Herd: A Spiritual Journey

The film follows an 8-day ‘Equinisity’ retreat with animals and nature as well as details on the retreat itself, located in Kamloops BC.

The Documentary:

In 1999 Liz Mitten Ryan, award-winning artist, mother of six and founder of a successful fine art publishing company in Vancouver, moved with her architect husband, and a herd of eleven horses, to Gateway 2 Ranch — a 320-acre slice of paradise nestled in the grasslands of British Columbia.

For several months their home was a simple tent in the midst of an enchanted landscape studded with lakes, wild flowers, emerald hills and whispering woods.

In this vast solitude it became customary for Liz to spend her days following the herd. Communing with them she began to recognize their deep gift for connection to all of life, and how being in their presence awakened that sense of connection within her own heart.

Thus began the path of her deepest calling — to connect with animals and spirit and to share that understanding with the world as best she could. Watch the entire, award-winning film on her work: “Herd: A Spiritual Journey.” 

The Retreat

The retreat is located in Kamloops, BC

First of all, the preface is the retreat offers an individual and unique journey inviting each person to find their life path, heart’s desires, and true healing. It is designed to accommodate a daily schedule but is open to personal preference for each guest as to what they would like to explore.

We cater to special diets at the all-inclusive retreats. Liz will be present to help, guide, and teach at all retreats. Upon arrival, the afternoon of the first day, you will be offered either a room in the Guest House for smaller retreats or a choice of wall tent or Spirit Lodge accommodation for larger ones. We have four rooms in the Guest House for those who require a higher level of convenience or have health issues.

The first evening we will have dinner and either orientation in the Guest House or visit the Spirit Lodge to pass the talking stick and enjoy meditation. You will get a manual with suggestions and exercises to do each day to guide you through your journey. Please bring a hardcover journal to keep track of the exercises and what appears for your unique experience.

Mornings, a buffet breakfast is available in the Guest House. Then you have a leisurely ten-minute walk (or transportation if you are unable to walk that far) to the Barn House to appreciate the sacred surroundings and whatever will attract your notice.

We spend the mornings from 9:00 to lunch around the barn with the herd either meditating or healing with them (the horses are all at liberty in the large paddock and barn to approach or invite you to join them, and miraculous healings often result from the higher vibrational energy of the herd) or learning horse language, connecting and communicating, or both depending on your interests. Those learning Equinistic Healing will be guided during that time to understand and experience the foundation. Liz will be available to help with all the horse-related experiences and also helpers or co-facilitators.

We are often riding and training or doing ground-play and will help you as well to practice liberty play and alternative riding with the horses, or you can just watch and absorb. Liz and the other facilitators are always around for guidance.

After lunch at the Guesthouse, we usually follow the Herd on the 320-acre sacred land or experience the sacred places, vortices, and chakras, special trees, and rock forms (and often run into the herd and are invited to join healing circles on the land in the horses’ special places). They have their own ‘Spirit Lodges’ and magic places in the hills and trees where they gather and are always inviting to guests.

After our walk, you will have a couple of hours before dinner to journal, read, relax and complete your exercises in the manual. We meet again at the Guest House for pre-dinner refreshments (wine and beer or spritzers provided), a free-range and organic healthy and delicious dinner (often from our garden and the neighboring farms), and a sharing of the day and, depending on the evening will either walk to find the herd or do a meditation and pass the talking stick in the Guest House or Spirit Lodge.


The last evening we have a sacred fire in the fire pit near the Spirit Lodge sending our wishes to spirit, drumming, and singing. The herd quite often is present for this event. One of the benefits of staying in the wall tent/Spirit Lodge village is the Herd likes to visit, often sleeping in the nearby meadow and drinking in the lake. There are many magical moments found in proximity to the natural world and the animals.

  • The tent village is very comfortable with cabin-like wall tents, a Spirit Lodge and has two toilets, sinks, and showers (we ask that you bring sleeping bags if possible to minimize laundry and conserve water).
  • Guest House with 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, Kitchen, Lounge, Covered deck/patio, Healing temple with crystal pyramid roof (Buffet breakfast and dinner is served here)
  • Barn-House (where Liz and Kevin live and lunch buffet is served) with large open barn, large paddock, round pen, riding ring, playground, and pasture with tires, obstacles, and toys
  • 320 acres of Sacred Land with incredible views, forests, lakes, meadows, and ‘Dragon Energy’ which offers metamorphosis and manifestation. A free, all-one-family Herd of warmblood horses, ponies, and pet cows who teach Herd Language and liberty play, 3 very friendly dogs, and 3 very friendly cats, all who will help you connect to the highest levels of One Consciousness and healing!

Pictures are available in the Photo gallery. The Reviews Page will also give you an idea of people’s personal experiences.

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