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Our Team

Our dedicated team of volunteers, board members, and co-founders make Connected Horse’s innovative equine-assisted workshops and training possible. Meet the team behind Connected Horse.

Our Founders

Founders Nancy Schier Anzelmo, MSG, and Paula Hertel, MSW are lifelong equestrians and experts in aging and elder care. They developed Connected Horse based on their theory that guided interactions with horses could strengthen primary social bonds and activate social engagement for people with dementia and their care partners. In collaboration with researchers at University of California, Davis School of Medicine, Alzheimer’s Disease Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, the Center for Equine Health, and the Stanford University School of Medicine, and Red Barn Leadership Program they assessed the promise of the workshops. Paula and Nancy continue to innovate and expand the beneficial reach of Connected Horse through Connected Horse At-Home programing and the Training Institute.

Read More About the Research
Connected Horse Co-Founders, Paula Hertel & Nancy Schier Anzelmo

Board of Directors

Our active volunteer Board of Directors represents an array of expertise from leading voices in geriatric medicine and elder housing to pioneering equine research and care.

Paula Hertel, MSW

Nancy Schier Anzelmo,MSG
Treasurer/Educational Director

Elizabeth Landsverk, MD
Board Member, Medical Director

Claudia Sonder, DVM
Board Member, Equine Specialist

Elke Tekin
Board Member, Outreach

Our Herd

Our passionate volunteer leadership team helps deliver life-changing programing from the heart.

Bart Atkinson
Facilitator Mentorship

Judy Vared
Outreach and Education

Isabel Soloaga
Home-based Program Outreach

Shirley Kaminsky
Lassos with Love Chair

Maggie Mead
Volunteer Facilitator

Melinda Gonzalez
Volunteer Facilitator

Valerie Naverez
Outreach and Volunteer Support

Linda Bloomfield, Horse Handler

Linda Bloomfield
Horse Handler

Horses’ innate abilities to understand their environment, support their herd, and provide nonjudgmental responses and feedback allow for a rich learning and healing environment. Combining working with horses with workshop exercises such as mindfulness leads to a therapeutic result, including reducing feelings of depression and anxiety, strengthening coping skills and reducing isolation.

Michael Splaine, MACEO Cognitive Solutions

Connected Horse Certified Barns

Our evidence-driven workshops are available at a growing number of facilities that have been trained and certified to offer Connected Horse life-affirming workshops.

One of the horses at Xenophon Therapeutic Riding Center - a Connected Horse Certified Barn

Xenophon Therapeutic Riding Center
Orinda, CA

Five Star Equestrian, a Connected Horse Certified Barn in Pleasanton, CA

Five Star Equestrian Center
Pleasanton, CA

Sunrise Horse Rescue in Sonoma, CA - one of the Connected Horse Certified Barns

Sunrise Horse Rescue
Sonoma, CA

Meet Tonka, one of the crew at Kids N Horses in Minden, NV - a Connected Horse Certified Barn

Kids and Horses
Minden, NV

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