veterans to attend?

No, the program is free of charge for combat veterans.

What is the Equinox difference?

The Equinox program was established to fill the void left by many existing treatments. This includes:

  • A beautiful natural environment instead of a hospital setting. 

  • No diagnosis is required to attend.

  • A chance to recover away from the demands and concerns of everyday life.

  • Working veterans can attend the program during their vacation times.

  • Long term plan with year long follow-up creating a very comprehensive program.

  • No bureaucratic paperwork

  • Veteran is not required to detail their trauma verbally or in writing to apply.

  • Permanent structures specifically designed to meet the needs of combat veterans.

  • Combination of verbal and nonverbal therapies.

  • Available to veterans who have other than honorable or dishonorable discharges.

Are weapons allowed on the ranch?

No weapons of any kind are allowed on the ranch.

Is there alcohol consumed on the ranch?  What about non-prescription drugs?

No alcohol or non-presecription drugs are allowed at the ranch. Veterans must be clean and sober for six months prior to attending a session.

How can I apply to attend a session?

When the ranch is ready to begin offering sessions, you will be able to apply on this website or contact the ranch directly by phone or email.

Can I bring my service dog?

Yes, there will be room for up to 3 dogs during each session.

How is the ranch supported?

The ranch receives financial and in kind goods from corporate foundations and private donations.

Are food and accommodations provided?

Yes, fresh, nutritious meals made with local foods when available will be provided to those who attend. Each veteran will have their own basic room that includes sheets and towels.

Will sessions be open to both male and female veterans?

There are separate sessions for males and females. 

What can I expect from attending a session at Equinox Ranch?

During your stay at the ranch you will be be surrounded by peers in a beautiful and safe environment. All of the activities at the ranch are intended to help you to learn new ways of coping with your trauma. We will assist you in continuing some of these activities when you return home and when you return to the ranch for the second session, we will reinforce the positive experiences while finding ways to overcome obstacles.

Will my attendance at the ranch be confidential?

Yes, Equinox Ranch will protect the confidentiality of all attendees. The ranch will keep a limited file on each veteran which is only available for internal use. The staff at Equinox will not speak to anyone about the veteran unless the veteran gives us permission in writing or is actively suicidal or homicidal. No photos or quotes will be used for promotional activities unless the veteran has signed a waiver allowing us to do so.

It is difficult for me to be in public, I am worried that being at the ranch will trigger my symptoms.  What should I do?

The team at Equinox Ranch understand the effects of combat trauma and we developed our program and our physical space to help you feel more at ease.  Everyone will be assigned their own room. The ranch is secluded and private so that a limited number of people will be allowed to enter the grounds on a daily basis. The staff is well trained to help you work through your negative emotions, and you will have the support of your peers to lean on.

How should I prepare for my stay at Equinox Ranch?

All you need to do is bring yourself and your personal items. Equinox will supply everything else. You are encouraged to bring your musical instruments and items for a memorial shrine. These are items you will take home with you but may include pictures or other mementos from your time in the service.

How will I get to the ranch?

Equinox Ranch will provide transportation to and from the nearest airport, train station or bus terminal at the beginning and end of each session. Veterans may also drive to the ranch.  For those who cannot afford the cost of transportation, a limited number of transportation scholarships may be provided when available.

How will I spend my time while at Equinox Ranch?

Veterans will be scheduled to participate in various activities each day. You might start the day with breakfast and then off to a yoga or drumming class, followed by individual counseling, lunch, equine therapy followed by some down time to rest or take a nature walk. After dinner each night, there will be a peer group counseling session. Veterans are encouraged to attend all the sessions but are not required to do so. However, in order to make the most out of the ranch experience, veterans are asked to attend a minimum of 75% of the sessions.

How can I support Equinox Ranch?

We need your support in many ways. Now and always you can contribute financially to the Ranch; this is important at this time so that we can raise the money needed to adapt the ranch for the needs of our program. You can donate by check or credit card through this website. We have many opportunities to volunteer.Professionals that can offer their services to our veterans will be invited to come and contribute their skills.

I have special dietary restrictions, will I still be able to attend the program?

Yes, during the application process we will ask you for any dietary preferences or restrictions. We will make every effort to ensure that your needs are met.

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Telephone :  828-356-8307                      

P.O. Box 2586, Cullowhee, NC United States 28723

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Equinox Ranch is a 501 (C)3 and all contributions are tax deductible (EIN-47-2269920) to the fullest extent of the law.