Nihi Sumba is offering equine wellness programs, from horse yoga to equine sound baths

Nihi Sumba, Indonesian hotel

Nihi Sumba has decided to make horses the stars of its spa

Nihi Sumba is launching a new equine wellness programme this spring that will see it become the first hotel in the world to have horses on-site at the spa 24/7 for therapy and wellness use.

The idea of equine-assisted therapy is not new, of course: The Greeks documented the horse’s therapeutic value way back in 600 B.C., in fact. But NIHI has designed four distinct programmes that will allow travellers to connect with the magnificent animals in new ways, from horse yoga to equine sound baths.

woman resting her head on a horse at Nihi Sumba
The Equi-Wellness programme lets you connect with the hotel’s horses. Photo by Nihi Sumba

Created by horse whisperer Carol Sharpe, the five-day Equi-Wellness program gives guests a chance to connect with the hotel’s horses by exploring elements of the equine language. Each of the daily sessions will focus on a specific aspect of the horse and human sensory system to help build a connection between you and the Nihi herd. The Equi-Tuned session, for instance, combines the use of horses, sound, and meditation to amplify healing.

Conversely, the Kudaguru retreat with instructor Ashleigh Sanderson is focused on exploring biomechanics. Over either three or seven days, guests will have the opportunity to become more attuned to their body and that of their horse by looking at muscular intricacies and physicality.

training area for horses at Nihi Sumba
The equine spa days include liberty training. Photo by Nihi Sumba

In addition, the five-day Equine Therapy Retreat with Professor Andreas Liefooghe gives guests the tools to enact change in their lives. By interacting with the horses, guests will learn to build trust, assert boundaries, and embrace vulnerability.

Connecting with horses uncovers something deep inside ourselves—something that might take many years of talking therapy to unlock,” Liefooghe said in a statement. “They hold a mirror up and show us what is really going on.”

Finally, the five-day Ride and Recharge programme allows riders to explore the nearby mountains and neighbouring islands by horseback. In addition to a good stint in the saddle, the experience includes an equine spa day with liberty training, a tailored massage, and a cliff-top breakfast. The activities are said to bring relaxation and mental clarity.

guests riding horses at Nihi Sumba
The Ride and Recharge allows riders to explore the island. Photo by Nihi Sumba

It’s not just horses, either. The spa’s new Wild Wellness programme includes other unconventional experiences and treatments, such as underwater meditation and a detox using rare jungle plants. All are designed to help guests embrace their wild side in the depths of the Indonesian wilderness.

Beyond the spa, the remote island retreat is home to more than 27 elegant villas with breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean and Nihiwatu Beach. It also features an open-air restaurant serving a la carte breakfast and dinner, a Japanese joint slinging a seven-course omakase, and a relaxed beach club and pool the Spa Safari Nihioka.

Villas at NIHI Sumba start from US$1,075 per night on a full board basis (excluding alcohol). Giddy up, folks.

This story was first published on Robb Report USA