Oct 1-6, 2023

Healing with Horses Fall Retreat

The Omega Institute

150 Lake Drive
Rhinebeck NY

Join Jennifer Cohen Harper and the team at 13 Hands Equine Rescue for a chance to rest and reset, in the company of horses on their own healing journey.

Hosted by the Omega Institute, a world class retreat center located just 15 minutes from 13 Hands Equine Rescue. Omega offers a wide variety of housing options, fantastic meals, daily yoga, meditation and much more.

The Retreat Experience

During this retreat, in the serene beauty of the Hudson Valley, you’ll learn mindfulness based practices, supported by the grounding of horses, that help us reconnect, cultivate compassion for ourselves and others, and build the courage to step fully into our lives with power and authenticity.

The 13 Hands herd contains a diverse array of over 200 equines. There are minis, horses of all sizes and breeds, draft horses, mules, and donkeys. Horses that have been abandoned, abused, or neglected. Some are previously unhandled mustangs brought here after wild horse roundups. And others have been born on the farm to mares pregnant at the time of rescue, and have only known love and safety. With the support of this incredible herd, you’ll experience connection and communication using your body language, breath, energy and intention. You’ll create relationships beyond words and without judgement.

While the specific practices and activities will be customized to the participants (based on both a pre-retreat survey and the experience as it unfolds) some of the things you can expect to learn with the horses include:

  • Exchanging greetings and communicating your intentions
  • Asking for space without creating fear or disconnection
  • Supporting a horse that is uncomfortable or scared
  • Inviting a horse to walk and/or rest with you
  • Grooming a horse to create comfort and connection
  • Moving quietly through the herd without disturbing the horses

We’ll spend our time away from the herd expanding on our discoveries and setting intentions for the next day, through a combination of mindfulness practices, gentle movement, journaling and group discussion.

During free time you’ll have access to Omega’s incredible facilities and programming. Join a meditation practice at the Sanctuary, participate in daily yoga and tai chi classes, tour the Omega Center for Sustainable Living, get a treatment at the wellness center, or just relax in a hammock at the lake.

Together we’ll explore a way of being in the world that is deeply healing, that connects us to our own body and breath, and to each other. And we’ll be supporting the healing journey of the 13 Hands horses as well.

You’ll head home with a greater awareness of the energy you want to bring into your daily life, and your relationships, and with practices to support creating it (with or without horses).

*This non-riding retreat is appropriate for anyone! No horse or mindfulness experience necessary. All horse interaction will be from the ground, and tailored to the individual participant’s experience and comfort level.

About 13 Hands Equine Rescue

13 Hands Equine Rescue is a not for profit organization that rescues neglected, abused and abandoned horses, other equines such as mules and donkeys, and occasionally goats, dogs, rabbits, cats and other animals that needs a soft places to land.

Started in 2015 by Marylou Tortorello in Westchester NY, and moving to their permanent home in Clinton Corners in 2020, 13 Hands has quickly become a well respected and successful rescue, helping hundreds of horses heal, find their purpose, and find their forever home. For some, 13 Hands becomes their forever home as they join the therapy and wellness programs offered on the farm.

The rescue process is a complex one, from health assessment to quarantine to recovery and healing, to placement with a new family, the path of each rescue is unique. 13 Hands is fortunate to have an extraordinary staff, dedicated to the physical and mental health of the animals. Volunteer support is also an important part of keeping the rescue and its residents thriving.

About Omega Institute

Omega is a nonprofit, donor-supported, educational organization at the forefront of holistic studies. Located on more than 250 acres in New York’s beautiful Hudson Valley, Omega offers a wide variety of workshops, retreats, conferences, and professional trainings, in-person and online. 

Since 1977, more than one million people have come to Omega to spark creativity, explore spirituality, improve well-being, and connect to a community of lifelong learners. 

From the beginning, Omega has been guided by these core beliefs: that personal and social change are inexorably linked; that all people deserve and can cultivate health and happiness; and that we are interconnected and responsible for each other and the earth we share.

Accommodations range from camping to simple but comfortable private rooms. All accommodations include nourishing meals, access to open classes (yoga, meditation, tai chi), evening entertainment and additional amenities.

Omega’s peaceful campus offers a multitude of natural spaces to enjoy – miles of hiking trails, a serene 80 acre lake with access to canoes and kayaks, gardens, a stone labyrinth and the sanctuary’s yearning pond. The cafe, bookstore, and library offer spaces to come together with fellow participants, and the wellness center offers a wide variety of healing services with excellent practitioners.


*Please note all registration is managed by the Omega Institute, and subject to Omega’s policies and procedures. Questions about payment, room selection, cancellation and commuting should be directed to the Omega customer service department.