A Revitalizing Retreat at the Ranch
There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.
Susan Tambone, owner and Director of Prospect Riding Center and Three T’s Ranch, couldn’t agree more. From her individually designed therapeutic riding programs, to horseback riding lessons, children’s birthday parties, overnight campouts, and even the occasional wedding that she hosts at the ranch, Tambone has managed to help people of all ages and ability levels improve the quality of their lives with horses. On Saturday, March 16th she unveiled her latest concept a revitalizing ranch-based retreat. The day-long gathering offered guests an opportunity to relax, reflect, and enjoy a holistic spa experience in an authentic ranch setting.
The afternoon began with a light spa lunch, enjoyed in a casual gathering under the trees. Guests mingled and relaxed on swinging benches and in Adirondack chairs overlooking a pair of mules quietly grazing in the pasture. Susan and her team of skilled volunteers then escorted guests to their individually scheduled retreat sessions. The sessions, which guests rotated through, consisted of yoga-based activities on horseback, massage therapy appointments, an opportunity to design a unique horsehair tassel, a consultation with an herbal consultant and acupuncturist, and a tranquil walk through the latest work in progress, the labyrinth.
As lunch came to a close, the first group was escorted to the training arena where they mounted bareback horses. Equine activities director and yoga instructor Diane Wallin then guided them through a variety of mounted stretching and relaxation techniques. Wallin told the group, “Yoga means union – of body, mind and soul – and in this case a union with the horse as well.” She began by instructing them on breathing techniques, then moved on to posture and modified yoga moves. As the students inhaled and raised their arms above their heads, the horses stood calmly as if anticipating their next move. Finally, students dismounted and continued their stretches, leaning against the horses for balance.
As the first group continued to perfect their yoga moves, others took their turns enjoying a soothing neck massage. Held in a modified stall decorated with floral curtains and colorful artwork, the private massage sessions allowed guests to relax in professional massage chair and enjoy the cooling sensation of herbal oils and lotions while letting the stress of day-to-day life melt away.
Guests then proceeded to the arts and crafts table where they were encouraged to let their creativity flow freely. Authentic horsehair tassels were arranged in individual trays and guests selected their tassel, then added colorful beads and a lobster claw clasp. The result was a one-of-a-kind piece that could be clipped to a belt or hatband, or used as a decorative zipper pull on a jacket, backpack, or purse. Guests were excited to have a memento of their ranch experience that they could take home,
In between equine yoga, relaxing massages, and arts and crafts, guests were encouraged to visit the informational display sponsored by One World Acupuncture and Herbal Pharmacy. Here, owner Brian Brader provided insight into a wide array of wellness products and herbal remedies. Guests were treated to samples, personalized consultations, and recommendations for treatments and supplements.
The day would not have been complete without a visit to the labyrinth. The labyrinth, a winding maze, is actually an ancient symbol that encourages mental focus, release of tension, personal reflection, and spiritual growth. Currently under construction, the labyrinth is the latest addition to the ranch and is sure to be the perfect place to relax. At the entrance, a detailed sign outlines the three phases of development. Phase One is the mining tray that features pond-free aquatic plants and natural pools. Phase Two is a railed deck overlooking the water features. Cut-outs in the decking will allow visitors to view directly below into the water where they might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of fish or even a gold nugget. In keeping with Prospect’s theme, Phase Three involves giving the labyrinth an authentic old western feel with a decorative wooden façade. Covered seating will provide a quiet place for visitors to rest and reflect. According to Tambone, “The labyrinth is really a metaphor for the path we walk through life.”
As the day wound to a close, the guests gathered together for a final hike down Destination Trail, calmer, more relaxed, and definitely revitalized. As they walked, they laughed and listened to one another share their thoughts about the day. Upon reaching the trail’s end, guests were each presented with a paper luminary upon which they wrote a special message or thought. After each person had completed his or her message, the luminaries were lit and released. As the tiny lights floated upward, one guest commented that they looked like flakes of gold in the sky – a perfect ending to a perfect day. It seems like Susan Tambone and Prospect Ranch just keep striking gold.
Submitted by Polly Barnes