Meet Griffin

Griffin, age 5, began riding at High Hopes in the summer of 2014 as a participant in our Immersion Camp program run in conjunction with L&M Hospital. Griffin has a progressive and terminal condition known as MPS type III A, a rare disease that prevents his body from breaking down toxins, allowing them to build up in his muscles and organs and affecting him both physically and neurologically. There is no cure for MPS, only experimental therapies – which can be scary.

Since Griffin’s diagnosis, his mother Kerri has wanted him to become involved in therapeutic riding at High Hopes as a way of building physical strength while slowing his disease’s progression. Because of his disability Griffin is non-verbal which makes forming personal bonds difficult, but his love of animals is constant and strong.

Riding at High Hopes works Griffin’s muscles. It strengthens his core as he sits straight and works leg muscles needed for balance. When Griffin dismounts from Petra he stands taller and doesn’t fall as often.

More importantly, riding for Griffin is a fun activity that provides an outlet for his mental energy. Riding breaks through his mental and physical isolation and for a short while each week Griffin is just a happy boy experiencing the joys of being with his beloved pony.

Griffin’s mom, Kerri, works hard to ensure her son has the best care needed to improve his quality of life while extending the time he has available. Riding at High Hopes helps meet those goals but would not be possible without financial assistance.

Your donation provides direct financial assistance to Griffin and hundreds of other children and adults with disabilities from throughout Connecticut and makes their participation in life changing, equine-assisted activities a reality. Learn more here.

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High Hopes Hosts Annual Chili Open House March 5

High Hopes Therapeutic Riding is hosting an informative and delicious Chili Open House on Saturday, March 5, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event is open to members of the community to give them an opportunity to learn about one of the top therapeutic riding centers in the nation, while enjoying chili with all the fixings!

The open house is informal and child friendly, giving visitors the flexibility to stay as long as their schedule allows. High Hopes staff is offering attendees tours of the facility, as well as a chance to meet the horses and watch a therapeutic riding class in session.

Those looking to make a difference in the lives of High Hopes’ participants can learn about volunteer opportunities. There are frequent openings for sidewalkers, office help, barn assistance, special event planning and more. In addition, High Hopes will have information about volunteering with or enrolling in its Annual Summer Camp Program that begins in July.

High Hopes is located at 36 Town Woods Road in Old Lyme. Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP by calling 860-434-1974 to ensure there is plenty of tasty chili for everyone.

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Vote for High Hopes in Essex Savings Bank’s Community Investment Program

Attention Essex Savings Bank customers!

Help High Hopes during the month of February when you visit your local Essex Savings Bank branch.

How? Just cast a vote for High Hopes in the bank’s Community Investment Program! It’s that easy!

Each vote for High Hopes increases the funds we receive from the program.

Help High Hopes be one of the top 10 ballot winners! And don’t forget to tell your friends!

Voting ends Monday, February 29!

Learn more here.

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Want to learn to ride? Community lessons begin soon!

High Hopes is offering riding lessons for community members who want to learn how to ride, brush up on old skills or try a new activity.

High Hopes instructors specialize in individualizing riding instruction in a safe and supportive environment. With a wide variety of breeds, riders are matched with the right member of the herd to meet their needs and ability.

Attendees can sign up for either riding or carriage driving lessons. There is a rider weight limit of 180 lbs. for safety of the horse and rider.

All lessons are offered at High Hopes’ 120-acre site at 36 Town Woods Road in Old Lyme, and are 45 minutes to one hour each, once a week, beginning February 26, through May 21, 2016. Riders can select a six-week, or 12-week series.

High Hopes’ Community Lesson Schedule:
• Adult Lessons: Fridays at 5:30 p.m. beginning February 26
• Adolescent Lessons: Saturdays at 3 p.m. beginning February 27
• Youth Lessons: Saturdays at 4 p.m. beginning February 27

Fees are $360 for six-weeks, or $720 for the 12-week series. For more information, contact Sarah Carlson at scarlson@highhopestr.org, or 860-434-1974, ext. 115.

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Volunteer Continuing Education Workshops January 8

High Hopes  is offering a variety of Volunteer Continuing Workshops on Friday, January 8th, with morning, mid-day and afternoon sessions.

Topics include sidewalking, leading, long-lining and grooming. There’s even a Town Hall brown bag lunch where volunteers can share their experiences with staff and other volunteers.

Sessions are open to all current volunteers. Click here to see workshop details. Email mellis@highhopestr.org to sign up.

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Registration now open for Susan E. Harris Clinic

High Hopes  is offering a two-day clinic with International Centered Riding Clinician and Equestrian Educator Susan E. Harris on Saturday, February 20, and Sunday February 21, 2016. Both clinics take place at High Hopes from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Saturday’s clinic is titled Anatomy in Motion, and focuses on the biomechanics of horse and rider.

Sunday’s clinic is on Centered Riding and offers participants techniques to improve balance and control for greater freedom, suppleness and coordination.

