Participants, Policies & Procedures, Volunteers

Weather Cancellations – Policy & Protocol

High Hopes is able to operate year-round thanks to our indoor arena, barn area, and our climate-controlled building.  However, there are rare instances when we may decide to cancel classes based on the weather or other factors.  If High Hopes cancels lessons, a modified make-up opportunity may be offered to affected participants.  If participants cancel due to weather while High Hopes remains open, no make-up is offered.

The Program Director will make decisions regarding class cancellations. High Hopes makes an independent decision to close and is not based on regional school cancellations. Reasons class may be canceled include:

  • Weather safety concerns
  • Road closures
  • State closure mandates

If High Hopes chooses to close due to the weather, the Volunteer Manager/Coordinator will notify the volunteers and the Program Director/Lesson Manager will notify participants with at least 2 hours’ notice to the start of the participant’s lesson. Notification will be provided via personal phone calls, text messages, alerts on the website and on social media, and the recorded main message.

In case of extreme temperatures and High Hopes remains open, instructors will modify lessons accordingly. This may include facilitating unmounted activities for a portion or all of the lesson to limit exposure.

Participants and volunteers should dress appropriately for the weather (e.g. gloves in the winter, breathable fabrics in summer).

High Hopes will provide resources including gloves (if someone comes without them) or water breaks during the lesson on hot days.

We encourage all participants who are in therapeutic riding lessons to wear pants year-round (including summer). Appropriate pants include jeans, heavy cotton trousers or riding breeches. Nylon, loose-fitting (such as snow pants) or stretchy materials are discouraged as they are slippery on a saddle. Wearing shorts while riding can cause chafing and discomfort for the participant.

To ensure nothing gets caught while on or around the horses, coats should be zipped and scarf tails should be tucked into the coat. Hats cannot be worn under the helmet as it affects the fit of the helmet.

Every person who is working directly with or around the horses is required to wear closed-toed shoes that have a sturdy sole and ideally have a ¼ inch heel. Appropriate footwear includes paddock boots, cowboy boots, or sneakers regardless of the weather. If a participant or volunteer appears in shoes that are not appropriate for the barn, they may be asked to leave the barn and change their shoes (boots available at High Hopes). Inappropriate footwear includes Uggs, converse, Sperrys/Boat shoes, sandals as they do not provide sufficient protection.

If anyone has questions regarding the appropriateness of their attire, please ask a staff person.

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