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Combining horsemanship with holistic healing.

Are you ready to experience the amazing healing gifts of nature and horses together in Costa Rica? Come and relax near the beaches and in the mountains of this luscious country while experiencing the magic and healing of horses. During this retreat, you will get to spend time and connect with 3 different groups of horses. Open to all levels of riding experience. Whether you’ve never been on a horse before or you’ve owned a horse for your entire life, this retreat is for you!

Key information

  • Rider weight limits: 220 lbs (beach ride), 260 lbs (mountain ride)

Meet the instructors

Amber & Nancy
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  • Beach ride or 1-on-1 horse time
  • Mountain ride or 1-on-1 horse time
  • Daily meditation and gentle yoga
  • Transportation to Dances with Horses Ranch
  • 2-day the Power of Connection with Horses clinic
  • Private cacao ceremony
  • 7 nights accommodation + 2 meals a day
  • Transportation to and from the airport

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

6 days with instruction
Group size: 5-9 participants
Airport transfer included: Juan Santamaría International Airport
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Flor de Esterillos

At Flor de Esterillos, you will stay in charming oceanfront cabanas. Feel the salty ocean breeze right outside your window. Soak in the beach, enjoy solo meditation or journaling time, lay in a hammock, or participate in additional activities or wellness services.

Dances with Horses Ranch

At Dances with Horses Ranch in El Castillo, accommodations are a mountain house with shared and private rooms.


Why heal with horses? - A message from Amber

When you spend time with horses, you experience a down-regulation in your nervous system. It almost has the same effect on the body as finishing a good workout. You feel a sense of relief in your body simply by spending time with the horse, you don’t even need to ride! Just brushing, petting, exchanging energy, and presence with it brings a shift in your energy.

It’s truly an experience that you can only understand when you have it. You’ve all experienced it at one point or another with a cat, dog, or other animal in your presence, but this is on a larger scale (literally and figuratively). It brings so much joy to feed them and give them treats. Their head is at your height so you can look right into their eyes, which they don’t shy away from. They are ready to connect with you.

Their large size can be intimidating to some, but it leads to a great feeling of respect and reverence for their power. Their presence alone demands carefulness and gentleness when interacting with them. They help you to slow down, be in the present moment, and to be in your body and with your breath.

It is a gift to interact with these powerful and majestic creatures, and Amber wanted to provide that opportunity in the transformative container of a retreat. Dr. Maria Katsamanis, coauthor of the book Alchemy of Lightness, explains:

“We only need to be in a horse’s presence to feel a sense of wellness and peace. In fact, research shows that people experience many physiological benefits while interacting with horses, including lowered blood pressure and heart rate, increased levels of beta-endorphins (neurotransmitters that serve as pain suppressors), decreased stress levels, reduced feelings of anger, hostility, tension, and anxiety, improved social functioning; and increased feelings of empowerment, trust, patience, and self-efficacy.”

Volcano Arenal

For the first part of the retreat, you will venture into the mountains of Costa Rica for a visit in El Castillo at the Dances with Horses Ranch, which sits on a mountaintop overlooking Lake Arenal and Arenal Volcano. Here you will participate in a 2-day clinic with Nancy Zintsmaster learning the Carolyn Resnick Method: "The Power of Connection with Horses". This clinic offers you a great opportunity to learn how to relate to horses in an entirely new way! This workshop will be focused on teaching you the “Language of Horses” through a proven communication system that horses use to communicate with each other.

This tried and true method will help you to improve your leadership skills and build your confidence and connection with horses so that your horse will want to connect with you based on the bond that you share together, rather than the tack or training! Whether a beginner or advanced student of the horse, this clinic will have something for everyone and will help you to improve your horsemanship skills!

Beach time

The second part of the retreat will take place in the beautiful, quaint town of Esterillos where you’ll stay in beachfront cabanas. The charming cabins provide an intimate experience. Feel the salty ocean breeze right outside your window and breathe in the medicine. There will be ample spaciousness on the days to soak in the beach, enjoy solo meditation or journaling time, connect with other retreaters, lay in a hammock, or participate in additional activities or wellness services.

Here, you’ll get to experience a ride with well-trained and well-cared-for horses guided by Sylvia of CR Beach Barn. Sylvia has been training horses for over 20 years using gentle communication techniques.

“Our guests will be greeted at the barn located steps away from the gorgeous beach. Here we will match you with one of our beloved horses, adjust your equipment and give you basic instructions on how to ride properly with confidence. Once we are all set and ready, we will take our private trail to the beach that is one of the largest stretches in Central America. Crossing little rivers and riding where the jungle meets the ocean.”

We'll also participate in a trail ride with Hacienda Las Colinas up in the mountains! Enjoy views of incredible vistas, ride through rivers, pastures, and banana and cacao plantations, and end with a traditional lunch.

Family and retreat companions

For those who aren’t interested in horseback riding, but want to experience a relaxing and healing retreat with your loved ones: please join! There are multiple different activities or services available for you to participate in while the retreat is happening.

You can hang out on the beach, schedule a wellness service, book an excursion, or simply rest and recharge in beautiful Costa Rica. If this sounds like you or someone you know, send an inquiry!


Due to the intimate nature of this retreat, there is a maximum of 9 spaces available.

Included excursions

  • Beach horseback ride with CR Beach Barn
  • Mountain horseback ride and lunch with Hacienda Las Colinas
  • 2-day clinic with Nancy Zintsmaster at Dances with Horses Ranch
  • Evening trip to natural hot springs in Arenal
  • Private cacao ceremony


Amber Summers

Nancy Zintsmaster


You will begin the retreat in Esterillos and then continue on to Hacienda Las Colinas, before ending in El Castillo at the Dances with Horses Ranch.


All food is locally sourced and organic, prepared by their own private chef. Smoothies, fresh squeezed juices, coffee, and tea are available throughout the retreat.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Detox juices

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Gluten Free
  • Organic
  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Pescatarian
  • Lactose Free
  • Whole food
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

Healing your mind, body, and spirit

Holistic wellness services available to schedule during your stay include Reiki, reflexology, massage, iridology (light therapy with essential oil treatment), and nutritional consulting.

Optional experiences that can be added on: Reiki with horses, cacao farm tour and chocolate making, private cacao ceremony, waterfall and canopy hike, private spiritual healing temescal, hot springs soak, surf lessons, zip lining, and paragliding. Daily or weekly bike rentals available.

Tabacon Hot Springs Resort: Retreat add-on

Pamper yourself! Integrate your retreat week with a one-night stay at Tabacon Hot Springs Resort and Thermal Spa. Spa service, dinner, and transportation to the airport included.

What's included

  • 7 nights accommodation
  • 2 meals a day
  • Beach ride or 1-on-1 horse time
  • Mountain ride or 1-on-1 horse time
  • Daily meditation and gentle yoga (a slower and gentler practice of yoga focused on ease. Great choice for anyone who is afraid they are not flexible or fit enough to do yoga)
  • Transportation to Dances with Horses Ranch
  • 2-day the Power of Connection with Horses clinic
  • Private cacao ceremony
  • Transportation to and from the airport
  • All gratuities associated with retreat

What's not included

  • Airfare
  • Holistic wellness services
  • Additional excursions
  • Gratuities for additional excursions

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Airport: Juan Santamaría International Airport Airport transfer included: Juan Santamaría International Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 26% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
8 days / 7 nights
from --
Minimum group size

This trip requires a minimum of 5 participants


Arrival: Saturday August 17, 2024
Departure: Saturday August 24, 2024

Special discount

Discount for couples and families. Contact Thrive to inquire about space availability!

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