Connect with Horses Workshops

Are you stressed?

Our Connect with Horses Mindfulness and Meditation Workshops in the south of France will empower you to use stress as a stimulus for personal growth rather than a trigger for burnout.

The people of Gascony, an unspoiled and mostly undiscovered region in the south-west of France, are famous for living long, healthy and happy lives. Many esteemed scholars have studied their lifestyle to determine the secret of their happy and healthy longevity. They have come to the conclusion that the people of Gascony have got stress management down to a fine art.

Now you too can discover their secret, by attending a Connect with Horses personal empowerment workshop right in the very heart of Gascony.

  • Imagine discovering that stress is not an enemy but an ally and how to use stress to become more resilient,
  • Imagine sleeping so peacefully at night that you wake up each morning bursting with energy and optimism,
  • Imagine loving what you do so much that you jump out of bed every morning because you can’t wait to get started,
  • Imagine the deep sense of satisfaction you will experience when your efforts are rewarded by praise from your peers,
  • Imagine looking and feeling fit and healthy because you are getting the nutrients and exercise your body needs,
  • Imagine having solid and supportive relationships to fall back on when the going gets tough and to celebrate with when you succeed.

You will be able to do all the above as soon as you find out how to control the effect that stress has on your body and on your mind and how to  use stress to your advantage.

You may not even be aware of it, but stress might gradually and insidiously be destroying your physical, mental and spiritual well-being.

  • Do you get palpitations, panic attacks or chest pains?
  • Do you have indigestion, heartburn, nausea, diarrhea or constipation?
  • Do you have eczema or urticaria?
  • Do suffer from insomnia?
  • Do you frequently have blinding headaches?
  • Do you catch every cold and then struggle to get rid of it?

You may desperately need to take time out to immunise yourself against the devastating effects that stress can have on your short- and long-term health.

When you attend a 3/5/7-day Connect with Horses mindfulness and meditation stress management workshop in the sun-drenched south of France, you will firstly, and most importantly, be able to rest, relax and recharge your batteries.

Secondly, you benefit from attending this workshop because

  • You will discover how to get the most from every single moment in the day,
  • You will learn how to use stress to optimise your performance
  • You will be empowered to manage stress and avoid its negative effects,
  • You will have a new set of skills to help improve the quality of your life,
  • You will find out how to confidently handle whatever challenges come your way,
  • You will have access to continuing support after the workshop.

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How I went from feeling tired all the time, being overworked and teetering on the edge of a burnout to living a life full of purpose and meaning.

My name is Margaretha Montagu. I am a medical doctor with many years’ experience of treating stress-induced disease. I live in the sun-blessed south of France with my husband and 6 horses. We live in a lovingly-restored, 200-year-old farmhouse with a bit of land.

Not so long ago, I was in a drastically different situation… I had a stressful job. I worked long hours. I eventually burned myself out. In the process, I did permanent damage to my health.

So I gave it all up and moved to the south of France in search of a simpler and healthier lifestyle.

Did I live happily ever after? I did not. I soon felt just as stressed, as overworked and as tired as I did before the move.

I was working even longer hours than before and earning much less for my trouble. How did this happen?

It happened because I still did not know how to handle the challenges that came our way without getting stressed.

It was starting to look as if the move to the countryside had been a very expensive mistake.

When I was just about ready to give up, I discovered mindfulness meditation. As a last resort, I decided to give it a try. In the process, I found out that I have direct access to mindfulness meditation instruction from six mindfulness experts.  Our horses taught me more about mindfulness meditation than I could ever have learned on my own. I also learned that stress does not have to be harmful. It can actually be helpful, as long as we know how to manage it.  The change in my ability to cope with whatever challenges came my way was so dramatic that I felt the need to share my knowledge:

Introducing our
Connect with Horses
Mindfulness Meditation Workshops

Due to a debilitating eye disease, partly stress induced, I had to retire early from medical practice.  Horses had always fascinated me, but due to the pressures of work, I never had the time to explore this interest. I needed a new career so I decided to combine my medical training and experience with my interest in horses. I retrained in equine-assisted psychotherapy and experiential learning.

