Jade was Christina’s first baby horse. Rescued in North Dakota, Jade was transferred to Denver, where Christina adopted her. Christina, a Reiki Master Teacher and a Certified BodyTalk Practitioner, found the connection with Jade supportive of self growth. She has been a rider since age nine and now offers riding lessons in her Sugarloaf Mountain Ranch outside Boulder, Colorado. That, alongside treatments and workshops relating to her prior training.
Horses have always fascinated me. They have always seemed fearless to me, riding to freedom, to sunset, alongside mountain tops and trees. I never saw a horse that wasn’t beautiful, and I imagined them as filled with a mixture of gentleness and wilderness. It has been a life-long dream to try my hand at connecting with horses, at riding horses, and I came close twice before, yet things didn’t work out.
As I landed in breathtaking Colorado, I was welcomed with hugs and a surprise: my relative, Shula, had set up a riding lesson for me with Christina. I was willing to get up at six in the morning to finally experience this dream adventure, yet pampering was abound: the class was scheduled late enough so I could sleep in, stare at the views that dropped my jaw at every turn or engage in long morning conversations. Indulgence was the name of the game in Colorado.
The residents of Sugarloaf Mountain know indulgence by heart. They might not have a real address – they only supposedly live in Boulder – and they might not be able to order in food from downtown, yet they need to do not a thing but open their eyes to see a range of mountains and blossoming trees. They get the best of all seasons, among them snowy winters and falls painted in yellow and some red.
The path to the ranch stretched, as I couldn’t believe my good fortune and preferred ignoring the fact not all the time in the world was available for me to stand high up there and rejoice.
Karen was the horse chosen for my first experience. Light brown with a mostly black (and a bit white) mane, she was peaceful and full of character. She would go where Christina told her, and that’s about it. All other times, she preferred going to my other relative, Shula’s husband, who was taking our pictures. He does tell great jokes, so it’s hard to blame Karen.
Surprisingly, it didn’t take long for me to feel comfortable with Karen. Three times before was I this close to a horse, yet never for this long. Christina, working as my translator between horse and human languages, made this experience so easy and so untouched by fear. At a certain point, I rode Karen by myself, and while I was only somewhat successful at getting her to go where I wanted her to go (she kept going to our photographer), I doubt the smile ever left my face.
Sadly, the class ended quickly. Happily, the connection with the horses did not end as fast. I got to stroke Karen’s hair to thank her for our time together. Then I got to feed her as well as some of the other horses of the ranch.
Meeting Shadow (pictured bellow) was extra special, since she is Shula’s horse. If I tell you I have a cousin who can name pretty much every mountain in Colorado, that would be Shula, who, on her way home from visiting her granddaughters, tends to go camping in national parks. Yes, it’s true, I know amazing people!
Shula nicknamed her horse Shoshi because this horse is very sweet, and Shula thought she needed a girl’s name. Shoshi has since moved to another farm, where she is enjoying her retirement.
As we walked away, my eyes raced, not knowing what to take in first. There was the last look at the horses.
There were the mountains – some bare from past fires, others basking in lush green or snow.
There was the bright yellow at peak color of autumn.
And then there were the clouds, which acted as mental pillows to imaginative daydreams.
Horseback riding lessons have found their way back to my bucket list, and since horses exist worldwide, I hope to make this dream a reality again in the upcoming future.
To visit Sugarloaf Mountain Ranch, head over to 4815 Sugarloaf Road, Boulder, Colorado. There’s been some changes in the horses, yet the ranch is still very recommended. If you go, tell them Shula’s cousin from Israel says hi.
Phone: 303 717 6002
E-mail: christina (at) sugarloafmountainranchcolorado.com
Have you ever tried horseback riding?