Healing with Horses
The Tula Vida horse and human team are offering this special retreat to support you in a resetting and rebalancing of your mind, body and spirit after the challenges of the past year.
Not only will you have experiences with Tula Vida’s extraordinary horses in their vibrant, green rainforest home but you will also get to share some fun and relaxing beach time with horse-friends on the glorious Costa Rica coast! A real sensory delight and a chance to soak in all the healing nature has to offer in these beautiful places....
Renew your mind, body and spirit!
Just like a computer, sometimes we have to “switch off and on again” to start working better! Let the vibrant nature surrounding Tula Vida soothe, nourish and restore you. Rediscover your peace, vitality and sense of self. Remember what real connection feels like.
Tula Vida horses live in a state of relaxed alertness, fully connected to their herd, free to play, rest and be fully themselves. Imagine if we lived like this.
- 3 days at Tula Vida, Lake Arenal -
In the first 3 days of this healing retreat you will join our extraordinary horses in their home - the vibrant green fields, rivers and rainforest near the Arenal volcano in Costa Rica – and experience becoming part of the herd, fully connected to yourself, the horses and the natural world.
Join us and become part of the herd, feeling what it is like to be totally accepted, just as you are.
Explore creating relationship and connection with a sensitive being who has 56 million years of wisdom living together in harmony with his herd, his environment and the constantly changing world, able to process and let go of his emotions, release stress as it arises and get back into balance.
Learn tangible take-home tools to take this feeling back into your own life.
Cherish and nourish your body with healthy food, gentle movement designed to get your energy flowing, beautiful natural surroundings, restorative wood-fire sauna and healing massage.
Feel your energy and sesne of self expand as you start to feel more of what you want to feel.
- 3 days at the beach, Guanacaste Coast -
Many of us have spent the last year surviving rather than thriving. Nature continues to grow and flourish in its magnificence and is the ideal place for us to calm our spirits and soothe our bodies and minds.
In these fun-filled few days in the second half of the week, we will go to the beach and enjoy sun-soaked experiences and views with the horses. Riding is offered but not a requirement. If you choose to not ride there will be other ground activities offered- with horses or without!
Learn tangible take-home tools to balance your nervous system and restore your sense of energy and peace, and fine-tune these with the horses.
Spot monkeys with your warm and funny naturalist guide, Enrique Molina, as you enjoy a delicious beach picnic as your horse relaxes and rolls in the sand nearby.
Rest, relax, recharge and find joy on this sensory adventure of horses!
Our mission is to provide a deeper connection with self, through horses, nature and experience.
Arrival on 28 October, departure on 4 November 2021
(ask us if you would like to extend your stay)
Limited to 10 Participants to ensure a personal experience for each of you.
We want to look after you during your stay so you don’t have to worry about any of the details or extra costs – it’s all included and arranged for you, so all you have to do is show up and enjoy a multi-sensory experience, with the following highlights:
3 nights at magical Living Forest Retreat hotel, Lake Arenal (see below for details)
4 nights at a pretty beach hotel in Northern Guanacaste (with deserted white sand beaches and stunning views)
All meals – delicious homecooked, farm fresh meals, meals out in a stunning lake view restaurant and BBQs at the beach!
Airport transportation (at set times) to/from Liberia Airport (LIR) and all transportation during the retreat
Daily yoga/mindful movement on the peaceful yoga deck overlooking the river or at the beach (see below for details)
Daily Tula Vida horse experiences and/or horse-riding at the beach with your guide Enrique – includes all facilitation, materials & equipment
Wood-fire sauna next to a jungle river – enjoy hot and cold therapy as you heat your body in the sauna then wade into the cool, refreshing water
90-minute relaxing massage
Plenty of relaxing beach and ocean time
ALL INCLUSIVE PRICE is $2,995
If you would like to guarantee a single room, $200 supplement
Excluded: flights, tips, alcohol & soda
No prior horse experience required.
What They Say
“I connected with deep parts of myself that needed addressing and processing, with the true assistance and guidance of my horse. The experience was life-changing.”
Recover, Restore and Renew
In these reflective experiences, you will join our extraordinary horses in their home - the vibrant green fields, rivers and rainforest near the Arenal volcano in Costa Rica – and experience becoming part of the herd, tuned in to your own senses, safe and free to be yourself, connected to the great wisdom of Mother Earth for healing, balance and growth.
Let the horses show and teach you how to just “be” rather than doing or thinking. Take a dive into your own consciousness through the transformative modality of Equine Facilitated Sand Play Therapy and find healing at the deepest levels. Allow yourself to play in the bubbling, carefree streams. Cherish and nourish your body with healthy food, gentle movement designed to get your energy flowing, beautiful natural surroundings and healing massage. Feel held and supported by the natural world.
