Connect with Horses Mindfulness and Meditation Retreats, South of France open March to November
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Have you always been fascinated by horses, and longed to connect with them on a deeper level but have always been intimidated by their size?
This exceptional escape to the south of France will offer you the chance to make that connection and benefit abundantly from the horses’ intuitive and authentic wisdom.
You will spend the whole 5 – 7 days in the presence of these patient, caring, and generous creatures. You will be able to breathe with them, touch them, talk with them, walk with them and share your most secret thoughts with them.
A unique and unforgettable experience!
The Connect with Horses Retreats, based on Equine-facilitated Mindfulness and Equine-Guided Meditation, in the south of France, will dramatically increase your self-confidence and enable you to significantly lower your stress levels by connecting with my horses in an enriching, compelling and transformational way.
Your facilitator and retreat leader Dr Margaretha Montagu has worked as a medical doctor for more than 20 years which taught her a lot, but not as much as dealing for nearly thirty years with a debilitating eye disease that threatens her sight.
Based on both her professional and personal experience so far, her horses and herself are well-equipped to empower you to compassionately accept yourself and appreciate your unique talents and abilities, free yourself from immobilising fear and substantially increase your self-confidence, communicate more efficiently and with more assertiveness, eradicate limiting beliefs and replace them with inspiring beliefs, develop more successful problem-solving skills and believe in yourself so that you can make the changes you want to make in your life.
Build strong, long-lasting relationship and create a solid and reliable support network so that you can ask for help before you feel totally overwhelmed, set firm boundaries and say no without feeling guilty or needing to explain, discover simple techniques to easily and effectively deal with stressful situations and celebrate your success without needing to apologise for being brilliant.
During the retreat, you will first and foremost, be able to rest, relax and recharge your batteries. You will also benefit from attending this workshop because, with the empowering help of our horses, you will develop a new set of skills to help improve the quality of your life.
Our house, deep in the heart of Gascony, less than two hours’ drive south-east of Bordeaux, near a small town called Eauze, is located on several acres of lush, green meadows and is surrounded by vineyards, woods, orchards, and sunflower fields.
Simple but comfortable accommodation in an 18th century farmhouse in single or twin bedrooms with shared bathroom. Comfortable beds and views of the garden and horses’ paddocks. Each room has a door that opens directly onto the garden. Free access to high-speed internet.
9:00 Yogic Breathing with the Horses
9:30 Walking Meditation with the Horses
11:30 Equine-facilitated Mindfulness Training
12:30-16:00 Free time to spend with the horses
16:30 Equine-guided meditation
Dr Margaretha Montagu
After working for 20 years as a medical doctor in a variety of specialties including psychiatry and general practice. I came to the conclusion that many diseases have their roots in my patients’ inability to handle stress effectively.
Instead of treating stress-related illnesses, I decided to look at practical ways that my patients can use to prevent stress from ruining their health.
It also became clear that self-confidence plays a major role in stress-management, so I also became interested in techniques that could be used to increase my patients’ self-confidence.
I studied a number of alternative therapies including hypnotherapy and NLP, all very useful and instructive but not as fulfilling as I had hoped. I had loved horses since I was a little girl, but once I started medicine, there was no more time to devote to this gentle obsession.
By 2005, as I was wondering if there could possibly be a way of combining the last 20 years’ training and experience with my love for horses, I came across equine-assisted experiential learning, an extremely effective method of increasing self-confidence and reducing stress.
I was hooked right from the start: the effectiveness of the treatment, the short duration and the lasting results quickly convinced me that this is the way forward.
I started practicing mindfulness meditation about 5 years ago and found it to be effective as a stress management tool. Knowing the horses to be masters of mindfulness (they have to be, as prey animals they need to be fully present each moment to avoid capture) I experimented with including horses in mindfulness meditation sessions.
They soon took over, to the benefit of everyone present. I have always been a yoga-addict and while I was studying the way horses use breathing to communicate, to encourage each other to relax, I became more aware of my breathing and the effect it had on the horses.
By trial and error, I learned how to use breathing as an additional communication tool with the horses. Yogic breathing exercises (pranayama) increase our ability to concentrate and to focus, making communication with the horses easier and clearer.
Effective communication with the horses increases our self-confidence dramatically. For all the reasons above, and a few more besides, I now present, together with the horses, Connect with Horses retreats in the south of France.
