Renewing Kinship

Renewing Kinship:
Nature’s Path to Self-Discovery

Hosted at J Bar L Ranch, Centennial Valley, MT

August 7th – 12th, 2024

Please feel free to join our retreat interest list to be notified of the new dates

​Renewing Kinship:
Nature’s Path to Self-Discovery

Among my earliest childhood memories are deep, soulful connections with nature. Long before the lyrical beauty of poetry, the scholarship of a public education, or the uniformed mediocrity of domesticated society began their patchwork assemblage of my life, it was the ancient and unwritten language of the natural world that nourished my soul and enshrined me in an interdependent relationship with the living world. 

“The land is the real teacher. All we need as students is mindfulness.” Robin Wall Kimmerer, “Braiding Sweetgrass” (2013)

While genetic inheritance is largely credited for our physical and behavioral characteristics, I believe our deepest identities are more exquisitely shaped by an intimate and reciprocal relationship with the untamed world. We arrive on our living planet not with encyclopedic knowledge of human history, but with the intrinsic wisdom of a more-than-human world. In what ecopsychologist Chellis Glendinning calls the original trauma, in the hours that follow our birth we begin a lifelong separation from what was once a seamless embrace with nature toward a painful breach in our sense of belonging. 

Robin Wall Kimmerer reminds us that “The land knows you, even when you are lost. Paying attention is a form of reciprocity with the living world, receiving the gifts with open eyes and open heart.” That’s what Renewing Kinship aims to do: help us restore connection to ourselves, one another and the natural world through guided explorations of our internal and external landscapes.

Over the last two decades, I’ve been helping people shape a new path towards safe, nourishing relationships that enables them to transform the effects of trauma and discover a sustainable practice of wellbeing. This summer I’m delighted to team up with ecological consultant, educator, and animal tracker Meghan Walla-Murphy as well as wildlife biologists Hilary Zaranek. We have designed a unique, intimate retreat located on a breathtaking 20,000 acre ranch in Centennial Valley, MT. During this 5 night, 4 day immersion experience we will support you in awakening your relationship to nature.   

Through interactive activities with horses, personal coaching, animal tracking, and exploration of Montana’s natural landscape, we’ll look at the way Mother Nature is holding an important road map that guides us back to a state of belonging and true kinship with ourselves, one another and the natural world.

I hope you will join me.

Renewing Kinship


Retreat Benefits

  • Discover the common coping strategies that can prevent you from forming secure, consistent relationships.
  • Apply a new level of self awareness to support the key elements you need for meaningful connection to yourself and others.
  • Discover how Mother Nature thrives in cycles of reciprocity and explore what you may need to engage in healthy relationships of interdependence.
  • As you rest into the rhythms of nature you can uncover new layers of curiosity, compassion, resilience, and a renewed capacity for intimacy.

Come as You Are

No previous horse experience is required. It’s even okay to be afraid of horses. If you feel pulled to attend this workshop, know that Koelle has years of experience gently and safely guiding participants at their personal level of comfort around horses. 

This retreat will include on the ground interactions with horses (no riding) as well as 2 half days of walking the land to engage in the story that nature is offering to us. You will need the physical fitness for hiking on foot through the natural landscape for 2 to 4 hour periods.

Retreat Agenda

Renewing Kinship

Arrival Day

  • 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM | Arrival to J Bar L Ranch, check in, welcome dinner, and introductions
  • 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM | After dinner talk: An introduction to tracking
Renewing Kinship

Day 2

  • 7:30 AM | Morning Mediation (optional)
  • 8:00 AM –  9:00 AM | Group breakfast
  • 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM | Interactive hands-on activities with horses & personal Equus coaching sessions
  • 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM | Group lunch
  • 2:00 PM – 5:30 PM | Equus Coaching -cont.
  • 6:00 PM  –  7:00 PM | Group dinner
Renewing Kinship

