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Meet the Herd

Our Horses

Currently 27 strong, the High Hopes herd is characterized by the diversity of its horses. From Al, the Miniature Horse gelding at 9.1 hands, to Buddy, the 16.3 hand Percheron, and everyone in between, each horse lends their own special talents to our program. Each of our horses must undergo a rigorous evaluation testing skills, temperament and tolerance. From Latino’s gentle, reassuring presence to Geranita’s smooth way of going, serving participants ages four to eighty-four in a broad variety of therapeutic activities requires horses with many unique qualities.


Aladdin, better known as “Big Al,” is a palomino Miniature Horse gelding. At 9.1 hands, Al is quite tall for a mini. He has his own carriage, which he enjoys pulling. Al’s best friend is Smokey. The two of them are “thick as thieves” and have been known to take down fence rails in their paddock to sneak out and eat grass.


A chestnut quarter horse, this little mare is the youngest member of the High Hopes herd.  At 14.1 hands tall, Baby is an ideal mount for our smaller riders.  Calm, level-headed and wise for her age, Baby is open to new experiences and ways of working.  She has quickly won everyone over, living up to her name in cuteness and defying it in maturity.


Bella is a sweet Quarter Horse mare who is 15.0 hands. Retired from a show career in the western reining discipline, her friendly attitude and fine-tuned training make her a great addition to the High Hopes herd. With smooth, slow gaits that are easy to ride, soft, kind eyes and a sweet disposition, Bella is a proud bearer of our littlest riders.


Blessing is a seal brown Standardbred. Formerly a racing pacer, he was retired from a four year career on the track and fostered, where he learned to drive for pleasure. A positive addition to the driving program at High Hopes, this calm, friendly, eager to please gelding easily lives up to his name.


Buddy is a Percheron gelding. Though his previous career was spent mostly on the trail, his easygoing personality has made for a smooth transition to the arena work required at High Hopes. At 16.3 hands Buddy is a big horse with an even bigger heart.


Candy is a Clydesdale/Hackney cross. Her skill as a driving horse brought her to High Hopes, where she is the anchor of our driving program. Candy’s dark, glossy summer coat is stunning. But she doesn’t have a bit of ego, even when all the geldings turn their heads in admiration as she passes by. Candy has shared a pasture with many of our horses at different times and quickly becomes buddies with each of them.


Chip is a 14.2 Appaloosa gelding. In his previous career Chip carried riders in the hunt seat discipline and liked to jump. Although Chip is small his gaits are smooth. Inquisitive and very social, Chip loves to nicker at passersby and is always interested in what is going on around him.


Fanny is a 16.1 hand Paint/Percheron cross mare who was born and raised in Massachusetts. Most recently, Fanny was owned by Connecticut family who rode her on long trail rides with their grandchildren. A pretty mare with a genuinely friendly disposition, Fanny’s laid back attitude and comfortable gaits make her a popular choice with riders and instructors alike.


Gavin is confident and sure-footed.  A 16.0 hand Swedish Warmblood gelding, he brings extensive education in a wide variety of disciplines to our herd.  He is a school master, well-versed in his training and confident in his work.  A talented, natural athlete, Gavin is pleasant to ride and a delight to watch move.


Geranita, better known as Geri, is a 15.2 hand, grey Lippizan mare with very smooth gaits. She is great for some of our more advanced riders. Geri was the 2003 High Hopes Horse of the Year and the 2004 NARHA Region I Horse of the Year as well. Donated to High Hopes as a yearling, Geri has lived here most of her life. This kind and sensitive mare is a very special member of the High Hopes herd.


Gracie is a 15.2 Paint mare who came to High Hopes in the winter of 2010. She has a big, bouncy trot which helps our riders learn to post. As one of the youngest members of the herd, Gracie’s gentle, sweet and friendly nature makes her a perfect fit for High Hopes.

