Other Riding

B Luxe Cowgirl Yoga Retreat: What Each Day is Really Like

Written by Horse Rookie

Yoga and horseback riding in Montana? Heck, yeah!

I’ve travelled across the United States and around the world, but the list of vacation spots I’ve returned to is much smaller. In fact, there’s only one U.S. destination that made the cut: Big Sky Yoga Retreats (BSYR).

Big Sky Yoga Retreats helps big-hearted yoginis of all levels live out their big sky dreams in Montana. After having attended more than a dozen retreats and eventually moving to Montana, I can attest that their B Luxe Cowgirl Yoga Retreat is well worth your time (over and over).

Big Sky Yoga Retreats offers luxury women’s yoga and horseback riding vacations in the wilds of Montana. Use Referral Code “HRcowgirlup” during registration for a special gift upon arrival!

In this article, I’ll share what attracted me to BSYR, what makes B Luxe Cowgirl Yoga special, and what a sample retreat is really like — day by day!


B Luxe Cowgirl Yoga in a Nutshell

If you’ve ever dreamed of riding horses in the Wild West, doing sun salutations to a soundtrack of bugling elk, or gaze up at a breathtaking canopy of stars in Montana’s Big Sky, B-LUXE Cowgirl Yoga™ is for you.

When you read those words on the Big Sky Yoga Retreats website, don’t be surprised if you suddenly start imagining yourself in this magical place, surrounded by stunning snow-capped mountains and sun-kissed horses, while you’re walking to work, taking a shower, or mindlessly binging Netflix.


Welcome to Big Sky Yoga Retreats!

Having now attended at least eight B Luxe Cowgirl Yoga Retreats, I’ve seen for myself the power of combining yoga, horses, and inspiring women in the wilds of Montana.

B Luxe Cowgirl Yoga is designed to deepen your yoga practice, realign your body, steady your mind, and explore the magical horse-human connection in and out of the saddle.

What you need to know up front:

  • You DON’T need to be an experienced yogini. Whether you’ve been practicing for decades or just bought your first mat, you’re welcomed and supported on this retreat.
  • You DON’T need to be an experienced rider. Most attendees have never swung into a saddle! Total newbies and lifelong horse lovers feel at home with the BSYR herd.
  • You DON’T have to worry about feeling alone. Traveling alone can be intimidating, but the vast majority of Cowgirl Yoginis actually arrive solo. The activities, atmosphere, and staff are designed to build community quickly so you can make new friends on day one.
  • You DON’T have to go home tired. Founder Margaret Burns Vap always says you shouldn’t need a vacation to recover from your vacation. She builds in plenty of down time, and you can participate in as many or as few activities as you like. Need alone time alone to recharge? You got it. Need social time to stay energized? No problem.
  • You DON’T have to regret investing in yourself. As women, we often feel guilty spending money on ourselves and time away from friends, family, and work. Not only is this retreat a financial bargain for the peace, friendships, and experiences you’ll remember for a lifetime, you’ll return home a better and more balanced version of yourself. That’s good for everyone!

Read Margaret’s Letter to My Younger Self to learn more about her story and how she reconnected with horses in adulthood and what they’ve taught her.

What’s included:


Laid-back luxury never felt so relaxing

  • Luxury Lodging: Three nights of “laid-back luxury” in one of the B Bar Ranch‘s A-frame cabins, complete with your own private bedroom and shared bathroom. Plus, you’ll have full run of the 9,000-acre ranch, which is an extension of the Yellowstone National Park ecosystem.
  • Daily Yoga Classes: You’ll enjoy daily Vinyasa and Yin yoga classes in the ranch lodge and on the back porch, immersed in the sights and sounds of Montana nature at its finest.
  • Cowgirl Yoga™ 101: Spend time in and out of the saddle as you learn about the horse-human connection, experience the magic of “join up” in the round pen, and ride around the ranch and surrounding trails.
  • Meditation & Journaling: Guided meditations and journaling exercises help you stay centered and work through life’s quandaries in a healthy and productive way.
  • Gourmet Meals & Wines: Healthy living starts with healthy eating, and the Western gourmet meals, prepared by the B Bar’s resident chef, is full of flavor and local ingredients. Plus, you’ll get to try the finest wines from Yellowstone Cellars & Winery and local craft brews.
  • Mala-Making Workshop: Spend an evening creating a one-of-a-kind cowgirl yoga-inspired souvenir that’s beautiful and meaningful.
  • Wildlife Watching: See animals you never would at home, like moose, elk, bald eagles, grizzly bears, and more.

