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horseback riding retreats

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Spring Showers Bring Summer Flowers

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From Spring Showers To Summer Monsoons

Newsletter


Hello Equitrekkers!

We have had an unseasonably wet spring, which has brought an abundance of wild flowers, fruits, vegetables, and grazing grasses. Our herd, including the new foster horse Dandy, are enjoying a few lazy days out in the lush South Pasture. The gardens are abundant with berries, especially summer sweet strawberries. You can see them featured in our Tres Leches Strawberry Shortcake recipe. Very decadent. Don’t miss out on our Yoga Retreats and Ballon Fiesta Ride. Spots are limited!

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THE HERD

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New Addition

Meet Dandy! This 10 year old, pinto gelding joined our foster program in June after placing 4th in the Volunteer In Hand Training Challenge. He originally came to WNCR five years ago with Toby, from a hoarding situation. Dandy has excelled at ground training and is on his way to working under saddle. We look forward to getting this curious little guy out on trail! Follow his progress on our Facebook and Instagram pages.

On The Mend

This spring two of our horses have had a trip to the vet. Jake bowed the tendons in both front legs and Bosley developed moon blindness in his left eye.

Jake on stall rest

A bowed tendon is common in performances horses, especially race horses When people say a horse is "bowed" or that it has a "bowed tendon", they are generally referring to the tearing of the superficial digital flexor tendon in the middle of the cannon bone region. This tear causes a curved, bow-like swelling on the back of the leg between the knee and the ankle. Although the swelling is usually in the middle of the cannon bone, it may be behind the knee, at the level of the ankle, or it may extend from the knee to the pastern. While this injury is common in one front leg, its very uncommon in both front legs at the same time. Although this sounds like a grim diagnoses, our very talented vet, Dr. Dixson performed a surgery procedure to release the tension in the tendon and help speed Jakes recovery. Recovery will be a slow, lengthy processes and we hope he can make it back to his trail riding

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One afternoon Bosley showed uo to dinner with his left eye completly clouded over, it happened that quickly, “Moon blindness” is a chronic, painful eye disease, and it’s the most common cause of blindness in horses. It was so named during the 1600s because people thought recurring attacks were related to phases of the moon. Today it’s often attributed to a bacterial infection. Amazingly at 36 years old, this is Bosley only affliction. It took him a few weeks to adjust at the loss of sight in that eye, but now he’s back to his Horsey Hefner ways.

We do hope that both gelding will be able to return to some light riding, but if not they will certainly enjoy their retirement here at the ranch.


FROM THE GARDEN

Our garden
Strawberries

We have fruit! With the plethera of moisture this winter and spring our cherry, peach, and apple trees are baring tasty fruit. The grape vines, raspberry, blackberry, and goiji bushes are following suit. Can you say pies, empanadas, jelly and jams??? We also planted an apricot, plum, pear, and crabapple this spring with hopes of future produce. The ret of the gardens have been planted with corn, squash, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, pumpkins, melons, carrots, radish, tomatillos, potatoes, beans, okra, greens….and so much more. We’re very excited for this years harvest!



FROM THE KITCHEN

Featured Recipe : Tres Leches Strawberry Shortcake

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I will admit I snagged this recipe from Better Homes and Gardens Magazine. I’m always on the lookout for new spins on traditional New Mexican food and you can’t get more traditional than a decadent Tres Leches. Usually a sponge cake soaked in three kinds of milk: evaporated milk, condensed milk, and heavy cream, this desert is light and rich. The summery strawberry gives it just the twist needed.

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder

  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ cup butter, softened

  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

  • 2 large eggs, room temperature

  • ½ cup buttermilk

  • ½ teaspoon almond extract

  • 1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk

  • ⅔ cup buttermilk

  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream

  • 2 pounds fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 10-inch cake pan. Line with parchment paper. Grease parchment.

  • In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine butter and 1/2 cup sugar; beat on high until fluffy. Add eggs; beat until smooth. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add 1/2 cup buttermilk and the almond extract; beat until smooth. Add flour mixture; beat until just combined. Spoon into prepared baking pan; spread evenly. Bake about 30 minutes or until cake is golden and a toothpick comes out clean. In a medium bowl whisk together sweetened condensed milk, 2/3 cup buttermilk, and 1/2 cup cream. Using a skewer, poke cake all over. Pour milk mixture over warm cake. Chill, covered, at least 3 hours or overnight. Invert cake onto a wire rack. Remove parchment. Transfer to a serving plate and bring to room temperature at least 30 minutes before serving. Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine strawberries, lemon juice, and remaining 1 tablespoon granulated sugar. Let stand at room temperature at least 30 minutes. In a medium bowl beat remaining 1 cup cream and the powdered sugar with a mixer to stiff peaks. Spread over cake. Top with berries. Makes 10 servings.



UPCOMING EVENTS & DISCOUNTS

EquiYoga Retreats

There are still a few spots available for our monthly yoga retreats! When you truly need to immerse yourself in the restorative powers of equine and yoga, this retreat balances your mind, nourishes your body, and lightens your soul.

