It’s been a hectic fall for me so far but I only have three more trips to go, then I’ll be home for a couple months. After almost three weeks in Kentucky for the World Equestrian Games and two trips across the country since, I feel like I need to install a revolving door to my house. My husband and dogs are always happy to see me come home and reluctant to see me packing again.
We had an awesome Yoga & Riding Retreat at the C Lazy U Ranch in Granby, Colorado a couple of weeks ago. There were about thirty women altogether, for four days of riding lessons, trail riding, yoga sessions, decadent spa treatments, gourmet meals and luxurious five-star accommodations and service. The weather was absolutely perfect—crisp mornings and warm sunny days, which is not always a guarantee in October in the high mountains of Colorado. But for this trip, we had no use for the heated indoor arena. We all particularly enjoyed the young and cute wait staff, always ready to lend a hand, and who we fondly nick-named our “cabana boys.” If only I had a buff young man to carry my bags on every trip that I do!
Five riders brought their own horses; the rest of the guests were riding ranch horses and they did surprisingly well for good ol’ trail horses. Much to my amusement and delight, the ranch horses started out wanting to plod head-to-tail around the arena but by the end of it we had them leg yielding one by one down the quarter line! Although it’s always nice to ride your own horse at a clinic, there’s something very satisfying about walking up to the barn and having someone hand you a tacked horse, ready to go. And the ranch hands are quick to remind you that they have 180 horses, and if this one doesn’t work, you can try another!
It’s a very fun weekend for me too; because for one thing, I get to bring my own horse, Dually, and have a few days of riding time on him. I love teaching off my own horse—what a luxury! I can demonstrate whatever I want and teach with my ever-ready partner at my side. But since I fly to most events that I do, sadly I have to leave my horse at home most of the time. Granted, I do get the pleasure of riding some very nice horses when I am on the road, but sometimes the mounts I get are not exactly what I ordered.
Another reason I really enjoy the riding & yoga retreats at C Lazy U is the camaraderie and networking that goes on among the women that attend. From all points of the country (Martha’s Vineyard to San Diego) and from all walks of live, a group of women come together to study horsemanship, do yoga and indulge themselves for a few days—free from the everyday chores and challenges of life, work and family. Some women arrived alone but were quickly surrounded by new friends. Some women came with friends in tow and we had a couple of mother-daughter pairs, but by the end of the first meal, we were one group and any lines between people were blurred.
There were many highlights during the weekend for me, but my favorite memory is of seeing Betty canter around the arena on old Bucky, like she was running barrels. This from a timid woman who started out in the first session saying she probably could never canter. But once Bucky got the idea that it was okay to canter, and Betty got the “Yehaw!” cue down, they were tearing it up. I even found myself saying, “Okay Betty, I think that’s enough catering for you and Bucky!”
Everyone made tremendous progress, learned a lot and had fun. Most made a pact to return again next fall and we all exchanged email addresses and have been sharing photos online. If you did attend this year, I hope you will post some comments below about your favorite memory from the weekend. We have two Women’s riding & Yoga Retreats planned for next year—one in May and again in October. I know a lot of your were disappointed not to make it into this fall’s retreat—it was filled to capacity months ahead of time. So if you have an interest in attending this coming year, you may want to sign up early; many of the folks from this year are already signed up for May or October. All registrations are made through C Lazy U. www.clazyu.com
Enjoy the ride!