In addition, you can opt to do a Cowgirl Yoga photo shoot with BSYR’s photographer, Larry Stanley. Get gussied up, pose with your favorite horse, and enjoy the best souvenir ever.


Prepare to be inspired

Big Sky Yoga Retreats offers luxury women’s yoga and horseback riding vacations in the wilds of Montana. Use Referral Code “HRcowgirlup” during registration for a special gift upon arrival!

What This Retreat is Really Like

BSYR offers many different retreat styles, but B Luxe Cowgirl Yoga is one of the most popular — for good reason. Here’s what it’s like to experience this retreat day by day.

Big Sky Yoga Retreats also made our list of the 10 Best Horseback Riding Vacations in Montana.


If you can swing it, arrive a few days early (or stay a few days after) to explore more of Montana.

If that’s not possible, no worries. You can fly into Bozeman, Montana anytime Thursday morning or early afternoon.


B Bar Ranch welcomes you

Prepare yourself to be charmed the moment you deplane. The airport features lodge-style architecture and is super easy to navigate. Pick up your rental car, and hit the road for the ~90-minute drive East to the B Bar Ranch.

Follow the Yellowstone River once you turn South, and take in the glory of Paradise Valley at your own pace.

Pro Tip: If you’d rather not drive alone, the BSYR team is happy to connect you with other retreaters who want to share a rental car.

Once you arrive, the staff will show you to your cabin, introduce you to your roommate, and give you time to unpack and settle in.

You’re welcome to explore the ranch at your own pace, walk down to see the horses, or relax by the pond until your first yoga class at 5pm.

Roll out your (provided) mat on the lodge’s back porch, and sink into Child’s Pose as you wait for class to begin. BSYR Founder and Boss Mare, Margaret Burns Vap, will guide you through a relaxing-yet-energizing Vinyasa flow.

Click to see the horse card deck and book we use at Amazon.

After class, you’ll grab some appetizers (and wine to go!) and head down to the corral to meet the horses and wranglers.

Once you’ve stroked all the muzzles and whispered in all the ears, it’s back to the dining room for your first gourmet meal. Prepared by the resident chef, all food can be adjusted to meet dietary and/or allergy needs.

As you sit around family-style tables getting to know the other women and staff, you’ll be surprised how easily conversation flows. (OK, and the wine, too!)

Once your tummy is full and dessert has been cleared, you’ll meet Margaret back in the lodge great room for “orientation.” She’ll hand out goodie bags (!) full of fun local gifts, educational materials, a journal, and more.

Pro Tip: The BSYR lip balm is ah-mazing.

You’ll get an overview of the weekend’s agenda, go around the circle for introductions, and select one of the beautiful horse cards from The Way of the Horse. Hold onto it for now, and consider journaling about your first impression.


This was the first horse card I drew on a Big Sky Yoga Retreat.

Once orientation wraps up, you’re free to turn in for the night — or take a dip in the hot tub under a canopy of Big Sky stars before bed.


Keep an eye out for moose!

Just be sure to watch out for wildlife as you walk back to your cabin after sunset! #dontspookthemoose

Big Sky Yoga Retreats offers luxury women’s yoga and horseback riding vacations in the wilds of Montana. Use Referral Code “HRcowgirlup” during registration for a special gift upon arrival!


Awaken from a deep night’s slumber to the sounds of birds chirping and/or the clang of the breakfast bell (if you oversleep). Get ready for the day in your private bedroom, and head to the lodge for your morning yoga class.

As the sun rolls over the mountains, you’ll move from pose to pose at your own pace.


Every day is filled with possibility

After you’ve gotten the blood flowing, you’ll enjoy a hot buffet-style breakfast that will fuel you all morning.

Women are divided into three groups, and you’ll rotate through the following activities throughout the morning and early afternoon:

  • Grooming and groundwork: Learn how to safety interact with and groom the horses, then connect with them on a whole new level in the round pen. Moving a 1,000-pound animal using only your energy (i.e. no tack or equipment) is always a highlight of these retreats.
  • Riding lesson in the pasture: Enjoy your first horse riding experience in the pasture, as you get an introduction to riding from our experienced wranglers. You’ll ride several different horses, and the wranglers use this opportunity to decide which horse will be the best partner for your trail ride on Saturday.
  • Free time: Whether you want to explore the ranch,* meditate by the pond, enjoy a nap in your cabin, or watch the riding lessons or round pen sessions, how you spend this time is completely up to you.

Get ready to ride

*The staff will go over safety tips, provide bear spray, and give you the lay of the land first.

