LOVELAND, Colo. (KDVR) — Local doctors are taking a creative approach to deal with the stress of work and resiliency on the front lines of this pandemic.

FOX31’s Nicole Fierro joined Banner Health’s doctors for a different type of hands-on learning in Loveland.

From the hospital to the horse arena, there’s a change of scenery for physicians and residents. Cameras capture as Dr. Tyler Ulmer learns a lesson leading Rocket the horse Sunday. 

“The horses are teaching quite a bit today,” Hearts and Horses’ Associate Executive Director Tamara Merritt said.   

Hearts and Horses, the nonprofit known for its equine therapy works with special-needs children, adults and businesses. The organization teamed up with the hospital group six months ago to create this new course specifically for those on the front line.

“In these unprecedented times, there’s such a need for helping to build resiliency for doctors that are on the front lines, and burnout is huge right now,” Merritt said. 

“Practicing medicine is something we know very well how to do, but leading teams through the pandemic in the unknown — that’s new to us, that requires us to dig in our boots and pull out leadership skills,” said Dr. Michele Alba, a family medicine doctor at Banner Health.

Alba said this is the second session. Doctors who attended the first course have already shared feedback highlighting the impact a day in the barn has had on their bedside skills.

“Doctors from the first group are saying they are having more meaningful interactions with their patients, feeling more confident as leaders [and] communicating more authentically,” Alba said.