Connected Horse Project Kicks off 2018 with New Workshops in Collaboration with Xenophon Therapeutic Riding Center

Friday, January 26th, 2018

Equine Assisted Workshops offered for those Experiencing Memory Loss

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ROCKLIN, CA (January 26, 2018) The Connected Horse Project offers pioneering equine-assisted workshops for people living with early stage dementia. It is kicking off 2018 by partnering with Xenophon Therapeutic Riding Center to offer two new four-week workshop sessions.  The workshops are based on the success and popularity of a pilot program conducted in fall 2017 with Xenophon.

Mari Parino, Xenophon’s Executive Director knew that Xenophon staff and board of directors would support this program because of their long-standing commitment to serve the community when there is a need. She stated “We knew from friends and family members that there was a real need for equine assisted activities focused on supporting people with dementia in our community. Implementing the Connected Horse program seemed like a natural next step for our center”.  It is proving once again that horses offer therapeutic opportunities for all age groups and physical and cognitive abilities.

The workshops follow evidenced based curriculum developed during research conducted in joint studies between UC Davis School of Medicine, UC Davis Center for Equine Health, and Connected Horse as well as from data gained through preceding workshops completed in conjunction with Stanford University’s School of Medicine and the Stanford Red Barn Leadership program. The studies explored how guided work with horses might improve the lives of people with dementia as well as their care partners.

The workshops will replicate the program utilized in the studies, which has garnered promising initial research results. Virtually all the workshops participant assessment scores measured significantly higher in perceived social support and better sleep quality. They also showed decreases in negative behaviors, anxiety and depression in participants.

Workshop Participant Details

WHO: Volunteers with a diagnosis of early stage dementia and their primary care partners

WHAT: Two Four-Week Workshop Sessions

WHEN:  Session One: Wednesday 9:30 am-12 noon March 14, 21, 28 and April 4

Session Two: Wednesday 9:30 am-12 noon April 18, 21, May 2 and May 9

WHERE: Xenophon Therapeutic Riding Center, 60 Don Gabriel Way, Orinda, CA 94563

To participate, individuals must be ambulatory, have the physical stamina for outdoor activities at the barn and be willing and able to participate in group discussions. The workshops consists of a total of 15 hours broken down as follows:

  • 1-hour initial phone interview
  • 2-hour barn tour and pre-workshop survey
  • Two 5-hour workshops with the horses
  • 1-hour post-program phone interview and survey

Participants do not ride the horses; they engage with them from the ground. There is no cost to participants although donations are being accepted.

Those interested in participating in the workshop should call Xenophon at 925 377 0871 or visit either or for more information.

Xenophon Therapeutic Riding Center is a non-profit 501(c)3 registered charity, offering Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies, Therapeutic Riding and Hippotherapy.

Connected Horse Founders Nancy Schier Anzelmo, MSG, and Paula Hertel, MSW, are widely respected consultants to the senior living industry. For over 25 years, each has staunchly advocated for and helped implement quality person-centered operations and dementia care programs in senior living communities.

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About Connected Horse Project

The Connected Horse offers human-animal connection and engagement programs, tools and products that encourage and support individuals living with dementia diagnoses, care partners and professionals. It is focused on offering equine assisted workshops that support people affected by dementia. The 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, confidant and happy in the moment, they also learn about self compassion, stress reduction strategies and communication and awareness practices. To learn more about Connected Horse Project visit

About Xenophon Therapeutic Riding Center

Xenophon Therapeutic Riding Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization located in Orinda, CA that provides equine assisted activities, therapies, therapeutic horseback riding, hippotherapy and related activities to participants including children with mental and physical disabilities, adults, older adults affected by dementia and veterans. In a beautiful rural setting, it offers life-changing experiences. Focusing on enhancing each participant’s unique abilities and using the motion of the horse to improve specific skills, participants achieve goals that they never dreamed possible. With a horse as their guide, they gain self-esteem, confidence, hope, and other skills. All of this takes place in a friendly, supportive atmosphere where participants can make great strides, not only with horses, but also in the world outside the arena.  To learn more about Xenophon visit


Media Contact:

Stacia Kirby, 206-363-1492