Between your second and third sessions, you’ll break for lunch at the lodge. Share your stories with the other women, refresh and recharge, then head back out for your early afternoon activity.

You’ll also get a copy of the essay that accompanies your selected horse card from orientation. Read it over the weekend, and see how it changes your perception of the card.


Make your own mala souvenir

By the time you hit Happy Hour, you’ll have a full day’s worth of adventures to discuss — and new friends who have been part of every moment.

Another gourmet dinner awaits, after which you’ll join Margaret’s Yoga Co-Instructor Caitlin for a mala making workshop.

Fun Fact: Caitlin’s first BSYR experience was attending B Luxe Cowgirl Yoga! She then returned every summer to help teach yoga on these retreats, before relocating from Philly to Montana in 2019.

Malas are made from strands of 108 beads, plus a “guru” bead, and are traditionally used for meditation and prayer. Caitlin helps you select your beads and create a unique mala that can be worn as a necklace or bracelet during retreat — for for years to come.

Once your souvenir is complete, you’ll have time to change into pajamas, refill your wine glass, and rejoin Caitlin for restorative yoga.

This is always a retreat highlight, and it’s one of the all-time snuggliest ways to prepare your mind and body for a wonderful night’s rest.

Big Sky Yoga Retreats offers luxury women’s yoga and horseback riding vacations in the wilds of Montana. Use Referral Code “HRcowgirlup” during registration for a special gift upon arrival!


Early morning meditation is the perfect start to your Saturday. Meet by the pond at sunrise, wrap yourself in a cozy blanket, and find your inner peace surrounded by nature.


Relax by the fire pit

When the breakfast bell clangs, you’ll emerge from your meditative trance ready for the day ahead.

Note: Your groups will stay the same as Friday, and one of them will head out early for the first trail ride of the day.

The B Bar’s extensive trail system offers breathtaking views and a chance to further bond with your equine partner. Plus, the wranglers will entertain you with fun stories along the way.


You’ll never want to head back to the barn

Groups rotate between yoga classes and trail rides throughout the day (with a break for lunch, of course!).

Whether you’re on your yoga mat or moving mat (i.e. horse), the retreat keeps you focused on balance — in every sense of the word.

After a break for showers and getting changed, you’ll meet back by the pond for group pictures and individual photo shoots (if you signed up). The horses love mugging for the camera, and you’ll love doing yoga poses with your favorite equine pals.


Photos are a perfect souvenir

A delicious dinner follows, and you’ll spend the evening around the bonfire sharing stories and soaking up your last night at the B Bar Ranch.


Awake to another beautiful day at the ranch, and take some time to start packing before heading to the lodge for your final yoga class. (Don’t worry: Coffee and tea are always available beforehand!)


Stretch and breathe

Once you finish your last Savasana, meet back in the dining room for the Closing Circle and brunch. Everyone has an opportunity to share reflections from the weekend, including thoughts about your horse card.

(Sharing is optional, but the atmosphere is so warm and comfortable by Sunday that most women want to do so.)

Afterward, it’s time for farewells and packing up. There’s no huge rush to depart, so you can take the time you need to trade contact info with your new friends and head back to Bozeman.

If you’re flying out Sunday afternoon or evening, you’ll hopefully have time to grab a quick snack in town.

If you’re leaving the next day (or even later), consider meeting up with other women staying longer for a downtown dinner. (PLONK is a favorite local meet up.)

(Optional) Monday

One of the best things about B Luxe Cowgirl Yoga Retreats? They don’t have to end on Sunday!


Want more time in the saddle?

You can sign up for an optional all-day trail ride on the Monday following your retreat, and I highly encourage you to do it.

You’ll get to see entirely different scenery than you did at the ranch, and you’ll get an entire day of riding to cap off your vacation.

What better finale to your Montana adventure?

Just Book It!

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about B Luxe Cowgirl Yoga Retreats, it’s that they’re simply never long enough.


Your friendships will last a lifetime

The peace you feel, the friendships you forge, and the memories you make will leave you feeling like a new and better version of yourself.

It’s trips like this that remind you what’s truly important in life — gratitude.

Book Your B Luxe Vacation

Big Sky Yoga Retreats offers luxury women’s yoga and horseback riding vacations in the wilds of Montana. Use Referral Code “HRcowgirlup” during registration for a special gift upon arrival!

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About the author

From the tender age of six, I embarked on a journey that would weave horses into the very fabric of my existence. Over 35 years have passed since I first mounted a horse, and my love for equestrian sports is stronger than ever before.