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Hospital for Special Care Offers Free Equine-Assisted and Aquatic/Fitness Programs to Veterans

October 19, 2023

Hospital for Special Care is working in partnership with Southern Connecticut State University to provide opportunities for Veterans to improve their independence, well-being, and quality of life through adaptive fitness and therapeutic programs. Funded by the VA Adaptive Sports Grant, disabled Veterans and members of the Armed Forces living with a disability have the opportunity to participate in adaptive fitness activities at the Aquatic and Fitness Center and equine-assisted services at Manes & Motions Therapeutic Riding Center.

Programs include:

Aquatic and Fitness Center

  • Aquatic Fitness Classes: Group water exercise classes are offered in the lap pool and warm water pool.  Exercises will be performed in a vertical position in shallow and/or deep water and are designed to promote and enhance physical and mental fitness.  Includes access to any of the 9 classes offered each week.
  • Swim Clinics: Group swim instruction by a trained Red Cross Water Safety Instructor open to all levels, ages, and abilities.
  • Day Passes: Access to our fully accessible 27,000-square-foot facility during open program hours.  The Center features two indoor pools, a fitness center, and a strength training room. Open to veterans who want to pursue individual exercise at the center in addition to or in lieu of class participation.

To register and to learn more about these programs visit our Aquatics & Fitness Center, or contact Rhonda Seier, Membership Coordinator at 860-827-1958 ext. 2103.


Manes & Motions Therapeutic Riding Center

  • Adaptive Horseback Riding:  A mounted program designed to teach veterans the skills necessary to ride a horse while building upon the horse-human bond and its effects on healing, building trust, and improving relationships.  An unmounted learning session is typically included each semester to incorporate horse care.
  • Unmounted Lessons: (on the ground, no riding) Learning safe horsemanship skills including horse communication, safe horse handling, and the basics of care including grooming, first aid, and feeding.

Prior experience with horses is not required.

To register and to learn more about these programs visit Manes & Motions, or contact Valerie Zajac, Program Coordinator at 860-685-0008.


Media Contacts

  • Hollie Randall
    Social Media and Marketing Communications Manager
    [email protected]

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