This is what makes our workshops UNIQUE.

You will be accompanied and supported by six well-trained and well-behaved horses in your search to find more effective ways to manage stress and to use stress to your advantage.

One thing I need to make very clear:
There is
NO
horse riding during our workshops.

Instead, and in addition to mindfulness meditation training, our 3/5/7-day Connect with Horses Personal Empowerment workshops offer you:

  • an affordable escape from the always escalating demands of everyday life,
  • a safe haven in one of the most beautiful parts of France, secluded but not isolated, a place where you can rest, relax and sleep undisturbed for as long as you need to
  • fresh air, clean water and scrumptious home-cooked food to nourish both your body and your mind
  • the opportunity to walk part of the possibly life-changing Way of St James, to follow in the footsteps of pilgrims who have passed this way for a thousand years on their way to Santiago de Compostella in Spain.
  • a wine tasting visit to the wine cellars of the nearby Saint Mont vineyards, including a visit to the Saint Mont monastery and the medieval village that clings defiantly to the slopes below it – a place where mindfulness and meditation have been part of daily life since the 12th century,
  • a visit to a fresh food market in a neighbouring village, where you will be able to observe French housewives mindfully choosing the ingredients they use to cook the rich, mouth-watering meals characteristic of Gascon gastronomy and where you will have the opportunity of mindfully following their example,
  • a visit to an ancient lake hidden deep in the heart of an even more ancient forest
  • the option to discover the confidence-boosting benefits of equine-assisted experiential learning.

The duration of the workshop determines the number of mindfulness field trips and meditation methods included.

Dates:

We only host 4 group workshops a year. Group workshop dates for 2017 (3/5/7 days and nights from the start date of the workshop.) Workshops start at 16h00 on the first day and end at 11h00 on the last day.

  • 24 June – 1 July (full)
  • 22-29 July
  • 19-26 August (full)
  • 23-30 September

If your preferred workshop is full, you are very welcome to attend an individual workshop, at no extra cost – any time from the beginning of July till the end of October. Please contact us with the dates that will suit you at welcome2gascony@gmail.com to inquire about availability. 

Rates:

Your investment in yourself and in your future:

  • 7-day workshop: £995
  • 5-day workshop: £695
  • 3-day workshop: £395

Do you feel stuck in a rut and desperately long to escape?

If you do, then a Connect with Horses Personal Empowerment Workshop at Les Sources Sacrées here in the sun-blessed south of France is exactly what you need right now.

So seize this exceptional opportunity to spend a few nights with us NOW…to help you make your trip a special one, please let us know you are coming by making a reservation.

A warm welcome awaits you amidst the Saint Mont and Madiran vineyards in the sun-blessed southwest of France.

Interested? Contact us NOW on welcome2gascony(at)gmail.com or fill in the form below.
A simple inquiry will put you under no obligation.

Privacy notice: We take your privacy seriously. Your details are not passed on or sold to any third parties whatsoever, you are not subscribing to any mailing lists and we promise to only use your details to contact you directly ourselves.

Testimonials 

Thank you so much for your engaging and inspiring workshop; it was amazing how much I have learnt in this short space of time! I specifically appreciated your patience and great sense of humour. Lucy and I intend to keep in contact, Mireille too – their friendship is an added bonus I never imagined when I signed up. And thank you for welcoming us in your gorgeous and comfortable old house – I will be back! A Hughes

I think about you and your fur family SO often – your farm is my go-to daydreaming place. I smile just thinking about the space, the lake, all my horse friends (who thought I’d ever say that!) and the cats walking through the paddocks… C-M Munroe

What a fabulous workshop! Not only did I learn a ton about mindfulness and meditation in a very comfortable and welcoming setting, but I really met some awesome people. So many thanks for introducing me to Gascony. A. Dreyfuss

I really enjoyed this personal empowerment workshop. I learnt exactly what I wanted to learn. I met some great people and thought the workshop was great value for money. It was excellently put together and taught and I recommend it without reserve. P. Alexander

