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WHATEquine Elders provides equine assisted therapy for older adults and those with dementia.
WHYTo engage, enable and empower older adults and those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
WHERE Equine Elders Center.
Equine Partnership Program. Colorado, USA.

Program Description

“Aging adults experiencing cognitive decline, and their caregivers, participate in hands-on equine assisted activities in our Equine Elders program. Young adults with developmental disabilities benefit from our Equine Assisted Learning program. And individuals and families in our Equine Assisted Psychotherapy program receive mental health therapies. We also give horses no longer suitable for their original purpose a new 'career' by training them to be therapy horses. As such, EPP has embraced an intergenerational model bringing together members of our community young and old, two and four legged, and adopting innovative ways to improve services for all.”

“The intuitive power of equines offers healing and comfort to our senior, Alzheimer’s 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!”

The Equine Elders program helps older adults on their journey toward healing with hands-on equine assisted therapy. 

Therapy sessions are designed to provide older adults with physical activity, memory and speech stimulation, access to a safe, outdoor environment and an emotional connection with an animal. 

Animal-assisted activities may help reduce social isolation and loneliness in the elderly and improve quality of life.

The Equine Elders program consists of unmounted activities for older adults based on the Equine Assisted Learning model (EAL).

Therapeutic activities for seniors include:

  • Exploring and touring the facility and outdoor property. 
  • Observing horses and their personalities - beginning to develop a relationship with the horses. 
  • Using Senses - noticing hair colors, smells, warmth, and sounds.
  • Dancing Horses – closing eyes and feeling the subtle movements of the horse allows participants to be present with the horse and surroundings. 
  • Grooming - learning grooming tools and their purpose, bonding with the horse, dexterity, hand use and arm muscle movements.  
  • Haltering & Leading - catch and walk with your horse. 

​In addition to providing therapy for older adults the Equine Partnership Program also provides a Group Caregiver Respite Retreats giving caregivers of those with dementia and older adults the ​ opportunity to engage in activities with the horses and experience respite from daily demands of caregiving. ​


Aging Programs
Elderly Nursing
Nursing Home Activities
Animal Assisted Therapy and Activities
Pets and Seniors Companionship
Service Dogs for Elderly
Terminally Ill & Their Pets

Find out more about the Equine Elders Program

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