Operation Mount Up
Operation Mount Up! is Dream Catchers’ dedicated program for veterans and active-duty military personnel, offering horseback riding, horsemanship, and individual and group ground-based activities.
Through the program, you’ll learn the basics of horsemanship and riding, from grooming and tacking to staying balanced and in control in the saddle. No prior experience or preparation is needed!
A new session of Horsemanship and Riding begins on Sunday, August 14.
Each session of Horsemanship and Riding consists of 8 weekly lessons lasting 1½- 2 hours each. Participants are assigned to a group based on their skills and needs.
Operation Mount Up! classes and services are offered at no cost to participants, thanks to grants and generous donations to the Valor Fund.
Who is eligible?
Any veteran or active-duty military service member. Dream Catchers requires that each participant complete an application and provide proof of service (either a DD-214 or a DoD-issued identification). Additional forms may be required to access funding from the Wounded Warriors Project.
Horses are experts at teamwork and relationships – they understand loyalty, honesty, and cooperation. Horses command respect because of their large physical presence and power, but they respond best to kind, fair, and consistent treatment. They yield to teamwork not because of force, but due to cooperation based on trust. Horses are nonjudgmental listeners that encourage calm, steady, and patient participation and foster confidence, independence, and strength.
Because horseback riding gently and rhythmically moves the rider’s body in a motion similar to a human gait, riders with physical disabilities show improvement in flexibility, muscle tone, balance, posture, and coordination. For those with mental or emotional disabilities, the unique relationship formed with a horse can lead to increased confidence, patience, and self-esteem.
Dream Catchers at the Cori Sikich Therapeutic Riding Center is situated on 22 acres in Toano, VA—an easy drive from Richmond, the Peninsula, and Hampton Roads. This area is home to some of our nation’s most important military installations and thousands of active duty military and veterans.
Our farm includes a large indoor arena and fenced outdoor arena for mounted and unmounted lessons; an equestrian round pen; a 20-stall barn; pastures; and administration building. All our facilities are ADA compliant.
PATH Intl. Certified personnel facilitate all mounted and unmounted Equine Assisted Services
Group and individual Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy provided by licensed mental health professionals and equine specialists in mental health and learning
Partnerships include Wounded Warriors Project; Dream Catchers facilitates retreats for warriors and families referred through WWP
Dream Catchers is a PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center
Touch and Go! Volunteer Day
Sunday, October 23, 2:00-5:00 pm
Service members and veterans are invited to help us groom our herd and build an obstacle course to be used during the mounted horsemanship and riding program.
Interested? Email our Volunteer Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org