Started in 2015, Connected Horse was founded to offer opportunities and understanding of human-animal connections for people living with early stage dementia and their care partners. It focuses on pioneering equine-guided workshops to fulfill its mission. It is also actively involved in research, working with the University of California, Davis School of Medicine, Alzheimer’s Disease Center and the School of Veterinary Medicine, Center for Equine Health to study the effects of its equine-guided activities to further understand and develop programs that benefit everyone involved.
Why? Every 65 seconds someone in the United States develops dementia. This disease touches all of us. Until there is a cure we need more programs that support people living with dementia and their care partners. The interest in the therapeutic effects of Human-Animal Interaction is gaining momentum as programs such as ours see positive outcomes with a variety of populations.
The Connected Horse workshops provide the opportunity for people living with early stage dementia and their care partners to be together as they experience non-riding activities with horses. The power of the human-horse connection helps participants not only feel relaxed, confident, and happy in the moment, they also learn about self compassion, stress reduction strategies and communication and awareness practices.
Through our Equine Guided Support Pilot Study, conducted in partnership with UC Davis and Stanford University, we have measured the effectiveness of equine-guided workshops on stress reduction and quality of life indicators for people with early stage dementia and their care partners. We will continue our research to further understand the many benefits of our innovative program. We learned a lot during our research projects. We are grateful for the participants, donors, sponsors and volunteers who helped us complete the workshops.