Awakenings Retreat 2017-09-19T13:11:44+00:00

Annual Awakenings Retreat ~ Sold out

If you would like to be on the waiting list for retreat dates in 2018, please email me at  We will have 2 retreat dates available: one in May and one in August

August 2017 focus theme:  Discovering the Intuitive Art of Reciprocity ~ learning how to give to and receive from self, others, nature and animals to create lifelong balance, happiness and clarity. 

Are you are ready to:

  • Have more Joy, Energy and Self-Compassion?
  • Show up for Your Life and Yourself in New Ways?
  • Further Deepen your Intuitive Abilities?
  • Have a better Understanding of Self and Others?
  • Feel Passionate and Hopeful about your Life’s Journey?
  • Wake up to Infinite Possibilities?

Dates: August 23rd-27th, 2017

Cost:  $1950 all inclusive or $1600 local rate (includes food, but no accommodations).  All rates are based on double occupancy.  Single occupancy rates are available upon request.

Package Includes:

  • Daily Equine Guided Coaching sessions to help you discover patterns and behaviors that may be creating road blocks to happiness
  • Shamanic Journey Sessions to guide you towards your animal helpers and healers
  • Spiritual Direction work to help guide you along your path of deepening intuition and stronger self-awareness
  • Accommodations in an amazing rental house on property ~ see the horses grazing from your private deck
  • Delicious and nutritious meals prepared by our personal and extraordinary chef, Vera Hansen
  • Time for hiking, artwork or meditation practices
  • End of the retreat soak and massage at the nearby Trimble Hot Springs
  • Camaraderie, connection, laughter and discovery with other amazing women from around the country
  • Come a day early or stay a day late for an optional trail rides, exploring the amazing mountains of Southwest Colordo (an additional lodging and trail ride fee quoted upon request)


Morningstar Ranch

This retreat is held at Morningstar Ranch, a 38-acre equestrian estate with stunning, unblemished mountain views. Morningstar is situated in the lush Animas Valley about 15 minutes north of Durango, CO. The facilities include a restored barn with horse arena and riding pen, multiple green pastures, and ponds with water features. Lots of beautiful space with the herd makes this retreat an enriching destination. Accommodations for the retreat are in one of two lovely, modern guesthouses with mountain views and all amenities.



Retreat Activities and Themes:

  • Day 1 – Caring for the Inner Self:  We’ll jump right into playing with the horses through guided activities that will put you on the path of recognizing and strengthening your innate intuition.  We will explore mindfulness exercise and discover how horses can help reveal our archetypes.
  • Day 2 – Cultivating Connection / The Art of Giving and Receiving: Strengthening our spiritual connection via the shamanic journey, and working with the horses as windows into the invisible world of energy.
  • Day 3 – Service, Purpose and Passion: Riding exercise to find congruency and spiritual direction exploration of your calling.   We’ll delve more deeply into your patterns of belief and help you see where you are blocking your own happiness and success.
  • Day 4 – Self-Care Strategies: Integrating the discoveries of the retreat and putting together action steps for a lasting and realistic self-care plan that you can incorporate into your daily life.  A plan that will include the care of your inner self, outer self and spiritual self.



Wednesday, August 23rd: Arrive at Morningstar Ranch. Dinner is ready to serve yourself when you arrive. Settle in and meet the facilitators. If you arrive mid-day you will also have a chance to meet the horses.

Thursday, August 24th – Saturday, August 26th: Retreat hours are 9am to 4pm daily. We will end each day with a 4-6pm silent retreat time where you can journal, hike, meditate, paint or whatever you choose to do that will help you incorporate the learnings from the day.  Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included each day.

Sunday, August 27th: Retreat hours are 9am – 12pm. The afternoon is a massage and soak at Trimble Hot Springs. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included at the ranch.

Monday, August 28th: Participants depart by 11am.



What is shamanism?

Shamanism is a worldview, a spiritual practice, and a healing modality. Many researchers have investigated spiritual practices around the globe and have discovered shamanic traditions at some point in the history of every society.

“Despite its reputation for being ancient or primitive practice, shamanic teachings are as applicable today as they were in ages past. Shamanism continues to be a wellspring of inner wisdom, mystical enlightenment, and healing artistry for all who pursue it.” –Matthew Magee in Peruvian Shamanism: The Pachakuti Mesa

A shaman is a healer for her community who is involved in all aspects of health: mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual. She is the mediator between the human community and the surrounding environment (i.e. nature). She performs healing ceremonies to remedy imbalances within individuals and communities, honor that which is greater than us (aka “Great Spirit”), and to solve mysteries.

What is a shamanic journey?

A shamanic journey is a waking dream ~ an adventure into the spirit world where guidance is found, spirit animals and helping spirits are revealed, healing is attained and and a stronger, more intimate connection to the the Divine is yours.

If you long to start or strengthen your connection with your spirit guides, if you want your soul to be uplifted, and if you are looking to feel more alive, partaking in a shamanic journey offers these benefits and many more.

During our weekend together, we journey to retrieve our spirit animals, delve into the realm of shamanism, and experience spiritual healing.

There’s no need to worry or have doubts about whether you can “do” this or whether your spirit animals will appear to you. You don’t have to have a great imagination or dream-life to be able to journey. Our shamanic practitioner will walk you step by step through the process, making it a comfortable and joyful experience.


What is equine guided coaching?