Harris’ knowledge of horse gaits and movement, and experience with various breeds and disciplines enables her to help all kinds of riders and horses improve balance, comfort movement and performance in a supportive group setting. Clinic participants will learn how to improve balance and harmony between themselves and their horse.
The fee is $175 per day, with participants saving $25 per day when they register by January 26, 2016. Auditors are welcome and may participate in Centered Riding Groundwork for a $25 fee. Registration deadline is February 5, 2016.
Click here for more information, and for a full list of fees and registration forms,

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#GivingTuesday is December 1, 2015

High Hopes is participating in this global day dedicated to giving.

We encourage you to use #GivingTuesday as an opportunity to help improve the lives of people with cognitive, physical and emotional disabilities through the benefits of therapeutic riding – right here in our community.

No matter the size of your gift, your generosity will help us reach even more individuals and have a greater impact on the lives of men, women and children, right here in Connecticut.

Join the worldwide #GivingTuesday movement and click here to make a difference in your community!

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Save the date! The 5th Annual Holiday Market will be Sunday, November 15th, 2015

The holidays and the High Hopes Holiday Market are just around the corner! Join us on Sunday, November 15th as we transform our arena into a holiday marketplace. More than 60 exhibitors will offer merchandise from Connecticut’s popular craft, jewelry, gourmet food vendors and more, perfect for starting off your holiday shopping.

Hungry? Stroll outside and visit the “hottest” area food trucks!   Keep the family entertained with games, arts and crafts, face painting and hayrides.

And don’t forget to try your luck with great raffle prizes and door prizes. We are excited to be raffling off a 2015 Subaru XV Crosstrek 2.0i Premium, along with three other great prizes: an Apple Watch Sport, a New York City Theatre Getaway for two, and a pair of Justin cowboy boots from Southern Exposure.

Admission to the Holiday Market and all these activities is free with a suggested donation of a non-perishable food item for the Shoreline Soup Kitchens.

For more information and to see a list of vendors, click here.

If you can volunteer at this fun event please contact Ashley Sands at asands@highhopestr.org or 860-434-1974, ext. 121.

For more information about the event contact Trudy Burgess at tburgess@highhopestr.org or call 860-434-1974, ext. 123.

All proceeds from this event benefit the programs and participants of High Hopes.

Event Sponsor: Reynolds Subaru

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Thank you High Hopes Volunteers!

Volunteers are the key to the good work High Hopes does bringing Therapeutic Horsemanship to those who need it the most.  We’d like to take a moment to show our appreciation for your service.  Your spirit and energy makes High Hopes a special place for one and all.  Click on the video below for a message just for you, our volunteers!

Congratulations to our 2015 Volunteer Award recipients!  They will be formally acknowledged at our Annual Meeting on Sunday, October 18th from 1p.m.-2p.m.  All volunteers are welcome to join us on Sunday for the meeting and for our Open Barn Day from 11a.m.-1p.m..

 

               Nancy Cash Program Volunteer of the Year:  Neil Mann

            With nearly 700 hours in the past seven years, Neil upholds the High Hopes values by consistently being welcoming and supportive of riders, volunteers, staff, and all those whom he encounters. In addition to regularly volunteering two days a week, he often substitutes in the riding program and regularly volunteers for special events. He’s the go-to guy for the Holiday Market raffle, putting his winning personality (and cowboy hat) to work selling tickets and promoting High Hopes to hundreds of guests.

 

                                 Office Volunteer of the Year:  Carol Colangeli

               Carol is long standing, dedicated volunteer who is a leader among the office volunteers. She is always willing to sub, often trains new volunteers and takes initiative with reception duties. Her personal experience with a grandchild who has special needs makes her very understanding of families coming to High Hopes. She relates to and advocates for participants and volunteers, helping to connect them to the staff or information they need. Carol communicates well, checking in on Mondays to share Saturday updates. Carol’s loyalty and welcoming personality make her a vital part of High Hopes.

 

Congratulations to volunteers who have reached 1,000 hours of service!

Sky Todd

Deb Welles

Daryl Hornby

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Volunteer Cancellation Form now available on website

Volunteers can now use our website to cancel for their assigned volunteer time and sign up for a substitute position.

Please only use the website to cancel a minimum of 48 hours in advance, so that the staff has time to fill your position.  If you must cancel within 48 hours of your scheduled time, we ask that you call us at (860) 434-1974 for immediate assistance.

If you do need to cancel, please consider taking a substitute position on another day.  This will ensure that all High Hopes participants are able to enjoy our activities safely and effectively.  Current sub needs can be found at Current Volunteers.

Use this link, or visit the Volunteer section of our website, for volunteer cancellations.

Volunteer Cancellation Form

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Wow! Wouldn’t you look great behind the wheel of a 2015 Subaru Crosstrek Premium?

A 2015 Subaru Crosstrek Premium could be yours, or one of three other great raffle prizes – a NYC Overnight at the Penn Club with Broadway tickets and dinner at The Capital Grille, an Apple Watch Sport and a pair of Justin Sorrel ladies cowboy books from Southern Exposure. Raffle tickets are $50, only 1,500 will be sold and you have until the Holiday Market on Nov. 15th to purchase yours. You don’t have to be present to win. All proceeds benefit the programs and participants of High Hopes. How many tickets would you like? Tickets are available at High Hopes. Look for us too at various events around the community over the next month.

