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Hill City, South Dakota

July 23 - 28, 2023

We're going on a journey of self-discovery in the magical hills of South Dakota. Join us for an adventure where horses guide us to finding the hero within. 


A Hero's Journey

This retreat is a journey of self-discovery. And in true Beyond the Horse fashion, we will stand shoulder to shoulder and heart to heart alongside horses as we take an adventure to find our authentic selves. Unlike my Badlands Cowgirl's Retreat, this retreat is for horsewomen and non-horsewomen alike. The only horse requirement is that you come with an open heart that is ready to be guided by the most beautiful beings on the planet: our equine companions of course. This group of like-minded, connected women will come together to take a journey to the Black Hills of South Dakota and return home with gifts beyond measure.

We all know that life is full of ups and downs. There is joy and there is pain. There is ease and there is downright struggle. Throughout our lives there are lightening strike moments that happen with or without our permission or consent that often leave us with lasting negative impacts. The aftermath of life's negative moments can build resilience AND it can also create defenses within us that negatively impact us. We carry our life's story of events, along with the residual negative side affects, upon our shoulders, hearts and minds. The side affects of the negative parts of life can leave us feeling inferior, alone, misunderstood and inauthentic. We all have road blocks keeping us from showing up as our authentic selves in our lives. A Hero's Journey Retreat is designed to help us move away from the negative and take off some of our armor. We than can move toward joy, ease, grace, abundance, connectedness, wholeness, peacefulness and happiness.

The horses will accompany us as we take a journey in self-discovery and will guide us to awareness, self-appreciation and respect AND SO MUCH MORE! Along the way, we will gather tools for repairing the parts of us that created negative defenses in our past as well as learn applicable strategies for our future to feel better, communicate better, and be more of who we authentically are and long to be. We will experience and learn things along this journey that our past selves were begging for and our future selves will be so grateful to have in their toolbelts.


What would your past or younger self have given to feel unstoppable, loveable, worthy and full of empowered ability? Mine would have given anything. And now I'm so grateful to be able to share these gifts with you!

This retreat is more than just a vacation to the Black Hills. It's more than camping and campfires under the stars. It's more than smores and sunburns. It's more than hiking or horseback riding. It's more than shopping and side-by-side rentals. This retreat is an opportunity for you to dig deep and start your journey towards living your most authentic life! This retreat offers you a ticket to a journey towards becoming your best self. And girl, she wants nothing more than for you to take the time to do your work to heal and grow and shift and show the F up in this one wild and precious life you have.

This retreat is an investment in your future. An investment in your life! It is meant to be a gift to your future self. It's the best chance you can give yourself to actually show up for the life you want to live.



The Black Hills & Accommodations


We will stay at the Willow Creek Campground near Hill City, SD. Willow Creek is close to Mount Rushmore National Monument and is near the Black Elk Wilderness Area of the Black Hills National Forest and yet has the feel of total serenity and seclusion. 

Directly from the campground, hikers and horseback riders can access a network of trails into the backcountry including Black Elk Peak (formerly Harney Peak).  At 7,242 feet above sea level, Black Elk Peak is the highest point in the United States east of the Rockies.  From a historic lookout tower on the summit, one has a panoramic view of parts of South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Montana, as well as the granite formations and cliffs of the Black Elk Wilderness. The campground is a short distance from Hill City, SD and countless area attractions.

>>> BYOC (Bring your own CAMPER) or tent <<<

Accommodations are private and primitive. There are NO POWER hookups of any kind. This retreat is designed for the adventurous women who finds peace, joy and contentment in the wild outdoors.


There are vault toilets in the campground. Sorry babe, no showers or soaking tubs available at Willow Creek. While we disconnect, we WILL CONNECT with our inner guides and authentic selves. Seems like a good trade to me. Generators are permitted and can be utilized during the camp's designated hours. 

We will experience the method of A Hero's Journey workshop in the mornings as a connected group and participation is required for those joining me in South Dakota.


The afternoons are for you to design, this is YOUR retreat! Maybe you will gather together with the other women who brought along their horses and experience the marked trails surrounding the campgrounds. Maybe you'll go shopping or thrifting at the many options nearby or even travel to Rapid City. Maybe you are coming without a horse but still want to ride, you're in luck...there are horses available to rent for guided trail rides directly across the road from our campground at Pulmer Gulch. There are so many attractions within minutes of our campsite that you'll never fit it all in! And maybe, just maybe you will finally take the time to lounge in a reclining chair and read that novel you've always wanted or simply give yourself the gift of purely BEING and not DOING.

Space is VERY LIMITED. I am only taking 6 women along with me on this adventure.


I desire to have like-minded women experience this life shifting journey with me. I want you to join me if you are ready to dig deep and learn about yourself. If you need to learn how to do real self care and are looking for a step by step guide to take the guess work out of how to achieve that, this is your retreat. If you are stuck and no longer want to be, this retreat is for you. If you are in a need of a big dose of self-empowerment, this retreat is for you. If you know that getting away to the Black Hills is your chance to unplug and really take the time to learn ways to grow and heal and shift and be the best damn version of you there is, this retreat is for you.

