Private and Custom Retreat Experiences

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Are you seeking a space of retreat to hear the whispers of your soul and the calling of your life?

Nestled in a picturesque valley of 80 acres lies our beautiful retreat ranch and home to a herd of 27 masterful horse teachers.

Our private retreat experiences take place on our ranch in a stunning valley that gives inspiring views and a rejuvenating backdrop to a powerful and transformative retreat.

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There comes times in our journey when we require a space to retreat.

To listen, to hear, and receive guidance on what is next in our path.  Where healing, transformation and wisdom can find their way to us so we can feel more confident and clear on what life is and our soul is leading us.

Epona Rise retreats take place at our stunning 80-acre facility just north of Kamloops, British Columbia. Our herd consists of 27 horses who roam the property as close as possible to a wild state. The highlight of a retreat at Epona Rise is a facilitated interaction with our herd, which many have testified has been a healing and empowering experience.

Humans are accustomed to living with limitations, and controlled structures, where experience is manipulated according to one’s need.  Horses operate on instinct, moving with the rhythms of the moment, following their internal desires to eat, move and rest. In the company of horses. we learn how to read the space of the moment, trust our instincts, and come back to a natural state of being that is often impossible for us to cultivate in our day-to-day world. At Epona Rise retreats, we step into the horses’ world, where there’s no agenda, manipulation or ego. We let the horses dictate the flow, because they are masters at reading space and energy, and they reflect our own energy back to us.

We can often feel stuck trying to find solutions to problems, but coming up against dead ends over and over again, uncertain as to how to free ourselves from dysfunctional behaviour patterns. When we step into the horses’ world, they act as a mirror of our unconscious energy and we suddenly see the impact of how we are in the world. Horses don’t care if they offend. The have no agenda or attachment to how an experience will unfold, or how you respond to them. They simply mirror your energy, respond to how you are showing up, with exactly the energy that you are bringing. By witnessing their mirroring,  we are suddenly able to see where our disconnect is and a new way of being, that is more aligned to our authenticity, is revealed.

When we are afraid to show ourselves to others, to be seen in our vulnerabilities, our interactions with the herd can be liberating, because we know we won't be judged. When we allow ourselves to be seen,  we are giving ourselves an opportunity for change. Clarity is found there, wisdom acknowledged, and a new path illuminated for us. If you are at a place in your life where purpose calls to you but clarity eludes you, where you find yourself trapped in fear and self-limiting beliefs, our retreats will open a space for self discovery and illumination.

If you see yourself as a leader and are looking for a courageous way to claim how you want to lead in their world; if you’re a woman seeking clarity in your life’s purpose; if you’re an entrepreneur wanting to find out why something isn’t working and the inspiration to continue on your path to build a heart-centered business,

our retreats are for you.

My experience with Hillary and her beautiful majestic herd of horses was truly life-changing. Hillary is an amazing young woman who has such insight and intuition and a true gift. Her medicine is pure and loving and healing. She helped guide me through it all and was a great source of support for me. The herd of horses is truly magical beings whose energy is so comforting and healing. They have such a deep healing medicine that they give to you. I was overwhelmed by their energy and spirit. It was the most transforming and healing spiritual experience I have ever had in my life. I left with a sense of freedom that I have not felt in years. I was free to be me. I felt lighter and happier than I have for a very long time. I was able to leave behind baggage that I have carried around with me for years and the horses were so supportive and kind and gentle and supported me through it all with their grace and messages. Their medicine gave me what I was looking for, a stronger sense of purpose, an inner strength that I had forgotten I had. A spiritual support that reassured me and gave me strength and enlightenment. I will carry Hillary and the herd in my heart forever and am most grateful to them for their medicine, love, and support. I know my work is still ahead of me but I have not felt this connection to my inner spirit in years and it feels so amazing. I feel happy, content and peaceful and look forward to my journey moving forward. Everyone should experience the magic and spirit of the horses their medicine and energy. Hillary is a fascinating woman whom I have a great deal of admiration and respect for. I hope to one day go back and reunite with this gifted mystic spirited herd and their leader. Thank you so much for your medicine and gifts. It has given me a new opportunity to embrace my life and make it what I want and need.
— Cathy Riviere
How can you thank someone for giving you back a piece of yourself? Hillary is a caring, intuitive and down to earth person. She is able to get to the heart of your challenges in a real and honest manner. If you add in the wisdom of her herd of horses, the experience is pure magic. The Epona Rise Ranch is an extraordinary place to regenerate. Listen to the sounds of nature, close your eyes and hear the gentle rumble of the creek, the cry of the hawks flying above and the smell of the pine trees. For my first retreat, I received more than I had hoped for and I would highly recommend the experience to those seeking more for themselves. Thanks Hillary!
— Cindy Frank
I come from a professional horse training background and have been involved with horses for the last 40 years. Although I have always known and witnessed that they are a magnifying glass for my feelings and intentions, I had never thought to ask direct questions or go with a specific intention in mind and then just listen and watch. Hillary’s ability to help interpret the herd’s medicine behind their behaviors and displays has a subtle, yet extremely profound effect. My understanding of how to utilize and incorporate their information and perspective deepened and I am intensely grateful I attended her retreat. Hillary and her herd have a very special gift for the world and she’s delivering it with true love and compassion for both horses and people.
— Heidi Craig - Scottsdale, Arizona, USA
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I recently had the pleasure of enjoying a three day 1-1 retreat with Hillary Schneider at her ranch as the beginning of our 6-month coaching program. I can’t say enough wonderful things about the experience and Hillary.

