Military Embedded Systems

GIVING BACK: Dare To Dream Ranch


March 20, 2023

Lisa Daigle

Assistant Managing Editor

Military Embedded Systems

GIVING BACK: Dare To Dream Ranch

Each issue, the editorial staff of Military Embedded Systems will highlight a different charitable organization that benefits the military, veterans, and their families. We are honored to cover the technology that protects those who protect us every day.

This issue we are highlighting Dare to Dream Ranch, an alternative and holistic retreat for service members, veterans, and their families. The 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization has as its mission to help clients dealing with military-related PTSD, anxiety, depression, military sexual trauma, and mild traumatic brain injury to overcome their current situations, find their passion, and become successful civilians. Dare to Dream founder Karen Dalton – who is a certified health coach and whose father is a Marine – established the Rhode Island ranch in 2014 after gardening, nutrition, and horse therapy improved her own chronic condition. At Dare to Dream Ranch, veterans have access to equine therapy, woodworking, fly tying and fishing, kayaking, hiking, and beekeeping, all at no cost.

Equine facilitated coaching (EFC) at the ranch, according to information from the organization, uses horses’ responsive nature as a therapy tool. The structure of EFC – which is used in a number of veteran-therapy programs across the country – enables clients to work through personal challenges, as they learn how to manage current situations and future challenges with a focus on personal strengths and resources. The ranch’s use of agri-therapy – or therapy through farming – can enable clients to realize increased focus, confidence, community-building, nutrition and environmental awareness, and sense of achievement. Caring for animals and plants is said to reduce stress and anxiety and generate a sense of pride and well-being.

Clients can also access career coaching, resume writing, and housing resources, and can attend retreats at a tiny home on the premises. The goal, according to the organization’s materials, is mission-based therapy to teach purpose, structure, and camaraderie through farming.

For additional information, please visit

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