Our Impact

Nothing tells our impact story better than real experiences from our retreat participants.

Hear their feedback in this KIVI TV6 News feature

Who We Serve

Our nation is losing over 20 veterans a day to suicide and over 700 first responders to suicide.

Suicide is now the second-leading cause of death for post-9/11 veterans with the highest percentage between 55 and 74 years old.

Hiatus Ranch of Idaho offers hiatus retreats for combat military veterans, local first responders, and active military who need to take a break from life to regroup, reenergize, and reset.

To break the path to suicide, a veteran or first responder needs to find something to connect with that drives a desire to work through each new day and builds hope.

This is the core of our mission.

Our Unique Approach

Hiatus Ranch was founded by a veteran suicide-attempt survivor to help fill the gap in veteran suicide prevention services. Our 30-day residential retreat program is crafted from his experiences in over a dozen other veteran programs.

We limit our retreat size to five veterans in order to provide the greatest one-on-one experience. The first two weeks of the program are structured, with veterans participating in equine-assisted therapy, doing ranch chores, trying out recreation activities and handcrafts, and working with our mental health coach.

The second two weeks are tailored around the group’s newfound interests, chores, field trips, and continued equine therapy and mental health coaching.

After the retreat, veterans commit to a three-month follow-up program with our psychologist to help them achieve their goals. We offer an optional one-year follow-up program.

Our goal is for veterans to leave the Ranch refreshed, empowered with techniques to manage depression, and embracing new interests that can fill their days and provide calmness.

Implementing our retreats is truly a community-based effort. Our equine clinician, psychologist, trade instructors, and support staff are all local volunteers. Local businesses donate items ranging from dairy products for meals, to hyperbolic chamber sessions, to fly fishing instruction.

“In My Own Words”—Testimonials

Here are a few short stories from our participants about the impact Hiatus Ranch retreats had on their lives.

Israel Sullivan – retreat participant

“Hiatus Ranch  holds a special place in my heart. Each animal has there own personality. I came knowing very little to none and I left with a dream to have my own ranch. Josh sees each one of his animals as his children and they get the very best care. On top of that between himself and his family everyone will welcome you with open arms and a full belly, class-A hospitality.

The programs Josh has set into place gives a full experience and learning opportunities. If the animals don’t touch your heart then the landscape will, nothing was better than to see the sun rise and set over the hills. I came with a heavy soul and left with inspiration and a dream.”

Aaron – Purple Heart recipient from Colorado

“During my time at Hiatus Ranch my goal was to focus on changing my negative way of feeling and thinking. While I was there I got to focus on working with the animals and clearing my head.

I learned that I am smart and strong and can do anything when I set my mind to it. I learned to challenge the negative thoughts about myself and what I deserve. I now have more confidence in myself to accelerate through life and make all things possible. I am now having a easier time to quiet and challenge my mind when I feel like I don’t deserve things.

I had an amazing experience and hope to be back soon for more growth.”

Kanisha – retreat participant

“I’ve had the pleasure to experience Hiatus Ranch firsthand as a member of their pilot program last year, 2021. The program is a much needed resource in the lives of Vets and literally everyone who has lost track of their focus and subsequently taken a few left turns, resulting in endless circles. I only wish it could be for civilians as well.

The proprietor TRULY cares for his animals, and gives his ALL to the program—constantly creating fundraisers, giveaways, auctions, etc from scratch—BY HIMSELF—in terms of promoting these events in order to further promote the program.

As an army Vet, I feel privileged to have been a part of such a wonderful program and hope to one day soon, see it expand to include even more helpful activities, therapies and dedicated living quarters for future participants.”