This workshop exceeded our expectations – great food, excellent teaching, smoothly and professionally organised. Thank you for introducing us to this surprising, wonderful part of France….Here’s to attending again next year! S and F Essen

Sincere thanks for providing us with such a special workshop. It was filled with beautiful views, great food, new friends and exciting field trips that helped us increase our stress management skills. What a great way to explore a country AND its people! Thanks again for a wonderful time and please also thank Rosie for taking such good care of us. Your friends, Helga and Anton Kruger

It was a privilege to meet such happy, contented and generous horses. You really do deliver all your website says, and more. We are looking forward to our next visit and will recommend you to all our friends! Alex, Tony, Roy and Stella Lobb

From the moment we arrived the stunning beauty of the horses and the setting absolutely took our breath away!! We thoroughly enjoyed learning more about mindfulness, your practical and down-to-earth approach worked miracles for us! We will be counting down the days until we come again…T Garcia

Many thanks for our mindfulness weekend and for your flexibility over the last minute changes – you were brilliant and so enthusiastic, we really enjoyed ourselves…we are already planning our next holiday – hope you can fit us in for a week during October! A. Campbell

Your mindfulness and meditation workshops are great! Very relaxing, well organised and most of all tremendous FUN. I was amazed to meet people from so many different countries: Germany, France and South Africa. I have learned a great deal of valuable information from the EEL sessions. Looking forward to returning next year! T. Verneels

Dear Margaretha, I must thank you for the wonderful workshop. It has really helped me both in my professional and private life. Thank you again for all the hard work you put into making it such a memorable event. And a big thank you also to Beau and Belle – with my horse phobia I never dreamt that I would one day feel the irresistible need to hug such an imposing horse as Belle. Alicia Paturas

Your Accommodation

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Les Sources Sacrées is a location with a history – the 6 natural springs feeding our 2 acre/1 hectare lake are reputed to have healing properties. Pilgrims on the St Jacques de Compostelle pilgrim’s route have been making a detour here for centuries, to “take the waters” and pray in the adjacent chapel.

The farm, deep in the heart of Gascony, 90 minutes’ drive southeast of Bordeaux, is located on 20 acres of lush, green meadows and is surrounded by vineyards, woods, orchards and sunflower fields. Secluded but not isolated, this 200-year-old farmhouse is 3km from a typical local village. Here,  you can lie back in a sun lounger on the deck by the lake, or swing in a hammock under the oak trees, or sit in a deckchair in the potager with a pot of Redbush tea or take pictures of Les Source Sacrées’ gorgeous Friesian horses…but more about that later.

 Les Sources Sacrées has everything you need to relax completely and fully recharge your batteries.

 

Your Meals

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We believe in feeding the body as well as the mind – while you are finding out how to make the changes you want to make in your life, you will be indulging in the best food and wine that our region has to offer: freshly baked, crunchy French bread, wildflower-flavoured honey, jam made from the fruit grown in our orchard, vegetables just-picked in our potager and  pure, fresh spring water…you will also be introduced to the famous gastronomy of Gascony:  paella, confit de canard, couscous Gascon and Tarte Tatin à l’Armagnac and have the opportunity to discover  the excellent wines of our region.

The Workshop Leaders

Prepare yourself for a big surprise.

Your workshop leader is yours truly and my assistants: six well-trained and well-behaved horses are going to help you put everything you learn about mindfulness and meditation into practice.

Why would you want to attend one of MY workshops? 

  • Because I understand what you are going through. I have been there. I remember what it felt like to be tired all the time. I am familiar with the indecision, the fear of change, the uncertainty about the future.
  • Because I am personally and professionally well-qualified to help you. I am a retired medical doctor with many years of experience helping patients manage stress. I can help you cope with stress whether you want to change your job or not.
  • I have more than 10 years’ experience of presenting personal empowerment workshops. I know how to help participants maximise their potential and create the lives they have always dreamed of living.
  • I am an acknowledged expert in my field. Articles about my work have appeared in Horse and Rider magazine, in Chronicles of the Horse and in the Guardian newspaper (UK). I am a published author with 5 books under my belt. I have a list of testimonials (see above)and endorsements as long as my arm from people who have benefited from my help.

