Last May I went to a horse clinic in Colorado, put on by Julie Goodnight, who is a “rock star” in the horse clinician world. The clinic was at the C U Lazy Ranch in Granby, Colorado. I tried to get a few of my local friends to accompany me, but having no takers, decided to go it alone. I had read about how awesome this clinic was, so somewhat hesitantly, I flew out to meet up with 35 women I did not know from all across the country, ranging in ages from 40 and up.
The C U Lazy Ranch is a “dude ranch” established in 1919. The accommodations and food are fabulous, and the scenery is spectacular. That alone would be worth the trip, but on top of all that I got to meet 35 total strangers who are women like me that have a passion for horses. Not to mention we got to schmooze with THE Julie Goodnight, and have her critique our riding and help us with issues we might be having.
Upon landing in Denver, I found myself in a late snow storm driving through the mountains of Winter Park on my way to Granby. It would have been a lot scarier if I had been able to “see” what I was driving through, but I was literally almost blinded, so inched along until just outside of Granby. There the sky cleared to blue. As I turned into the C U Lazy, the herd of almost 200 horses was being turned out for the evening. I stopped the car and watched what they call the daily “jingle”. Quite an impressive sight to see that many horses galloping by in front of you (click here to see galloping horses)!
The clinic included sessions with Julie, and trail riding to your heart’s content. Polite and extremely helpful “wranglers” would greet you with your saddled horse, and take him from you at the end of your ride. This is quite a luxury for those of us who take care of those chores at our barns at home. When not riding, there were wonderful yoga classes to stretch out our tired and aching muscles. My cabin had a fireplace and jetted tub. How perfect was that?! Not to mention the amazing spa accommodations in tents by the river.
Now, about those 35 women. What a perfect mixture of personalities and riding skills. I found each of them delightful. On the first night we were to appear in the lodge area for meet and greet cocktails. I wandered into the bar, and there were two ladies that looked very approachable, so I introduced myself and we started up the beginning of many conversations over the next 4 days. The three of us joined up with a larger group who ended up riding together and eating together over the course of the clinic. Those two at the bar, Jackie and Joanne, were especially fun and had come together, friends originally from New York and now living the “horse life” in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. I have never been, but pictures I’ve seen of that area are stunning. So here I am with my new “horsewomen” buddies (I’m second from the right in the back, Jackie and Joanne are on either side of me).
The long weekend ended too soon. I had met some incredible and interesting new friends, got to hang with THE Julie Goodnight, who I found out is originally from my hometown of Orlando (what??!!!), enjoyed about five hours a day of trail riding in the mountains of Colorado, worked in some yoga, and basically had the time of my life.
The sequel to this story is almost a year later, Jackie and Joanne are flying down to Florida on Friday to spend 4 days in the warmer weather, riding with me at my place! Can’t wait to pick up where we left off!