The Horse Keeps Escaping To See Friends At The Dementia Unit Who Adore Him And Offer Carrots

source: Tiktok/@maija.vance

Panda the horse is making waves on social media with her mischievous and heartwarming adventures. This palomino and paint-coated beauty has a unique preference when it comes to her daily activities. While most horses would obediently follow their training routines, Panda has other ideas in mind. She longs for the company of the residents at the local dementia unit, and she’ll do whatever it takes to pay them a visit.

In a viral TikTok video posted by Panda’s owner, Maija Vance, we catch a glimpse of the escapades that have made Panda an internet sensation. As Vance wonders aloud about Panda’s escapades, we witness the horse’s determination to break free and gallop her way to the dementia unit. It’s an endearing sight, albeit one that requires Vance to play the role of the determined wrangler, coaxing Panda back home.

Vance is quick to take responsibility for Panda’s sneaky outings, admitting that she had initially introduced Panda to the dementia unit with good intentions. The patients had adored the gentle giant and showered her with carrots, creating a bond that proved difficult to break. Little did Vance know that her thoughtful act would lead to Panda’s unexpected escapes and return to her newfound friends.

TikTok users have rallied behind Panda, suggesting that her true calling may lie in becoming a therapy horse. Commenters have pointed out that her affinity for the residents and the joy she brings them could be harnessed in a therapeutic setting. One user even goes as far as saying, “Let him pursue his dreams as a therapy pony!” It’s clear that Panda’s thrilling adventures have touched many people’s hearts, and they appreciate how she can bring happiness and comfort to them.

source: Instagram/@maija_vance

Some skeptics attribute Panda’s behavior to her love for carrots rather than her exceptional memory. After all, who wouldn’t be tempted to break free for a tasty treat? One TikToker humorously points out, “He only forgets what ‘woah’ means but not where he got carrots.” While it’s true that horses have an affinity for carrots, Panda’s determination to reunite with the dementia unit residents suggests a deeper connection.

Horses have long been celebrated for their remarkable memories and ability to form lasting bonds with humans. Panda’s actions only reinforce this notion. NBC News has highlighted how horses “never forget” their friends and those who treat them well. Recent studies have even shed light on horses’ comprehension of words, suggesting that their communication skills and memory capabilities are more sophisticated than previously believed.


As Panda continues to captivate the internet with her adventures, there’s a growing sense of admiration for her heartfelt connection with the residents of the dementia unit. Panda’s adventures remind us that animals, like her, can bring so much happiness and comfort to people who need it. They have a special ability to love us no matter what and understand our feelings without us having to say anything. It’s amazing how they can make us feel better just by being there for us.

While Panda’s training as a riding horse may take a back seat for now, there’s no denying the happiness she brings to the lives of the dementia unit residents. Perhaps it’s time for a change in career for this spirited horse—a new chapter as a therapy horse, spreading her unique brand of joy and mischief wherever she goes. And who knows, maybe there’s a lesson to be learned from Panda’s adventures: sometimes, the best training is the one that follows the beat of your own hoofsteps.