Connected Horse Project | Focus on Health | KVIE Digital Studios

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♪♪ Charlotte: I think
about umm the galloping. I mean life is like that. You know, up and down and
riding around, fast, slow. It’s just a lot of
movement, but that’s how I associate a horse. ♪♪ Nancy: We want to help the
person with the diagnosis, but we also want to help the
person who is there care partner on this journey. Most of the research is
done separated the two. And we wanted to
bring them together. Paula C: As a caregiver, you
have a challenge to balance your life between the needs
of those that you’re caring for, yourself, and for me
personally I’m working. So, coming to the program,
what I get from it, is a chance to let everything
just go to the side and to be here and have an
experience with my dad. Paula H: There’s the whole
body of knowledge about how horses and humans
work together. So, the Connected Horse
Project has taken that knowledge of horses working
in a therapeutic way with children, or with trauma, or
with disabilities, and has taken it into the research
to say how can we do this with the population
that we’re serving. Carolyn: The ability to
connect with my husband like I hadn’t been
able to do before. Umm learned a lot more about
compassion and acceptance of his disease and it was
something that we could do together because cognitively
he was declining, and this was something we
could do together. And it was just a
really good experience. ♪♪ Sarah: There are over 6
million people in the United States affected with
Alzheimer’s disease, so it’s a really big problem. And as yet, we really don’t
have a good treatment. You know the disease really
impacts the roles that each of the people play and
impacts their relationships and so I think a part of the
goal of the program is to kind of facilitate
that communication. ♪♪ Carrie: Most of them have
been donated for various reasons. Lameness, things that
make them unsuitable for performance, and then we
actually take them as teaching horses. Paula C: What’s amazing to
me is the volumes that you can learn from horses
and they don’t speak our language. Carrie: The really cool
thing about horses is there is this interaction
that you have with them. They read people. They have this amazing
ability to know if you’re nervous or if you’re
confident or where you stand, and they
reflect that. They’re really social
animals, and that human-animal bond with
horses is really profound. Paula H: People come in with
these very strong roles of – I’m a care partner,
I’m a person that has mild-cognitive impairment,
and quickly, like within minutes, when they meet the
horses, those roles just go away because the
horses don’t care. Nancy: We see them just
activate their relationship and start their bucket list
and do things together. They realize they don’t have
to take the diagnosis and go in the corner. They really can fight and be
a participant in their own life and enjoy life again. Charlotte: I feel like, I
want to always share it with others who are being
impacted by situations that they can’t handle. I want to make sure that
they know that you’re not alone, and that there’s
hope, there’s help, and this program helps to put you
in that state of mind. Paula C: We have some
wonderful memories… that I’ll always cherish. This digital short is
supported by UC Davis Health. Home to the number one
ranked medical center in Sacramento by US News
and World Report. Learn more about their
doctors and their passion for advancing health
at health.ucdavis.edu.

 

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