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The Way Forward


Are you navigating a transition or wanting to bring change into your life? Gain clarity and insight working with our herd of horses. Unmounted work and bareback riding. No horse experience necessary.

Saturday, February 4th, 11 am to 5 pm, $100, $85 if paid by 1/18

Held rain or shine at our indoor/outdoor facilities at Good Reception Ranch in Erie, CO (25 minutes from Boulder, Denver, Longmont).

From Reactive to Receptive Riding: A One-Day Mounted Workshop

Traditional approaches to riding instruction tell the body what to do, without considering why the body is already doing what it is.

Ever hear an instructor (or yourself) say, “Heels down!”; “Just do it!”; or even “Put it in a bag until you are done riding!”? In our society, we are often programmed to override difficult emotions—to push through fear and frustration—in order to accomplish our goals.

While this approach can be motivational at times, it creates a dynamic in which we tell our bodies and minds, not to mention our horses, what to do without really realizing what they have to say to us. In doing so, we shut ourselves off from receiving new information from our bodies, the horse, and our teachers. As a result, we begin to react to situations instead of responding to them with awareness and insight. Luckily, there are ways as facilitators and riders we can encourage less reactivity and greater receptivity.

Join Mica Graves for a discussion with experiential activities both on and off the horse (bring your own horse or work with one of our fabulous equine teachers). Whether you are a rider, an instructor, or an equine-assisted therapist, you will gain insight into how to increase riders’ receptivity to new learning. We will:

-Use recent findings from neurobiology and psychology to understand how fear and stress affect the mind and body.
-Note ways to track physical, emotional, and mental cues that indicate the rider’s comfort level and ability to assimilate learning.
-Identify common riding faults that are indicators of reactivity.
-Find out how to partner with the body and mind to develop greater feel both on and off the horse.
-Learn how to acknowledge and release negative energy like fear and frustration.
-Practice techniques to find riders’ emotional and physical center on the ground and on the horse.
-Gain skills to expand tolerance for challenging situations.

Contact Mica to learn how to bring this workshop to your barn or therapeutic center!

Receptive Riding for Equestrians, Instructors and Therapists

A 2 1/2 hour class Monday evenings in October and November with Mica Graves and Liz Polanco that will include theory, body-centered awareness exercises, herd work, horse handling, bareback riding, and riding in the saddle (English or Western).

Open to riders of all levels - no experience necessary. More advanced riders or instructors wishing to look at the foundations of horsemanship in a new light are welcome to join. Emphasis is on safety, connection to self and horse, and increased focus and awareness. There will be optional reading for the class.

Located at Good Reception Ranch in Erie, Colorado (25 minutes from Boulder, Denver, Longmont) in our indoor arena
$375 for eight-week session or $55/class
Mondays from 6:00-8:30 pm

To see a list of topics, click on read more below.

Good Reception Ranch Summer Camps 2011

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With Mica Graves, MA, NARHA Advanced Therapeutic Riding Instructor, and Liz Polanco

This is an opportunity for your son or daughter to have fun and gain self-confidence while learning to ride and care for horses. We had a great summer in 2011 with lots of firsts!

See below for more info about the 2011 season.

Sunday Morning Wake Up with Horses for Adults

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Sunday mornings are for relaxing and exploring new interests. In these classes, participants can choose from spending time with horses at liberty; observing horse behavior with mothers, foals and yearlings; gentle stretching; bareback riding; and more. If you are new, this is a great introduction to the place. If you are already a fan, it's a way to enjoy the best of what the ranch has to offer. The emphasis is on slowing down and learning to connect with yourself and the horses in an enjoyable way.

9 am - 12:30 pm
Next Class: Sunday, September 25th, 2011

Saturday Afternoon Mother-Daughter Classes

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Curiosity and openness are primers for relationship. Spring’s new life gives us all a chance to look at the world and one another with fresh eyes. In this Saturday afternoon class, mothers and daughters will have an opportunity to connect with one another by playing with horses and riding together. We will watch the mothers and foals as they do all of the things family members do—nurture and protect, cuddle and groom, play and set boundaries. This exploration will allow us to look at how we nurture and protect our own mother-daughter relationships. For girls aged 8-12 and their mothers.

Saturday, April 23rd (the day before Easter)
Saturday, May 14th, 2011
1:30-5:30 pm

Fourmile Fire Equine-Assisted Support Group

The approach

Experience tells us that even months after a disaster like the Fourmile Fire, those affected need continuing support. The traumatic events of September may be in the past, but their impacts on our daily lives often run deep. Join Mica Graves and Max Woodfin, therapists at Joder Arabian Ranch, for an ongoing support group. This weekly group will bring people together in a compassionate environment that will help victims make sense of this challenging experience. For families, we will be providing a children’s group that will run simultaneously with the adult group.

Develop Your Feel One-Day Workshops - Winter/Spring 2011

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Old time horse people talk about developing a feel with a horse. When there is a good feel between a horse and a person, communication is a two-way street. Horse and human are trusting of one another and able to listen and respond to each other’s verbal and nonverbal cues.

These one-day workshops will help you develop your feel with horses, so that you can learn to better listen and respond. This will make the time you spend at the barn more relaxing, enjoyable and rewarding.

Horse Lovers Meetup at Good Reception Ranch in February

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The Front Range Equine Psychotherapy Guild hosts monthly meetups at barns along the Front Range for therapists, instructors, and regular old horse lovers. Attendees get a chance to socialize, network, and learn from one another. February's meetup is hosted by Good Reception Ranch in Erie, Colorado.

The theme of the talk is Receptive Riding. If you work with riders as an instructor or therapist or if you ride yourself, this talk will give you insight into mind-body states conducive to learning and enjoyment.

Join the Herd: A Communication and Socialization Group ~ Fall 2010

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5-Week Group for Children

Learning to communicate and interact with others is key to creating a happy family life, making and keeping friends, and being successful at school and in the larger world.

Like humans, horses and other animals follow social codes that help them achieve harmony in the group. Early on, animals learn how to greet one another, communicate information, show interest and affection, and establish and respect boundaries. By observing and interacting with animals in a supportive environment, children can learn social skills that transfer to relationships with parents, teachers, siblings, and peers...

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