The Unbridled Retreat was showcased in Horse Illustrated Magazine! Read the article below…
Equine Wellness Retreats
by Stacey McKenna
As equestrians, we know that horses are good for us, and often head to the barn on the most stressful of days. In recent years, that intuition has been supported by a bevy of scientific evidence. By creating a therapeutic environment, horses help people process emotions, build self-awareness, and bolster their confidence.
Psychologists have used equine-assisted therapy to treat numerous conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder and eating disorders. And less formal learning and coaching programs teach coping skills, communication tools, and more to everyone from troubled youth to corporate executives. In fact, author and scholar Temple Grandin has written that just being around equines boosts our physical and mental health.
In response, wellness escapes all over the world are harnessing these benefits to help guests heal, excel, and find harmony with themselves. Some offer life and health coaching, some pull in yoga and mindfulness practices, and others have built an environment that fosters serious self-care. And although most programs can accommodate newbies, some do better than others when it comes to providing an experience that’s fulfilling and fun for more seasoned riders. Here’s a list of our favorite horse-centric wellness getaways for experienced equestrians.
Combine “A-ha” and “Yee-haw”
Equine Gestalt Coach Devon Combs of Beyond the Arena (unbridledret.wpengine.com) runs empowering retreats all over the western U.S. Her annual Unbridled Retreat at Tucson’s White Stallion Ranch is tops for riders looking to pair powerful internal work with excitement in the saddle.
All of Combs’ retreats incorporate group and one-on-one coaching sessions in the round pen and tailored activities such as journaling or creating vision boards. She draws on her love for horses, life coach training, and excellent intuition to guide her clients through processing emotional difficulties and setting new personal and professional goals.
She finds that the work also helps people improve relationships with their own horses back home. By highlighting behaviors such as licking and chewing during the coaching sessions, Combs helps riders notice their own emotions and recognize how they affect horses.
“They’re reminded to be mindful, more present, to just be with their own horse, as opposed to always having to do something when they’re with their horse at home,” says Combs.
Afternoons at the ranch are filled with rides, one-on-one coaching, and self-care (massage, anyone?). And White Stallion Ranch is truly equipped to accommodate riders of all levels. Experienced equestrians get to take canter-heavy trail rides or can try fast-paced arena events such as team penning and barrel racing.
To reserve your spot for the Unbridled Retreat at White Stallion Ranch on October 17 – 20, 2019, CLICK HERE.
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