The Connected Horse Project at Stanford

I am involved as the Project Medical Director with a new research project at Stanford University. We are looking for participants and your support!
The Connected Horse Project has launched a pilot research study under the guidance of Stanford University and Stanford University's Red Barn Equine Leadership Program. This groundbreaking pilot project is designed to enable people just beginning the journey of living with Alzheimer's disease or other dementias and their care partners (typically spouses, partners, adult children, friends or relatives) to connect with horses in facilitated interactions. This program is the first of its kind to support people living with early stage dementia diagnoses and their care partners through equine-guided activities focusing on mindfulness, self-awareness, and verbal and nonverbal communication.
Learn more about this exciting research project.

Our program is designed for people living with early stage dementia and their primary care partners. Horses have an innate ability to act as mirrors in their interactions with humans. The experienced facilitators work with participants to see what the horse may be mirroring for individuals and the group. The workshops include activities with the horses and small group discussions that allow individuals and partners to recognize their strengths and their impact on each other and the group. They work with the horses and facilitators to help participants to gain clarity, adjust patterns, define changing roles and to release fear and negativity while learning to be fully present in the moment.

The program is designed as three workshop days including an introduction to the Stanford University Red Barn Leadership equestrian center and two days of working with the horses and trained facilitators. There are additional study requirements for people interested in participating in the pilot research project.

There is no prior experience with horses required for the project. Participants will not be riding horses, they will be engaging with the horses from the ground.

We are looking for people 70 years of age and younger with a diagnosis of early stage dementia and their primary care partners to participate in the pilot workshops.

If you are interested  click here to complete an inquiry card and learn more about the program and eligibility.

Why are we doing this?

To gain understanding of stressors and stress reducers for people living with early stage dementia and their primary care partners. And to gain understanding on how to better support the care partner relationship

What are the logistics?             
Time involved: 1 hour for initial phone interview, 2 hours for barn tour and pre-workshop surveys, two 5-hour workshops with the horses, 2 hours for post-program phone interview and surveys. 15 total hours within a 60- day period.

Location: Stanford Red Barn; 100 Electioneer Rd, Stanford, CA 94305.
When: October and November, 2015
Cost: There is no cost to participate in this program

For more information

Elizabeth A. Landsverk, M.D.
Specialist in Geriatric Medicine