Tula Vida


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Tula Vida loves to collaborate with other local businesses sharing our values.  Our philosophy is derived from the horses – working together and supporting each other to be the best that each of us can be is good for all of us.  We are all connected.

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Stay at beautiful Living Forest Retreat Center

Living Forest Retreat is a magical spot in the corner of the rainforest, with a river flowing all around it and monkeys, toucans and hummingbirds in the trees above. You will be warmly welcomed by Johanna Harmala (and her animal caretakers, Nela the dog and Tigre the cat) into this comfortable, natural haven – the perfect base for your horse adventures at Tula Vida.  Oh and you must try the authentic Finnish sauna experience, a true paradise jungle spa.


Just being here is like a big exhale, followed by a hug, for the mind, body and spirit.

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Mystica Lodge & Retreat

Overlooking the lake and Arenal volcano, Mystica not only has beautiful views but the whole place is filled with flowers, colour and little details that bring a smile to your face. 


With a yoga sanctuary overlooking the river, a spa room with a real tree growing through it and an authentic Italian restaurant, your hosts Francesco, Barbara and Lori have a deep understanding of the healing touch of nature – and you will feel that here.  Spend some time in the “Be yourself” room to reflect on your insights from the Tula Vida horses.

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Enrique Molina, Naturalist &
Horse-back riding Guide


A great friend of Tula Vida, Enrique brings an instant smile to your face and wonder into your heart with his warm sense of humour and vast knowledge of the natural world.  A pleasure to spend the day with, he creates whatever kind of experience you are looking for and adds his own touches of magic so you can feel the real meaning of the Costa Rica expression “Pura Vida” (pure life). 


We often ride to a private waterfall or take a trip to the beach with Enrique’s special horses, who are friends and family of the Tula Vida herd, as part of our retreats.  We highly recommend sharing some experiences with Enrique (and his whole family, who are always helping out) as part of your time in Costa Rica.

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Gretchen Morgan LCSW,

Co-Facilitator at Tula Vida

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Guest Co-Faciliator - Gretchen Morgan

Gretchen Morgan considers Costa Rica her second home and is a regular co-facilitator with Tula Vida in our ground-breaking Heal the Healers retreats (see Retreats for more details). 


Gretchen, together with Sally and another colleague, created Equine Facilitated Sand Play Therapy where the horses participate in this powerful modality of tapping into the unconscious and subconscious awareness (see FAQs for more details). 


Having built a successful Sand Play Therapy training centre in the US, Gretchen now offers International Sand Play Therapy training courses in Costa Rica, partnering with Tula Vida to create an experience that combines learning with the healing power of nature and horses – and laughter! 

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Shelley Rosenberg, Teacher, Mentor, Co-facilitator


Lover of sloths, bitless bridles, jungle magic and the Tula Vida horses, Shelley is our teacher and friend and we have shared many retreats, trainings, adventures (planned and unplanned!) and laughs together. 


As one of the original seven founding members of Eponaquest Equine Facilitated Experiential Learning, Shelley Rosenberg was there at the beginning of understanding the horse human connection at a more profound, emotional healing level 2 decades ago.  A former Olympic dressage rider who loves international travel, she has been teaching, training horses, leading retreats and horse adventures and travelling with this wisdom ever since!


Shelley first brought this wisdom to Leaves and Lizards in Costa Rica and started running apprenticeships there - Eric and Sally are both graduates of Shelley’s My Horses My Healers Riding Focused Eponaquest apprenticeship.


We are looking forward to co-hosting retreats with her again in 2022.  In the meantime, you can join her (and Sally, who is speaking for the 5th consecutive year) at the International Equine Summit in South Carolina in October 2021.

Danielle MacKinnon,
Co-facilitator at Tula Vida


World-renowned animal communicator, intuitive, best-selling author, Soul Level Coach and friend of Tula Vida, Danielle MacKinnon has been collaborating with us and bringing Horse and Soul retreats to Costa Rica for over 3 years and each one has been deep, transformative and also a lot of fun! 


Danielle says:

“Animals have mastered unconditional love while humans are still struggling not only to experience this, but believe in it.  Horses live this fully and deeply every day and want to help us align with the ultimate experience of self-love and this is why horse communication is so special.”


Danielle uses her intuitive gifts to enhance the connection and communication – and the Tula Vida horses get to share their wisdom in many different ways.


You can learn more from Danielle by taking a class at her Danielle MacKinnon School of Soul Level Animal Communication, which is the only online school of its kind in the world, and stay tuned for our next Horse and Soul retreat!