Day 3

  • 7:00 AM | Morning Mediation (optional)
  • 7:30 AM –  8:30 AM | Group breakfast
  • 8:30 AM –  9:00 AM | Transport to wilderness area
  • 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM | Exploring the beauty of the Montana landscape while discovering relationships of reciprocity
  • 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM | Lunch
  • 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM | Break for rest
  • 4:30 PM –  6:30 PM | Group Coaching Session
  • 6:30 PM  –  7:30 PM | Group dinner
Renewing Kinship

Day 4

  • 7:00 AM | Morning Mediation (optional)
  • 7:30 AM –  8:30 AM | Group breakfast
  • 8:30 AM –  9:00 AM | Transport to wilderness area
  • 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM | Animal tracking w/ packed lunch on the trail
  • 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM | Transport back to lodge
  • 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM | Break for rest w/ option for individual coaching support
  • 6:30 PM  –  7:30 PM | Group dinner
Renewing Kinship

Day 5

  • 7:30 AM | Morning Mediation (optional)
  • 8:00 AM –  9:00 AM | Group breakfast
  • 9:00 AM –  1:00 PM | Equus coaching activity
  • 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM | Lunch
  • 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM | Nature walk
  • 3:30 PM – 6:00 PM | Break for rest
  • 6:00 PM  –  7:00 PM | Group dinner
  • Retreat concludes
Renewing Kinship


  • 7:30 AM –  8:30 AM | Breakfast
  • 8:30 AM –  9:30 AM | Departure

Program Details & Registration

Retreat Dates: Aug. 7th – Aug. 12th
Please feel free to join our retreat interest list to be notified of the new dates

Retreat pricing includes

  • All activities with horses,
  • In-depth personal coaching with Koelle Simpson,
  • Animal tracking and nature guiding support from Meghan Walla-Murphy, & Hilary Zaranek,
  • 5 nights of lodging at J Bar L Ranch.
  • All meals deliciously prepared during the retreat

Retreat pricing does not include

  • Flights and transportation to J Bar L Ranch. (See below for more travel information.)

Retreat Pricing

  • $6,500 per participant
  • Lodging and meals are included in your retreat fee.
  • Contact Meg Zaranek at J Bar L Ranch with any lodging questions you may have.

Pay In Full

  • One payment of $6,500

Deposit Payment Plan

  • Two Payments of $3,250:
  • 1st Payment of $3,250 will be made when you sign up
  • 2nd Payment of $3,250 will be processed 1 month later

Interested in this Retreat?

Please complete the form below…

Given the nature of the depth of coaching facilitation that takes place during retreats, it is advised that you have worked with Koelle Simpson for a minimum of 3 virtual one on one coaching sessions prior to attending an in person retreat.

Cancellation Policy

Due to the costly, non-refundable nature of reserving venues for various events, and the limited spaces available in workshops and retreats, a cancellation made 60 days or less from the dates of an event is non-refundable. Fifty percent of the event fee will be refunded for a cancellation made between 90 to 61 days prior to a scheduled event. Any cancellation made 91 days prior to a scheduled event is fully refundable minus an administrative processing fee.

Please note that should an issue or challenge arise due to Covid-19 (either with travel restrictions or health matter) we will make every effort to apply your payment as a credit to a future retreat program.


Travel & Accommodation

The closest airport to J Bar L Ranch is the Idaho Falls Regional Airport (IDA). 

  • The drive from the airport to J Bar L takes about two hours. 
  • Part of the drive includes long dirt roads. Renting a car with 4WD is recommended.

The ranch is located in a gorgeous but remote area, thus onsite lodging at the J Bar L Ranch is required. Lodging rates (which include all your nutritious, delicious onsite meals during your stay) are included in your retreat fee.

