The Manzanita Ranch does not charge the veterans for our services, and never will. We rely on the support of grants and private donations to do good in our community. If you believe we should continue to help our brave heroes, please consider making a donation. You can help our nation’s veterans heal!


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My name is Mike, I am a veteran of the US Coast Guard. During my active duty time, I was stationed in Alaska where I was on the patrol that conducted boardings and other aggressive actions. My first visit to the ranch was when I was homeless and living in my car. I was estranged from my family and had little or no money. Since starting to visit the ranch, I have been able to volunteer, ride and be involved in many programs including riding in the Forth of July parade. For the past six months, I have lived in the ranch RV and done part time work for the ranch and now for a larger ranch. I had Thanksgiving Dinner with my family this year. Thanks for all you have done for me.

Hi Johnny,
Just wanted to say thank you again for having us at your ranch and taking into your home and treating us like family.

We appreciated spending time with you and your wife and hope to be able to see you again. Probably this coming spring we will make it back up there. We look forward to seeing you and the horses.

Your Friend,

The Ride Of A Lifetime was a life changing event that brought a group of veterans together, creating a lasting bond of brotherhood amongst warriors.  The three day horseback adventure created a crucial environment for veterans to spend time together and talk about all aspects of life…providing healing for everyone!”

Darrin Isham’

US Navy Master Chief Seal, Retired

My name is Steven Roper and I served in the U.S Army for 8 years, 4 years Infantry and 4 years Military Police. I joined in 1996 and graduated Infantry basic training at Ft. Benning Ga. I served in Alpha team, 1st squad, 1st platoon, Delta Company, 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry, 3rd BDE, 3rd Infantry Division, 18th airborne corp. I was a saw gunner then a Bradley driver, then I became a Bradley gunner for the ODS Bradley Fighting Vehicle with the 25MM gun. I was deployed to Kuwait for Desert Thunder in 1998 were I re-enlisted to be a Military Police Officer. I graduated MP school in 2000 and was stationed in South Korea for 1 year. I was a patrol Officer then became the area 3 desk SGT. After 9-11 I was sent to Ft. Bliss Tx were I was a patrol supervisor of an 11 patrol and a 35,000 person post. I was also a squad leader for 3rd platoon in the 978th MP Company FORCE COM. I was given orders to invade Iraq and destroy the Ba'ath party and the Iraqi government in 2003. I was the lead on convoy escorts with vehicles from 80 to 130 through Baghdad Iraq with no loss to person or vehicle by enemy fire. I was shot at every day I was deployed. I conducted raids and arrested high official Iraqi Republican Guard and Fedayeen. I returned to the states with PTSD and was released from the Army in 2004. I have done all kinds of therapy thru the years and I found myself at The Manzanita Ranch in 2014. I was up at the ranch with a group of vets from the Temecula Vet Center and met Johnny Roberts. Johnny spent the day telling us about horses. We brushed and saddled the horses and spent the day riding up the Pacific coast Trail. While I was riding I forgot about all my fears and problems and just connected with nature and it was the best therapy I have received since I returned from the war. I learned how horses respond to your attitude and I had to change mine so the horse will respond the way I wanted. it was great, so great I have been to the ranch around 20 plus times a year for the last 3 years. I sometimes go to the ranch and Johnny and crew teach me about horses and we mend fences and clean and maintain stalls. Ive learned so much from being at the ranch. The Manzanita Ranch has invited me to be in 3 parades and many other events such as concert for Heroes and many others. Ive come to learn the personalities of the horses and ive become a pretty good rider. I would like to thank Johnny Roberts and The Manzanita Ranch for everything they have done for me and my recovery.  Thanks Johnny! !!Type your paragraph here.


To Johnny Roberts,
Hi Johnny! It's Tamlyn from the Morning Star Ranch Community in Valley Center. Hey, I thought of you and how worthy you are that I would write you this letter. I wanted to thank you for all the hospitality shown towards us, and and a very welcoming experience to your home and life on the Manzanita Ranch. I really like what you are doing with horses and your respect for them, I sense an understanding that you have for them. This comforts me. Thank you for the wisdom you passed on about them and other things. I'm sure we could talk more about these issues