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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Save the date! Gallop Dine and Dance is June 11!

Mark your calendar for Saturday, June 11, 2016, when High Hopes transforms its indoor arena for a galloping good time!

Enjoy music from the 1920s through present day featuring The Sultans. Proceeds from the evening, which is High Hopes’ premier annual event, will benefit the programs and participants of High Hopes’ year-round equine-assisted therapy programs.

More information to come!

In the meantime, if you are interested in sponsorship opportunities, click here for more information.

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



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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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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, or 860-434-1974, ext. 115.

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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.

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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

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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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The High Hopes Rider – Summer 2015 Issue



Click 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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