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Rush Ranch provides a new lease on life

Rush Ranch provides a new lease on life

It wasn’t the sight of the horses that triggered something inside Brent Satterlee’s brain.  It was the smell of manure and earth that started to bring back memories, says his wife, Kristi Satterlee.  “It was like a fog lifted, and he just woke up.” Brent spent 20 years in the US Army as a combat medic, but towards the end of his successful career, the otherwise strong and healthy man started showing signs of early on-set dementia. Kristi and Brent have been good friends for thirty years, but she rarely saw him.  Three years ago, they were reunited at a birthday party for Brent and she was shocked to see how much he had declined due to the disease.  He was dangerously thin and was headed toward assisted living because he could no longer care for himself.  Determined to turn things around, the couple married and Kristi went to work to get him healthy again.  Her strategy included walks in open spaces.  She wasn’t a hiker, so it took some research to discover Lake Herman, Pena Adobe, Lynch Canyon and Rush Ranch. Memories of the land Kristi knew that Brent spent part of his youth on a large ranch in Northern California.  On their first visit to Rush Ranch, Kristi saw something spark in Brent while they were standing in front of the stallion barn.  She talked to Monatte, the Rush Ranch Steward, who told them that Access Adventure has a wounded vet program.  They signed up. Now Brent comes to Rush Ranch twice a week, where with Kristi’s help he feeds the horses, mucks the stalls, and works...