Tula Vida Foundation

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Welcome to the Tula Vida Foundation!  

We are committed to the welfare and empowerment of both horses and humans and we believe that bringing them together in a mindful way can be insightful and healing for both.  

Our mission is to rescue and rehabilitate horses in Costa Rica and to provide transformational horse experiences for those in need.
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The Story Of Tula Vida Foundation

Tarzan, a small pony in the Costa Rica jungle, is the inspiration behind the Tula Vida Foundation. See his story and more about Tula Vida here: 

With your help we can support more horses and bring their healing gifts to those who may not otherwise have access.

What Tula Vida Foundation Does

Tula Vida Foundation uses its 100% of its funds to:


  • Support the physical, mental & emotional needs of our existing (and future) rescue horses and other local horses in need of support; 




  • Sponsor or subsidize transformational horse experiences and retreats in Costa Rica for a number of frontline workers, military personnel, healing arts professionals, and/or marginalized adults (as many as funds can support, but a target of at least 2 per year).  

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Why We Do What We Do

Horses supporting Humans


At Tula Vida, we create transformational horse experiences where people interact with horse partners in a mindful and non-verbal way, feeling the peace and positive energy of becoming part of the natural world, connected in the herd, slowing down and listening to the insights offered by inner wisdom and instincts when the busy brain is quiet and still. 

“The Physician treats, but nature heals.” Hipocrates

Cutting-edge studies in the fields of body and brain science, as well as mental health, now show the significant benefits of being in nature and being around horses as a powerful way to calm the nervous system, learn to self-regulate and co-regulate, create connection and relationships, process difficult events and generally feel more of a sense of happiness and well-being.

During 2021 we saw and felt first-hand, in our retreat clients from the US, Canada and Europe, the real and pressing need for a reset, healing and rebalance (after the pandemic and other challenges of 2020 onwards).  After so much fear and disconnection, we believe that experiences with horses is essential healing for people, and want this to be available regardless of economic situation – and so we created this as part of the mission of Tula Vida Foundation.


If you are interested in learning more about how horses can help us, see our Why Horses page on the Tula Vida website. 

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Horses, just like humans, feel safe and content in the world through attunement - the process of connection with others - which means “being seen, being heard, being felt and getting gotten.”
(Sarah Schlotte of Equusoma)

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Humans supporting Horses

Providing a safe, supportive, compassionate and empowering space is of utmost importance for our clients – and it is also essential for the mental, physical and emotional health of horses.  


Sensitive, often stoic animals, horses have individual needs and also herd needs - and we make sure we are listening.

Costa Rica culture celebrates and loves horses and yet still, for various reasons (such as lack of knowledge or resources), many horses are treated with a heavy hand, seen as work tools, left to fend for themselves in a field or sent to the meat market when they are no longer “of use”.  There are also those horses whose owners simply cannot afford to provide veterinary or other special care when needed.


All of the current Tula Vida horses came to us with a different story, but each in urgent need of a safe and loving home.  As word spread locally, more rescue horses started to show up - like Tarzan (see above).  We  realised this is part of our purpose here in Costa Rica and the idea of Tula Vida Foundation horse rescue was born.  

Learn more about our horses here.

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We are committed to the welfare and empowerment of both horses and humans and we believe that bringing them together in a mindful way can be insightful and healing for both.  

With your support, more horses can enjoy a healthy and happy life and bring their natural healing gifts to those who need it most.

The Tula Vida Foundation Team

Eric Kolesar and Sally Nilsson, Co-Founders of Tula Vida

Gretchen Morgan of Lighthouse Counseling and Nora Kenney, Board Members of Tula Vida Foundation

How You Can Help...


Any donation you make, whatever amount, is appreciated and 100% will go towards the horses and sponsoring horse experiences according to our mission statement.


Please help us spread the word about Our Mission – every like or share could mean one more person has a life-changing experience.


Our online store will be available soon and all profits will go to Tula Vida Foundation – watch this space (or sign up for our newsletter on Tula Vida homepage to stay in touch). 

Join Us

Come and visit Tula Vida in Costa Rica for a horse experience! 

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Thank you in advance for your support!

Together we can provide a safe, loving home for our wise, unique and noble horse friends.

Together we can bring joy, healing and peace to the lives of people who really need it through the natural world and interactions with horses.

Together we can offer refuge or support for horses who have worked hard or are destined only for slaughter - they deserve to be appreciated and cared for.

Together we can spread the idea that both horses and humans are sentient beings with mental, emotional and physical needs, and lead by example in changing the way we treat each other.