Throughout the weekend our coaches will help you discover your best life and the “you” you want to be through working with our intuitive horses and discovering the messages that they are giving us.  Activities will include both individual and group work with our equine partners and will build upon the messages that you are receiving in your journeys.

If you’ve never participated in any form of equine guided coaching or learning, you are in for a big treat!  Horses are uniquely gifted at showing you exactly what you need in order to move forward towards your best life. They help you find that “aha” moment and see clearly what are your roadblocks and barriers – real and perceived. They aren’t magicians, but simply intuitive animals that have lived thousands of years in a hierarchical herd, dependent on their awareness, relationships and nonverbal communication for their very survival – much the same as people. Over the years, humans have lost much of that awareness, mindfulness, intuition and our own inner wisdom – the very things that guide us towards happiness and success.

During our equine guided coaching sessions, you will learn how to be present in the moment, pay attention to your inner wisdom and come up with the answers to create lasting transformation.


What are Archetypes?

Archetypes are “universal patterns of power” that coordinate how you think and feel. An archetype is the original or first pattern from which all others are made of. We all have certain archetypes that are ours to express, but it is easiest to start with looking at the archetypes other people have. You might meet someone for the first time and say, “She’s such an angel” or when a friend gets pushy with you, you might exclaim, “Stop being such a bully!”  In this retreat, we will explore your most familiar archetypes, help you discover possible new archetypes and bring awareness into the light and shadow aspects of each.



What is Spiritual Direction?

Spiritual Direction is the process by which we explore questions about the nature of the cosmos, spirits, higher powers and our soul. Spiritual direction is a dialogue that delves deep into the mystery of life between a guide (called a Spiritual Director) and a seeker. In spiritual direction we explore mystical experiences that are beyond words, but that long to be expressed. Many of us start on the healing path simply because we want to feel better, but true healing leads us into the sacred. Once we are empowered enough we find that, we stop pursuing the problems of our past and start pondering mysteries of the Divine. This can help open up our lives to the greater mysteries and give us the strength and power to move forward in a more empowered and clearer way.






Meet your human guides and facilitators:

Stacey Couch is a Certified Shamanic Practitioner (CSP) and the author of Gracious Wild: A Shamanic Journey with Hawks. She is a shamanic cowgirl who empowers people with the ability to form a real connection with their own souls through the natural world. After healing of her lifetime allergy to horses using her shamanic practice, Stacey made up for years of longing for the company of equines by diving full-on into studying horses and horsemanship. She spent years working at the largest horse rescue in Colorado playing a critical role in the development of a training program that creates successful adoptions. She has hundreds of hours logged with various horsemen and women and countless hours spent in the company of horses. Her focus is centralized on horse behavior and ground-training as well as how to relate with horses via our energy anatomy and body language. She owns two mustang mares, Cherokee and Legend, who are both rescue horses.

Stacey & Cherokee Portrait 


Hi, I’m Trish Lemke, the creator and face of Joy Rides.

I am a certified Equine Interactional Professional in Education and a certified Martha Beck Life Coach.  But more importantly, I am a lifelong student of the horse and have a lifelong curiosity of humans.

I will be your personal coach, guide and confidante for all of my offerings, every step of the way. I followed my heart into this business, first and foremost, because of my love for horses. I followed my gut into this business because of my love for helping people rekindle their passions and reignite their spark.

But I also love exploring places near and far, immersing myself in different cultures, having deep conversations with friends new and old and exploring personal growth through experiencing life. So I followed my head and discovered a way that I can live my dreams and help other people discover and live theirs too.

If you are ready to jump into awareness of what it means to live your best life, I’m ready to explore the hows and whys with you.

Combining horses, people and travel is like a dream come true for me every day and it is my deepest wish to help you discover and live your dreams too!


Students of all levels, beginners to experts, are welcome in this workshop.

Worried you need to have horse experience or own a horse? You do not need to have horse experience or own a horse to attend this workshop. We have horses of all experience levels available and welcome beginners through advanced horse-men and –women. We will only be working with horses at the ranch. No outside horses may come.

Are you brand new to shamanism? No worries! Stacey Couch starts you from the ground up in your shamanic journey practice so that you can make the most out of this weekend of awakening.

Are you a current student of shamanism? That’s great! There are a couple hours that are a review of shamanic journey techniques for you, but you have the opportunity to delve deeper into the technique as well as learn from other student’s experience. Each shamanic journey workshop is different!



Traveling Information:

Where to Fly In

The closest airport is Durango International Airport. It is approximately 50 minutes (30 miles) from the ranch. Vehicle rentals are available at the airport.

You will be connected to other students prior to the workshop to coordinate carpools and/or shared rentals if you’d like.

Albuquerque, New Mexico’s Sunport International Airport is a easy and beautiful 4 hour drive away.

Driving In

Durango, CO is located in rural southwest Colorado and is surrounded by the beautiful peaks of the San Juan Mountains. The mountain views are breathtaking and there are a myriad of outdoor activities around. Driving time from Denver is approximately 6.5 hours, from Salt Lake City, UT and Phoenix, AZ is approximately 7 hours, and from Albuquerque, NM is approximately 4 hours.

Cancellation policy

Workshop payments minus a non-refundable $450 deposit are refundable up to 60 days prior to the workshop dates. 50% of workshop fees are refundable within 30-60 days prior to the workshop. Within 30 days of the retreat all fees are non-refundable. All refunds for credit card payments are subject to a 3% processing fee. You may transfer your registration for the workshop to another person.

Reserve my spot