LYME HUNTER PACE AT LORD CREEK FARM September 11th Register Now!


LYME HUNTER PACE at Lord Creek Farm on Sunday, September 11, 2016     8:30am-11:00am      REGISTER NOW!

Join High Hopes and The Lyme Trail Association on Sunday, September 11, 2016 for the Lyme Hunter Pace at Lord Creek Farm.  The Lyme Hunter Pace is a beautiful waterside cross-country ride over a marked and timed course of up to 9 miles including 2′ to 3′ jumps that riders may go over or around.   In teams of 2-3, riders follow an outdoor marked course: jumping, and a mixture of gaits through open country and along wooded trails.  Prizes Awarded.   A Hunter Pace is a low-key competitive event derived from foxhunting.  Inexperienced riders and horses are welcomed.  Proceeds to benefit High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, The Lyme Trail Association, and the U.S. Pony Club.

Register now and receive the Early Registration Discount    

Date:         Sunday, September 11th   

Time:        8:30 am  – 11:00 a.m.    

Place:        Lord Creek Farm, 37-3 Hamburg Road, Lyme CT 06371

Level:        Less experienced riders & horses welcome

Fee:            Early Registration: $55  

For Information contact: Sarah Carlson,  (860) 434-1974, ext. 115

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High Hopes Benefit Raffle Takes to the Road!


High Hopes is hosting a benefit CAR RAFFLE!  Only 1500 tickets available @$50 per ticket. Drawing takes place at the High Hopes Holiday Market on Sunday Nov. 13th. Raffle ticket holders need not be present to win. Proceeds Benefit High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Inc.

GRAND PRIZE: 2016 SUBARU IV CROSSTREK 2.0i PREMIUM Courtsey Reynold’s Subaru
4th PRIZE:  PAINTER FOR A DAY, 8 hours, courtesy Fitzgerald Painting
5th PRIZE:  COWBOY BOOTS courtesy of Southern Exposure

The 2016 Subaru IV Crosstrek will be on the road to many of Connecticut’s Fairs, Festivals and Farmers’ Markets over the next month.  Stop by and check out this car !  Here are the stops along the way:

August 13th     Coffee’s Country Market     9:00am-12noon

August 19-21st     Hamburg Fair     All Day

August 26-28th     Chester Fair     All Day

For more information and tickets, please call or email Trudy Burgess, (860) 434-1974, ext. 123,

HIGH HOPES 6th ANNUAL HOLIDAY MARKET:  Start Your Holiday Shopping!

Join us for High Hopes Holiday Market with over 6o vendors, amazing raffle, food trucks, hayrides, kid’s activities and more! Get your Holiday Shopping Season started early. Fun for the whole family!   Event Sponsor: Reynold’s Subaru Creative Sponsor: Julia Balfour, LLC and  Internet Media Sponsor:  ICRV Radio.

Date: Sunday, November 13th    11 a.m.- 4 p.m.
Place: High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, 36 Town Woods Rd, Old Lyme CT
Contact: Trudy Burgess, (860) 434-1974, ext. 123 or email

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Legacy Garden Reflections

Over 20 members of High Hopes Legacy Society, joined Kitty Stalsburg, Executive Director and Board Chair, Barbara Ballard in thought and testimony to the incredible journey past to present that High Hopes has traveled over the years.  Fond memories of Sis Gould swirled as many recalled her wonderful way of bringing all into the fold of High Hopes’ magic and mission for therapeutic riding and the special participants served.

The Legacy Society was created as a special program for planned giving to ensure the future of High Hopes.  Our Legacy Society members range from trustees, parents of participants to volunteers, each with their own story of why membership enriches their lives and experience at High Hopes knowing their willed gifts will become the brick and mortar of High Hopes sustainability.  At its very core, Legacy Society members all share the passion for High Hopes mission, operation and outreach.  Members are recognized and honored in the gorgeous Legacy Garden near Hartman Pond among many other benefits including special acknowledgements, gatherings and member mailings.  Best of all,  Legacy Society members have the heartwarming experience of helping others in need.

There are many ways to become a Legacy Society member whether through private philanthropic planned giving or through our Buy-A-Brick program both leaving lasting legacies to High Hopes. Today, High Hopes has over 45 Legacy members who have dedicated gifts to ensure the vision for High Hopes is carried well into the future. For more information, please email Sara Qua, Director of Development, or call, (860) 434-1974, ext. 122.


