Today we’d like to introduce you to Devon Combs.
Devon, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’ve been blessed to be around horses my whole life and I come from a family of animal lovers. Both of my parents grew up with horses and I learned how to ride as a young girl. Throughout my teens, I competed in horse shows, but it was the quiet moments in the barn that I cherished the most. Although I wasn’t able to articulate it at the time, being in the presence of horses and their healing energy nourished my soul. When I sold my horse and went to college in California, I became homesick and depressed, and developed an eating disorder. Bulimia took over my life and I dropped out of college. I ended up in a treatment center in Arizona that had equine therapy. I was reunited with horses and this time, there were no horse show ribbons involved. It was about becoming vulnerable, sharing my stuffed down feelings, and being healed. Equine therapy saved my life. The light bulb went off that THIS is how I was supposed to work with horses. These majestic and intuitive animals had come back into my life full circle and it became my mission to share their healing gifts with others. At age 21, my passion was ignited and my purpose became clear.
Upon my return from the treatment center in Arizona, I joined my father in the real estate business. I had a deep knowing I was meant to share the healing power of horses but I didn’t know HOW. Real estate was a good bridge job, although I knew I wasn’t destined to spend the next thirty years talking about the appreciation value of slab granite countertops. In my free time, I was around horses as much as possible and volunteered at therapeutic riding centers. I didn’t know how my equine passion would pan out professionally but I was determined to stay connected with horses. Three years into my real estate career, I discovered a two-year certification course to become an Equine Gestalt Coach (partnering with horses to help people), and I jumped at the opportunity.
After three and a half years of building my equine coaching business simultaneously while working in real estate, I was able to go full time with Unbridled Retreats and cut off the golden handcuffs of real estate.
I’ve been full time with Unbridled Retreats ever since, and I’ve never looked back.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Often, we are stuck in the trap of what we “should do” and we dig ourselves into a rut. When we identify what we truly want through taking action and trying new things (NOT just by thinking about it), doors open and opportunities manifest.
If you feel stuck, keep trying new things. Keep experimenting and don’t settle until you discover what feeds your soul and energizes you. Follow your passions and curiosity. Let go of controlling how you “think it should look” and allow new opportunities to come your way. Have faith and keep following the trail of what you love. It will lead you to the right people, places (and horses!).
What should we know about Unbridled Retreats? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
In a nutshell, I help women experience healing and awakening through horses at beautiful ranches and resorts across the country.
Unbridled Retreats are wellness and self-discovery retreats for women at a personal or professional crossroads in life. Our retreats offer a safe and experiential environment for women to deepen their connection with themselves with the help of nature’s greatest teachers: horses. Through hands-on interactions with horses, participants experience how it feels to live in the present, learn to trust their intuition, and gain clarity to move forward in their lives.
I’m proud of creating a service which combines my passion (horses and helping others) with my zone of genius (partnering with horses to help women tap into their own wisdom while feeling safe, heard, and understood), helping women step out of their comfort zone (traveling solo to retreats, sharing openly, connecting with 1,200 pound animals) while having FUN (horseback rides, rounding up cattle, shouting yeeehaaw!).
What sets Unbridled Retreats apart is the unique combination of wellness, adventure, and fun. Though Equine Gestalt Coaching, participants experience powerful insights about how they’ve been living their life. Through adventures on horseback, they’ll kick up their heels and let loose in a way they haven’t in a long time. No horse experience is required to attend. If you’re brand new to horses, or a lifelong horse person, you’ll deepen your connection to horses and yourself at the Unbridled Retreat.
Also, I don’t train horses to help people, and I don’t bring my own horses to retreats. I partner with different horses at our retreat locations. I love connecting with horses I’ve never met before, and without question, they show up as incredible guides in the self-discovery process. It’s remarkable to witness and experience the healing power of horses who are simply being themselves – intuitive, loving teachers who give you nonjudgmental, honest feedback.
Looking back on your childhood, what experiences do you feel played an important role in shaping the person you grew up to be?
From the time I was a young girl, I knew in my heart horses made me happy. It wasn’t until going through my own struggles with an eating disorder and depression, that I circled back to horses for my personal healing. Through experiencing the healing power of horses firsthand, I’m able to help others navigate their healing and self-discovery journey.
I also credit a 50 Day Outward Bound Instructors course for giving me the grit and resourcefulness to never quit. That experience has served me immensely in my journey of becoming an entrepreneur. I know whatever struggles or obstacles I face in my business, I can overcome, as a result of spending fifty days in the wilderness!
- Our all-inclusive Unbridled Retreat starts at $2,300 and up.
- Website: www.unbridledretreats.com
- Phone: 303-547-0848
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: unbridledretreats
- Facebook: Unbridled Retreats
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