We had an awesome Yoga & Riding Retreat at the C Lazy U Ranch in Granby, Colorado last fall. 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 another Women’s riding & Yoga Retreats planned for this year—In October. I know a lot of your were disappointed not to make it into last 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 October. All registrations are made through C Lazy U. www.clazyu.com
Enjoy the ride!
My favorite memory from the weekend retreat? There are so many! I loved getting up before the sun to see the wranglers go out to herd the horses in from the pasture for the day, and then at the end of the day watching them get put out for the night. Taking a different trail ride every day (sometimes twice), going up and down hills, through water, and all over, it was very “courage building”!! I met so many nice people, learned a few things, felt more energetic (and flexible) after doing yoga, and made a vow to continue it when I got home. I loved having a fireplace in my room for the chilly mornings, and to enjoy at the end of the day….Can’t wait for next year to do this again!!
I was so excited to go to my first riding retreat! Coming from New York it was a bit of a haul. My favorite memory now my dream trip is in the past? It might be getting up at dawn and watching the horses run in from the pasture for the day as the sun rose. Or riding on a strange horse for the first time in years, and being okay…going on some wonderful trail rides and seeing some incredible views …I still can’t believe I went up a tiny trail on that huge draft horse without one little misstep! I could go on and on, right up to driving by myself through the Berthoud Pass…in a rental car! Such a great adventure, can’t wait till next year!!
I had a wonderful time at the retreat at C Lazy U and can’t wait til next year. I plan on making it a yearly event.
B from MV
Way to go Betty!!