April 11-14, 2024
Healing with Horses Spring Retreat
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.
We’re excited to offer a unique opportunity to stay onsite in a beautiful home at 13 Hands during this retreat.
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 the option to explore the natural beauty of the 120 acre farm, including visiting with the other animals such as mini horses, donkeys and mules, goats, dogs, cats, rabbits and more, hiking, relaxing in the apple orchard, reading in front of the fire, wandering with a borrowed art kit, magnificent stargazing, and much more.
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.
Accommodations and Meals
We are fortunate to have seven spaces available in a beautiful home on-site at 13 Hands Equine Rescue. We call this the Tuscan Way house, and it’s just next to a paddock of mustangs, with a heart shaped pond visible from the front porch.
The house is truly special, with views of the hills and the horses from every window, a large two story living room with a stone fireplace, comfortable bedrooms with queen size beds, porches with Adirondack chairs, a recreation room with pool and ping pong tables, and a cozy reading room. Plus, no driving!
Participants receive three meals per day, prepared with love, and served family style, as well as coffee, tea and snacks throughout the day. Accomodation options include one ensuite ground floor room, four rooms that share a bathroom with a single room, and two rooms in a private apartment attached to the house.
Commuter spaces are available for folks who live locally or would like to stay elsewhere in the Rhinebeck area. Commuters are invited to join dinner on Thursday, and receive lunch each day, as well as coffee, tea and snacks.
Home Cooked Food
Pricing and Payment Options
*This pricing is for a single participant. If you would like to join with a partner sharing this room please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
If a payment plan would be supportive for you please contact email@example.com to learn about options.
Cancellation Policy: This is a small retreat, and we ask that in the event you have an emergency and cannot attend, you consider transferring your payment to a friend or family member, or to a future retreat. In the event that you cannot, we will refund all payment less $500, which is considered a non-refundable deposit that may be applied to a future retreat, or to private sessions with Jenn virtually or onsite at 13 Hands.