Welcome to the Farm
"Arriving at the H.O.O.V.E.S. Retreat Center feels like coming back inside the wire"
- Cory Spychalski, U.S. Army
If you have found yourself reading this page, there is a good chance that you are seeking a new way of life. Chances are you have tried other things and feel that nothing has worked. You might even feel as though there is no hope. If you can relate to those statements, then you've come to the right place. HOOVES Retreats are a unique experience that isn't offered anywhere else in the world. What makes this program different is the tools we teach based on natural law. When you pair these lessons with the healing power of horses, what you get is a profound and life changing shift. We don't like to set false expectations, this work isn't easy... but it is worth it. And we have a 100% success rate for the people who show up ready and willing to do the work.
This isn't a quick fix or a magic pill, but rather a new way of living and a new way of thinking. Below is an overview of what you will experience during a retreat. Classes are always optional, but definitely encouraged to get the best results. Please feel free to contact us with any questions.
We look forward to welcoming you to the family!
You get to select your lodging experience during the retreat. For those looking to connect with nature we have our rustic cabins to camp. If you're looking for a more retreat like stay, enjoy one of the rooms in the house
During your first night you will have the opportunity to decompress and get acquainted with fellow veterans over a bonfire and s'mores.
Yoga is offered on Thursday morning. Instructor Sheila Watson will guide you through stretching and relaxation to help with getting present and intention setting. Then on Sunday morning we will focus on inner strength through warrior poses.
One of the things that makes HOOVES Retreats so unique is our custom curriculum created by veteran founder Amanda Held. These 12 exercises will be broken up throughout the four days and paired with equine exercises that will give you a roadmap for healing the past, getting present, and becoming the creator of your future.
Here is where the rubber meets the road (so to speak). After spending time learning about the healing process, participants have the opportunity to work through their challenges in the arena with the feedback of our equine partners. You will complete ground exercises such as building a jump to represent a challenge and then getting the horse to go over it. Because how we do one thing is how we do everything, the horses will quickly show you what's not working in your life and our facilitators will help guide you in finding what DOES work!
Turning a pen is like putting music to vinyl. Operating a lathe puts you in a state of focus and fosters mindfulness, while tapping into your creative energy. This is a cathartic experience that provides a somatic release, while generating a beautiful pen as a keepsake and reminder of your retreat. Navy veteran and HOOVES Alumni Tristan Mohler will guide you through the very process he used to help him on his healing journey.
The suppression of stress and anger is weakening to body, mind and soul. Suppressed anger, when exerted in a safe and structured way, helps you access the healing power of presence and somatic release. Army veteran and HOOVES Alumni Instructor Heather Tarolli will facilitate this fun and stress relieving process to allow you to release your anger and frustration while creating an awesome piece of artwork.
While some may be hesitant to participate at first, usually by the end of the class everyone is engaged and having a great time! Doterra representative Karla Gleason uses a Zytoscan to detect deficiencies in your body and creates a custom oil blend in a roller for each participant to help them feel relaxed and balanced. We have received wonderful feedback on the effects of essential oils for stress, depression and anxiety.
Learning to get present and calm your mind is instrumental to the healing process. Army veteran and HOOVES Alumni Keith Jones guides veterans through a simple and basic meditation process that can be used in times of stress to help manage anxiety. Our miniature horses love to help facilitate the meditation process!
Licensed massage therapist and HOOVES Caregiver Alumni Stephanie Phillips provides a massage to help release emotions and stress from the fascia so you can fully experience the emotional release of the healing process.
When you align your mind it is also important to align your spine! Dr. Michael Hollerbach of Anthony Wayne Community Chiropractic provides a basic chiropractic adjustment to help balance your body and relieve any structural blockages that may prevent healing.
On the last day of the retreat you will craft your new Mission/Vision for life. Then you will select the horse you connected most with during the retreat and take them into the round pen. Next you will read your mission statement with the objective of getting the horse to connect with you and follow you a full lap around the pen. This will test your confidence and let us know if there is any more adjustments that need to be made.
At the end of the retreat a graduation ceremony is held where you will be presented with a certificate of completion and a challenge coin. Family and friends are welcome to join you in celebrating this amazing accomplishments and enjoy a potluck dinner.
You will continuously hear us say, "the work is always simple but never easy". That's why we work hard to ensure your success with the mentor program. Change can take time, and we want to be here to support you every step of the way. All of our HOOVES mentors are Alumni that have been and achieved success with this work and now want to give back. Every HOOVES participant has the opportunity to become a mentor after completing one year in the program.
Retreats are all inclusive. Meals, linens, towels and toiletries are provided. The only thing you need to bring are your clothes and any other personal items you wish to have with you. And the best part about our retreats are they are provided to veterans, first responders, spouses & caregivers at NO COST!
At HOOVES we know that change can be scary, and attending a retreat is a big step. We also know about the success that's waiting for you on the other side. That's why from the moment you are accepted into a retreat you are connected with your mentor to serve as a guide and answer any questions or concerns you may have.
It's important to us that you know there is a group of people here just waiting to welcome you into the HOOVES family and no matter where you are at in life, you are never too far gone.