Our Story

Bright Heart at Dove Retreat

Bright Heart Nurture in Nature at Dove Retreat for a joyful, empowering and healing opportunity to re-connect with the true essence of your Self, with animals in nature.

About Me :

I qualified as a counsellor in 2006 and currently work as a therapist in my Studio at home. My passion for ponies and horses started as a young girl living on the Blackdown Hills in Somerset. It was when I returned to riding as an adult that I started my professional interest in equine assisted therapy in 2014 and I completed the LEAP qualification in Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy in 2016. We are fortunate to live in rural Somerset and have amazing abundance of wildlife and beautiful countryside all around us. The healing benefits of nature soon became another golden thread in my personal journey and the weave of my business. In 2019 after a particularly amazing long weekend in Ireland for a conference in Psychotherapy in the Natural World, I felt so deeply moved by all that I had listened to and experienced myself, that I introduced Bright Heart Nurture in Nature sessions, as single experience sessions rather than traditional weekly therapy with horses. (This has evolved into the Women’s Retreat Weekends). An experiential way of healing from within, from enjoying the tranquil countryside, taking joy from the companionship of these sentient equines and with the white doves which come regularly for feeding and resting. There is such a magical and healing quality to these sessions, held by nature and all the creatures that share this space with us. Currently I also facilitate 1.5 hr Nature based Mindfulness with Native Ponies. These sessions are ideal for guests that are seeking special experiences that brighten the heart.

During the earlier years I had introduced beautiful white doves to live in the stables, representing love and hope, and they had settled in over the first summers and had several young. However, each year became a pattern that when it was spring they would fly off elsewhere to breed and hatch young, however come back to Dove Retreat for feeding at breakfast and supper time. What started as 8 doves has become about 38, visiting whenever it suits them. They are a sight to behold and is how we came to the naming of Dove Retreat.

Bright Heart at Dove Retreat had already opened at this point, the next step was when I decided to invite guests to stay for weekends to benefit from peaceful time in nature, surrounded by animals and birds. I had purchased the first shepherd’s hut to use as an office for the experience visitors and had an old caravan which was intended to use asΒ  meditation space. This idea grew into upcycling the caravan into a sleeping cabin, and from there the decision to design a new shepherd’s hut was borne.

New from 2021 was the Retreat to Nature Camp-overs. Minimum 2 night stays in the cosy, rustic Shepherd’s huts that provides off-grid escapism. We manage careful discretion for those who want to duck out of the busy, all-knowing public scenes.Β  The perfect opportunity to let go of all that stress and pressure of day to day routine, a chance to unwind, relax and re-connect to your True Self. We look forwards to welcoming you to a blissful ‘retreat to nature’ experience.

Picture below is my dearly loved horse Tonto who was truly a heartfelt companion andΒ  teacher for me for 10 years.