The ranch is nestled in a breathtakingly beautiful valley. I had long been desiring some space and time to rework my business model and long-term vision. It took no time at all for me to get that space due to the surroundings and my accommodations, the lodge and the ridiculously good food. I had nothing to worry about during my time there except what I wanted to accomplish.

My list of desired outcomes included understanding (and owning) my leadership style, mapping out a business plan that is in sync with the rest of my life–a holistic approach. To me, that was A LOT to accomplish in three days.

We started day one with an amazing breakfast and some time outside both of which helped with focus. Right away, Hillary was able to sort out all of my desired outcomes and formulated a process to make it happen. I never felt like this was a cookie cutter process–we co-created an agenda that would get me exactly what I needed. She also checked in to see how I was doing energy-wise as we went along which was much appreciated since we were deep into strategic planning which can be tiring.

I’ve worked with several coaches over the past few years and I’ve gained insights for my business, but I felt like Hillary really got what I do, how I show up and what I want. She was able to help me uncover my strengths, natural style and the path to success on my terms. This is rare. She really is a unicorn.

One of the reasons I chose to work with Hillary was for the work with the horses. As a lifelong equestrian, I know the power of these animals, their sensitive nature and the connection they have with humans. This was an entirely new facet, though. It was fascinating to see how the horses can help you see the lens through which you view the world and offer a different perspective in a non-threatening way. Hillary’s observations and powerful questions facilitated some big ahas.

I discovered that I have several beliefs about myself that needed some adjustment. Because the learning was experiential with the horses, I feel like those lessons have really stuck. I learned about connection and leadership and have taken those lessons home and I use them daily. I can’t remember another time that learning has resulted in an ongoing shift and continued learning.

Again, Hillary was able to take what happened in the sessions with the horses and apply that to the coaching and planning work away from the horses. Everything felt custom-tailored to me and it felt like I was finally able to pull together ideas, concepts and offerings that I’d been struggling to connect for years. It felt aligned to me, rather than following someone’s step by step program. Hillary also shared her entrepreneurial journey which was helpful for me. I learn by hearing about other’s experiences. Her transparency and generosity are much appreciated.

The peacefulness and spaciousness of the retreat center are a big part of why we accomplished so much in three days. I’m still so excited about what we mapped out: my leadership styles, my business and life vision, programs, pricing, messaging, marketing (in a way that works for me) and a plan to bring all of this to life. Again, these are things I’ve been wanting to have for years–and we did it in three days. We’re just beginning our work together, but I feel like I’ve got incredible support and that what emerges over the next few months will support me, my business and vision for years to come.
I’ve been a coach for number of years and despite over 400 hours of coach training and leadership skills, I was still struggling to understand what my form of leadership really is. I was very clear when I contacted Hillary that this piece would make the biggest difference in my life and it is what I want to work with her and her horses on. I arranged to spend some time with Hillary at her gorgeous ranch. We had 5 different sessions together and my life has completed changed because of those sessions. Let me give you an example. When we arrived in the pasture the horses were all grazing peacefully, they could care less that we had arrived, which is significant because the energy that we brought into the field didn’t disrupt them. So we sat some distance away and started talking about what I am passionate about. I had my journal in my lap, resting on my crossed legs as Hillary sat just slightly behind me. I began talk about how I cannot tolerate women spending their lives playing out the effects of some difficult experience that was long over. All of a sudden, one horse lifted his head and walked straight up to me stopping only inches from my legs. This put his head directly over mine. We continued talking. While we were talking the horse starting flicking my journal with his nose as if to say “Are you getting this?” I didn’t immediate start writing anything. All of a sudden the horse ‘clonked’ me on the head. “Okay, okay, I get it, so I started writing down what we had been talking about. As soon as I was done as I asked Hillary “so what’s with this horse?” She replied, “this is Shiva, named after the Hindu God known to be the destroyer of false beliefs.” Wow. There are no coincidences. As soon as I got it, he simply turned and walked away. His job was done.

