Find Connection & Wellness
Conscious Touch & Movement with Horses
Woman connecting with horse
 Find Connection and Wellness
Conscious Touch & Movement with Horses

with Paula Josa-Jones 

​​September 22 at 4:00p.m. through September 25 at 11:00a.m., 2020 
  1. Picture of our tipis
  2. Woman embracing horse
  3. Delicious meals
  4. One of our comfortable rooms
  5. Horse & woman connecting
  6. People gathering in a tipi
  7. People and horses sharing space in a field
  8. Woman connection with a horse
  9. Woman moving with a horse
    Deepening Feel and Connection with Our Horses, Ourselves

For horse people AND for people that have no experience with horses
If you have horses in your life, this retreat clinic is for you! Whether you are a trail rider, competitive rider, work with your horses on the ground, do liberty work, volunteer at a rescue or therapeutic riding center.... for all of us, where it all starts is by having a true connection with our horses.
This workshop is for those who would like to become more attuned, happy and successful in their relationship with their horses (and other animal companions) regardless of the discipline or experience. The practices you will learn support the goals of being mindful, steady and kind as we work and play with our horses.
If you don't have horses in your life, you will find that horses are sentient, deeply sensitive beings that can help us connect, relax, let go of trauma and grief, make us smile, feel grounded and at peace. The world is not always an easy place to live in. Taking time for self-care in nature - connecting with soulful horses - may be just what you need right now.
About Horses & Humans
Horses express themselves with the bodily languages of movement and touch. Horses live in herds and need connection with each other. Think about horses moving freely in a large field: changing directions, changing speed, being playful, happy, maybe kicking up their heels. They express their emotions through their bodies, and as herd animals, often move in sync - a subtle choreography involving the whole herd-family. 
People communicate with their bodies as well, but we may not be aware of it because we are so focused on verbal communication. Things like having a gut feeling or instantly liking someone, come to us through body language. When we are talking to someone we like, we will start mimicking their posture and gestures, just like horses mimicking each other in the field. Moving together makes us feel good and connected.
A horse will respond to our bodily language because that's how they communicate. They don't use verbal language, so they look to our bodies to find out about our emotional state, to see if we are a friend or enemy, safe or dangerous, and to try to understand what we are asking from them. So, the way a horse reacts to us, tells us something about ourselves. Humans can ask something with words or gestures while at the same time expressing something different or contradictory with their bodies. Let's say you have been taught the correct way to ask a horse for a canter, but you feel afraid to do so. While you are asking your horse with the correct aids to canter, your body and mind are signaling to the horse that you are anxious. This confuses the horse.
Horses are congruent; their outward behavior always matches their inner feeling and they have a hard time with our mixed messages. Horses deal with this in different ways, some may bolt and run off, some may shut down and some may simply ignore you. Think about the times when your horse performs perfectly for your trainer, but it doesn't go so well when you try. Most likely what's going on is that your trainer is congruent, not just asking with the correct aides but also with clarity of body and mind. The horse recognizes that there are no mixed messages and it's safe to go along.
  What We Will Learn
Paula Josa-Jones will guide us through simple movements to create ease and flow in the body. We will gather in one of our traditional tipis. They are simply amazing to be in, and just as beautiful on the inside as on the outside. We will have comfy blankets, pillows and mats available. Our days will be spent moving between learning embodied touch and movement for our selves, and carrying what we've learned to the horses. We will connect with the horses while they are at liberty - free to move around - and we will do this in an intuitive and improvisational way using touch and movement.  

Here are some highlights:
  • DEEPEN CONNECTION. Finding ease and attunement with the horse as we become more AWARE of our bodies and minds and discover more pleasure in our movement. Including how to feel both giving and receiving with hands and body, and to create congruence between what we are feeling inside and what we are expressing outwardly.
  • BUILD CONFIDENCE AND A SPIRIT OF IMPROVISATION AND PLAY. Albert Einstein said that the highest form of research is play! How can we find more playful, improvisational ways of being with our horses? How can we integrate pleasurable mindful movement in our day-to-day activities with our horses?
  • CREATE CO-REGULATION. Co-regulation means finding harmony and a shared settled state with the horse, where we are listening more than telling, creating responsiveness and resonance rather than tension and reactivity. This helps us become more trustworthy to the horse, as we notice when our movement or touch are transmitting inadvertent or unintentional messages. 
  • LET GO OF HABITS. Any habit shuts down the here and now. Habitual patterns may show up as tension or pain in certain body parts, or ways of reacting that feel automatic and reflexive – for example an impatient reaction with your horse or an outburst at work or at home.  When we notice our habits, we have the opportunity to unravel some of the tension that can come with these patterns.

The Farm
And you can indulge yourself in the comfort and beauty that the farm offers! Mountain Horse Farm is a horse and farm sanctuary and a wellness retreat. The retreat includes 3 overnight stays in a comfortable and gracious private room, all meals starting with dinner on the first evening and ending with breakfast on the last morning. It also includes snacks and non-alcoholic drinks during our time together.  
You will be working with our herd of horses. They are a well-established herd of six, all different breeds and sizes who live a life as natural as possible with lots of freedom and choices. Bringing your own horses is not possible.
We welcome 6-8 participants.
​​​Mountain Horse Farm is located in the beautiful Finger Lakes region, famous for its wineries and breweries, gorgeous lakes and waterfalls. You may want to consider adding a few days to your trip to explore the area. 
People in a field connecting with horses
profile picture Paula
​​ Paula Josa-Jones is a choreographer, dancer and movement artist who brings an improvisational perspective to all of her work.
She is a Certified Laban Movement Analyst (CMA), and a Registered Somatic Movement Educator and Therapist (RSMET) accredited by ISMETA.
She is a Guild-certified Tellington TTEAM practitioner and a Somatic Experiencing® practitioner, trained in the trauma recovery work of Dr. Peter Levine.
Her writings on movement and dance have been published, and she writes a blog called RideDanceWrite. Her book, Our Horses, Ourselves: Discovering the Common Body was published in 2017. As the creator of Embodied Equine Experiencing™ she teaches an intuitive, improvisational approach to the human-horse bond with movement and touch.

Paula presented at Equine Affaire in November 2018 &2019.


Sign up by yourself and stay in a room by yourself with a private bathroom - all-inclusive rate: $1,350+tax
Sign up with 2 or more people that share a room: each of you will receive a $200 discount. 
Our rooms either have 1 king bed, 1 queen bed or 2 queen beds.
Please let us know about your preferences. 

​If you are signing up with 2 or more people that share a room, please all sign up online individually, and mention that you would like to share a room. We will apply the discount after we receive your online booking.​

We may have a few spots available for people that live locally and don't wish to include overnight accommodations. Please call Suzanne at 585-374-5056 or email at [email protected] for availability and details.

Waiver: You will be required to sign a waiver.

​Deposit & final payment:
To hold your spot, we will ask for payment of a deposit of $550.00 per person. The balance is due two months  before the clinic.

Cancellation policy: Cancellations that are made at least 2 months in advance will receive a full refund minus a $100.00 cancellation fee. Regretfully we can not give refunds past the cancellation deadline. The only exception we can make is that we will refund 80% of your deposit in case we can rebook your spot with another participant.

Mountain Horse Farm
Where Relaxation comes Naturally