Horses Are Good Medicine in British Columbia

Leadership coach and horse lover Hillary Schneider shares how horses help her and others and serve as very good medicine.

Ever since I was a little girl I have found that something was special about horses. I felt myself with them. In a world that can sometimes feel harsh and judgmental, horses were always a place where I could go to feel at home with myself.

As a young girl, I felt deeply that there was a purpose that I was meant to hold with horses, an obsession to create a space where others could experience what I always found with them. I used to think-- this can’t be just for me.

I grew up and attended college to be a horse breeder, which lead me to seek a deeper fulfillment for my own purpose and a space that would honor what I felt was the gift of what horses could bring into our lives.

Hillary Schneider retreats horses

Hillary Schneider leads Spiritual Mentorship and Intuitive Guidance for Women Visionaries and Entrepreneurs from Epona Rise Retreat Centre in British Columbia. 

Horse Medicine...

Native American traditions speak about medicine being found in everything around it. It is a word the encompasses the essence of something, the gift of it. Our gifts are medicine, life is medicine, and horses have their own medicine that they bring to us.

What is the medicine of horses?

For the last 8 years, I have been facilitating through the space of horse medicine, which has found us in our own 80-acre retreat space with a herd of 21 rescue horses, incredible teachers and wisdom holders for those that journey here.

Horses as prey animals are highly sensitive to their environment. For survival, they must be able to read the intent behind everything that comes into their space. They have to know whether we mean them harm or we are just passing by.

Hillary Schneider horse retreats British Columbia

Many of the horses Hillary uses for her retreats are rescues.

Because of their high sensitivity, horses are incredibly adept and intuitive at reading the space and then responding to it in the moment. They are unbiased with no ego, or judgement into what we are wearing, or what our pasts have been or where we came from.

When we walk into the space of a horse, we are given opportunity to witness our own energy in a way that might be unconscious to us, where we are forced to be present, to see and to acknowledge what is moving in the deep crevices of our lives so we can do something about it.

Hillary Schneider horse retreat

For horse lovers that don't necessarily want to ride, retreats offer the experience of bonding with horses on the ground at liberty.

In medicine, I believe horses are an access point to the wisdom of our own souls, awakening us to witness and hear the wisdom that is found in the depth of who we are. The part of ourselves that can often be overpowered by life is stripped bare when we are with horses. They see us, through our barriers, so we can see ourselves in a pure and authentic space.

Our space that we hold we believe deeply in giving power to the horses in our field. Horses hold a common medicine and each horse in our herd carries a medicine. We bring those that come here out into 40 acres with our herd, learning about the language of horses and also allowing the horses to read the energy. They know which horse needs to show up for a person, and we speak to the significance of that. Things like who the horse is, what their journey has been and what the symbolism is about that horse coming to you. What part of yourself is being mirrored in that horse, so you can witness that receive the wisdom of it.

It is magical and a rooted experience that teaches us to be more aware and conscious of how we move in the world and how we interact with the world around us.

horse healing retreat vacation British Columbia

I came to Hillary and the horses because my heart draws me very strongly to them. — Naomi , Vancouver BC

A short testimonial and share from a woman who recently travelled to our ranch to experience the horses and the space here.

“​I am reflecting back on my time with you and the herd at the ranch with gratitude. Thank you for making me feel so welcome and worthy. Thank you for helping me to understand my medicine as well as its value. I have been avoiding writing about my retreat, I think partly out of fear of not finding the words to do it justice. Thank you for helping me to spread my wings, connect to my intuition and purpose and for enabling my vision to grow roots. You, the herd and the land are all magical. I hope to make it a yearly event.”
-- Karla Nicol

Horses are not just for riding. They are incredible teachers and mirrors of personal growth and awareness, leading us back to the essence of who we are that is often lost in the noise of our lives.

People come to us and the horse medicine because they are called to it, because they are looking for a space to reconnect with them, their purpose and understand the deeper currents of what is unfolding in their lives. They are seeking to re-meet the essence of their own spirit that perhaps has been lost in the current of life and the experiences they have had along the way. To the entrepreneurs that are looking to find and connect to the part of them that holds courage to bring their vision to life; to leaders that are wanting to understand how to be more impactful with their leadership; to the seekers in life that are looking to be reaffirmed in purpose, you will find the answers you seek and more with the medicine of horses.

If you should feel yourself drawn to deepen that connection and see what new awareness, teaching and medicine is waiting for you, we would love to welcome you into our retreat space with our magnificent herd of twenty-one.

About the Author: Hillary is a leadership coach, equine guided facilitator and retreat founder. She lives on her 80 acre ranch in Kamloops, British Columbia where she hosts retreats with her amazing herd of twenty-one wise equine teachers. She is passionate about supporting others to find their calling and purpose in life and step into creating a life that is full of meaning and possibility. You can find her at