The gift to me was that the uncertainty around what I speak about and how to make it real in my work completely vanished. Shiva had just given me undeniable proof that I was on the right track. This is what I am meant to do.

There were many other circumstances with the horses that reinforced the inquiry that I came with, which all solidified that I have to stop talking and get doing, if things were going to change.

On returning home I founded The Ellis Institute (, begin a daily yoga practice, finished writing my first book which is going live on Amazon on the 14th of August 2017, launched my podcast “Clarity Quest” on iTunes and my Youtube channel. In addition, I’ve launched my 12 week companion program to my book which is filling now for a start in September.

I know, without a doubt, that the decision to work with Hillary and her herd was the catalyst that brought me to the manifestation of The Ellis Institute, and this passionate work coming to life.
— Ciel Ellis
I had reached a point in my professional and personal life where I felt like I was stuck in the rat race, and lost sight of my true values and beliefs. Anxiety kept creeping up, and at times I found it difficult to breathe. The constant mental chatter and negative self-talk were both mentally and physically exhausting. When I first arrived at the ranch, it was clear that the space was magical. Hillary has a way of making all people feel welcome, even though we had never met one another. The entire experience was deeply profound and one I will never forget. The horses allow you to gain perspective in life and to remind yourself of what is truly important. I left feeling lighter and with a great sense of peace. Hillary’s wisdom and life experiences are remarkable. I would strongly recommend this retreat for other women who are looking to feel empowered.

Private Retreats:

Private retreats are perfect for:

  • people seeking a custom-curated experience that caters to their individual needs.

  • busy professionals seeking a time-out from work-related stress.

  • women seeking to live with purpose or to get help navigating a transition.

  • entrepreneurs and visionaries who are feeling waylaid and paralyzed as they look towards the next leap in their growth and leadership.

  • coaches and facilitators who are seeking a space that enables self-reflection and renewal.

Epona Rise retreats take place at our beautiful ranch located just north of Kamloops, British Columbia. Participants are accommodated in one of eight rustic cabins and have complete access to our magnificent main lodge and access to 80 acres of inspiring landscape. Our retreats are catered to individual needs, and include facilitated time with the herd, and space for self-reflection.

Retreat participants have the option of having a fully catered experience, or can choose the self-catering option. Custom-designed retreats can last anywhere between two to seven days, and range from $1,500 CDN to  $7,500 CDN, based on the amount of facilitation and sessions you require and the length of your stay.

A retreat is a sacred investment in your personal growth, and we would be honored to create an experience for you.

To inquire about creating a retreat please fill out an application below.


Frequently Asked Questions:

Do I need previous horse experience to attend a retreat?

No. All of the facilitated interactions with the horses are done on the ground, so no riding experience is necessary.

Do I need to be a horse person to attend a retreat?

No. Horses are a medium of personal growth and reflection, and you need not be a horse person to receive the benefits of the herd experience.

What If I am allergic to horses?

The equine experience is probably not the best fit for you.

Where do the retreats take place?

All of our retreats take place at Epona Rise Retreat Centre, just north of Kamloops, British Columbia. If you are flying, we will shuttle you to the ranch and back.

This work with Hillary and the herd has impacted me tremendously. My faith in my ability to listen and hear what is right for me has been restored through this work. My job to meet that invitation was to learn to show up completely authentically and to be totally present in the moment. There is a special kind of magic waiting for anyone who chooses to participate in this work.
— Diana Rose, Toronto ON
Simply perfect! I came up to get away and enjoy all that would be offered and that’s exactly what I received. I had a birthday surprise from all the ladies which was a big highlight for me as I will never forget how 6 strangers I have never met gave me so much, I think I have forgotten how good people can be and here in the middle of nowhere I found women love and support me for who I am! Such a special gift! Loved the food and housing. I highly recommend this place to anyone looking to get away and find themselves walk away feeling whole again! We definitely need more places like this in the world!
— In love and light, Irene Gore
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