As you observe how horses react to you, and how you react to them, your self-awareness increases, bringing more authenticity, meaning and choice to your life.
– Christine Badoux, Equine Experiential Coaching founder
Affordable wellness resort Civana is running a women-only equine retreat during 8-10 November, "Creative Soul Retreat – A Meditation, Writing and Equine Experience".
Hosted jointly at the CIVANA Spa and Resort and the Tierra Madre Horse and Human Sanctuary – both located in Arizona – the retreat uses Equine Assisted Learning (EAL), a technique where horses are used as natural learning partners.
The method does not involve any horse riding but instead consists of treatment sessions where horses reactions to humans are used to provide "honest insight into actions and behaviour giving a deeper understanding of yourself".
The event will be led by Christine Badoux, equine experiential coach and founder of Equine Experiential Coaching, and co-facilitated by author and meditation retreat leader, Sarah McLean.
Badoux uses EAL to help her clients practise mindful interaction with horses to improve their quality of life.
Badoux said: “As prey animals, horses live in the present moment, are guided by their intuition and senses and are masters of non-verbal communication.
"As you spend time with them, they not only teach these skills but they also help reveal your thoughts, feelings, history, belief systems and behavioural patterns.
“As you observe how horses react to you, and how you react to them, your self-awareness increases, bringing more authenticity, meaning and choice to your life."
The retreat will include EAL activities, mindfulness practices, as well as time to meditate and journal in the presence of horses.
Overnight guest bookings cost US$1,600, while a day participant’s package costs US$1,200.
"We want to create a safe environment that serves as a catalyst for healing and empowerment,” McLean added.
“In our experience, we’ve noticed men are more comfortable sharing in the company of men, and women with women. Of course, we want men to express themselves authentically and deeply too, so we are looking forward to offering this retreat for men in the future”.