If you are ready to make changes, but you do not feel confident /smart /inspired /motivated /supported /attractive enough, you may want to try an optional equine-assisted experiential learning (EEL) session. EEL will help you:

  • free yourself from immobilising fear and dramatically increase your self-confidence,
  • discover simple techniques to easily and effectively deal with stressful situations
  • communicate more efficiently and with more assertiveness,
  • find out how to accept and appreciate yourself,
  • strengthen and deepen relationships at work and at home,
  • eradicate limiting beliefs and replace them with empowering beliefs that inspire you,
  • develop more successful problem-solving skills,
  • thrive on changes and challenges and
  • gain a solid understanding of who you are now.

These sessions are optional and not included in the price of the holiday.

Intrigued? Contact us now on welcome2gascony{at}gmail.com

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What is included in this workshop:

  • Comfortable accommodation in a private wing of an 18th century, half-timbered, authentic Landaise farmhouse in single or twin bedrooms with shared bathrooms.
  • Delicious breakfasts served al fresco under the 200+-year-old oak tree in the front courtyard.
  • Delightful picnic lunches: a basket full of local delicacies for you to enjoy on your own or in company anywhere on the farm: there are several seating areas scattered around the house, in the woods, next to the paddocks, by the lake and on the island in the lake.
  • Scrumptious dinners  featuring the irresistible food and outstanding wine of our region, including a farewell dinner on your last night
  • Tea and coffee making facilities available 24/7 in the kitchen of the private wing and the fridge is always stocked with a few bottles of ice-cold spring water.
  • Transport during the wine tour/village market visit/Camino walk.
  • Meditation sessions based on a variety of meditation techniques – walking, writing and working meditation – as well as equine-guided meditation.
  • Free Wifi.

What is NOT included:

  • Transport costs to local airports and train stations – there are 5 international airports less than 2 hours drive from Les Sources Sacrées
  • Transport from local airports and train stations to the farm
  • Personal Health Insurance and/or Travel Insurance (we highly recommend insurance cover in case you need to cancel)
  • Dinner on your day off (7-day workshops)
  • Your Equine-assisted Experiential Learning sessions. A session costs 40 euro and lasts 30-60 minutes.

dr_margaretha_montagu_v3The workshop is the practical part of the book Mindfulness and Meditation in the south of France, written by Dr Montagu as a workbook to accompany her workshops. Each participant receives a free e-book copy 2 weeks before the start of the workshop. The book also functions as support for participants once the workshop is over, with several links to useful articles, websites, TED talks, Facebook groups, guided meditations etc.

8x

To make 100% sure you benefit from this retreat, there is still MORE.

  • You will have the opportunity to book a VIP day (intensive individual coaching day) before or after the workshop,
  • You will be able to subscribe to a 3/6/12 month manage-your-mindset coaching program, offering continuing support after the workshop to help you implement the changes you have decided to make,
  • To facilitate transport arrangements, or to explore the region, you are welcome to arrive a day or two early or leave a day or two after the workshop – we also offer additional accommodation on a day-to-day basis, but only to our workshop guests,
  • Non-participating partners are very welcome, there is a lot for them to discover and do in the immediate vicinity.

By coming to a workshop here, you will be contributing to the well-being of the local community because we believe in sustainable tourism. We believe that we have a sacred duty to preserve the farm, the land, the lake and the springs for future generations, so we do everything we can to make as small a footprint on our land as we can, including limiting the number of guests we receive per year.

Only a limited number of participants can attend an Equine-guided Personal Empowerment Workshop at Les Sources Sactrées every year.

To ensure everyone gets individual, quality attention and the time to ask questions, we limit our groups to 10 guests – which means you will need to reserve early to be one of the fortunate guests who come to Les Sources Sacrées this year.

Ready to make a reservation? Contact us on welcome2gascony{at}gmail.com or fill in the form in the middle of the page.

escape-from-the-rat-race

Guided Personal and Professional Growth – Reformed MD, assisted by six talented Horses, hosts Stress Management Mindfulness Meditation Workshops in the south of France

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