From Cathy Woods:
I’d like to share with you a bit about my involvement in working with HorseClass and leading Body, Mind, Equine retreat at their Pennsylvania campus, Honey Brook Stables.
2022 was my first time working with Horse Class and it was an amazing experience in every way and a great pairing as our values and philosophies align nicely!
It was such a positive experience that we’re doing it again – June 9-11, 2023!
The Location, The Venue, The Retreat
In the Amish countryside of Pennsylvania sits Honeybrook Stables, with vast views of green pastures and well-cared-for horses abound. The 1700s farmhouse, big barns, and silos are a priceless piece of the area’s history. While sitting on the charming porch or while riding in the arena, you can see and hear the horse-drawn buggies trot by, just like they did in the days of old.
The oh-so-sweet yoga studio is an expertly crafted, converted hay loft in one of the barns, complete with a sliding barn door that opens to overlook grazing horses. It’s truly the perfect place for an equine and yoga retreat. I felt so at home there!
The large indoor, covered arena and outdoor arenas are great places to experience the Master School Horses of Honey Brook Stables. These gentle souls teach us about equines and riding, but more importantly, they teach us about ourselves – teaching us to interact with the world around us in a more integrated, mindful way and that we are all truly interconnected!
I would be remiss not to mention how amazing, supportive, and skilled the onsite staff was for our retreat. From pairing the right horse and rider to meals to guest services. They made everyone feel comfortable and nurtured with their genuine hospitality.
As retreat leader, my mission is to impart authentic yogic teachings with practical, basic horsemanship all while creating a safe and supportive container for all attendees and creating a positive experience for everyone regardless of yoga or horse experience. I aim to keep the days and itinerary full but balanced!
As I facilitated the opening circle, we began to get to know each other, followed by some gentle yoga to work out any travel kinks. The evening concluded after a lovely happy hour and delightful hor devours.
After a relaxed lunch, we met our horses in the spacious indoor arena where I led the first equine segment of Body, Mind, Equine. We brought our good, centered energy to our horsemanship with exercises from ground to saddle. After our session, we transferred to the outdoor arena for a mindful equine grooming session.
Our days concluded back on the yoga mat, sharing about our day and with a closing meditation.
Day two was similar but with different yoga, workshop, and equine experiences.
I can truly say, at the end of the retreat, a rich, meaningful experience was had by all with much heart-centered conversation throughout the weekend, new friends and fresh horse, yoga, and life-enrichment skills to take home and incorporate into our daily lives!
I am thrilled and grateful to partner with HorseClass, enriching the horse/ human connection by offering meaningful programs and supportive content to all equestrians!
Happy Trails & Namaste,
Cathy Woods is the creator of Body, Mind, EquineTM and author of Yoga for Riders; a long-time Yoga Teacher/Retreat Leader, horsewoman, and avid, backcountry trail rider.
She leads retreats and clinics around the country at ranches, expos, and equine centers and has an online course series through WeHorse. Cathy has been leading yoga programs to horse lovers and non-equestrians for nearly thirty-two years.
Her Yoga and Equine programs teach the parallels between yoga and horsemanship. Body, Mind, Equine is not about doing yoga on the back of a horse, but rather how to use yoga principles (not just postures) to improve horsemanship from ground to saddle and become a more aware, mindful equestrian. In addition, Cathy also teaches good stretches for riders.
Combining her passions of yoga, horses, and travel, her one-of-a-kind programs have reached national acclaim, Woods has written for and been featured in numerous online and print publications such as Horse & Rider Magazine, Horse Illustrated, Equus, Cowgirl Magazine, Western Horse & Gun Magazine, EQAMerica, StreamhorseTV, Yoga Digest, Forbes.com, Equitrekking, Flying Changes Magazine, and others.
Woods aims to impart an aware/mindful approach to yoga and horsemanship to make enhanced horsemanship and true yoga accessible to everyone while promoting a more enriched and skillful life. She is based in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina but teaches nationally.
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