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High Hopes Open Barn Day and Annual Meeting October 18, 2015

High Hopes Open House Sunday, October 18, 2015  11am to 1pm

Tour our beautiful 120 acre facility, meet the friendly professional staff and herd of 27 specially trained horses, and learn more about High Hopes and how we serve our community.

If you are already an involved member of the High Hopes community, gather your friends and family and come share the magic of High Hopes with them. Light refreshments will be provided, and there is no need to R.S.V.P. so come and kick up your heels with the staff and horses of High Hopes!

We hope to see you!

41st Annual Meeting, Demonstration & Award Ceremony, Sunday, October 18, 2015 1pm to 3pm

At 1pm, following the Open House, volunteers, former and current board members, riders, family and friends are invited to gather in the arena at High Hopes for the 41th Annual Meeting, Awards Celebration and Demonstration.

 

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How to Be Your Volunteers’ Best Resource

Read all about it in the Summer 2015 issue of PATH Intl’s STRIDES magazine or click on the link below:

How to Be Your Volunteers’ Best Resource STRIDES Summer 2015

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Congratulations, Lauren Fitzgerald!

Please join us in congratulating Lauren Fitzgerald, High Hopes Lesson Manager and Instructor, on being selected to receive the 2015 PATH Intl. Sis Gould Driving Recognition Award. Named after longtime PATH Intl. driving advocate and High Hopes founder Sis Gould, this award recognizes PATH Intl. members who exemplify outstanding dedication to the promotion of carriage driving for individuals with disabilities.

Sis saw carriage driving as way to help participants who could not sit on a horse’s back. She helped design a wheelchair-accessible driving cart for High Hopes and was instrumental in establishing standards for driving in therapeutic riding programs.

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Shop smile.amazon.com!

When you shop on Amazon.com be sure to use our Amazon Smile link and Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchase to High Hopes!

High Hopes Therapeutic Riding
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High Hopes Offers Riding Lessons to the Public

Lessons begin week of February 22, six or 12-week sessions available

Old Lyme, CT (January 25, 2016) — High Hopes Therapeutic Riding is offering riding lessons for community members who want to learn how to ride, brush up on old skills or try a new activity.

High Hopes instructors specialize in individualizing riding instruction in a safe and supportive environment. With a wide variety of breeds, riders are matched with the right member of the herd to meet their needs and ability.

Attendees can sign up for either riding or carriage driving lessons. There is a rider weight limit of 180 lbs. for safety of the horse and rider.

All lessons are offered at High Hopes’ 120-acre site at 36 Town Woods Road in Old Lyme, and are 45 minutes to one hour each, once a week, beginning February 26, through May 21, 2016. Riders can select a six-week, or 12-week series.

High Hopes’ Community Lesson Schedule:
• Adult Lessons: Fridays at 5:30 p.m. beginning February 26
• Adolescent Lessons: Saturdays at 3 p.m. beginning February 27
• Youth Lessons: Saturdays at 4 p.m. beginning February 27

Fees are $360 for six-weeks, or $720 for the 12-week series. For more information, contact Sarah Carlson at scarlson@highhopestr.org, or 860-434-1974, ext. 115.

# # #

High Hopes is one of the oldest and largest therapeutic riding centers in the United States, operating since 1974 and accredited by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, International (PATH Intl.) since 1979. High Hopes is committed to providing the highest quality service to all who might benefit, regardless of their financial means. www.highhopestr.org

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NEW! High Hopes is joining the texting revolution!

We are excited to launch our new text messaging service. That’s right, you can now receive texts from High Hopes.

Most texts will be group alerts such as weather-related cancellations, but we also will be able to text individuals for items like substitute needs.

As always, if you have a cancellation, please call us at (860) 434-1974 or use our website more than 48 hours in advance. Your texts come through as emails to us and we can easily miss urgent cancellations.

If you do not want to receive texts from High Hopes, please let us know by emailing Allie at leonard@highhopestr.org.

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Nonprofit Business, Development and Administrative Workshops February 8 & 9

High Hopes is is presenting an interactive two-day workshop, February 8 & 9, 2016, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., to help nonprofit administrators learn how to meet management, fundraising and communication needs.

Day 1: Monday, February 8, Non-profit Business Administration:
Attendees will develop an understanding of and utilize solid management practices to ensure their organization survives and thrives in today’s challenging economy. Topics include Best Management Practices: Committee and Board Relationships, Organizational Mission, Vision and Values, Operations Management, Strategic Planning and Financial Management.

Day 2: Tuesday, February 9, Fundraising and Communications:
Participants learn how to build a well-rounded fundraising program to ensure long term financial sustainability. Topics include Building a Donor Base: Appeal Program, Major Gifts, Grant Research and Writing, Special Events, Planned Giving and Cultivating Donor Relationships.

In addition, there will be a discussion on developing a multi-faceted approach to communicating with your constituency. Topics include identifying your target audience, using social media tools and creating engaging newsletters.

Registration deadline is January 27, 2016. Click here for more information.

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