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Welcome to Life at Benchmark. Explore the stories shared by, families, people, innovators and leadership that add a spark that light up our community. 

Harnessing the Healing Power of Horses in Memory Care

Harnessing the Healing Power of Horses in Memory Care

Kaila Snell loved her summer job at Manes & Motions, a non-profit providing people with special needs the joy and excitement of the movement of horse and rider. Kaila shared her enthusiasm with her mother, Programming Engagement Specialist Kisha Snell, sparking the idea of horse therapy for Harbor residents of the Village at South Farms in Middletown, Conn.

An affiliate of the Hospital for Special Care, Manes & Motions has long been interested in helping people with memory issues. So, they were delighted to get Kisha’s call. And in August, three South Farms Harbor residents, Marie, Edward and Lone, arrived at Manes & Motions to meet Cisco, a delightfully calm and amiable novice therapy horse.

Manes and Motions’ Jeanna Pellino, a certified Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International instructor, introduced Cisco to the residents, who enjoyed touching and grooming Cisco’s beautiful chestnut coat and feeling his lean muscle. In this video, an intimate encounter with Cisco puts a lasting smile on Lone’s face.

“The visit with Cisco was a wondrous experience for our three residents,” says Harbor Program Coordinator Jennifer Felciano. “We’re discussing ongoing programming with Manes & Motions, and we hope to make this a quarterly event.”

For Kisha and Jennifer, the biggest thrill came after the visit with Cisco when they shared the photos and video with the residents’ family members. “They were overwhelmed,” says Kisha.

With six Benchmark communities within a short drive of Manes & Motions, Executive Director Ryan Uhlman is encouraging them all to explore horse therapy.

Phase 1 Construction Complete at Sturges Ridge of Fairfield

Phase 1 Construction Complete at Sturges Ridge of Fairfield

Come Winds or Waves, Tom Grape, Benchmark Chairman and CEO Is Getting Married!

Come Winds or Waves, Tom Grape, Benchmark Chairman and CEO Is Getting Married!