Half Pint

Half Pint – his name says it all! He is a dashing Irish Sport Horse who at 15.1 hands is not very tall, but is very stout. He looks like a smaller version of Latino. Half Pint came to High Hopes after being imported to the US for a career in fox hunting.


Hummer joined the High Hopes herd in the spring of 2010. At 16.0 hands he is a big, handsome, Percheron cross who is gentle, easy going, friendly, and loves being brushed and scratched. Hummer’s owner enjoyed riding him in hunter paces and other trail events. Hummer’s full name is “Humvosh” which means “big beautiful gray” in Hungarian.


Latino is a 16.0 hand Shire cross gelding with a former career in fox hunting.  His broad stature and somewhat slow gaits are helpful for participants learning how to ride.  A patient horse, especially talented at working with people in wheelchairs who like to groom or lead a horse, Latino was the 2005 High Hopes Horse of the Year. Latino is kind and gentle, and helps fearful riders feel at ease.


A 15.1 overo Paint, Luna’s bay roan and white markings make her a colorful standout in the High Hopes herd.  She is a quiet, confident mare, level headed and sweet, and a very adaptable horse.  A lifelong teacher, Luna is generous of spirit and loves being with people.


Major has a wonderfully quiet nature and willingness to always do what is asked of him. 15.1 hands, his gentle manner and smooth gaits make him a great horse to learn riding skills on. Though Major is a paint by breed, the only white marking on his bay coat is a star.


A Dutch Warmblood gelding, Neon was imported from Holland in 2000.  16.2 hands tall, this handsome bay has four stockings, a star, a strip and a snip. With an extensive history of travel and competition, Neon is a calm, sage, social horse who enjoys human attention and has many fans.


Nifty is a 14.1 hand, dun Quarter Horse gelding. He has performed as a show horse in English, western and reining competition. With his playful personality, Nifty was the 2010 High Hopes Horse of the Year. This versatile little horse currently enjoys being long-lined for many of his classes.


Petra is a 14.0 hand Norwegian Fjord mare. She is a brown dun with a dorsal stripe and her mane is “roached” to show off her two-toned coloring. She serves High Hopes’ participants by being one of our most stoic, reliable and tolerant horses. Petra is exceptional for many reasons including the fact that she came to work at High Hopes as a very young four-year-old.


Smokey, a Shetland Pony, at only 10 hands high is one of the smallest members of our herd. What he lacks in height he makes up for with his flowing mane and tail, and his outgoing personality. Smokey is a Delta-certified therapy animal and participates in many of High Hopes’ outreach programs, including visits to people at the senior center, special appearances in the community and even an appearance on TV channel 12.


Petra’s best friend, Straumur is a flaxen chestnut Icelandic horse. He was imported from Iceland as a four-year-old. Though short of stature, Straumur’s strong neck and confident way of going suggest a much bigger horse. Look closely at this amiable and engaging gelding, and you might just see the smile on his face.


Taylor, a 15.1 hand Quarter Horse, came to High Hopes in the summer of 2009. During his career as a show horse, prior to his arrival here, Taylor was the Connecticut Horse Show Association Quarter Horse Hunter Under Saddle champion. Taylor is responsive and comfortable to ride. He is friendly, loves to be groomed, but can be a little shy.


Teddy is a high-spirited, 14.3 hand, bay Morgan gelding who is full of personality and likes to work hard. Teddy is a “people horse” and genuinely becomes sad when he has a day off. Born at the University of Vermont in their world famous Morgan breeding program, his previous careers include extensive trail riding.


TJ is a 15.0 hand Arabian gelding. With a glowing summer coat and soft, brown eyes, this gentle bay greets the world with patience and curiosity. A big-hearted horse in a small body, TJ helps younger riders begin to make the transition to independence.


Vixen is a 15.3 Percheron cross mare. One of the youngest horses in the High Hopes herd, she is smart, adorable and has a very “kind eye”. She is friendly, very comfortable and fun to ride.