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Gallop was a perfect night!

Nearly 600 guests gathered at High Hopes to enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres on the lawn, a delicious sit down dinner in the arena and then dancing to the sounds of The Sultan on a packed dance floor.  In between, there was a special video preceding the annual scholarship drive, and a furious bidding activity at the silent auction.

We raised over $205,000 net including record proceeds from the auction, to support the programs and participants of High Hopes.

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Summer is here . . . Camp registration open!

Registration is open for our youth equestrian summer camp for area children ages 3 to 12. High Hopes offers summer campers equine-related educational opportunities in partnership with our more than 20 horses and ponies. Each camp session is designed to meet the needs of participant groups by age and/or riding skill level, and offers children diverse equine-based activities conducted by a certified therapeutic riding instructor.

Campers build and/or develop horsemanship skills both on and off the horse by grooming and tacking their horse each morning in addition to a daily riding lesson. Other activities include gymnastics on horseback, carriage driving, inclusive team-building games and equine arts and crafts. No previous riding experience is necessary.

Four weekly sessions are scheduled beginning the week of July 11, 2016, with each session limited to 16 participants. Sessions are Monday through Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Volunteers also are needed for each session. Click here to learn more.

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Read all about it! The High Hopes Rider is out!

Learn about Montville students who are making healing connections, and how High Hopes ensures its horses receive a happy retirement after years of service to our participants. Click here.



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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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When you shop on 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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The sun came out just in time for cocktails and the start of the silent auction.  Then the crowd moved to the arena for dinner, more auction bidding and dancing to the sounds of the Sultans.  All in all, a great evening!

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#ShareHighHopes Newman’s Own Challenge: We Met Our Goal . . . Thank you!

Newman’s Own Foundation offered High Hopes a challenge –  if we raise $50,000 by June 30, 2016, they will donate $25,000!  WE DID IT!   Thank you to all that supported this effort.  Through this initiative, together– we are able to give the gift of hope to support the 1700 participants and families of High Hopes with similar stories to Cullen’s.

Cullen’s story: Over the course of the past two years, this diminutive five-year-old with a magnificent spirit has progressed from cruising, to a walker, to poles, to supervised unassisted walking! Cullen believes he will run, and that he will run fast! When riding, he moves as quickly and as fluidly as his peers. Riding at High Hopes helps Cullen with core strengthening and also boosts his confidence for the hurdles ahead.

Thank you for your support of our mission to give others hope!


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Join us for Horse Show Days

High Hopes Therapeutic Riding is celebrating the accomplishments of its participants during Horse Show Days, May 16 – 21, 2016, at our farm in Old Lyme. This is a highly anticipated time for our riders, who are children and adults with cognitive, physical, psychological and developmental disabilities.  All year they look forward to this week when they get to show off their talent and determination to friends, family and the community.

Each participant will be awarded a High Hopes ribbon and a commemorative ribbon.

Show Patrons:  Pucuda, Deborah Welles, Treasure Hill Farm

For a complete list of sponsors and to view the event program please click here.

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Judith’s Story

Judith had always loved riding horses and caring for them. So much so that she owned her own horse and ran a barn for several years. After her second hip replacement at age 54, Judith said it nearly broke her heart when she found she could no longer ride due to limitations of motion and stiffness from arthritis.

Five years later, Judith contacted High Hopes Therapeutic Riding to ask if they could help her solve her problem and get her back on a horse.

Today Judith not only rides, she thrives! “I walk, trot and canter and I’m a better rider today than I was before my hip replacements,” she said. “My instructor Lauren pushes me and gets me to do things I never thought I could do. I believe one of the most respectful things you can do for someone with a disability is to treat them as if their learning is unlimited.”

The benefits of therapeutic riding have not only improved Judith’s balance, coordination and posture, it also has increased her self-confidence.

“I recently had some unexpected life changes that were devastating, and the staff and horses at High Hopes helped get me through the experience. I appreciate having had the opportunity to heal my spirit and can now return the kindness.”

When she’s not riding, Judith volunteers in the office or uses her artistic talent to create welcome signs for High Hopes visitors. And some days she brings horses from the paddock to the barn and grooms them. “To know that I’m entrusted to care for a High Hopes horse is something that’s very precious.”

You can read more about High Hopes and Judith in the March/April issue of Connecticut Horse Magazine.

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