Equine Elders

ENGAGE ~ ENABLE ~ EMPOWER 

 

The intuitive power of equines offers healing and comfort to our senior, Alzheimers and dementia clients. Interacting with horses has a unique way of bringing back life memories that have been forgotten as well as favorably impacting client cognition and mood. 

 

Caregivers have reported that their clients and loved ones are happier and calmer for up to two weeks after each visit. Our program has provided individuals with improved social interaction, self confidence and esteem, motor skills, memory processing and joy! 

 

OUR MISSION 

 

Our goal is to create an engaging environment that helps our clients to feel enabled and bring back a sense of empowerment. Memory loss does not define our clients here. In each session our clients are: 

-Involved in activities to feel valued ​

  1. -Given a choice 

  • -Met with kindness and patience 

  • -Given activities that we do with them, not for them 

  • -Encouraged to try new things 

  • -Engaged in meaningful conversations 

OUR PROGRAM 

 

Our senior program sessions combine a number of unmounted activities based on the Equine Assisted Learning model (EAL). Each session is carefully crafted to provide our clients with physical activity, memory and speech stimulation, access to a safe, outdoor environment and an emotional connection with an animal. 

 

The program is based on studies from Ohio State University, UC Davis and other academic research. We keep up to date on new studies to ensure the best possible experience for our clients. 

https://www.ucdavis.edu/one-health/easing-dementia-with-horses/ 

https://news.osu.edu/news/2014/05/05/caring-for-horses-eases-symptoms-of dementia/

SENIOR PROGRAM ACTIVITIES 

 

Explore the Property 

Meet the staff, tour our facility, meet our horses and choose "your" horse. Purpose: Gauge comfort and energy levels. 

 

Horse Scan 

Observe the horses - what are their personalities and quirks? Purpose: Get to know the client, things they notice, begin to develop a relationship with the horses. 

 

Horse Zones 

Go Zone, Friendship Zone, Whoa Zone. 

Purpose: Learn horse safety and how they communicate with us. 

 

Using Your Senses 

Stand with your horse and notice hair colors, smells, warmth, and sounds. Incorporate the "zones" to develop a relationship. 

Purpose: Develop trust with horse and staff. 

 

Dancing Horses 

Close your eyes and feel the subtle movements of your horse. Purpose: Be present with your horse and surroundings. 

 

Grooming 

Learn grooming tools and their purpose - groom your horse. Purpose: Bond with your horse, dexterity, use hand and arm muscles. 

 

Haltering & Leading 

Catch and walk with your horse. 

Purpose: Patience, being the leader and build confidence. 

 

Herd Dynamics 

How do the horses in our herd communicate with each other? Purpose: Understand the nonverbal communication and body language, self reflection. 

We assist clients on their personal journey toward healing with hands-on equine assisted therapy. 

 

SESSIONS

30-45 minutes 

Held 50 degrees and above 

 

Located in Parker, CO. 

 

Groups 

Memory Care: 2-3 clients per session. Once a week to every other week. Behavioral Issues: 2-6 clients per session. Every other week. 

 

Aides 

Must come with clients. We ask you keep the talking to a minimum. 

 

Clothing 

Closed toed shoes 

Please dress appropriately for the weather

GROUP CAREGIVER RESPITE RETREATS

Everyone needs a break, and our Group Caregiver Retreats offer just that. By creating a safe, fun environment we can focus on self-care, relaxation, and rejuvenation. Whether your loved one is at home, in a care facility or has passed, this retreat is for you. Our retreats will give you the opportunity to work directly with the horses; engaging in activities to disconnect from day-to-day life.

Through a blend of experiential activities, mindfulness and camaraderie with the horses and peers, we will support the healing of the mind, body and spirit as well as offer the perspective to experience deeoper personal awareness. 

This is a non-mounted retreat, all interactions with the horses will be done safely, from the ground. Prior horse experience is not required to participate. 

ENGAGE ~ ENABLE ~ EMPOWER 

Our goal is to create an engaging environment that helps our clients to feel enabled and empowered to return to their caregiving duties refreshed. Our activities will give you the tools to: 

- Work through adjusting expectations

- Adapting to change

- Find opportunities for self-care in daily life

Group Caregiver Respite Retreats are offered twice a month, weather permitted. Please reach for additional program information or to be included on the retreat email list. 

TESTIMONIALS

I really enjoyed our session last Thursday. Millie is my favorite! Hope to do it again. - Karen

I loved the session with Mary Slouka. I can't remember when I was more relaxed and calm! - Anonymous

I did not think about anything except the horse for 2 hours! I was so excited when I had Flower cross the bridge. - Janet

CONTACT

Mary Slouka, CTRI; ES

Equine Elders
Director, Program Development 
720.331.8058
mary@equinetherapyco.org