  • JULY 10-16

  • AUGUST 24-30

  • SEPTEMBER 22-28

  • OCTOBER 20-26


BALLOON FIETSA OCTOBER 6-13

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There are no words to describe seeing hundreds of balloons durning the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta on horseback!

- Jules


Book now for awesome discounts. Only 3 spots left for this unique experience!


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Two Ears Tuesday

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This weeks between the ears shot is a throw back to my month spent on the beaches of Africa with Mozambique Horse Safari. I believe the ears belong to Spice Girl, one of the many amazing horses the Retzlaffs rescued. The book 104 Horses follows Pat and Mandy Retzlaff's journey from Zimbabwe refugees herding horses across the war torn nation to horseback riding outfitters in the safe haven of Vinculo.

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My journey through Africa wouldn't have been complete without this experience with the Retzlaffs and all the people at Mozambique Horse Safari. This is a once in a life time adventure I highly recommend to any equestrian.

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Two Ears Tuesday

It's Balloon Fiesta time! What better way to kick off Two Ears Tuesday than with my favorite shot of a hot air balloon between Cash's ears. 

 

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

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Finding Balance In Equi-Yoga

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Finding Balance In Equi-Yoga

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What exactly is Equi-Yoga? You may have visions, like I did, of a graceful yogi in down dog on the top of a bareback horse, lounging in circles like a vaulter. It is actually a practice developed by Marty Whittle that combines yoga techniques of body awareness, breath and movement with equestrian training. Whittle found that implementing these yoga based exercises with the movement of a horse will help stretch, strengthen, and balance the rider. So our vision isn't so far fetched. In Enchantment Equitreks Equi-Yoga program you will begin on the mat, creating a foundation of poses and breath that will be translated into the saddle. As you move to the saddle our horses stand patiently, often breathing and stretching with you, as you begin to find a flow. When you are ready to advance, the horse walks out on a long line as you match your rhythm with the animal. For more advanced riders, the horse is urged into a trot and a true study of balance is achieved. 





This unique technique targets many trouble areas, such as the neck, shoulders, arms, seat and legs. By loosening and strengthening these areas, the rider allows the horse to flow through them. By facilitating  Ujjayi breathing, new lines of communication form between horse and rider. “It helps you explore your body from the inside out,” explains Whittle. Personally, I found that I often forgot to use my core and compensated by using alternative muscles. For example, after reaching down to my stirrup I would squeeze with my knees and leg to help right my self in the saddle. My horse took the cue to move forward and I would over correct to stop the movement. How many times do equestrians lean down to adjust a stirrup and the horse trots off? My natural reaction is to tense through the saddle and hold my breath, which in turn makes the horse tense. I had to learn to engage my core and regulate my breathing to keep my body relaxed and in control.  Through Equi-Yoga I began to understand that communication with my horse can be misconstrued by being unaware of my body. 



I also found a deeper understanding of my own yoga practice by testing my balance on a moving mat. Although our horses are well trained to stand as the rider reaches new positions, they can be distracted and take a step. When in a twist the rider may have to adjust to the new position of the horse. There are also moments when the horse will stretch its neck as you lean forward and both of you are working together to reach equilibrium, finding that unspoken  partnership. My greatest revelation came when we started the moving portion. As my horse walked at end of the lounge line, my instructor guided me in twists and bends that complemented the animals natural gait and I realized that I am a booty rider! In order to keep my balance I tended to over compensate by sticking my rear end out just a bit and slightly arching my back.  This throws my seat forward and legs back in the saddle, which explains my habit of sometimes loosing a stirrup. Even though it was a slight misalignment in my body, it highlighted the affect it had in my riding. When I returned to the mat for my regular yoga sessions I felt my rear end creeping back out. Now that I am aware, I tuck it right back under my pelvis where it belongs. 



By adding the equine element to yoga the equestrian will learn to adjust to new situations with breath and suppleness, recognize and adjust the body cues to keep clear communication, and build a deeper connection to your horse. The yogi will challenge balance, develop deeper self awareness while staying cognoscente of out side influences.





For this new and exciting program we are blessed to be working with Nicole Fitzgerald, an experienced yoga teacher who has completed Equi-Yoga training with Marty Whittle. Her enthusiasm for yoga, horses, and Equi-Yoga is contagious. Nicole focuses on making this experience fun, relaxing, and informational for many levels of riders and yoga enthusiasts. 



A single day course includes an introductory mat session, an on the horse standing flow, and a walking sequence.  However, we believe that a foundation for the practice is best built during an Equi-Yoga Retreat Week. This encompasses multiple mat sessions that reinforce poses and helps work sore muscles, multi standing flows, walking sequences, and the introduction to the trotting positions. We then take this knowledge and apply it while trail riding, such as warming up with your horse and after lunch stretches. The team here at Enchantment Equitreks look forward to sharing this extraordinary and new technique in both the equine and yoga world. 


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