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Melinda Starr

Starr Horse Retreats, LLC., is a venue provider in two ideal settings: Starr Horse Retreats and Arenas (SHRA) located east of Lake Tahoe in the verdant Carson Valley, and our river ranch on the East Walker River10 miles south of Yerington, Nevada. Both properties host retreats, training, and education.

30-Day Residential Certification Retreats

Starr Horse Retreats offers a Positive Reinforcement Horse Training Certification through our 4-week residential training program in Minden, Nevada.

Positive reinforcement training (R+) is an ethical approach to training horses that replaces the traditional methods of using fear and pain to get a horse to do what you want, with a reward-based approach that motivates the horse to want to do what you want.

This program combines the knowledge and application for honoring horses and healing humans into one program. The course dives into science-based, holistic horsemanship training with our Whole Horse, Whole Human program. 

The Whole Horse-Whole Human program is a unique endeavor that covers natural horse care, Least Intrusive, Minimally Aversive (LIMA)  principled horse handling and care, R+ focused training, and lesson instruction, as well as the mental, emotional, and practical skills needed to productively work with horses, work with people, and launch and maintain a business.


Melinda Starr


Melinda Starr, owner and founder of Starr Horse Retreats, is dedicated to equine-assisted healing and education using positive reinforcement (R+) ridership techniques. She works in stewardship with the horses advocating for their needs and care and works with humans through the horses.  

"I grew up in rural Illinois where we rode barefoot and bareback all over the rural roads and into small towns. That is a different culture than equestrian barns common for competitive sports. I've heard many stories from kids who grew up around traditional barns and were told to whip the horses harder, show them who is boss, use their spurs, etc. It breaks the hearts of the young riders as well as the horse. So, we aim to show people that there is a different way to be with horses. Whether you want to interact for training, riding, healing, or stewardship, our programs offer a higher consciousness way of connecting with horses."


Melinda opens a safe container with the horses to help people heal genetic memories of trauma and fear encoded deep in their ancestral history. She is driven to build a new paradigm that honors Mother Earth and all of her inhabitants.

Horse Healing Retreats


Our retreats teach holistic healing modalities surrounding mindful living and respect for the planet. We learn about equine behavior and psychology and how those concepts can be applied to our own mental and emotional skills. We are bringing the medicine of nature back to the people. 

At Starr Horse Retreats, we honor the horse spirit. We ask permission for the experience of getting on the backs of any animal and express gratitude for the privilege. We provide a sanctuary to horses that honors their ability to heal and awaken. 


Interested in booking the venue?

Whether you need a location for enlightenment and mind expansion, leadership and productivity training, or a family or social gathering, our creative team can help. We're available to assist with planning, design, catering, and staff. We will work with you to discover new synergies to create a memorable foundation for your spiritual, corporate, or social retreat.

Meet the Horse Teachers


Our teachers and healers are the horses themselves. Our herd of 17 equines came to Starr Horse Retreats to help change the world during this transition of the ages. They honor their role and look forward to working with participants in our Positive Reinforcement Training Certification and Horse Healing Retreats.

Horse Teachers at Starr Horse Retreats


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