Aug 11-18, 2024
Mindfulness with Horses Retreat
Join Jennifer at the spectacular Bitterroot Ranch, for a chance to rest and reset in the company of horses. Retreat includes accommodations and meals at Bitterroot, and three optional trail rides into the surrounding Wind River Valley and Absaroka mountains.
The Retreat Experience
Learn mindfulness based practices supported by the grounding of horses, and surrounded by the wild beauty of the Absaroka mountains. During this intimate retreat we’ll reconnect with the rhythm of the natural world, cultivate compassion for ourselves and others, and build the courage to step fully into our lives with power and authenticity.
In relationship with an incredible herd, you will experience connection and communication using body language, breath, energy and intention. You’ll create relationships beyond words and without judgement.
While the practices and activities are customized to the participants (based on a pre-retreat survey and the experience as it unfolds) some of what you can expect to explore with the horses includes:
- Observing interactions, including between mothers and foals
- Exchanging greetings and communicating your intentions
- Asking for space without creating fear or disconnection
- Supporting a horse that is uncomfortable
- Inviting a horse to walk and/or rest with you
- Grooming a horse to create comfort and connection
- Moving quietly through the herd without disturbing the horses
There will be three optional trail rides into the mountains and forests surrounding the ranch. We’ll start each one with grounding and awareness practices to support you in connecting to your horse, and yourself, during your ride.
We’ll spend our time away from the herd expanding on our discoveries and setting intentions for the next day, through a combination of mindfulness practices, gentle movement, journaling and group discussion.
Together we’ll explore a way of being in the world that is deeply healing. One that connects us to our own body and breath, and to each other. Head home with a greater awareness of the energy you want to bring into your daily life, and your relationships, and with practices to support creating it (with or without horses).
*This retreat is appropriate for all adults. No horse or mindfulness experience necessary. All horse interaction will be tailored to the individual’s experience and comfort level. Riding is optional, and led by the ranch. Personal mindfulness practices will be offered during rides for guests who choose to remain on the ground.
About the Bitterroot Ranch
The Bitterroot Ranch was established as a guest and working ranch in 1971 by Bayard Fox. Bayard, his wife Mel and their son and daughter-in-law, Richard and Hadley, have sought ever since to create an outstanding experience for guests that brings together their many years of riding experience all over the world.
The absolute dedication to their horses sets the Bitterroot apart from many guest ranches. Life at Bitterroot revolves around the horses, many of which have been born there. They socialize naturally in a herd environment and are released every afternoon to roam in a large pasture until they are gathered the next morning. Watching the daily travels of the 100+ herd down to the ranch, and up to their pasture is not to be missed!
The herd is made up of many breeds, including Quarter Horses, Mustangs, Percherons, Appaloosas and Welsh ponies as well as Spanish and CMK Arabians. Many of the horses are raised and trained at the ranch in the style of Linda Tellington-Jones, who visited for many years to teach clinics and start their Arabians.
Located in Wyoming’s wide open Wind River valley, Bitterroot is almost 30 miles from the nearest town. We’ll be nestled in the Shoshone National Forest, part of the largest wilderness ecosystem in the contiguous US. This setting offers an exceptional variety of terrain, fantastic vistas, and a perfect place to rest and rest in nature.
Accommodations and Meals
Ranch life is simple, comfortable, and and joyful. Situated on either side of the river to provide maximum privacy, twelve tastefully decorated but rustic log cabins accommodate up to 30 guests each week.
All cabins have en-suite bathrooms with showers and some cabins also have tubs. There are several sleeping arrangement options: one double or queen bed, two twin beds, or duplex cabins designed for families with a double or queen bed on one side and twins on the other. Every cabin offers electric heat, and some have wood burning stoves. After your day with the horses, you can relax on your cabin’s porch and soak in the beautiful surroundings.
Gather in the main lodge for meals and cozy evenings. The two sitting rooms, dining room, game room with pool table and library offer further options for relaxation.
Healthy food is a vital part of life on the ranch. Salads come fresh from the garden, ranch raised beef is served, and bread is baked in the kitchen ovens. Special diets, including vegetarian and vegan options, are gladly supported.
A riverside barbeque and bonfire is held on Sunday evenings, and cocktails are served at the main lodge each evening before dinner. Meals are social with group tables and a chance to connect with other guests.
*Please note all registration is managed by the Bitterroot, and subject to their policies and procedures. Questions about payment, housing, and cancellation should be directed to the ranch. For any other questions please reach out to Jennifer directly at email@example.com