Horseback Riding in Wyoming

Horse Speak® All-Inclusive Retreat

Overview

Join Laura and Sharon Wilsie and Heidi Potter for an unforgettable and enriching experience at Bitterroot Ranch in Dubois, Wyoming USA. This ranch is home to over 200 horses of various levels, breeds and ages. The ranch is located in the beautiful Wind River valley, bordering the Shoshone National Forest, just fifty miles from Yellowstone National Park.

Retreat guests will experience the rare opportunity of observing the truly natural language and behaviors of horses that live in the most natural of settings. Participants will be immersed in observing and connecting with horses in the big herd of 150, along with the mares and foals of ranch’s Spanish Arabian breeding program. Lessons in decoding and encoding equine language will be abundant in this magical setting.

Through observation, interaction, workshops and self-awareness exercises participants will develop a skill set that leaves them with a deeper understanding of the truly natural language of the horse.  These skills will enable them to begin decoding horse language on their own and have appropriate responses to horses’ questions. They will join the growing number of “Horse Speakers” who have found success with calmly reshaping undesirable behaviors, creating enriching experiences and building rapport with horses.

Retreat guests will have a chance to improve comfort, confidence, communication and overall balance in the saddle with a Centered Riding workshop and mounted lesson taught by Heidi. These skills will come in handy on the two guided trail rides in the surrounding picturesque mountains included in this memorable retreat. Optional activities include Yoga, Hiking, Square Dancing and attending a local Rodeo.

Guests stay in comfortable log cabins on either side of the river which are situated for privacy and to afford magnificent views of the surrounding mountains.

Meals are taken in the main lodge and particular attention is paid to the cuisine and wines served.

  • Overview:
    There are over 120 riding horses on the ranch, consisting mainly of Arabians and Quarter Horse crosses (14-16hh). The Arabian horses are raised and trained exclusively for the use of the guests, who often like to visit the mares and foals. The ranch also has some excellent Welsh ponies for children. The horses are trained western and are used to being neck reined; they do not go on contact. All guests are asked to post the trot and to stay in two point or galloping position for the canters and when climbing hills. This is important to us as it keeps the horses from getting sore backs. Those who do not comfortably adapt to riding in this manner will be kept on slower rides.
  • Equipment Required:
    Helmets are required, there are some available to borrow.
  • Horse Breeds:
    Arabians, Quarter horses and draft crosses
  • Trip Pace:
    Slow to moderate, to suit riders
  • Tack:
    Western saddles with snaffle bits
  • Weight limit:
    The ranch has a limited number of horses for riders over 180 lbs.
  • Hours of Instruction:
    5 per day
  • Instruction and Training:
    Sharon Wilsie is the founder of Horse Speak, an educational system that helps humans understand the intricacies of horse conversations. It teaches the exact, specific, repeatable micro-movements of horse language and give its students a platform for “listening” and “talking” to horses in their language, instead of expecting them to understand ours. Sharon is the author of Horse Speak, The Equine/Human Translation Guide and Horses in Translation. She has enjoyed a professional career as a horse trainer/rehabilitation specialist, intercollegiate coach, riding instructor, presenter and clinician. Sharon has developed several programs including; volunteer training groups for horse rescues and therapeutic riding centers, as well as Equine Assisted Learning courses at Landmark College in Vermont. Her life-long passion for horses has driven her to seek alternative training and rehabilitation methods for difficult and traumatized horses. Sharon’s goal has always been to create a two–way street of mutual healing, awareness, and betterment for both horses and humans. For more information about Sharon and her work, visit www.wilsiewayhorsemanship.com. Heidi Potter is an internationally known and respected Trainer, Instructor, Clinician and Author who shares over 50 years of horse experience. Heidi was blessed to have learned Centered Riding directly from neighboring friend, mentor and founder, the late Ms. Sally Swift. As a martial artist Heidi was inspired by Centered Riding’s inclusion of Traditional Eastern Philosophies to help riders of all levels and disciplines improve self-awareness, balance, comfort, confidence and communication. In her Holistic Horsemanship Training Program Heidi is committed to addressing the horse’s needs first by sharing the concept of doing things “with” the horse versus “to” the horse, thus creating calmer, safer and more enjoyable experiences. In 2016 she began studying equine behavior and language with Horse Speak founder Sharon Wilsie. As a Senior Horse Speak Instructor Heidi finds great joy in helping to bridge the gap in understanding between horses and their humans. Heidi enjoys trail riding and competing in Western Dressage with her Cheval Canadian Horse Riley and spending time with family and friends at her Southern Vermont farm, The New England Center for Horsemanship. For more information about Heidi and her work visit www.heidipotter.com
  • Types of Instruction:
    Centered Riding Instruction, Clinics and Lessons, Horsemanship Skillbuilding

There are no separate activities planned for non-riders, who can take advantage of this unique location to fly fish, hike and visit with the ranch animals. With a rental car the town of Dubois is about 40 minutes away.

Hadley teaches four flowing yoga classes a week in the ranch’s yoga yurt, Monday and Wednesday afternoons, Friday mornings, and Saturday afternoons. The classes are designed to stretch the muscles that typically become sore during riding. They are friendly for people without much (or any!) yoga experience, but they also offer something to the more experienced yoga practitioner.

At the ranch. We can provide details for services for transportation from the Jackson Hole airport or the Riverton airport.

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Sunday: Arrival at the ranch in the afternoon

Day 2

Monday through Saturday: Workshops with Sharon and Heidi on the ground and in the saddle. Two afternoons will offer separate guided trail rides.

Day 8

Sunday: Depart the ranch after breakfast.

Trip Map

Trip Dates & Pricing

Departure Dates

Trip Starts
Trip Ends
Jun 14, 2020
Jun 21, 2020

Pricing & Options

  • Base Price
  • $3,450
  • Single Supplement
  • $300

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Do you have questions about this ride itinerary? Do you want to make sure that this it is the right ride for you? Or are you ready to book? Please call or email our experienced and friendly ride consultants for more detailed information. With first-hand knowledge of the exciting tours we offer, the ride consultants at Equitours look forward to answering any questions you might have

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1.800.545.0019

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Contact Hadley Fox

Of all our ranch vacations, this one offered the most variety of terrains and rides. Every day a different surprise - Wind River and Absaroka ranges, Elk range, river canyons, volcanic ash hills, cattle driving, riding lessons, yoga, fly fishing, easy hikes to great scenery between rides, very well cared for horses, healthy but hearty meals with fresh veggies and wine, immaculate rustic cabins and excellent entertaining and knowledgeable hosts, the Fox family, attending to every detail. A total escape from the business stresses! This was the best ranch vacation we have had. So we're going back again this year!

Ferguson, 2019