If you only want to shop or trail ride and do your own thing, half ass show up and be less than fully invested in this process...I'm sorry darlin' this retreat isn't right for you at this time.

If, and only if, you've read everything above and this is speaking directly to your heart and you can feel yourself being pulled toward this journey, below are the nitty gritty details you'll need to know:

I'll be inviting 6 women to join me. 

You have the option to bring a horse if you'd like. However, unlike my Medora Retreats, there are no guided trail rides on this retreat. You will have access to hundreds of miles of beautifully marked trails to explore. The trails are as easy or as complicated as you desire. There is direct trail access from our campground.

I have 5 horse sites available. Each site has a graveled pad for back in trailer parking and 1 round pen corral. There is room for 2-3 horses in each pen, however, they will share it. So if you and a friend want to come and stay in your trailer, you will have 1 trailer parking spot and one round pen to share. 

I also have 3 camp sites available for those without horses. They are beautiful and spacious enough for RVs or tents.

Most women come to my retreats solo. Some come with one other friend. The choice is yours. However, do not be afraid to come on this journey solo. This experience is FOR YOU. I will share the list of retreat goers 60 days in advance of our trip so that you may plan travel and maybe meals or adventures together with the other ladies attending.


Horse Pens at Willow Creek 


Investment in YOU

This retreat offers you an opportunity to make an investment in your future self. This investment impacts your happiness, joy, awareness, self worth and so much more. This investment is truly for you and is only available to you if you choose it. You have an opportunity to give yourself what you need. And that opportunity just so happens to be an amazing retreat in a beautiful location.

Your retreat spot in the A Hero's Journey South Dakota includes:

A shared meal your first evening, trailer/camper/tent parking and horse lodging (if you bring one). Remember, there are no guided horseback rides included in this retreat. Your afternoons will be flexible and for you to enjoy at your hearts' content. Travel to and from the retreat is on your own as well as food and beverages beyond the first evening.

Our retreats fill EXTREMELY quickly, I encourage you to apply today.


This retreat is open to women only, 21+


A Hero's Journey South Dakota

Sunday, July 23 - Friday, July 28th 2023

Tentative Schedule: 

Sunday: Check into Willow Creek Campground 2-3 pm

Retreat officially begins 5:00 pm 

7:30 Dinner on Anna

Monday: 9 -12 Group Workshop/Circle

12:00 Choose your adventure: Ride/Hike/Shop/Explore

Sunset: Social and campfire  

Tuesday:  9 -12 Group Workshop/Circle

12:00 Choose your adventure: Ride/Hike/Shop/Explore

Sunset: Social and campfire  

Wednesday: 9-12 Group Workshop/Circle

12:00 Choose your adventure: Ride/Hike/Shop/Explore

Sunset: Social and campfire  

Thursday: Day of Play! 

Hike or ride to Black Elk Peak? Trailer to Custer? Sleep in? Swim in the Creek?

Area attractions are endless. 

Friday: 9-12 Closing Circle 

Clean up campsites & Depart 

Investment in your future self: $875

$100 donation from each reservation to Lauren's Legacy, see below

Terms: Retreats are non-refundable unless your space can be filled. If Anna can fill your reservation space, your payment will be returned less a 50% rebooking fee. There are no refunds for cancellations 60 days or less prior to the retreat start date.


Need a customized payment plan? I'd love to work with you. Shoot me an email and we'll set it up.

Shine up your boots, pack your bags and get ready for the trip of a lifetime! All details will be emailed including packing suggestions and guest list 60 days prior to retreat. Retreat goers will secure their own transportation to and from the location.



Lauren Munger (with Smokey Lonesome), Creator of A Hero's Journey with Horses

 Lauren was a professional in the field of psychology and healing for most of her life. She had a private practice working with children and adults for decades. She was the founder and creator of A Hero’s Journey self-esteem workshops which she owned and operated in Boulder, Colorado throughout the eighties and nineties. Lauren was also a colleague of mine, a certified practitioner in the Equine Gestalt Method of coaching. 

When Lauren became unable to continue to personally work with client and her beloved horses, Lauren's Legacy was devised and established by a cohort of Gestalt Coaching Method practitioners who desired to continue to share her amazing work. She created A Hero's Journey with Horses in the 1980's and touched thousands of lives. I was lucky enough to be trained in her method and am honored to share it with those who I can. Lauren's method pairs wonderfully with the Gestalt Coaching method that I practice at Beyond the Horse. 

Lauren passed away in the fall of 2022, I feel beyond honored to continue her life's work.

A portion of all proceeds from A Hero's Journey trainings offered through Beyond the Horse will be donated to Lauren's Legacy to support her family and gifting her work to those in need.

The donation feels small in comparison to the amazing gift that Lauren has shared with the world.

Lauren's Legacy will be managed through Pegasus Bridge to Wellness. The mission of Pegasus Bridge is to provide equine-partnered coaching and facilities to guide at-risk and under-served populations toward greater self-awareness by empowering them through experiential insight. Please visit the website to learn more and to donate if your heart chooses to do so.


"Enlightening, inspirational, and exciting. I has been complete soul food!"

— Kim B.

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