The International Spirt Horse Festival is a sacred space to come together as a human herd and co-create with the horses to uplift and inspire, to network, and engage in meaningful collaboration with like-hearted people who are passionate about transforming the world through the healing powers of the horse-human relationship.

The Spirit Horse Festival draws together people from all around the world in a unique and holistic format to honour the horse and help develop competency and provide exchange among committed individuals.

Join us in exploring the many aspects of the horse–human relationship for three inspiring and fun-filled days of:

  • Sessions on equine inspired learning and holistic horse care
  • Panel discussions with leading practitioners in the field
  • Festive programming featuring arts, spirituality, and entertainment

See the 2018 festival program below to get an idea of what's in store

Equine Inspired Learning and Holistic Horse Care

Join world-class presenters for interactive and hands-on seminars, breakout sessions, master-classes, and films on:

Post traumatic growth through working with horses

Equine assisted learning training and certification

How to help horses be effective teachers and healers

Making your dream job with horses a reality

Walking meditation with horses

Practical application of holistic horse care

Bodywork and healing trauma in horses and humans

Praise-based liberty work with horses

Connecting human head, heart, and gut intelligence

Yoga, spirituality, breathing, and meditation with horses

Animal communication and energy healing

Equine-inspired artists

Protecting wild horse heritage 

and much, much more...

Panel Discussions

 Presenters will convene to discuss getting started in equine-assisted learning and how to make business sense

Equine-assisted Learning and Psychotherapy:

What is it and how to get started?

EAL, EAP, EAT, EALP, HAE, AAT - What does it all mean? So many acronyms and model - even industry leaders can't agree!

  • What is equine-assisted learning and how is it different from equine-assisted psychotherapy? 
  • What is the role of the facilitator, the horse, the client?
  • How does one get started and certified?
  • What are some of the practical and organizational considerations?

These questions and more will be addressed by practitioners of the leading models in the field: EAGALA, Eponaquest, EAL Certification Training, Equine Psychotherapy Institute, Gestalt Equine Institute of the Rockies, European Association for Horse Assisted Education (HorseDream), and others. 

Horse Sense for Business:

Horses as models of collaboration and social responsibility

How can we bring the lessons horses teach us into the corporate world and our own businesses?

  • What qualities of horses and herd communication can we bring into our own businesses as practitioners? 
  • How can we engage effectively with the corporate world?
  • How can we work with horses to promote a climate of compassion and collaborative decision-making in business?

Practitioners of equine-assisted learning experienced in working with businesses and ex-corporate executives will convene for a lively discussion and Q&A on how working with horses can both make our own businesses more effective, and create better relations and communication in the corporate sector at large.      

Arts, Spirituality, and Entertainment

Music, dance, mediation, and yoga will make for a festive program for uplifting spirits and promoting wellbeing

Opening and Closing Ceremony

Shamanic practitioner Elisabeth von Madarasz will hold space for the opening and closing ceremonies of the festival.

Elisabeth founded the Academy of Shamanic Studies in 1998.

The Heart of Yoga

 A simple form of yoga for everybody that shows us how to be intimate with life, with our body, and breath.

To the ancient masters, a powerful physical practice was not merely a form of exercise meant to increase

flexibility or fitness. It was a spiritual way of life based on the intuitive understanding that everything is

arising from one nurturing source. It is direct embrace of that power. The key to the power of their practice

was, and continues to be, the breath.


Karena Hunter

Karen Hunter takes her audience on a sublime musical journey with evocative melodies that draw from a fusion of world music and rootsy grooves. Karen loops her voice, guitar and mandolin to create heart charged soundscapes blending her many influences in an entertaining and original fashion.
Karen Hunter’s journey into songwriting traverses over 35 years and many styles and characters have emerged throughout her adventure. Hunter skywalks through uncharted territory, guided by her personal map of the cosmos, creating space to travel with her audience.

Franko Heke

​Connection, healing and presence…
A regular retreat facilitator at Dune Lakes Lodge, Franko Heke is on a mission to raise consciousness through his music and workshops. With years of touring rock music under his belt, Franko’s compass has drawn him north toward a movement, which brings people together, celebrating our unique gifts, our connection to one another and to mother earth. Sought after for yoga, meditation and transformational festival events, Franko’s boundless energy for the betterment of all beings.



The Flaming Mudcats

The Flaming Mudcats are a high energy guitar and harmonica Rhythm & Blues Band​ regarded to be one of New Zealand’s premier blues acts. ​ Their energetic live blues sets blend original material and covers drawn from their eclectic influences, a raw life potion of killer grooves, blazing licks and harp wizardry. Butt-shakin belters to soulful grinders with everything in between … welcome to the Flaming Mudcats show. The band is fronted on vocals and harmonica by Craig Bracken with Doug Bygrave providing the six string firepower. Anchoring these two, is drummer Ian Thomson and “newbie” bassman Johnny Yu.


The Deadbeats

The Deadbeats bring you an acoustic blues band with a new edge to classic blues. Long time blues picker Neil Finlay and Tui award-winner Garry Trotman have teamed up with harmonica ace Craig Bracken and slide guitar wizard Glenn Ross Campbell to bring you blues songs from the 1920s to the 1960s that will soon have you smiling, swinging and swaying, singing along and dancing up a storm.

The Deadbeats

Magical World of Plants

Move into the magical world of plants and trees creating music with which all living creatures can become involved.  Sing and dance with Gary Cook to the unique Music of the Plants. Relaxing and meditative, the wondrous sounds of nature will take you on an individual journey of wonder and delight.

Rhythm is the Pulse of Life

"If your heart is beating, you can drum."  Join Jimi Dale to experience the power of rhythm and to connect in African-style drumming, song, and dance. Learn to play with and listen and create beautiful rhythms & songs in an ensemble.

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