Our food is simple but delicious and we aim to give your digestive tract as much of a rest as the rest of you while feeding your body as well and as generously as your mind.
This is most definitely not a detox retreat, but rather a celebration of the wonderful variety of fresh local produce available from our garden as well as from the local weekly fresh food markets.
This region is known for its abundant gourmet cuisine and we would not dream of depriving our guests of the pleasure and benefits that can be had.
Even the wine of the region is reputed to have healing and anti-aging properties (see Prof Roger Corder’s book The Red Wine Diet) and the people of the region live some of the longest and healthiest lives in Europe.
The cost of the 5-day retreat starts at £549 pp. The cost of the 7-day retreats starts at £1199 pp. Maximum of 4 participants per workshop.
- Simple but comfortable accommodation in an 18th century farmhouse in single or twin bedrooms with shared bathroom.
- Brunch under the oak trees in the garden, weather permitting.
- Dinner featuring local delicacies (we cater for vegetarians)
- Tea and coffee making facilities available 24/7.
- Transport from Nogaro/Eauze to the farm.
- Free Wifi.
Does not include
- Transport costs to local airports and train stations – there are 5 international airports (Toulouse, Bordeaux, Tarbes/Lourdes, Biarritz and Pau) less than two hour’s drive from here
- Transport from local airports to local train stations (Auch and Mont de Marsan)
- Transport from local train stations to Eauze.
- Personal Health Insurance and/or Travel Insurance (we highly recommend insurance cover in case you need to cancel)
- Wine Tasting trip to local vineyards
- An extra day walking part of the Way of St James/Santiago de Compostella
- A day visit to Lourdes
- To facilitate transport arrangements, or to explore the region, you are welcome to arrive a day or two early or leave a day or two after the workshop – we offer bed-and-breakfast accommodation on a day-to-day basis, at £55 per room per night, but only to our workshop guests,
- Non-participating partners are very welcome, there is a lot for them to discover and do in the immediate vicinity.
- The option to add a day to walk part of the possibly life-changing Way of St James, following in the footsteps of pilgrims who have passed this way for a thousand years on their way to Santiago de Compostella in Spain.
- The option to add a guided wine tasting trip to the medieval village of Saint Mont
What past guests have said
“A powerful and wonderful life experience, with caring guidance by Margaretha. One can truly experience a mindful meditation with the horses who are definitely spiritual. Also, your senses become reinvigorated with the beautiful food and wine, whilst sitting and listening to the unique sound of natures calmness.” S. Murphy
”Thank you so much for a wonderful week. The way you welcomed me was heart-warming. I find myself often dreaming about your piece of paradise and all my new friends there. Margaretha- I learned so much for which I thank you!” CM Munroe
“I feel so incredibly lucky to have had this chance that worked out so amazingly in divine timing. I know that you are, yourself, going through a stressful time and so that is why I am even more grateful that despite that, you were there to help me through this transition. I am also inspired by you and how you have faced your challenges, and I appreciate so much that you are also so human, with vulnerabilities just like we all have. Thanks also for sharing these moments with me.” A Alyahya
What to pack
Essential: a sturdy pair of shoes, not trainers, preferably boots, for all activities involving the horses.
Location and how to get here
Our closest airports are Pau-Pyrenees Airport (PUF) which is 40-minutes away from our center, Tarbes-Ossun-Lourdes (LDE), also 40 minutes away, Biarritz Airport (BIQ), Toulouse-Blagnac Airport (TLS), and Bordeaux Airport (BOD)- all 3 just under 2 hours.
For the convenience of our guests, we offer transfers from Pau and Tarbes at additional cost. From Toulouse airport, there is a train to Auch (50 min from us), and from Bordeaux airport, there is a train to Mont de Marsan (45 min from us).
Airport shuttles and trams connect the airports and train stations. We also offer transfers from Auch and Mont de Marsan, but also at an additional cost (depending on availability.) It is also possible to travel from these airports to SemperEquus by taxi.
Have a question?
Chat to us – send us a quick message and we can discuss via email or whatsapp at your convenience.
Fill in the booking form to make an enquiry or booking on these Connect with Horses Mindfulness and Meditation Retreats. You can also contact the team direct on firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Pay a deposit
Pay a £500 deposit today to secure your place on the retreat.