About Your Facilitators
Sally Nilsson is an expert facilitator, certified executive coach, experienced mentor and certified advanced instructor in Eponaquest Equine Facilitated Learning and Equine Facilitated Sand Play Therapy.
In 2019, Sally co-founded Tula Vida together with her partner Eric Kolesar to offer transformational experiences with the talented Tula Vida horse herd. Read more about Sally and the Tula Vida Team.
Eric Kolesar is a certified instructor in Eponaquest Equine Faciliated Learning and Equine Facilitated Sand Play Therapy, a 500 hour certified yoga instructor and expert in a multitude of energy modalities. In 2019, Eric co-founded Tula Vida together with his partner Sally Nilsson to offer transformational experiences with the talented Tula Vida horse herd. Read more about Eric and the Tula Vida Team.
Friend of Tula Vida, Heather Macbeth, LMFT is a licensed psychotherapist based in Oakland, California where she lives with her husband, twin daughters and animals. She is passionate about helping people live in a way that is connected to nature and animals. Heather is an EFL/EFT (equine-facilitated learning, equine-facilitated therapy) certified practitioner in the Eponaquest model. She is a yoga and mindfulness practitioner, a horse enthusiast and avid trail rider. She has experienced the healing potential of the horse-human connection personally and believes that equine-facilitated learning experiences can offer many therapeutic benefits and can be transformative. Heather is the founder of 15 Hands Counseling (her horse therapy business) and is a co-founder of Oakland DBT and Mindfulness Center (her DBT therapy practice).
These Special Horses will:
Magnify the parts of you that are hidden inside, the tender and true parts. Through their innate horse communication skills and non-judgemental presence, they show us humans what is buried in our unconscious, beyond the mind chatter and busy brain: the non-verbal part, the intuition, the senses – our true authentic selves.
Sense and respond to subtle changes in our body language and energy. As highly sensitive animals, horses provide immediate, powerful and visual feedback on our presence in that moment so we get to practice and modulate how we want to come across, and how to find true internal peace and balance of the nervous system (self and co-regulation).
Welcome you as part of the herd. Horses are wired for connection and will actively work with you to allow your real and best self to be seen and accepted without words.
What They Say
“The horses are experts at gently guiding you to live in the present moment and to experience your feelings and emotions without judgment.”
Stay at beautiful Living Forest Retreat Center
Living Forest is a small retreat hotel in a tranquil and beautiful corner of the Costa Rican rainforest, where you will enjoy comfortable down-time, meals and sleep. Spend some time in the hammock breathing in the pure air, watching the toucans and monkeys in the trees above you, perhaps after a wood-fired sauna and a dip in the sparkling river or a chat with your warm and friendly host, Johanna and her dog, Nela and cat, Tigre.
This natural and tranquil experience has plenty of Pura Vida (the locally used expression for pretty much everything good, which translates as Pure Life!)
ENJOY DAILY Mindful Movement
We take a holistic approach in all our retreats, supporting mind, body and soul to feel nourished and restored. The pace of modern life, as well as the challenges of living through the pandemic, can be hard on our mental, physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.
You will enjoy daily Mindful Movement with Eric Kolesar to rebalance your whole being and give you take-away tools manage life stress and live more mindfully – the essential ingredients in adapting to change and uncertainty, as well as keeping your own energy topped up.
“I feel more grounded and connected to myself, through mindful movement and interaction with the horses.” Angela, Therapist
What is Mindful Movement?
Eric started his movement expertise in martial arts, going on to become a 500 hour certified yoga instructor and energy practitioner. Through his lens as a life coach and equine facilitated learning facilitator, and hearing about intimidating experiences some people have had with “yoga”, Eric has combined the neuroscience, flow of energy, physical benefits of movement and natural rhythms to create what he calls “Mindful Movement”, a powerful and gentle blend of stretches and movements designed to calm and rebalance your body so the energy can flow freely again.
Imagine standing in a lush green space, birds singing in the background, horses grazing in the distance. Tune in to the rhythm of nature and breathe out. Let the tension melt away and experience feeling part of something whole. Start mindfully and gently moving with the rest of the group, in ways designed to get the energy flowing again through your whole body. You feel balanced, relaxed, alive.
“The mindful movement with Eric was by far the best yoga experience I have encountered as it was a spiritual and soul replenishing moving meditation not just a work out.” Jennifer, Real Estate Agent Owner
Additional Activities and Excursions
As well as sharing Sand Play experiences and exploring the natural world with your horse, you will have the opportunity to see some of the local area and eat out at some local restaurants. Tula Vida and Living Forest Retreat are located next to the stunning Lake Arenal in the shadow of the Arenal volcano.
You will also have the opportunity to spend time at some of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica - go where the locals go, a stretch of untouched golden sand where you can play with your horse or relax in a hammock away from the tourist trail, while we BBQ your lunch and cut coconuts from the trees to drink. Truly a paradise combination.