Dr. Edie Dopking, Founder, Quantum Leap Farm

Dr. Edie Dopking–Founder of Quantum Leap Farm, a therapeutic equestrian program based in Odessa, FL–discusses her lifelong love of horses, first getting on a horse at age two and riding throughout her childhood in Kentucky. She also addresses how volunteering at Bakas Equestrian Center–a therapeutic equestrian program in Tampa, devoted to serving children–prompted her to conceive a similar program, but with a focus on serving adults. In particular, veterans suffering from PTSD or other wounds of war. Dopking describes some of the specifics of how their program is geared for those with PTSD and their spouses (and family) based on the At Ease model, that provides “trauma treatment and therapeutic support for active military, veterans and their loved ones.” She offers examples of veterans, both on their own and with their wives present, paired with horses on the 10-acre Farm–and guided by Quantum Leap’s highly-trained therapists–making profoundly revealing statements about themselves or their troubled marriages while talking about, or to, the horses. The discussion also touches on the array of conditions beyond wounds of wars that Quantum Leap’s programs can help with include Parkinson’s, autism, cerebral palsy, Alzheimer’s, Down’s syndrome and others, and ways the Quantum Leap operation is funded–they welcome donations, corporate sponsors and other forms of funding. They also welcome volunteers. (www.quantumleapfarm.org, www.facebook.com/quantumleapfarm)

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COMEDY CORNER: Jerry Seinfeld’s “Horses” (portion) (www.JerrySeinfeld.com)

MUSIC: Brett Dennen’s “Comeback Kid (That’s My Dog),” Maceo Parker’s “Elephant Foot,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: King Crimson’s “Elephant Talk”

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About the author
Duncan Strauss is the producer-host of “Talking Animals,” which he launched at KUCI in California in 2003, combining his passions for animals, radio, journalism, music and comedy. The show has aired since late 2005 on Tampa’s WMNF. Strauss lives in Jupiter Farms, FL with his family, including four cats, two horses and one dog. He spends each day talking to those animals, and maintains they talk right back to him, an as yet unverified claim.

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