Extend Your Self-Care Adventure 

You’re encouraged to ask about arriving a day or two early or staying on a day or two after the retreat. On the ranch, you can also enjoy: 

  • Birding and wildlife viewing
  • Sunset strolls and nature walks
  • Mountain biking and hiking
  • Guided hiking and on-site tours with local birders and geologists
  • Wildlife and nature photography
  • Backcountry fishing opportunities
  • Kayaking and canoeing

Also, consider a visit to Yellowstone National Park (a 2.5 hour drive)

If you’d like to extend your stay please contact Meg Zaranek at J Bar L Ranch directly

Meet Your Retreat Facilitators

Renewing Kinship

Koelle Simpson

Koelle Simpson is a life coach focused in the field of trauma, somatic processing, and attachment theory. In 2006, she founded the Koelle Institute for Equus Coaching out of a desire to share the incredible insights horses can offer us on how to heal from trauma. This gave rise to a passionate community of hundreds of certified Equus Coaches who share the lessons we can learn from horses around the globe.

Over the past sixteen years Koelle has continued her quest to team up with Mother Nature in order to guide us back to our essential wisdom, leading retreats with horses, whales, bears, and all of the wild kin who call the Africa bush-veld home – most especially elephants. Her work has been featured in O Magazine, BBC Business Report, the National Journal, the OWN Network as well as the TEDx stage.

Today, Koelle lives in Colorado supporting clients and leading intimate retreats guided by the wisdom of animals. She sees herself as a humble student of life and marvels at the magic and resilience of the human spirit.

Meghan Walla-Murphy

Meghan Walla-Murphy grew up roaming the Santa Monica Mountains in Los Angeles County. This landscape’s dry ruggedness and abundant biodiversity deeply shaped Meghan’s ethic of Respect for both ecology and human communities. She learned  the destructive impact of humanity, but also how humans can be an integral part of a healthy eco-system.

With great fortune, Meghan has been able to combine her passions for animal tracking, writing and people into vocations of habitat conservation and public awareness. As an Educator, Ecological Consultant and Writer of books, essays and articles, Meghan strives to help people connect to their external and internal landscapes.

Renewing Kinship
Renewing Kinship

Hilary Zaranek

Details coming soon.

What Clients Say

“The location was beyond beautiful, the ranch, our daily work, the coaching, the animals, the food, the whole experience = 10/10 for me. Being able to circle with such wisdom, love, and support was perfection for me. Since returning from our retreat, I have felt at peace simply being, an absence of getting caught up in stories about what I need to do or what I should do. I have been gentle and centered on what I need. I have allowed myself to rest. I have experienced a great ease and sense of trust in knowing that things will reveal themselves in due time. There is no need for me to push. I can let go. All of this has allowed me to experience a level of contentment that I find rejuvenating and sustaining. Thank you!”


Natalie R.

“I am walking away with a better sense of being in true relationship with others, from humans and ants to field grasses and trees, I have a better grasp on being with what is in this world and not separating myself with others. No one is there for just one thing and everyone in our retreat group really rallied around each other. I learned so much from my fellow participants. Watching someone else do the work not only gave my system time to process, it also allowed me to reflect from a different point of view. The participation and willingness of everyone to engage in a personal and vulnerable way gave us all a strong sense of community. My least favorite part of the retreat, and probably the most important part of any personal development experience, was going home . . . and knowing the practice of implementing the insights I gained now lay ahead.”


Rob J.

“I discovered more about “I see you” and “We see you ” and having that met by the group and Koelle was very healing . Being in that much open space, Meghan said it best ” there is nowhere to hide, This helped me dive deep into places that needed healing. I was in a lot of fear to leave my home and all my comforts to go on this adventure. I’m really proud of myself that I went and fully participated. I did this because I feel SAFE in the presence of Koelle , Meghan and Patrick.  The chance to work through blocked emotions, the hike’s in nature, working with horses, beautiful people who worked at the ranch, the beautiful place, being surrounded by strong healthy women I admire…. I take it all with me. I need it all!! I will carry this experience with me wherever I go.” 


Michelle B.

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