Perrynell used to be an avid rider, but hasn’t sat astride a horse since before her daughter Khrys was born forty-some-odd years ago. “I saw a video on equine therapy for individuals with dementia and I thought – I’ve got to do this for my mom!” said Khrys when she contacted Adventures to set up the experience.
At 73, Perynell’s physical ability is outstanding and Khrys said that she knew the ride would delight her beyond words. But, Perrynell had plenty of words (and songs) for Pumpkin as she rode through the fields at the farm on Monday. She suggested, with a sly smile, that Pumpkin might like coming home to Pittsburgh with her, that she had some room in the back yard where she would get lots of love daily. We assured both Perrynell and Khrys that Pumpkin gets plenty of love on the farm and will be here anytime they’d like to ride again.
In addition to the viral video Khrys shared, which, despite being in a foreign language, speaks directly to viewers hearts of the benefits equine therapy has for dementia patients, a recent collaborative study performed by Ohio State University, an equine therapy center in Blacklick, Ohio, and a Columbus adult daycare center revealed significant mental and physical health benefits for this population. According to the study, involvement in feeding, grooming and walking horses led to an elevated mood in patients that apparently lasted all day and patients who had visited and cared for the horses were less likely to become agitated or resist care for hours after the visit. “Participants – even those who were normally very withdrawn — became fully engaged in the experience, talking and even laughing. Even more tellingly, clients became more physically active, with some asking for help in leaving their wheelchairs, then walking unassisted. Researchers noted that improvements became more pronounced with each visit to the equine center. Relatives noted the improvement as well, commenting that equine study participants remembered their positive experience at the equine center, and were eager to communicate about it.”
We were thrilled to be a part of Peryynell and Khrys’ excursion Monday and we promise to keep these kinds of positive experiences happening. “It was great for those two ladies”, said Assistant Adventures Director Carrie Moll, “and it was also the highlight of my day!”
Glade Run Adventures provides personalized experiences in nature, including horseback riding lessons, guided trail rides, animal care classes, gardening classes, farm to table cooking experiences and nature themed arts and crafts. These activities are prefect for families, school groups, home schoolers, girl and boy scout troops, youth groups and parties.
Glade Run Adventures is conveniently located north of Pittsburgh in Zelienople, just minutes from route 79 and Cranberry Township.